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  • WHY NOT?

    Filed at 6:32 pm under by dcobranchi

    Reader Mike S. thinks our switch to “home education” vice “homeschooling” was timely. As evidence he cites this news report. The last graf is a classic:

    Now it’s unclear if the child’s mother will attempt to enroll him this fall. He’s currently being homeschooled by DCS. Police have arrested the boy’s 19-year-old brother. Officers say Dustin Lee Wade showed the boy how to use the TEC-9, then left it out for the boy to take to school.

    If the Department of Children’s Services can be considered “homeschoolers,” then we’ve definitely lost control of the word.

    UPDATE: The post originally referred to the “Division of Child Services.” I’ve since learned that it’s “Department of Children’s Services.”

    6 Responses to “WHY NOT?”

    Comment by
    February 22nd, 2005
    at 7:47 pm

    Your post was interesting and disturbing to me because I’ve always known there are a number of DCFS “schools” set up all over this nation. I never made the possible connection with the fine line between hs’ing and ps’ing these students. Nor, have I ever thought about their accountability or where “problem” students would fit in. I’m sure many regs and laws are outdated due to situations like the article you mentioned.

    Technically, DCFS campus schools are under the ps umbrella. In reality, if educated in a campus school, the child is still IN the ps system that he once abused and was kicked out of (unless it is written as school specific).

    Yes, it is scary (oh, it’s also comical and ever so ironic…)to have DCFS resort to using the hs umbrella. Wow. It’s mind blowing to me that there might be some huge loopholes out there!

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 22nd, 2005
    at 7:59 pm

    Well, of course the DCS isn’t really homeschooling. According to the TN Dept. of Education:

    An Independent Home School is a school conducted by parents or legal guardian(s) for their own children that is not a church-related school. The intent to operate an independent home school must be submitted to the local superintendent before the commencement of each school year. These home schools register only with the local school system.

    Comment by
    Mary N.
    February 22nd, 2005
    at 9:14 pm

    I wonder if we’ve really “lost” control of the word? If someone started using one of our personal names mistakenly, what would our response be?

    It seems to me that it’s always been wise to refer to us as home educators, but I do think our identity is very much attached to the word homeschooling, just as our own names are attached to our personal identity. Will others use the word homeschooling as public school anyway, sure, just as others will attempt to steal identities.

    Of course we can’t view it entirely in the same manner as identity theft, but I think we should continue to help clarify when others erroneously depict homeschooling as public school enrollment. If we do this, it will keep the distinction clear for those new folks who are choosing to home educate. I live in a state that has 40+ of these schools that often tell new folks this is home education via the public school.

    I don’t see them stopping at the word homeschooling or home-educator. I’ve been to many a presentation by these schools that portray these new hybrids as homeschooling, unschooling, living and learning with your children, whatever way we’ve been described; they are using those descriptors too.

    The best defense I am aware of is grass roots. We continue helping new folks and remind them of the importance of knowing their rights and that one does not have to enroll in these new schools to homeschool. More importantly, we can let those seeking information about home education know they don’t need the expert teachers that these schools claim makes their public -homeschools and public- home-education programs just a little bit better than “regular” homeschooling.


    Comment by
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 7:01 am

    According to that definition, Daryl, I’ll bet the DCS does consider itself homeschooling — they are likely the legal guardians of the kids.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 7:14 am

    I don’t see how. They may possibly meet the “legal guardian” definition, but they certainly don’t pass the second portion of the test:

    An Independent Home School is a school conducted by parents or legal guardian(s) for their own children…

    Comment by
    Kay Brooks
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 10:37 am

    I left a phone message for the TV reporter that said DCS was ‘homeschooling’ on Monday. He hasn’t yet returned my call. I suspect that he mispoke. Oddly, the receptionist assumed I was calling to complain after I said I was just looking for clarification.

    In Tennessee the public schools have a “home bound” program. When a child is placed in this program a public school teacher comes to their home a couple of times a week to teach the child. Usually, this situation involves a student too ill to attend school.