1st Shoot With the Homeschool Family Complete

Last week we started the homeschool journey with a family who pulled their kids out of one of the best public schools in Los Angeles. This family will drive the narrative story of our film. Their reasons for pulling their kids out of school wasn’t what you might expect.

They did not pull them out because of grades, bullying, bad teachers or administrators. It was the recognition that their two daughters were losing interest in learning and what was being taught in the classroom was not being absorbed, nor was it useful in real life.

With our limited shooting budget, we can’t afford to film several families, nor have a family back out after starting the filming process. So we had to be very careful in selecting the right family. Months ago Jeremy & I both met with the family separately and we both came away knowing this was the perfect family for our film.

We only had three days to shoot last week and there were a few unknown variables that we had to contend with:

  • Airplane noise: this family lives close to LAX & there are plenty of planes flying overhead. Would we be able to capture great audio?
  • The family: would they interview well, would they be comfortable in front of the camera, would they get comfortable with us being in their home?
  • The DP: Knowing we would be filming in LA, we needed a director of photography based there. Jeremy knew Billy from work decades ago, but had never worked directly with him (Jeremy had edited some of Billy’s footage back in the day). And I had never met Billy. Would the three of us make a good team?

Homeschool Mom shotMonday morning we found out the answers to all these questions. The family was great on camera, Billy was a great match, and the airplane noise wasn’t a problem. Over the next couple days our relationship with the family grew as did the mutual trust. The camera became invisible and the story unfolded.

The only thing that went wrong was a single piece of hair. Reviewing footage Monday evening, we noticed a strange line in the footage from one of our cameras. Turns out a single piece of hair was lodged inside the camera’s housing. The good news is that it was not critical footage (not an interview or important moment that could not be recreated). We were working together so well together that recapturing the footage the next day wasn’t a problem.

They say the most important thing to keep in mind when starting a business, or hiring a film crew is to pick people you like, because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them! I’m happy to say both the crew and the family are fantastic! We can’t wait to film again in May.


Our next post will be about our NY trip that is wrapping up today. Let us know if you enjoy hearing how the production is going. Thanks again for your support in this adventure!

16 thoughts on “1st Shoot With the Homeschool Family Complete

  1. Love reading about your progress! Also LOVE that you chose this family – we pulled our boys out of a very prestigious private school for the same reasons. We were not “afraid” of anything – except that their potential was neither recognized nor nurtured. I think if people realize there are better options, and that the whole school myth is a very delicately balanced house of cards without a solid foundation, there would be many many more families just checking out of that failing system. Cannot wait to see your film!

      • I would argue that home schooled children are inherently better socialized as they are free from the artificial social constructs of school where they are forced to interact primarily with their immediate peer group. Most home schooled children interact regularly with people of many ages and they are comfortable socializing with both children and adults.

      • I pulled my child out of school specifically because the kind of socialization that happens in school was destroying him. I’m not exaggerating when I say that. He was fine academically, but he was not a “mainstream” kind of kid and he was made to feel an outsider because he didn’t fit in as easily as many other boys. Once he started homeschooling we were able to connect with the many, many other homeschooling families in our area through park days, classes, fieldtrips, and other events. He quickly developed an AMAZING group of buddies, all of whom admired and appreciated him for all those unique qualities that made him an outsider in school. He is now 18, started community college at 16, completely bypassing the social minefield of high school. He is strong and happy. He thanks me all the time for homeschooling him and he’s the first to admit it saved his life!

      • Instead of being locked in an artificial institutional setting surrounded by bells, forced silence and age-segregation, homeschoolers’ ‘classroom’ is real life. Schools are like prisons where arbitrary rules are enforced. In a homeschool environment, children are completely engaged in real interactions with all ages; with people from all walks of life. Homeschooled children can learn to interact with anyone, anyplace. Children who attend schools spend the majority of their time missing out on real life.

      • I am more worried about the publicly educated kids’ socialization! How many times do you remember hearing teachers say, “we are not here to socialize.”?? Go see what John Taylor Tattoo (a former NY State Teacher of the Year recipient) has to say on the subject–i would recommend Dumbing Us Down.

      • This is the number one question we get asked when they find out we home school “How does your daughter make friends?” My daughter is very sociable with people of all ages and not restricted to children her own age. We have a large ‘home school group’ who meet regularly, she attends drama group, plays soccer in a team, participates in the library book club for children, has friends stay for sleep overs and play dates. She comes to her younger brothers playgroups, accompanies her Grandmother at her morning tea gatherings, and is socializing with people in the community on a daily basis when out with me. My daughter has learnt how to socialize with people of all ages, an important skill she will need in her adult life.

      • LOL our son gets so much MORE socialization being homeschooled than in school. I hear that is the case with most people. There are so many more opportunities to get together with friends, and to meet new people. They don’t have to sit at a desk all day! Field trips, groups, classes, library trips, and open play time, sports…. We could easily do activities all day every day! And the kids for the most part are polite and are able to handle conflict WAY better than their public school counterparts.

      • Socialization is the best thing about “home” schooling (our kids are rarely at home, btw). When did we decide putting 500 14-year-olds together all day was healthy socialization? When you pull kids out of that environment, they turn out to be nice, fun and interesting people! Our three teens have LOTS of friends, and, guess what: they’re nice,cooperative, tolerant , fun human beings. The only time they have to put up with the usual adolescent social nonsense is when they are around conventionally schooled kids.

  2. @Amy: Thanks – too bad our film won’t be in time for your decision. Keep reading about it, meet others who are doing it, and go with what feels like the best choice for you & your daughter.

  3. @ Melissa: well said. We weren’t specifically looking for a family who pulled their kids out of a “good school”, but it is an unexpected twist that is very interesting. Your situation sounds super interesting as well. Thanks for your support!

  4. @Vic: Home education provides a better opportunity for real life socialization than a school setting. In a school setting kids are with essentially the same group of same aged kids from their same neighborhood for a defined period of time. As homeschoolers we have the ability to expose our children to a wide range of people encompassing many socio-economic, racial and religious backgrounds. They learn how to relate to people of all ages and levels of education, they learn new languages, customs and activities. We can travel without restrictions and dig as deeply as we want into other cultures. We are not limited by a mandated curriculum in a one size fits all State formula. Additionally, school is not the only place in which children interact with each other. There is church, sports, community service projects, field trips, theatre, homeschool conferences, family reunions, camps, music lessons…the list is endless! Any child’s level of socialization is limited only by that child’s willingness to participate. I dare say most who homeschool do so in search of a well rounded, whole life experience. Loving, engaged parents constantly provide their children with varied opportunities and walk beside them to guide them through it.

  5. Homeschooled children are socialized. They meet people of all ages through activities, playing in the park or travelling. The one thing I love about homeschooling is my daughter can ask me about difficult questions including ones about social dynamics. She isn’t solely dependent on children her age with the same amount of life experience for guidance.

  6. The question should be ‘WHY would you want to have your child socialized by strangers?’ in an artificial setting that only prepares them to punch the clock for someone else? We have forgotten that the family should be at the center of life not the job. My six are more comfortable with adults than most PSers that view adults in the power role. My boys love to help the little kids at the park and the older neighbors. These kids have a chance to be a human, kind, compassionate not just a body in a seat.

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