I was able to see Class Dismissed in my hometown back in December. A local homeschooling mom took to social media to spread the word about the movie and to gather supporters. The response was swift from the homeschooling community. I imagine there was a collective “YES! Finally a movie validating our choice to homeschool? I’m all in.” Although homeschooling is on the rise, it continues to be misunderstood by the masses. Class Dismissed is aiming to change the negative perceptions and open up a dialogue about our freedom to choose an educational route that best suits our children and our family, even if it’s not what everybody else is doing.
The film is a balanced mixture of interviews with authors, experts, teachers, students, and parents and the journey of one family who decides to leave “the best public schools” in the area to pursue education outside of the traditional classroom. The family’s decision is not hasty and the creators do a fantastic job sharing the emotional process of leaving a system of familiarity in search of one that aims to preserve their children’s love of learning. The transition is not without hiccups and I appreciate that the difficulties aren’t smoothed over, but rather brought to light in a way that educates others with even the slightest desire to pull their children out of traditional schools. This is a movie about hope, about rethinking what education really is, and about trusting your gut. I found myself nodding in agreement constantly throughout the movie. It’s not just another film talking about the glaring issues of the public school system, which leave the viewer anxious and wondering how they are supposed to make such a colossal machine better, but one that shows the viewer viable options outside of the system. And it was beautifully done. And you really should check it out.