About This Website

When I registered this domain name in 1996, I wanted to use the noun (home-schoolers), rather than the verb (home-schooling), because I wanted to create a community place for those already home-schooling, and not get bogged down in providing research materials for those considering home-schooling.

We had already been home-schooling our children for 6 years at that point, and developing a website to handle all of the state requirements, etc., just was too much for me to consider.

Although some resources may exist on our Forums to help parents who are just considering or researching home-schooling at this point, that is not the primary purpose. This is a place for home-schoolers to interact with one another (like buy/sell/trade curriculum or other items in the Classified Ads section, or ask/answer questions with others in the Forums).

About Us

We have 5 children (4 boys and one girl). My wife has home-schooled our children since 1990. Our oldest two went to a private kindergarten, and then she began teaching them in the first grade. The last three started their home-schooling experience in kindergarten. One has graduated college, and two are in college now.

Since 1996, we have also worked with local home-school organizations: one for sports (400+ home-schoolers), and the other for music (200+ home-schoolers). We served on the board or in an administration capacity. Our children have developed different interests, so we are no longer with the home-school sports program; but we have continued with the music enrichment program. My wife is also in a small, once-a-week co-op with 12 other home-schooling families we have met along the way.

I also edited the free e-mail newsletter for HEAV, the largest state home-schooling organization in Virginia, for over four years. It reached over 8,000 subscribers weekly, and many more from subscribers forwarding it on to friends, and it was wonderful. But pressures on my time (see 5 children, above) meant I eventually had to give it up.

I have been the commencement speaker at three home-school graduations now, and was a nervous wreck each time. It wasn't the 500-800 people I had to get up in front of who made me nervous. It was trying to come up with the right words to say to the 22-47 students who were getting ready to leave home for the first time. I couldn't eat for the two days before the speech. I am thinking about creating the Home-school Commencement Speech Diet.

When it comes to home-schooling, we have known BIG; we have known small; and we have known just right (our kids).

Whether you are home-schooling solo, or in a co-op, or are involved with a local or state group, it is our hope that this website will benefit you in some way. As you come back, in the days and weeks ahead, we hope that you will find something to help you on your home-schooling journey.

“More what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules”

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the pirate Barbarossa tells Elizabeth Turner, “... the [pirate] code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.”

My wife will tell you that when I asked her in 1990 to consider home-schooling our oldest child, she thought I was crazy. But she went to the state convention, walked the aisles, and decided to give it a try. We both agreed that we would evaluate it at the end of the year, to see if she wanted to continue the next year. We have done this every year since, and so far the answer has always been "Yes." Even though three have now gone on to college, we don't know if she will see the other two all the way through high school or not. Every year we review.

Home-schooling isn't for everyone. Nor may it be for all time. Some may home-school for a season; some part of the time; and others all the way through. There is no right or wrong.

My wife likes to quilt. A few years ago she was asked to speak to a large home-schooling group. She brought a quilt pattern, and the quilt she had made from the pattern. First, she showed the pattern, and what the quilt was supposed to look like. Then she had two students unfold the quilt she had made. She showed a few of the places where she had deviated from the pattern. Her quilt was still very beautiful - even more beautiful than the pattern, because it reflected her influences, and decisions she had made in making the quilt. Like the Pirate Code in The Curse of the Black Pearl, the quilt pattern was really more of a guideline, rather than an actual rule.

As my wife told this group, home-schooling is like the quilt pattern and the final quilt. You go to conventions, shop online, talk to others, develop a plan. But, along the way, as you see your child(ren) respond, you make little adjustments here and there, or maybe even big adjustments. At the end, your quilt probably is not identical to the pattern. But that's okay.

One of the greatest advantages to home-schooling is that you are the quiltmaker.

We wish you all the best in your home-schooling journey. Based on our experience, we have great hope that the quilts you are making are going to look beautiful when they are done. If home-schooler.com contributes in even a small way in helping you, we will be happiest of all.

Journey on.