A new documentary presented by actor and filmmaker Kirk Cameron urges American parents to embark on the journey of homeschooling in order to regain control of their children’s education and protect the future of the nation.
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), CAMFAM Studios, and Fathom Events announced on Monday the debut of Kirk Cameron Presents: The Homeschool Awakening, which will be in theaters for two nights only, on June 13 and 14, at 7:00 p.m. local time.
The film’s trailer (below) demonstrates some of the stereotypes parents considering homeschooling often have to challenge, including the myths that people who homeschool their children belong to “cults,” are exceptionally “reclusive,” and are “abnormal in some way.”
The trailer also shows how many parents who may have initially believed they lacked the ability to homeschool their children ultimately embraced it as an expression of love, one that underscores that their children are worth whatever sacrifices families must make to allow homeschooling to happen.
“The freedom we had was so worth the small sacrifice it was to teach the kids,” one mother is heard sharing in the film. “Now, 12 years later, I realize it wasn’t a sacrifice – it was a total gift.”
The film also scorches the condescending attitudes of the Left, such as those who claim children belong to their communities and schools, and not their parents, and that education decisions need to be made by schools, not parents.
“The pandemic made parents grossly aware of what public schools are teaching our kids,” said Cameron in a statement. “It’s up to us, the parents, to cultivate the hearts, souls, and minds of our children, and today’s public school systems are not working for us, they are actively working against us.”
“Public education has become Public Enemy No. 1,” the actor asserted.
Following the film’s trailer, Cameron discussed why he made the documentary.
“I care deeply about my children, and I care about your children and about their future and the future of our country,” the actor said, emphasizing that parents have become overwhelmed by the “inaccurate and the immoral things that the public school system has been teaching our children and our grandchildren.”
Cameron urged parents to see the film “because you may be wondering ‘what can I do about it, how can I be part of the solution?’”:
The Homeschool Awakening will give you answers, and I think America needs a film like this right now. We need to take back the education of our children because whoever controls the textbooks, controls the future, whoever’s shaping the hearts and minds and souls of our children, will determine whether or not we live in a free country, and we have freedom of speech, and economic freedom, and educational and political freedom, and religious freedom.
“If these things are important to you as I believe they are, join me,” Cameron invited parents. “It’s time for a homeschool awakening.”
The number of families homeschooling in the United States has remained significantly above pre-pandemic levels even though government schools have reopened.
In April, the Associated Press (AP) reported on data it said it “obtained and analyzed”:
The coronavirus pandemic ushered in what may be the most rapid rise in homeschooling the U.S. has ever seen. Two years later, even after schools reopened and vaccines became widely available, many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves.
The number of homeschooling students increased by 63 percent during the 2020-2021 school year in 18 states that shared data, AP reported. That percentage then dropped by only 17 percent in the next academic year.
The report added:
All of the 28 state education departments that provided homeschooling data to the AP reported that homeschooling spiked in 2020-21, when fears of infection kept many school buildings closed. Of the 18 states whose enrollment data included the current school year, all but one state said homeschooling declined from the previous year but remained well above pre-pandemic levels.
Census Bureau data released in March 2021 showed that 11.1 percent of K-12 students were being homeschooled. That percentage is a significant increase from the 5.4 percent who were educating at home at the start of the school shutdowns in March 2020, and the 3.3 percent in the years before the lockdowns.
The sharp rise in homeschooling is accompanied by the fact that public school enrollments have plummeted.
During the pandemic school closures, which the teachers’ unions wholeheartedly encouraged, many parents sought other education settings for their children and have since decided not to return to government schools. The decline in public enrollments has led to a drop in taxpayer funding that comes with fewer students.
As the U.S. Census Bureau observed, homeschooling is increasing across race groups and ethnicities:
In households where respondents identified as Black or African American … the proportion of homeschooling increased by five times, from 3.3% (April 23-May 5) to 16.1% in the fall (Sept. 30-Oct. 12). The size of the increases for the other Race/Hispanic origin groups were not statistically different from one another.
Tickets for Kirk Cameron Presents: The Homeschool Awakening can be purchased online and at participating theater box offices. A complete list of theaters can be found here.
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Kirk Cameron” by Kirk Cameron on TBN.