Light the Fires…

HomeLife Academy is a non-traditional K-12 private school and ministry serving thousands of homeschool families for nearly 15 years. Our homeschool diplomas have been accepted by colleges and universities all over the nation, from the University of Central Florida to Ivy League colleges to the Air Force Academy.

Also known as an umbrella or cover school, HomeLife Academy’s goal is to help give homeschooling families the freedom and flexibility to choose the best educational options for their child while benefiting from the many services that come from enrolling in a school like HLA.  Our goal is simple: provide support, record-keeping, and counseling services, to help “Light the Fires” of education in your children and encourage you – the parent – to keep steady on the journey.

As a ministry first and a school second, consider the value of registering with HomeLife Academy:

  • Free phone/email support from real homeschool moms and dads just like you.
  • Freedom to choose your curriculum/resources.
  • Affordable Annual Registration Fees means more to spend on curriculum and activities.
  • Official Transcripts & Diplomas have been accepted all over the U.S. and abroad.
  • High School Transcript Review annually so that you can know your student is on target for graduation.
  • Teacher and Student ID Cards are available for identification, proof of enrollment, or discount opportunities.
  • Instant online grade reporting system included with your registration fee.
  • Discount Memberships with HSLDA, THEA organizations, FPEA and more
  • Ever-growing website, full of searchable content and helpful FAQs

Too good to be true? We’ve had people ask us, “What is the catch?” The truth is, there is no catch. God has blessed us with this ministry, and so we desire to bless you and help you in every aspect of your homeschooling. It’s easy to get started, easy to get help, and easy to succeed. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your family!

Our Journey

“I spent a couple of years completing a master’s degree in Family Studies and then found that home education is the best therapy there is for a family.”
~ David Parkerson, Founder of HomeLife Academy

Our journey into the homeschool movement began in 1988 when my younger brother, Tyler, encountered difficulty in 4th grade. Like many children, he was slapped with the label “learning disabled” and segregated to “special needs” classes. After three years of failed formulas and mounting frustrations, he became suicidal. As a last and desperate attempt, our parents decided, against the counselor’s advice, to try home education. Immediately, things changed for the better. “He stood up,” Mom would tell people. “I told him he did not have to go back to school, and he stood up.” In a letter to a homeschooler in 1995, she described those early beginnings:

Wayne & Sue“My husband, Wayne, and I began our homeschooling adventure in 1988 as a crisis-management move to salvage our youngest son, then 13 years old. We had left the public schools several years earlier and gone to private Christian schools because of our son’s learning disability. However, after a considerable amount of money and almost no progress, we were discouraged, in debt, and our son was emotionally defeated. We began to hear talk about ‘strange’ people who homeschooled their children. Since we felt like we had always ‘homeschooled’ from kindergarten on… after regular school hours, weekends… seemingly, every waking moment, surely we could do this for a short time, just to finish out the 7th grade! After all…we reasoned…we would be doing it in the daytime when we were fresh, and he could once again go and be a boy after school. We never dreamed it would work so well. He came alive! His natural curiosity and zest for discovering God’s creation reappeared. Well, we finished the 7th grade and didn’t have a plan for the 8th grade, so we stayed home for the 8th grade too. God was working on us all this time. I’m pretty hardheaded, so the Lord did some major work on my spirit.

We are so excited about so many young families choosing to home educate their children. We want to encourage you and will attempt to answer your questions as best we can and direct you toward those who can assist you. The most important thing we can say is…TEACH YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WORD FIRST…everything else will fall in place. May God bless you and your family, Sue.”


Results did come quickly for my brother. In one year, he caught up in most subjects, excelled in others. He became a genius on the guitar, a master in art, and a whiz on the computer. He graduated with pride, went to a top college in Orlando, and today is a web and software developer.

While Tyler was in high school, mom began working with a sizeable church-related school in Memphis as a guidance counselor. For eight years, she advised and inspired many home educating families. Though today she is with the Lord, her influence continues. She and dad encouraged me to go to college and study families and homeschooling. So I did, for several years. The Lord gave me the strength to complete a double bachelor’s in Bible and Family Studies. But that just whet my appetite. So I went to Abilene, Texas, to pursue a master’s degree. It was terrific (partly because every chance I got I researched homeschooling!). I spent a couple of years working on a master’s in Family Studies, and came to find that home education was the best therapy there is for a family.

After receiving my masters, I returned to Memphis, and the Lord led me to work with home educating families as well. It felt so good following in my mother’s footsteps. Thanks to many friends and wise advisors, whom I worked under for several years, I learned the ropes of office administration, computer programming, solid home education philosophy, legal matters, customer relations, and a wide variety of other things. Mainly, they helped me to regain a healthy appetite for learning. I am forever grateful for the way God used them to shape my life.

After weeks of prayer and months of work, we were so delighted to begin serving families through HomeLife Academy. I knew the Lord had obviously opened doors for my wife and me to begin HomeLife Academy when I met Dan Johnson, a home school father. Thank you, Dan, for building our first website.

David & April

Finally, thank you to my wonderful wife, April. You have inspired and encouraged me more than you could ever imagine. Your confidence has made me dream. You are a wonderful mother and my very best friend. You told me when we were courting, “Making you happy is my hobby.” Well, you’ve certainly mastered that hobby. My father-in-law often says, “The best gift a man can give his kids is to love his wife.” So, April, “I love you, sweetheart.”

Sue Parkerson

We dedicate this ministry in loving memory of Sue Parkerson, for all the incredible work she did raising us and working with homeschoolers. She was home schooling before home schooling was cool. With her caring heart and beautiful ideals, we pray HomeLife Academy will help you teach your children and encourage you on your journey.  HomeLife Academy, in conjunction with the Memphis-Area Home Education Association, supports the Sue Parkerson Memorial Scholarship, available to eligible MHEA Seniors.

May you and your family be blessed with all the riches of our Lord’s grace and mercy. May your children learn of Him and follow Him all their days.


The Story Continues…

God is so good. In 2009 my brother, Tyler, became part of the HomeLife Academy staff!! Having been the catalyst for our entrance into the homeschool movement Tyler now works full time for homeschoolers all over the country. And we’re very blessed to have him. His expertise in web development, computer programming, and internet marketing has helped expand the reach and ministry of HLA to thousands more across the country. We give God the glory. And we thank parents like you for making HLA what it is today.


And today…we are homeschooling our own children!