Christian Movie Interviews, News and Reviews

3 Things You Should Know about Homeschool Awakening, Kirk Cameron's New Film

3 Things You Should Know about <em>Homeschool Awakening</em>, Kirk Cameron's New Film

Years ago, Kirk Cameron and his wife, Chelsea, faced the educational dilemma that many Christian parents across the United States confront: public school, private school or homeschool?

The Camerons initially sent their children to a local private school, but when that no longer was an option, they gave homeschooling a shot.

Although Cameron initially was skeptical of homeschooling, he eventually became a champion of the concept – not only for his family but for others, too.

His new film, Homeschool Awakening, spotlights the journey of more than a dozen homeschool families across the U.S. who are teaching their children from home.

"God entrusted them to you – you're their mom, you're their dad," Cameron told Crosswalk. "There is so much opportunity and freedom and hope through the homeschooling movement. And that's why I made this movie."

Here are three things you should know about Homeschool Awakening:

Photo courtesy: ©Fathom, used with permission.

Kirk Cameron sitting in the Sun

1. It's (Perhaps) not What You Expected

Homeschool Awakening is not a public school "bash session." Yes, we briefly hear homeschool families explain why they do what they do. (A father says he didn't want to see his family "only in the summer." A mother says she wanted to ensure her children's faith-based beliefs are affirmed at school – and not contradicted). Yes, we see Cameron deliver an inspiring, Bible-infused speech at the National Monument to the Forefathers, which includes depictions of the Pilgrims educating their children ("They believed that the Bible contained the most important things for children to learn.”) But the "red meat" topics that are discussed nightly on right-wing cable outlets are not mentioned.

The film is a positive portrayal of homeschooling, backed by upbeat music.

All total, Cameron interviewed a diverse lineup of about 17 families.

"Parents are wanting hope," Cameron told Crosswalk. "They're looking for answers."

The pandemic, Cameron said, opened the eyes of parents to what their children are being taught in school.

"There are millions of families who are successfully giving their kids a better education in the context of their family [and] making the world their classroom," he said. "... This is the way America was actually built in the first place. We've actually regressed and gotten away from it."

Photo courtesy: ©Fathom, used with permission.

A family reading Dick and Jane

2. It's a How-To for Fence-Sitters

Homeschool Awakening was made for moms and dads who want to homeschool their children but don't know where to start.

We learn how homeschool families balance their work-life with their homeschool life. (Some families work full-time outside the home while others work entirely out of the house, but most couples in the documentary team-teach – "there is no right or wrong way," a mother says.)

We watch home-school families enjoy educational day trips. (They say it allows their children to learn naturally. It also brings the family closer together, they say.)

We also hear from children who are homeschooled. One girl says she enjoys not being forced into a mold. Homeschooling, she says, allows her creativity to flourish. (Her goal is to work in the restaurant business – something she gets to do during school hours.) Another child says he enjoys incorporating his interests – learning to fly a glider plane – in his weekly school activities. One mom asks: Why does America's educational system give children a degree but doesn't give them any experience in their field of interest? (Late in the movie, we hear from young adults who are now in college and were homeschooled.)

We also watch a homeschool lesson. The documentary tackles the many myths of homeschooling head-on, including the biggest one: Parents are not qualified to teach.

"If you love your kid, then you are already leaps and bounds ahead of anybody else … because you have a different level of investment in that child," one mom says. "Nobody else can compete with that."

The film encourages families to create a flexible schedule, find their child's learning strengths, and develop a homeschool community with other families.

"You are qualified. You've been teaching kids from day one," Cameron told Crosswalk. "You've taught them how to walk. You taught them how to talk. God has given you abilities, and no one is going to love your kids more than you. No one is better positioned to be their mentor leader than you. And you're not alone. You've got lots of help."

Photo courtesy: ©Fathom, used with permission.

Kirk Cameron and his family walking down the street

3. It Was Made by a Homeschool Father

The subject of homeschooling is near to Cameron's heart. As previously mentioned, he and his wife, Chelsea, are homeschool parents. (She is one of the moms interviewed in the film.)

Although the Camerons' six children attended a private school for their first six grades, they were homeschooled thereafter. (The private school did not have classes for grades seven and up.)

After their first child finished the sixth grade, the Camerons faced a choice.

"I was allergic to homeschooling. I mean, isn't that just for Quakers? I mean, do you have to have a cow and churn your own butter and wear a head covering?" Cameron said, laughing. "... [But] for the first 100 years, [homeschooling is] how everyone educated their kids."

Cameron eventually embraced homeschooling.

"We learned that there is freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to pass on our faith and values to our kids that we were not even aware of. And we could do it in a way that fit our family."

As one expert in the film says, "Our ancestors have been educating their own children for thousands of years. God put those children in your care. … There's nobody better qualified than you."

Homeschooling, Cameron said, is "about parents taking charge of their kids' education."

Homeschool Awakening is not the first film about homeschooling. But it may be the best one on the subject yet.


Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Family-friendly rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Photo courtesy: ©Fathom, used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.