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Old 02-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #61
stbmomof1plus2
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

As a future homeschooler (since my kids are not yet of school age), the blurring of terms is scary to me. VS just hit my state an dare starting to catch on. Thank God our Govenor homeschools his kids, so the creep isn't possible. But I do fear when we get a new Govenor, creep may start to happen and VS will be expected of homeschoolers in the future. Especially with some of the language in NCLB as well as some of the rhetoric from current Presidential candidates regarding mandatory preschool. When the federal government starts making mandates, states tend to panic and in that panic I can see things begin to get restrictive.
I think we have to remain vigilant in what homeschooling means. This is very important to us because we have a PG child and having to follow government school rules trying to educate him would be a disaster.
I think VS is a GREAT idea. My cousin will be sending her 2 kids to VS next year. Just having them out of the public school environment will be wonderful, but she is not homeschooling.
I also think some strings might start to be attached that say you can't do X, Y, or Z unless you VS (for instance, in some states homeschoolers can take part in public school special activities - will they begin to say you can only do it if you attend VS).
It definitely makes us nervous and I am pretty close to joining HSLDA now in anticipation.
 
Old 02-15-2008, 12:48 PM   #62
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

OK, so forgive me, I'm kind of dense and ignorant about the politics of homeschooling. The issue at stake here is the fear that VA's are a kind of bait-and-switch offered by the government? Once they are accepted as a form of homeschooling, then broader homeschooling freedoms will be restricted? Just trying to understand...
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:54 PM   #63
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
While it may be important to advocate for the ideal on the far-end of the spectrum, there does need to be support and encouragement for those in the middle, however they get labeled.


I think it's very important to advocate for freedom from the government and homeschooling liberties but I think that it's just as important to provide support and encouragement for those who for whatever choose to use the VA and cyber schools that I personally want to stay far away from.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:02 PM   #64
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubnme
OK, so forgive me, I'm kind of dense and ignorant about the politics of homeschooling. The issue at stake here is the fear that VA's are a kind of bait-and-switch offered by the government? Once they are accepted as a form of homeschooling, then broader homeschooling freedoms will be restricted? Just trying to understand...

That's it...exactly !!!!!
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:07 PM   #65
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubnme
OK, so forgive me, I'm kind of dense and ignorant about the politics of homeschooling. The issue at stake here is the fear that VA's are a kind of bait-and-switch offered by the government? Once they are accepted as a form of homeschooling, then broader homeschooling freedoms will be restricted? Just trying to understand...
That's the fear and unfortunately I don't think that fear is unfounded.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:08 PM   #66
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

I agree. I think it's vitally important to preserve homeschooling rights and freedoms and would advocate for such. What Teri said was right on.

Just so I'm clear, I don't consider myself a homeschooler. When asked I say "my ds attends a virtual academy" Next year I will probably say "we homeschool part time and attend a VA part time." But like I said previously, it depends on my audience as to whether explaining the semantics is important (i.e. when talking to my il's who just don't get it, we pretty much say homeschooling or let them assume that, to another hs'er I'd be clear about vs).

What I take exception to is the assumption that VAs and families who choose to use them are doing so because they are uneducated about their schooling choices or are unsure of their own ability to school at home. Or that we're "less" because we're making this choice (accepted nor embraced by neither ps'ers or hs'ers) and are being duped by the gov't or the SD's. But that is probably OT and should be the subject of another thread.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:18 PM   #67
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
If you think homeschooling is a good idea , support others doing it , but voluntarily reach out to the public school system to teach your child (location aside)....does that make you a homeschooler ? Or someone who is open to the idea ?
Not if you *send* your kids to school to be taught by another person (like I do), no.

But if your kids are home being taught by you, then yes.

On this statement in particular:
Quote:
but voluntarily reach out to the public school system to teach your child (location aside)....
Define "teach"? Is it still "teaching" when you are mandated to report to the public school with a portfolio of work and progress, sit for standardized tests at the end of the year, and have your children evaluated by a certified teacher? You've been the one teaching, but the gov't gets to evaluate and require a certain amount of attendance hours/days and benchmarks and tests - are you still "teaching" your kids? If the answer is yes, then it sounds like "having mom/dad teach" defines homeschooling....

I agree with jujubnme- it isn't so black and white.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:20 PM   #68
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

I am one who thinks it is absolutely imperative that we make the distinction. I am concerned about the political implications of saying it's *just* semantics...words change culture. But I absolutely positively do NOT think that saying families who use virtual academies and the like are *less than* in any way. Definitely different. It is *not* the same thing as homeschooling. But that doesn't mean it's less than. I know there are groups and people (lots of them) who *do* think that, but I don't believe it's a function of what you label it. And if you don't think I understand what it's like to straddle a line between groups, I'll note that I'm a natural birth advocate who's had three cesareans.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:23 PM   #69
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teribear
Here's the thing...I believe that ALL forms of alternative education (not public/private brick and mortar schooling) should be available and encouraged. Each one meets a set of needs and combined they provide a rich set of opportunities to educate our children in the way we deem best. The problem I (and possibly others here) have with calling all schooling that takes place in the home "homeschooling" is that it blurs the distinctions and puts those of us who are opposed to government controlled schooling at risk of seeing the freedoms that the pioneers of this movement worked so hard for eroded away. HSLDA...for all the good things they do...are too in bed with the ideals of the NEA to suit me. I think it is telling of the blurring that Mike Huckabee can be endorsed simultaneously by both groups. When I say the VA's are not homeschooling it is because it is CRITICAL to maintaining my freedoms as a homeschooler to be distinct about what each type of alternative education actually IS and is not. As a homeschooler I am saying that my child's education is 100% MY concern and responsibility. I do not accept the government's assertion that because my child is some arbitrary age I must now turn their education over to the state in any way shape form or fashion. I don't cast stones at those who choose to use VA's I think that for some they can be a wonderful educational choice but they are NOT homeschooling. They're just not. Any time you have to be accountable to another entity regarding the content or method you are using alternative schooling, sometimes in the home sometimes not...sometimes part time in the home and part time not. The program I teach in says that "we're still homeschooling"...No...we're not...we make the assignments, we assign the grades and we send home a grade report to the parents. That's not homeschooling, even if they are at home 3 days out of the week. Its a wonderful alternative program to public schooling but it is, in reality, an alternative private school. Its not "less than" homeschooling...but it IS different.
 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:33 PM   #70
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
And if you don't think I understand what it's like to straddle a line between groups, I'll note that I'm a natural birth advocate who's had three cesareans.
Exactly...I'm in the same shoes. I think it's marvelous to have a natural birth. But I , having three csections myself , don't consider myself a natural birther. Supporter , yes.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:34 PM   #71
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

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Originally Posted by J3K
wow Teri.... I had no idea you had to jump through so many hoops just to have your God given right...to keep your child at home. Wow.

I'm suddenly feeling very blessed to be hs'ing in Missouri....
3 cheers for Missouri and them minding their own business....there are 3 houses on my street for sale and NO ONE here has ever judged a family in our group for how they choose to educate. ...so come on over!

 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:55 PM   #72
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

OK, I think I'm getting what ya'll are saying about the importance of making a distinction between the different types of schooling when talking about laws and homeschooling. But do you think the distinction important when you're talking about support groups? Where does it go from clarification to exclusion? Again, just an outsider trying to understand... (I "homeschooled" Julius for preschool, but was more of an unschooler and didn't really get connected with homeschool community at large per se, so I guess I missed this whole controversy.)
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He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:02 PM   #73
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubnme
OK, I think I'm getting what ya'll are saying about the importance of making a distinction between the different types of schooling when talking about laws and homeschooling. But do you think the distinction important when you're talking about support groups? Where does it go from clarification to exclusion? Again, just an outsider trying to understand... (I "homeschooled" Julius for preschool, but was more of an unschooler and didn't really get connected with homeschool community at large per se, so I guess I missed this whole controversy.)
I think at least some were saying that support groups should support all who teach at home to some degree unless they are legal/political in nature. IMO I do not think it bad for a group to have a standpoint on an issue, but I think they should still welcome those outside that standpoint as long as they are respectful of it. (Like I said - the way GCM is)


I do have to say that it is funny (as in ironic) that I have more freedom in my govt sponsored charter than some in other states do as "official" homeschoolers.
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:16 PM   #74
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubnme
While it may be important to advocate for the ideal on the far-end of the spectrum, there does need to be support and encouragement for those in the middle, however they get labeled.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaka
What I take exception to is the assumption that VAs and families who choose to use them are doing so because they are uneducated about their schooling choices or are unsure of their own ability to school at home. Or that we're "less" because we're making this choice (accepted nor embraced by neither ps'ers or hs'ers) and are being duped by the gov't or the SD's. But that is probably OT and should be the subject of another thread.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:34 PM   #75
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Default Re: Spin off: Home school vs. public school at home

We do have a term for students in this situation: independent study.

There is a clear distinction for students who are solely HS with mom/dad choosing and implementing curriculum and students who are receiving their work from public schools but completing it at home.

I have heard moms refer to it in conversation, "Joe is in an independent study program".
 
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