10 Unexpected Audiences That Need to See Class Dismissed

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Through the 300+ screenings of Class Dismissed, we’ve discovered a large number of unexpected audiences whose lifestyles, backgrounds, or learning styles correlate well with the messages and experiences shown in the Class Dismissed movie. Here are the top 10 audiences we believe need to see the Class Dismissed movie, but may not realize it:

1. TEACHERS

The audience most likely to be offended by Class Dismissed is also an audience most likely to benefit from seeing the film. Most teachers will agree with the majority of the film, but the one pill that is hard for teachers to swallow is the History of School section. I have yet to meet a teacher that knew this history before seeing the movie. Understanding the industrial-age history helps teacher & administrators better break the mold. If teachers view the film as a snapshot of what learning looks like with no restrictions, it better helps them understand important research-backed concepts like customizing education to the child and the power of self-directed learning. We’ve had many teachers comment on how the movie inspired to change the way they run their classrooms. We also discovered a large number of teachers who homeschool their children (including some in the film).

“Class Dismissed shows parents a glimpse into the future of education. Everyone concerned with education would benefit by watching this film.”
– John Taylor Gatto, Former New York State Teacher of the Year and Author.

2. THE TECH CROWD

Wired magazine reached out to us when they noticed a growing trend: more and more of their readers were choosing to homeschool their kids. Developers, Designers, IT professionals, and most people in the tech or startup industries didn’t learn their skills during their 13 years of K-12 schooling, and very few learned those skills in college either.

Elon Musk recently created a “school” for his kids & employees of Space-X that is based on unschooling principles and resembles the homeschool hybrid concepts shown in the film.

3. AP PARENTS

Professionals with background in child-development, or parents who subscribe to Attachment Parenting often find themselves transitioning into homeschooling because it is a decision made in the best interest of the child. Schools are specifically designed to be authoritarian. There’s a reason why school policy is to separate twins into different classrooms.

4. PTA PARTICIPANTS

Parents who belong to their school’s Parent Teacher Association, or volunteer in the classroom already have the determination and desire to provide the best academic situation for their child. The part they don’t realize is that homeschooling is incredibly efficient and doesn’t require teaching credentials. Anything that is accomplished in a classroom setting over the course of a full day could be accomplished at home in under two hours. And the more advanced topics that make most parents feel inadequate (like Calculus) may not require their help – many older homeschool kids teach themselves or take an outside class. You may also discover that things like Calculus are only necessary for very specific fields. I met one kid who learned K-12 math in 3 months after he decided he wanted to be an EMT.

5. CREATIVES

Much like those in the Tech field, Creatives rarely learned their skills in school. In fact, the school system was specifically designed to combat creativity and individual thinking. To make matters worse, the recent focus on testing has caused many schools to completely cut their art programs. Judging from the outside classes or programs homeschoolers spend their money on, it is safe to assume that the average homeschool family puts much greater value on creative outlets like music, acting, art, and design.

As a child I was advised to stay away from careers in movies & gaming because I would go broke. Those industries are now worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year. In all industries, employers are desperately seeking creatives and people with out-of-the-box thinking.

6. EDUCATION REFORMERS

A surprising number of education reformers eventually land on homeschooling and unschooling. A prime example is one of unschooling’s early leaders, John Holt. It is often said that innovations rarely come from within a industry – they often come from outside of it. This is mostly because those outside an industry aren’t constrained by the assumed limitations of the industry. Homeschoolers aren’t bound by the policies and logistical issues schools are and have the freedom to find what actually works.

7. PARENTS OF UNDER ACHIEVERS OR OVER-ACHIEVERS

Teachers don’t have the luxury of teaching one-on-one to a classroom of 30+ kids. They must shoot for the average kid, which doesn’t serve the kids at the top or bottom of a bell curve. They also can’t teach in multiple styles at once. Some kids are more visual, some are auditory, some prefer kinesthetic learning, plus let’s not forget logic, social, and interpersonal learners.

There are thousands of examples of parents pulling their kids from school and blossoming. Kids who were penned as slow learners or needing medical help for their “ADHD” were simply not having their individual needs met.

8. HOMESCHOOL SKEPTICS

For those already homeschooling, we quickly recognize the skeptics all around us (especially that dead silence after you mention you homeschool). The skeptics may be your neighbors, friends, co-workers, parents or even your own spouse. Asking them to read a book is often too much to ask, but watching a movie is a small investment on their part. The movie packs so much information into an enjoyable story-based 90 minute documentary. We’ve had hundreds of skeptics tell us the movie completely changed their thoughts about homeschooling.

I can’t tell you how nice it has been to hand a copy of the film to someone rather then spending a couple hours trying to explain how homeschooling works.

9. UNIVERSITIES

Many of the top universities have discovered how amazing it is to admit homeschoolers who have a real love of learning. More and more of them are specifically seeking homeschoolers. Besides showing the film on several college campuses, we’ve also had several professors ask to screen the film in their classroom. With movements born out of homeschooling, such as Uncollege, more and more Universities are researching what is happening with the recent homeschool movement, looking for answers on how to change and adapt before the Higher Education Bubble bursts.

10. OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS

Many people who place high value on outdoor actives from survival skills to camping, hiking, or traveling the world find homeschooling to be a great match. There’s a whole slew of “road schoolers” and “worldschoolers” who live a nomadic lifestyle and learn on location. Last year Outside Magazine ran a piece about homeschooling.

BONUS 1: HOMESCHOOL KIDS

You’d think kids already homeschooling wouldn’t really need to see the movie. The thing that surprised me the most about our theater screenings was that kids of all ages were captivated by it. I wasn’t sure if it was the kids in the film or the fact that a movie was made about their lives, but the kids in our audience were a pleasant surprise and many of our favorite questions came from them.

We heard many stories from parents on how their kids thanked them for making the homeschool choice or were inspired so much that they wanted to start a new project immediately when they got home… at 10pm.

BONUS 2: VETERAN HOMESCHOOLERS

Some veteran homeschoolers might say “you’re preaching to the choir” or “I don’t need to see it because I’m living it”, but you’d be surprised how even the most recognized homeschool experts told us they learned a few things from the film. The film will feel familiar to many veteran homeschoolers and becomes a fun way to remember and celebrate their own journeys. There’s something in this film for everyone. Some long-time homeschoolers even change their homeschooling methods after seeing the film.

We also rely on the confident veteran homeschoolers to share this film as a resource for those asking them for advice. If you fall into this category, we believe this is one of the greatest tools for disseminating the important information in a easily digested way. In 90 minutes a family can gain 5 years worth of homeschooling experience.

WHO ELSE SHOULD SEE THIS FILM?

I’m always fascinated to learn what other groups would benefit from seeing this film and what correlates with homeschooling. I’ve seen a strong ties to the maker movement and know that many famous actors, musicians, and tech leaders were homeschooled. What groups do you think would benefit from seeing the film? Mention them in the comments below.

 

Black Friday Sale

There has never been a better time to buy the Class Dismissed documentary. The Black Friday sale on the movie runs until 11/30 at midnight PST. Save between 25 and 33% off the DVD.

Every homeschool family should have a copy they can reference at least once a year. It also makes a great gift for curious friends or family.

 

Rent Class Dismissed Today

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Many schools are back in action, but we’re not letting homeschoolers off the hook. We’d like to issue an unexcused absence notice to many families who haven’t seen Class Dismissed yet. In all fairness, some of these may be excused absences. Perhaps they don’t like to buy DVDs of movies they haven’t seen. Perhaps they live in a country where DVD shipping is unreliable. Maybe they don’t even have a DVD player.

To remedy this situation, we’re excited to announce that:

CLASS DISMISSED IS NOW RENTABLE!

The best part is, you don’t have to drive down to the movie rental store (do these even exist anymore?). To rent Class Dismissed, simply visit rent.classdismissedmovie.com. Once you rent it, you’ll have three days to watch it.

Our hope is that you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll still want to own a DVD copy. Or, even better, host a screening of the movie for your group or community.

So no more excuses. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, the movie is now available online, at your convenience.

For those who have seen the movie, we are excited to share in-depth extended interviews with you. If you’d like to hear more from experts in the movie like Blake Boles, Diane Flynn Keith, Jerry Mintz, Dale Stephens, Lisa Nielsen, Sandra Dodd, Linda Dobson, Pat Farenga, and Laurie A. Couture, check out the 6+ hours of extended interviews.

Thanks again to everyone for helping to spread the word about the film. With no distributor, we are really relying on people sharing the film by word of mouth. If you know of any non-homeschool families who are struggling with school that might benefit from the alternative approaches shown in this film, please share the rentable link to them as well.

Image disclaimer: The Jack Black photo does not imply he promoted Class Dismissed in a video store back in the 80s, nor does he necessarily endorse the alternative education methods shown in the movie (though if he’s anything like his role in School of Rock he may).

Coming in 2015

Many of you have been asking us what’s next and what plans we have for the coming year for Class Dismissed, so here’s a quick look at what to expect for 2015.

Film Festivals

Over the past several months we’ve been submitting Class Dismissed to film festivals all over the country and in other parts of the world (including Germany where homeschooling is illegal) and in early 2015 we’ll find out the results of those submissions. Getting acceptance at a film festival would expose the film to a very different audience and get us high level recognition, possibly even some distribution offers. Fingers crossed!

Many More Screenings

It’s been really challenging to distribute the film on our own, but despite the difficulties, we’ve had a lot of success, completely selling out 9 of the 12 screenings we’ve done so far. This is a better track record than many films (including those with distribution), so in 2015 we’ll continue to do what we can to get the film seen in as many places as possible. In fact, thanks to individuals and organizations that have purchased our DVD screener pack and taken it upon themselves to host their own smaller screenings, we’re thrilled to announce that we have no less than 21 screenings of Class Dismissed lined up in January alone!

Click on the map image to the right to see a live interactive map of where Class Dismissed has played and is playing next.

If you hosted a screening, or will have one that isn’t listed, contact us with the info and we’ll add it.

If you don’t see your city, here are three things you can do to ensure your community gets to see it:

  1. Purchase a screener pack and arrange your own smaller community screening. We now have 3 pricing options for the screener pack depending on how you want to show it. Here’s the link with details: http://classdismissedmovie.com/see-the-film/screener-pack/
  2. If you think there is a large enough population of homeschoolers in your area for a full theater screening, help us locate a movie theater in your town & let us know what groups you are a part of, and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. We’ll pay for the theater, set up ticketing and marketing efforts, and if we’re available, we’ll even attend and do a Q&A after the screening. More info here: http://classdismissedmovie.com/see-the-film/guide-to-hosting-a-screening/
  3. And finally if you live in an area that hosts a major homeschooling or Alt Ed conference, help us connect with the right people and we’ll show the film at your favorite conference or gathering. We already have a few lined up but the more the merrier.

DVDs & Online Streaming

We’re still not sure when the regular DVD or streaming versions of Class Dismissed will become available. We expect it to be later in 2015, but don’t have an exact date yet. It mostly depends on how much interest there is in continuing the theater & community screenings. We’re really excited to make the DVD widely available, but there’s something special about seeing the movie with a crowd of homeschoolers, homeschool curious, and homeschool skeptics.

If you really can’t wait, technically you could get the DVD now via the screener pack, which includes the DVD (plus guides and other resources for hosting a screening). Perhaps you could talk your homeschool group or friends into helping you obtain it.

As you can see, 2015 is already shaping up to be a major year for Class Dismissed. Thanks for all your support and we hope to meet many of you soon at a screening near you!

~ Jeremy & Dustin

 

 

West Coast Screenings a Huge Success

Class Dismissed LA Premiere

The filmmakers with Ana from Class Dismissed plus Cozi & Nathan from Dolphin Tale

We wrapped up our West Coast screenings earlier this month and have been overwhelmed with the response so far. All of the West Coast screenings (LA, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle) completely sold out. The only exception was in the small-town of Monroe, WA where we were bumped up to their largest screen due to the crowd. Even more impressive–at the time of the Monroe screening, we represented over 1% of the city’s entire population.

We put together a little video highlighting some of the activity from the West Coast tour for you to enjoy:

Before we embark on our East Coast Tour, we’d like to thank everyone who made an effort to attend, spread the word, or host their own screening. We’re eager to get the film out to as many cities as possible.

Nathan Gamble Attending the Premiere

One week until the the first-ever audience gets to see Class Dismissed! We’re pleased to announce Nathan Gamble and family will be in attendance. Last week we announced his Dolphin Tale co-star, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, will also be attending. In addition to the Dolphin Tale movies, you may also recognize him from roles in the Dark Knight and Marley & Me.

Nathan Gamble from Dolphin Tale 1 & 2

Nathan Gamble from Dolphin Tale 1 & 2

Like Cozi, Nathan is a homeschooled kid in real life. Homeschooling has allowed him to pursue an early career in acting. He lives near Seattle (as do I), but will be filming in LA during our premiere and is excited to attend with his family.

Whether you’ve been following along with the production of Class Dismissed film or have been recently pointed here by someone who’s been following us, we’re inviting you to attend one of several private screenings of Class Dismissed.

San Francisco should sell out today, but we still have a handful of tickets available for Los Angeles, plus we kicked off ticket sales of Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Snohomish County. Tickets must be purchased in advanced–you can’t just show up at the ticket booth.

We look forward to meeting many of you on the West Coast tour of Class Dismissed. We are working on setting up screenings in New York, Boston, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia and Austin. If you live elsewhere, early next week we’ll put out a guide on how to help us screen the movie in your city.

If you’d like to keep up on the screenings, be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter plus subscribe to our newsletter.

World Premiere of Class Dismissed

We’re only two weeks away from the World Premiere of Class Dismissed. We’ve put an incredible amount of work in over the past four years to make this film, so it’s very exciting to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel–or shall we say the light from the theater projector!

Cozi Zuehlsdorff

Cozi from Dolphin Tale 1 & 2

What better way to kick off several private screenings of Class Dismissed, then to host the World Premiere in Hollywood? Not only will several families and experts from the film be there, but we’re happy to announce that Cozi Zuehlsdorff will be joining us. You may recognize Cozi from the Dolphin Tale movies. Not only does she play a homeschooler in the movies, but she actually is a homeschool student.

If you live in the LA area and haven’t already reserved your tickets, now’s the time to get them:

We look forward to meeting many of you on the West Coast tour of Class Dismissed. We’re working on setting up screenings in New York, Boston, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia and Austin. If you live elsewhere, we’ll also be putting out a guide on how to help us screen the movie in your city. Stay tuned!

Class Dismissed Coming to a Theater Near You!

Remember how excited you were in school when the final bell rang on the last class of the school year? Remember that feeling of freedom?

Maybe your experience was different, but that bottled-up eager enthusiasm is catching hold of us now because outside of a few final touches, Class Dismissed is ready to be shown to the world!

Our 4-year journey brings us to a magnificent place. Not only is Class Dismissed finished, but it is beautiful.

Okay, it may not be the most visually stunning movie ever made, but it is beautiful in several other ways. It has heart, it has substance, and it has the potential to change many peoples lives for the better.

Those who have homeschooled will enjoy it. It has many familiar moments and is packed with expert advice and inspiration from both adults and kids. It will give you renewed energy in your journey.

But even more powerful, is the effect Class Dismissed will have on those who are homeschool-curious, those who are homeschool skeptics, and most importantly, those who didn’t even realize they had homeschooling as an option!

Sure, it’s our baby and we are heavily biased, but as part of our editing process we shared rough cuts with test families–ones that we knew we could get an honest opinion from who had little to no exposure to homeschooling. Not only did they enjoy it, but two of the families immediately pulled their children out of school to homeschool them!

If it could have that kind of impact on such a small sample size, we can’t wait to see what it does starting next month. We also shared it with a couple homeschool experts and two homeschooling magazines. Not only did they enjoy it, but they wrote glowing reviews ( we will share them on the site soon).

But now it is your turn to see it. We’ve been working behind-the-scenes to set up a number of private screenings we’d like to invite you to, starting with the West Coast. The premiere will be in LA in the North Hollywood area, but we will also be visiting Orange County, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and Seattle. Both Jeremy & Dustin will be in attendance  at all the screenings on this tour, plus many of the people in the film will attend the screenings as well.

To keep tabs on where we will be, visit our screenings page on the official movie site: http://classdismissedmovie.com/see-the-film/private-screenings/

HomeschoolFilm.com will remain our production site and primary way to communicate with the homeschool community outside of our social accounts.

If you live in LA or San Francisco, we’ve already lined up the theaters and you can book your ticket now:

We encourage you to bring along someone from outside the homeschooling community who would benefit from an inside look at what homeschooling is really like, whether it be friends, family, or even strangers. Tickets can only be purchased from our website. You cannot buy tickets from the theaters directly and there will be no tickets available at the door.

For those on the East Coast, we plan on being out there in November. For those in other cities across the US or the world, we are working diligently on solutions for getting screenings in your area. Our volunteers are setting up theater screenings and we will eventually develop a screening pack for homeschool groups.

We thank you for your support, and can now say: we’ll see you at the movies!

Jeremy and Dustin

 

Homeschoolers: Please Take the Ultimate Homeschool Survey

Here’s the deal. We’re almost finished with a homeschool documentary 3.5 years into the making. It comes out this fall, but we need data that goes beyond the typical homeschool survey. We’re looking for at least 1,000 respondents, so if you are a homeschool family, please take the survey, then pass it on to other homeschool families you know.

All information will remain anonymous (that’s why we aren’t asking for your name or email). There are 23 questions. Please answer as many of them as you can. Thank you in advance!

If the survey doesn’t load properly below on your device, you can use this link instead.

After submitting the survey, feel free to poke around the site, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media. The movie will come out this fall.

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer for Class Dismissed

We’ve made great progress in the post production phase of creating the Class Dismissed movie, but now it is time to prepare for the third and final phase of the movie: marketing and distribution.

We have great ambitions to share this amazing movie with as many people as possible, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help! If you can spare a little time to help us out over the next few months, please fill out the form below. Some of you filled it out a year ago & should have received an invite from me in May.

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer for Class Dismissed:

  1. Bring Class Dismissed to your hometown! We’d like to host screenings in as many cities as possible, but we can’t do that without at least one volunteer in each city we show it in.
  2. Earn credit in the film. It’s not often you get to see your name on the big screen. This is your last chance to “join our crew” by becoming a volunteer.
  3. Enjoy the perks. You’ll be in direct communication with the filmmakers. You’ll be an insider who gets to know and see things before they are public. You’ll even help us make important decisions. And best of all, you’ll make new friends from around the world.
  4. Change lives. This movie will change some people’s lives! We shared a rough draft with a couple non-homeschooling families. Within a week of seeing the film, they decided to start homeschooling as well.
  5. Supporting a good cause. We’ve put in many years of hard work to create the first feature length documentary showing what homeschooling really looks like. We’ll be educating the public about homeschooling, plus the expert advice and family storyline will inspire those who already are.

Thanks for your consideration. Please fill out this form to become a part of our volunteer team.