LDS homeschoolers have been warned about the physical and spiritual dangers of public schools by and heard about the desirability of home schooling since 1969 from presidents of Brigham Young University. Therefore it’s no wonder that many Latter Day Saints are interested in homeschooling.
Why Have an LDS Homeschool?
A person who wants his or her children to have a spiritual dimension to their lives may well choose to homeschool, and LDS parents are in this group. For an LDS parent, not only does homeschooling have the advantages that parents with any belief system would gain – like the joy of spending more time with one’s children and being present when a child makes a notable accomplishment – but there’s also the possibility of adding that spiritual dimension so that schooling isn’t separate from beliefs.
Challenges for LDS Homeschool
Because many homeschooling families are simply looking for academic quality or are looking for explicitly evangelical or Catholic materials. Finding curriculum and materials for LDS homeschooling can be more of a challenge.
In addition, while there are a large number of homeschool support groups, a smaller number of them are LDS than other groups. You are more likely to find a local group if you live in an area with a large LDS population, but one thing you can do is seek out a support group that either is not local or that is explicitly international.
Curriculum for LDS Homeschool
There are, though, a variety of choices for LDS homeschooling. Here are some with brief reviews:
• Liahona Preparatory Academy Distance Education – http://www.liahona-homeschooling.com/de/
An accredited Grade 6– Grade 12 program with accreditation from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS). It has an LDS Gospel basis that offers three core courses streaming online. The three courses are History, Science, and Language Arts/Grammar. A yearly ACT test is offered in high school. They have the opportunity to interact with other students through email, the website, and in person at yearly conferences.
• Karl G. Maeser Academy & Lifeschool Curriculum – http://www.maeseracademy.com/
This organization offers a Grade 1–8 LDS Gospel-based curriculum and is accredited through NAAS (Northwest Association of Accredited Schools). The subjects taught include History, Math, Language Arts and Grammar, Reading and Classic Literature, Spelling and Vocabulary, Creative Writing, Science, Social Studies and Geography, Paleography, Art. It claims to integrate secular and LDS Gospel-based learning. The math program is called Aleks Math.
The high school option offers Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Fine Arts, PE and Health, World Languages, Applied Technology, and Electives. But note that the credits that are required are not the full number that are generally considered to be a college preparatory course, and it is not clear that sufficient additional courses are available to make up the number. The requirements are:
- Language Arts – 3
- Social Studies – 3
- Mathematics – 2
- Science – 2
- Fine Arts – 1.5
- PE and Health – 2
- World Languages – 2
• Brigham Young University Middle School and High School Courses – http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/courses/jr.cfm http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/courses/webcourses.cfm?type=H
The middle school offerings include the following: art, health, language arts – English, mathematics, science, and social science – history/government. The high school course offerings include accounting, art, business education, career and technology education, character education, communications, computer science, family and consumer sciences, financial literacy, foreign languages (ASL, French, German, Japan, Latin, Russian, Spanish), health, humanities, language arts – English, language arts – literature, language arts – reading, language arts-writing, life skills, mathematics, music, philosophy, physical education, biological science, chemistry, earth systems, physics, contemporary issues, andhistory/government.
BYU online courses are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The high school program is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS). It also may be important to you to know that BYU offers a set of NCAA-approved high school courses that athletes can use for establishing initial eligibility for applying to Division I and Divisions II schools.
For more information about any of these programs, check out the relevant website. Be sure to check for not only testimonials, but also reviews.