Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To name or not to name, that is the question!

Choosing or not choosing to name your home school is a common topic among homeschoolers.  Families do it for a myriad of reasons.  There are three reasons why I don't and I thought I would share them with you.

First, I have to admit that the thought of a name didn't even cross my mind until I was involved in a pretty intense debate about it a few months ago.

1) It is not required by the state of West Virginia.  In fact, I was surprised when I discovered that some states do require you to register a home school name.

2) My internal non-conformist says, "HELL NO!"  We are not a home school or an academy.  I believe in being who you are and embracing it.  Calling ourselves a school/academy/institution is trying to make us something we aren't.  We are a family that homeschools.  We are proud of it and we know how fortunate we are to have not only the choice but the ability to do so.  I will not hide behind a name that sounds more "normal".  I have heard of families naming their home school in order to stop getting asked about being homeschooled and to stop the "weird" looks people give you when you tell them you homeschool.  This makes me sad.  We cannot stop the stereotypes and myths about homeschooling by hiding.  Yes, being a minority can be hard but if every minority hid from the things that were uncomfortable.....what a sad place to this would be.  And lets be real, being a minority in educational choice is CAKE in comparison to being any other kind of minority.

3) We aren't fooling anyone.  Yes, you will hear (as I have) that you NEED to name your home school for high school transcripts.  I have done a lot of research on this and I can not find any proof to this notion.  College admission offices are not stupid, they will figure out that you are homeschooled and if they can't you probably shouldn't have your child attend that school.  Most colleges in the United States love homeschoolers and have special admission procedures for us.  Yes, they are often more grueling BUT having a fake name isn't going to get you out of the process.  Some people will tell you that an official name looks more professional.  I disagree.  I have seen many a transcript without an official name that looks as professional or more so than ones with names.  Do you really think that 'Precious Angel Academy' is going to look better than the word "Homeschool" on a transcript?????  I think not.

I know, I know...I can hear some of you now, "We just do it for fun."  To that I say, "Whatever floats your boat!"  It is something that I view as a waste of time.

Yes, I hear the other nay sayers in the crowd, "But, but, what about store discounts?"

I have to be honest, I don't bother with them.  I've signed up for some and simply used the word "homeschool" or used my NOI (Notice of Intent for you newbies and non-homeschoolers).  In all honesty, however, I have not used an educational discount in longer than I can remember.  Why?  Mainly because I can usually save more online than shopping in stores.  Amazon, Ebay, and Rainbow Resource are my best online friends.  Amazon especially because I get free two day shipping.  I can even purchase canvases online cheaper than at Michaels with the discount.  Plus, online ordering saves me on gas.  The other thing I do is hit up the dollar stores, clearance aisles, Big Lots, Goodwill, the dollar bins at Target, used bookstores and sales.

The beauty of homeschooling is, we get to do what we want (well, mostly) so do what works for you but I implore you to think about why you are doing it.  If you are doing it to hide, think about what message that sends to your children.  If you are doing it for high school transcript purposes, please FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, pick something that isn't going to embarrass the hell out of your 16+ year old child as they sit anxiously in their suit/dress during an interview with the Dean Of Admissions.  They will thank you for it later.

So, what's your take?  To name or not to name?  What were your reasons for deciding one way or another?  Post your thoughts below!

Have a great day!


  1. We named ours Serenity Valley Academy. The name comes from the tv show Firefly. If you have never watched it, I highly recommend doing so. Only 12 episodes I believe. If you watch the show you will understand why I chose this name. Plus, who wants to leave serenity? As for my DD, she is excited to have a name for our school. Seems to validate it for her. Not attempting hide, because we are proud of our decision to homeschool.

    1. I haven't but I have a friend who keeps telling me that I need to. Maybe now is the time. :-)

      If it makes the kid happy, run with it. :-) I mentioned it to the tribe after having multiple discussions with homeschooling moms about it and they all looked at me like I had instantly sprouted three heads. lol