Kidmin Opportunity – Homeschooling

Trends seen that have an impact on the church's ministry to children.

I've been researching current trends in children's ministry. There are a lot of them, and I'm looking at a lot of them. I doubt I'll ever be able to cover all the trends affecting ministry and ministry to children. But, having stated that, I will go through various trends as I notice them and as they become clear to me. They are not included in any particular order of importance or impact. They are just representations of what is seen at any particular time.

Today, I'm going to take a quick look at the rise of homeschooling. According to the Washington Post, because of the global pandemic, homeschooling would increase by more than 60% in the United States by 2020. Homeschooling is still the fastest-expanding education segment by October 2023, with a 51% rise. Homeschooling has increased by 69% in my small town in Wisconsin. Private school enrollment did not surge during the pandemic but has since increased by 7% as of 2023. Homeschooling was banned in many states roughly 40 years ago, but it is now permitted in all 50 states. Homeschooling is becoming more popular among all demographics. From the inner city to rural America, homeschooling is expanding. In school districts that are considered excellent by most educational standards, homeschooling is becoming more common. The article highlights the increase in homeschooling in the De Pere Unified School District in Wisconsin. There are many people who have high regard for the De Pere schools. Yet they, too, are seeing a surge in homeschooling.

Jamison, P; Meckler, L; Gordy, P; Alcantara, C ( 2023, Oct, 31) Home Schooling’s rise from fringe to fastest-growing form of education, The Washington Post )

This rise in homeschooling is not slowing down. Parents who were previously afraid of homeschooling found they could make it work because they were compelled to do it during school closures. Furthermore, many parents today are dissatisfied with public schooling. From bullying to safety issues to schools embracing ideas that parents oppose, homeschooling is not going away any time soon.

The rise of homeschooling has brought significant changes to the landscape of children's ministry. Here are ten ways this trend impacts ministry to children, along with strategies for churches to adapt and make the most of these opportunities:

  1. Flexible Scheduling: Homeschooled children often have more flexible schedules, allowing churches to offer ministry activities during the weekdays. Churches can create daytime Bible studies or activity groups to cater to this group.
  2. Enhanced Educational Support: Churches can offer supplementary educational programs or resources that align with homeschooling curricula, such as Christian history or Biblical studies, thus supporting parents in their homeschooling efforts.

  3. Community Building: Homeschooling families often seek community connections. Churches can host social events, support groups, or educational co-ops for homeschooling families, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

  4. Tailored Outreach: Churches can tailor outreach and discipleship programs to the unique needs of homeschooling families, focusing on aspects like faith-based learning materials or workshops for parents on integrating faith into their homeschooling routine.

  5. Volunteer Opportunities: Homeschooled children and parents often have more availability to volunteer. Churches can create volunteer opportunities that are educational and service-oriented, offering a practical outlet for faith in action.

  6. Specialized Workshops: Offering workshops or seminars on topics like Christian parenting, faith-based educational methods, or even practical homeschooling tips can be valuable to homeschooling families.

  7. Missions-Focused Discipleship: Churches can develop missions-focused discipleship curricula or activities that align with homeschooling, helping children to understand and engage in the church's mission to reach the world from a young age.

  8. Networking and Resources: Creating a network or resource center for homeschooling families within the church can be a significant support system. This could include lending libraries of educational materials, online forums, or informational blogs and newsletters.

  9. Intentionally Inclusive Ministry Programs: Design ministry programs that include homeschooled children alongside those attending traditional schools, ensuring that all children feel welcomed and valued in the church community.

  10. Parental Involvement: Homeschooled children often have more flexible schedules, allowing churches to offer ministry activities during the weekdays. Churches can create daytime Bible studies or activity groups to cater to this group's faith journey together.
By understanding and adapting to the needs of homeschooling families, churches can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all children in their ministry.

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Kidmin Opportunity – Homeschooling
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