Wow!!! A HUGE thank you to all the past and current members who responded to the survey. We received 152 responses!!!!! Thank you for being patient as we dive into the amazing wealth of information that was shared. We hope to get a detailed summary out to you within the next couple of months, via email and the website. Also, congrats to the 5 gift card winners, Tanya Hayes, Tanya Grunwell, Christine Walton, Deanna McKelvey, and Liz Hodgson!!
Greetings CHEMinistry members (past and present):
Hope you are having a wonderful summer and enjoying some sunshine! We know your time is limited, so we will keep this short and sweet :) Please read on.
We need to hear your voice! Earlier today you should have received an email from Survey Monkey requesting your participation in a survey on behalf of the CHEMinistry Board of Directors (check your spam folder if necessary). This survey offers you a great opportunity to provide input and thoughts on our organization. This will be used to conduct a strategic review of our group. Please respond as soon as possible. The final deadline for responses is Monday, August 16. If another family member would like to give feedback from another email address they can use the link here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7L5FLZP.
As an incentive, anyone who fills out the survey will be entered into a drawing. There will be 5 different $25 gift certificates awarded to various local merchants (winner’s choice). Merchants include: Great Lakes Ice Cream, Cottage Creamery, Heather & Holly, Meijer, Crepe Et Amis, Pizza Baker, Grove Tea Lounge, Live Oak Coffee, Creation Coffee, Coffee Chaos, Espresso Milano, Dow Gardens, or NCG Cinema - Midland.
Attached to this email is a 1-page summary of homeschooling trends, statistics, and innovative ideas for supporting families in our community. We would strongly encourage you to read this information before taking the survey as it would help in answering some of the questions.
We look forward to receiving your input and working together to make improvements to our organization in order to better support, encourage and serve you! A summary of the survey results will be shared following response compilation and review.
If you have any questions and/or would like to learn more about the strategic review, please contact me.
Thank you again for your time and input.
Rob Ellis-Hutchings on behalf of the CHEMinistry board
Robert Ellis-Hutchings, President
Sara Williams, Communications Director
Heidi Philips, Financial Director
Ben & Marya DeGrow, Sports Directors
Mary Harston, Special Events Director
Nicole Asher, Membership Coordinator
Strategic Planning Consultant:
Leanne Van Beek, CHEMinistry member
CHEMINISTRY BACKGROUND & HOMESCHOOL THEMES
- CHEMinistry began as a small (20-30 participants), informal, private organization in the early 1990s. Homeschooling wasn’t fully legal in Michigan until 1993, so families received defensive training on how to communicate with governmental authorities.
- Early years highlights: limited curriculum, field trips, play dates, monthly Moms night out, mailed homeschool newsletter, but no co-op.
- By 2003, we had grown to over 150 families, incorporated as a Michigan 501(c)3 non-profit, established bylaws and board of directors. Shortly thereafter, we launched our website and obtained insurance coverage for our sanctioned activities.
- Between 2003 and 2020, membership has stayed consistent at about 160 families. During the pandemic we have seen increased interest in CHEMinistry.
- We continue to be blessed with wonderful opportunities solely provided by volunteer members using time and talents to support homeschooling families.
- Multiple sources rank Michigan among the top 10 states in having a high-quality law that provides homeschool freedom and available options.
- Benchmarking other Mich. homeschool groups showed all growing membership last year: total number of homeschool students rose from 50K (2020) to 65K (2021).
- 52% of new Mich. HSLDA members do not belong to a homeschool support group.
- About 20 Michigan public school districts received state funding to enroll a combined 4,500 homeschool students as part-time students taking elective courses.
- Most important reasons cited for families to choose homeschooling: 1) concern about school environment, including safety (34%); 2) dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools (17%); 3) desire to give religious instruction (16%).
- COVID-19 pandemic has increased the overall rate of homeschooling to 8-9%, with the greatest growth among African American and lower-income families.
- HSLDA, with over 100K members, has added 25K new members since 2020:
- 65% never homeschooled before; 87% say they are very likely to continue in 2022.
- Elementary-aged students are most common among new homeschoolers.
- More likely to learn about homeschooling via online searches & Facebook.
- New members are most concerned about children getting into college, ability to afford home-based education and socialization.
- By a margin of three-to-one, (64%-21%), U.S. parents have gained a more rather than less favorable opinion of homeschooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Recent years have seen increasing popularity of other approaches, such as hybrid homeschooling (part-time home education and part-time conventional schooling) and home-based online courses with synchronous & asynchronous options.