In honor of Mother’s Day and Homeschool Awareness Month, for this edition of Homeschooling Teen we’re featuring a homeschool mom who was once homeschooled herself! Anne Crossman is the CEO and founder of HomeschoolExpert.com.
The former homeschooler began college at Stanford University with a focus in Psychology, completing her BA in English and a Certificate in Education at Duke University, where she graduated with honors. Anne went on to become a professional educator and educational consultant. She taught in high school and college classrooms, military barracks, and around kitchen tables as a private tutor before circling back to homeschooling her own kids.
Anne Crossman is the author of Homeschool Like an Expert, Getting the Best Out of College, and Study Smart, Study Less (an educational guide for teens that’s actually fun to read!) as well as Trying to Remember (a book of poems about Alzheimer’s). Anne has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Weekend, The Epoch Times, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. She also appeared on camera as a guest expert in Kirk Cameron’s The Homeschool Awakening film released in 2022.
Crossman has a unique perspective as an individual who was homeschooled as a child and has been homeschooling her own four children since 2006, one of whom is now a teenager. She told The Epoch Times:
I loved the flexibility and freedom that came with homeschooling. So often, I could get up early and have my work done by lunch so that the afternoon was free for reading, creating, or exploring the outdoors—rescuing wild animals, learning horticulture, and building forts. I loved being able to get together with other families for dinner in the evenings and not have to worry about cutting off the fun by a certain time because we had school the next morning. We got to go on a lot of trips as kids we otherwise could not have taken, both because of the cost savings of traveling in off-peak seasons and also because we could flex when to school and when to travel without worrying about attendance issues. It was an idyllic childhood.
I chose to homeschool our kids because I wanted to give them the same gift of a childhood I had received—the gift of extended innocence, freedom to explore and love learning, and to build friendships in creative ways with children and adults of all ages.
Anne was one of the original generation of homeschooled kids in the 1980s. Back then, homeschooling was so new that there were very few resources or co-ops available. “My mom quickly discovered there was no teacher in the box of curriculum she had purchased… What she could have learned in hours from experts instead took years to solve on her own.”
Crossman believes that homeschooling gave her the tools “to be the kind of person she thinks is closer to who God intended her to be” because she learned so much from her parents and the homeschool process. She says “I learned how to be driven and self-taught, how to analyze the value of an argument for myself rather than based on what was popular, and how to be a lifelong learner.”
Here is an excerpt from Crossman’s “Insights from a Homeschooled Homeschooler“:
Homeschooling saved me. Prior to that, I was enrolled in a school that turned out to be a socially toxic situation. It was 1986, and there weren’t a lot of other options back then, so even though it was barely legal to do so and resources were limited, my parents decided to homeschool me. I am immensely grateful they did.”
My parents academically educated my two brothers and me on a frugal budget, investing significantly in experiences outside our home interacting with people from all walks of life. The real world was our best classroom. We were encouraged to push ahead in subject areas of strength—so that, at times, I was able to complete two math books in a year because I loved the subject so much. To dive deep into subject areas that were compelling and unusual, such as learning a less popular language or doing significant research into subjects like poisonous plants or comparisons of classical composers, and to spend extra time on subjects that didn’t come as easily without feeling like “less” for doing so. Homeschooling also gave me the opportunity to restore some of my lost confidence from those early elementary years.
As for friends, I am so grateful for the other homeschooled students in our circle. Those outside the community may not realize that there is a disarming openness to homeschooled children—eager to welcome new friends, no matter their age, grade, or label. As a child, I found that incredibly healing.
“Learning from home gave me space to grow and decide who I wanted to become. I ended up attending our local public high school, where I was named valedictorian of my class and elected student body vice president, and went to nationals in speech and debate. Eventually, I went on to attend Stanford and Duke universities. Not that my résumé matters much, but it proves the point that homeschooling didn’t turn me into a wallflower—quite the opposite.
As a mom, Anne believes there is more than one way to get a great education. She loves that homeschooling enables her to tailor an education fit for each of her kids, keeping their needs and interests in mind. “Because I grew up in the homeschool world, I can say confidently that there are a lot of ways to homeschool.” This may even include a combination of homeschooling and traditional schooling.
Her oldest son, Josiah, is now a senior at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon, where he is captain of the high school robotics team. Josiah is passionate about machine learning and hopes to major in Artificial Intelligence in college. (He will be attending Duke University in the fall.) Josiah got perfect scores on his SAT, is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, and an AP Scholar. In his free time, he volunteers at Shepherd’s House and partners with charities to bring clean water to developing nations.
Photo of Josiah and his mom via Facebook
After landing on a set of teaching principles that successfully worked with families from all backgrounds, income levels, work schedules, and using any curriculum, Anne looked for a way to develop this solution into a resource that would make a great education accessible to everyone. Her goal was to build a method that would help every parent homeschool successfully right from the start, while spending minimal time and money.
When COVID happened, Anne was ready. As families across the country made decisions about safely educating their children during the pandemic, Crossman launched a platform designed to equip and encourage parents and teachers to embrace high quality homeschooling as a viable and effective option.
Her book and video series distills decades of work collecting the wisdom and experiences of psychologists, behavioral specialists, occupational therapists, and professional educators—not to mention over 100 successful homeschool parents (whose children have made it into a thriving adulthood!)—all in one easy place.
Check out HomeschoolExpert.com for access to free videos, articles, podcasts, and printables, and watch her FREE video series teaching all parents how to homeschool. Visit Anne at: http://www.AnneCrossman.com and follow her on social media.