Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » STILL AIN’T HOMESCHOOLING

    Filed at 6:59 am under by dcobranchi

    I have nothing against cyber-schools. In fact, I’m “pro” just about every school choice there is. And I’m really glad this mom has found something that allows her to spend more time with her daughter.

    Johnson home-schooled her four daughters until the eldest and her husband were killed about six years ago. After going through stints of attending private and public schools and home-schooling, Johnson juggled a full-time job until she was able to work out of her home.

    It was then Johnson saw a flier and learned about Connections Academy. She decided to enroll Theresa so she could spend time with her daughter and supervise lessons, but without the full-time effort of traditional stay-at-home teaching.

    “I never thought I’d be able to home-school again,” she said. “It’s the best of both worlds. There’s the expertise of a teacher, and you’re still flexible to do everything.”

    Good. Terrific. Wonderful.

    It’s still not homeschooling.

    The rest of the article completely confuses public cyber-schooling with home education.

    “It’s mixing home school and public school together,” Kristin said.

    …”It takes off the accountability on Mom and Dad,” father Ron Tracy said. He said home-schooling can be difficult when grading one’s own child. Also, because the program is publicly funded, families can save on home-schooling expenses.

    I recognize that there’s an on-going debate in the home education community about how to respond to cyber proposals. I believe the majority of activists are in the “fight ’em” camp. And they may be right; cyber education may really be a threat to home education. There’s no question that cyber-charters (and other flavors of cyber schools) draw their enrollments heavily from (former) HEKs. I’d bet that there’s a strong inverse correlation between home education growth rates and the growth of cyber charter enrollment.

    But some folks just aren’t ready for freedom. Or it’s just not particularly valuable to them. Maybe “free” curriculum and a “free” computer” are a better deal for them. Maybe they really do need the accountability of reporting to a g-school teacher. As long as their choices don’t threaten my freedom, I can live and let live. I’ll even help them when I can. I ask only one thing in return– Please don’t call what you do what we do. That’s the real threat to home education.


    Comment by
    Mary N.
    June 25th, 2005
    at 2:59 pm

    I believe a family should use an e-school if they feel it meets their needs. My only request is the same as yours, that they not call public e-schools, homeschooling so as to avoid the meanings being confused.

    If so many of the promoters had not attempted to co-opt the meaning and the word itself to begin with, I doubt much of this would be an issue. I think many of us would have seen the e-schoolers more as allies and not as those creating a new hybrid of blended public school-homeschools. When explaining the difference between the choices at home education information meetings, most are glad to understand the differences. Explaining the differences between the two is a kindness, not an injustice.

    I do not see any reason to call public e-schooling, homeschooling and I never have. The new public school in the home is so vastly different than what home education has historically been perceived to be, why allow it to be changed now?

    I support e-schoolers in the same way that I support anyone else– I will gladly guide them to resources where they can learn more about their rights and responsibilities.

    However, why should we sit back and allow these attempts at homeschool reform, unless of course, we believe that traditional homeschoolers could and should learn a thing or two about how to educate “properly” from those adhering to the public e-school and state standards? Do we want the new public homeschool hybrid to be the criterion?

    I support those who wish to direct their child’s instruction via a public school at home, but not at the cost of home-education being morphed into a new branch of public education. Why not turn the table and simply ask e-schoolers to be clear. Exhort them to proudly proclaim their school reform methods and explain that by doing so with clarity, they would prevent damage to home education and in the process might find themselves with a few more allies.