Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » STILL NOT HOMESCHOOLING

STILL NOT HOMESCHOOLING

Filed at 6:21 am under by dcobranchi

So says Spunky.

And before Annette and JJ start flogging that poor horse again, here’s what I want. And it’s all I want– clarity. The word “homeschool” has legal definitions in much of the country. And it has an understood meaning throughout. Basically homeschooling equates to a choice to opt out of the system. We ask only that the newcomers, who are attempting to re-define the word, respect our choice to attempt to keep the original definition.

IOW, find your own damn word!

35 Responses to “STILL NOT HOMESCHOOLING”


Comment by
Annette
August 29th, 2006
at 7:21 am

Daryl,
Good for you. I’m glad that you aren’t going to give up making the distinctions.
Here is a test whether or not I can comment here and not have this turn into the dead horse:
“Homeschooling is Not a Generic Term”
aha.ty...i.html


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 8:39 am

Daryl,
Good for you. I’m glad that you aren’t going to give up making the distinctions.

Here is a test of whether I can comment here and not have this turn into the dead horse:
Horseschooling is Not a Generic Term”

Oh, Thank you so much! We’ve been gone such a long time and we feel so messy… What kind of a horse is that? I’ve never seen a horse like that before!
. . . And never will again, I fancy. There’s only one of him and he’s it. He’s the Horse of a Different Color, you’ve heard tell about.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 9:37 am

To Spunky, the linked author – I agree completely with what you say here. Has all this helpful “clarity” over the years confused that key agreement, made it seem otherwise? Then it’s not clarity, is it? 🙂

It’s your right as a parent to pick whatever you feel is appropriate. But not all who call themselves homeschoolers ARE homeschoolers. Some are public schoolers at home. Let’s not get sloppy and allow the term “homeschooling” to become generic for anyone who just decides that the public school building is not to their liking but the curriclum and state control is just fine by them. I’m not saying the term “homeschooling” should only be reserved for those who teach the Spunky approved way, but that the term should not be so broad as to include those that homeschool the state approved way either.

Terminology is important.

It is important that the definition of homeschooling be determined by who the student is ultimately accountable. If the parent holds the authority they are homeschooling…if another entity holds the authority they are not.

Of course parental authority can’t automatically make every decision legal homeschooling (truancy, tutoring, neglect, cults, murder etc) but your essential point is one over which I know of no disagreement. Certainly not from me!


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 9:47 am

My simple(minded?) test– If the kids have to take the NCLB tests, they’re not homeschoolers.


Comment by
Christine G
August 29th, 2006
at 10:10 am

My kids take ITBS, just like the schoolies. We opt for this. (Our other option is oversight by a teacher.) Does this mean we’re not homeschoolers, Daryl?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 10:14 am

Read my sentence carefully.

There’s a difference between “have to” and “opt for.”

Are your kids under the NCLB? If “yes,” then sorry, you’re not homeschooling.


Comment by
Nance Confer
August 29th, 2006
at 10:22 am

I can still call myself a homeschooler then? Whew!

Even though, technically, legally, we’re not. . .

Oh well, those word laws don’t apply to me. Only those folks and methods we don’t approve of.

OTOH, what if somebody — hard to imagine! — didn’t approve of me and how we homeschool??? Hmmm. . .

Guess I better make sure I look homeschool-y enough to pass the test. Otherwise the word police will come to my door and tell me not to call myself a homeschooler ever again.

And that should work! Homeschoolers just love to be told how to talk about their important personal family decisions. 🙂

Nance


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 11:03 am

I didn’t iclaim that my test was sufficient to separate HEKs from the larger category of all those exempt from NCLB (for example, private schoolers). I only claim that my test separates homeschoolers from all g-schoolers.

And how are you technically legally not?


Comment by
don
August 29th, 2006
at 11:22 am

Our kids aren’t under the NCLB. Iowa uses the ITBS for their NCLB testing, but it’s more or less a coincidence that it’s the same test we’ve chosen to use to meet the state’s requirements. Alternatively, we could choose to use a supervisory teacher, have a portfolio of work reviewed by a teacher, or even choose a different standardized test. So yeah, I think we’re real homeschoolers.


Pingback from
HEM Editor’s Blog » Blog Archive » SpunkyHomeSchool Says It Well
August 29th, 2006
at 12:58 pm

[…] Our old friend Daryl Cobranchi picked up Spunky’s post too, and I had a flash of deja vu as I read his words in the post Still Not Homeschooling: “Basically homeschooling equates to a choice to opt out of the system. We ask only that the newcomers, who are attempting to re-define the word, respect our choice to attempt to keep the original definition. IOW, find your own damn word!” […]


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 1:11 pm

Daryl, Florida law confounds any attempt at “clarity” that starts from homeschooling as a legal construct distinct from compulsory schooling — because various home education methods here have long been a legal opt-out of all school requirements. So by complying with the opt-out, ARE we opting out then, or really opting in? The correct answer is yes.
(Humming Gilbert and Sullivan)

A most ingenious paradox!
We’ve quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
But none to beat this paradox!
All. A paradox, a paradox,
A most ingenious paradox!
Ha! ha! ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha! ha!
A paradox!

We studied the legal and political history of HS laws here over a couple of years, got to know the players , and we learned how FL laws were cleverly written with no state teeth so that both school-at-home Christian hsers and free spirits like Nance and me can opt out of the school system in a variety of legal ways, and not bother each other or be bothered by the State.

Believe it or not, at that time we had clarity police down here insisting the law required more accountability than it does! That to protect real hsing we had to gang up on the fakes (the non schol-at-homers it was then.)

So fair warning, if you go there, your head may explode and you’ll look like that poor horse before nightfall. We’ve been pulverized and reconstituted several times over, for more beating . . ..


Comment by
Christine G
August 29th, 2006
at 1:22 pm

Even if we dual enroll and have the school test our kids, our test scores aren’t counted for NCLB, so yes, we are really homeschoolers (gee, I’m so gracious to be included in your definition). BUT, when dual-enrolled, the district then receives money from the state and the district has some control over a small portion of our children’s education. So if the gov has some control and pays for part of my kid’s education, are we still homeschoolers?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 1:38 pm

Even if we dual enroll and have the school test our kids, our test scores aren’t counted for NCLB

Do they have to take the state accountability tests? Or are they voluntary?

If compelled, they’re no longer being homeschooled.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 1:40 pm

I suggested “dwarf homeschoolers” in another horse-beating thread, for those with some planet attributes, like Pluto, but not the full glory of rival bodies with more current clout, who perceive themselves in competition with the lesser bodies for public status.

But only in jest alas, because those few who insist using home and school in any combination is outrageously out-of-bounds for anyone but themselves, and confusing to their purpose, will never agree.

Well, if you can’t beat em, join em? Maybe we real hs advocates should declare some new protectorate status then and take these folks under our wings in return for them being grateful and subordinating their rules and language to ours? If this really is all about HELPING each other and protecting freedom for all, I mean. We could make ps-at-homers a sort of Puerto Rico to real home education America? Hmmm . . .or would we need their consent for anything that arrogant? Curses, foiled again —


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 1:47 pm

A silly example:

Imagine that someday being African-American is considered hip and trendy. Someone decides that the defining feature is not being African-American, but having dark skin. Lots of Floridians have dark skin, so some suntanned Swedes in Daytona start calling themselves African-Americans.

Do you think real African-Americans just might have a problem with that?


Comment by
Nance Confer
August 29th, 2006
at 1:58 pm

Yours is an excellent test, Daryl. All homeschoolers who are required to take standardized tests as prescribed in NCLB shall henceforth not be allowed to call themselves homeschoolers.

There.

Done.

Now, whatever will HEM and the rest of that wing of the blogosphere get up to?? They’ll have to invent a whole new issue.

Nance

P.S. We are private schoolers. I operate a private school called Florida Unschoolers for over 200 people who, previous to today, thought they were homeschooling. I shall notify them of the new edict. No doubt there will be one governing us soon. We don’t have to test but I do report to the state once a year. Surely we are not pure enough to consider ourselves homeschoolers! Shall I tell the Moms and Dads to write to you or Spunky for their new instructions?


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 1:58 pm

Not silly at all. Apt!

“African-American” is not clear or correct or even a respectful pretense, to some dark-skinned citizens; it’s annoying if not infuriating. Morgan Freeman for example. And we discussed this point in vivid high dungeon on HEM lists pre- We Stand a few years back, all the offensive historical definitions of the African race in American law (fractional heritage and the incredibly offensive labels to “distinguish” between one-eighth, one-sixteenth, etc on the inside)

I’m with Morgan on that, don’t want home education to arouse that thought in the slightest possible way in the public mind, as we abuse this horse.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 2:19 pm

But Nance – you guys are NOT required by law to take any standardized tests, so Daryl’s test puts you in the “clear!”


Comment by
Nance Confer
August 29th, 2006
at 2:36 pm

Oh, JJ, you and your logic!

I’m sure, now that this whole charterhomeschooling thing has been sorted out (I mean, come on, Spunky swore and everything! Or maybe that’s Daryl swearing. More likely. 🙂 ), that there will be time to straighten the rest of us out!

I send in a two-page report every year to the State of Florida. Come on — how does that make me a homeschooler??

And you. I’m not sure you’re not even worse!

You send the results of an actual evaluation to your county every year! Which then counts heads and other stuff and reports all that to the State!

We are really lucky that any of these real homescholers let us hang out with them at all, let alone call ourselves homeschoolers!

Nance


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
August 29th, 2006
at 3:08 pm

I hear they have really low taxes in Alaska. Wonder if it’d work if I just started referring to myself as Alaskan.


Comment by
Nance Confer
August 29th, 2006
at 3:18 pm

Oh, I don’t know, Daryl.

Maybe you better check with Helen and Mark first!

They live in Alaska — at least part-time. Who knows? Maybe they aren’t even “real Alaskans” . . .

Nance


Comment by
Christine G
August 29th, 2006
at 4:06 pm

Sorry, COD, I haven’t worn a jumper since the plaid one in Catholic grade school. So we’re homeschoolers by Daryl’s definition, but not yours.

If compelled, they’re no longer being homeschooled.

I am “compelled” to send paperwork to the state, and according to some, that’s bowing to the government. Why, if I were a REAL homeschooler, I would just ignore all the laws.

And what about before NCLB? I guess by your test, there wouldn’t have been any homeschoolers.

Maybe I shouldn’t complain, I am, after all, in the “club”. When do I learn the secret handshake?

Maybe we real hs advocates should declare some new protectorate status then and take these folks under our wings in return for them being grateful and subordinating their rules and language to ours?

JJ it sounds like you want to start some legal group to defend the rights of the dwarf homeschoolers – DHSLDA 🙂 Of course, real dwarves might be upset that you are using their word.


Comment by
Annette
August 29th, 2006
at 6:41 pm

IMHO, when the discussion is about *who* gets to be in the homeschool club, the call for clarity loses credibility. It becomes a joke. All clarity is lost in the forest between the trees when the “Who gets to be a Homeschooler?” wars start. If the focus stays on the programs and not on defining people and trying to seperate them from some identity that they have chosen for themselves–whether accurate or not–clarity comes back into view. Children are homeschooled, privately schooled or they are enrolled in ps and not exempt from compulsory attendance. Public schooling already has a definition. The clarity comes into focus by knowing the definition of public schooling. If the program is a public school one, the program is not a blend of hsing and psing. It’s just a ps program. A student might be mixing his/her options of psing while hsing. A student does not homeschool through a public school program. We don’t have to do any defining here. It’s already been done. And because the defining of public schooling has already been done, it eliminates any possibility that a ps program can technically be homeschooling at the same time.


Comment by
Nance Confer
August 29th, 2006
at 7:49 pm

Becomes a joke??? :):)

Nance


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 10:00 pm

Unsupported statement gussied up as fact:
“We don’t have to do any defining here. It’s already been done. And because the defining of public schooling has already been done, it eliminates any possibility that a ps program can technically be homeschooling at the same time.”
***************************************
Except by law.
In Florida for sure, if nowhere else.
One exception disproves an absolute. That’s the law, and not just here.

I know a little about logic, and more than a a little about Florida education law, public school and otherwise, all those years in the state department here doing policy and writing legislation doncha know, after dealing directly with the public as a school district administrator for many more years before that.

Then I got a crash course in the subspecialty of home education law and politics, when I became a mom myself and left my career, trying to discuss legal issues factually, reasonably, logically, scientifically, politically, and technically with God-fearing homeschool moms who are in the aggregate, um, much more into feeling like a mom than thinking like a lawyer?

Which is fine — wonderful even — as long as we all maintain strict CLARITY about the distinction!

Nance and I first “met” (though we never have met, technically, not once, does that mean we’re a threat to real friends if we call each other friend?) when we were both fiercely disdainful of the organized, entrenched, God-fearing groups down here defining everything for all homeschoolers through their congregational process, and going way beyond the law to trample on individual liberties for the good of “their” groups and their kind of homeschooling.

People set up prayer vigils for our wicked souls on a regular basis.

Some things never change.


Comment by
Annette
August 29th, 2006
at 10:14 pm

JJ wrote:Except by law.
In Florida for sure, if nowhere else.

Explain please, with facts.


Comment by
freerangelife
August 29th, 2006
at 10:53 pm

JJ said, “Of course parental authority can’t automatically make every decision legal homeschooling (truancy, tutoring, neglect, cults, murder etc….)”

And then there’s … The Homeschooling That Dares Not Speak It’s Name. A veritable elephant in the living room of homeschool advocacy.

[whisper] non-compliant homeschooling [/whisper]

Or do y’all just count that as truancy?

I mean, you’re so careful to distinguish Real Homeschoolers like yourselves as LEGAL homeschoolers and all. But by my (non-compliant) way of thinking, non-compliant “homeschooling” (whether in association with any other private entities or not) is the only true *independent* homeschooling there is. At least, if by “homeschooling” I understand you correctly to mean “independent, family-based education”?

Can you sense me holding the h-word by the tip-most part of one corner with thumb and index finger? I’d be only too happy to hand “homeschooling” over to the cyberschoolers, for whom it is a much better fit. I don’t want/need labeling anyhow. (And while I’m on the subject, I distinctly remember that when my friend had mono while she was in high school, she had to stay home for a month and was HOME-SCHOOLED by a district teacher. That was an accepted use of the word in the 1970s and before, and homeschooling parents only called themselves that because it was a term already in use by the establishment. So much for the schools “stealing” the word. Sheesh. Although I’ll grant you that they are now trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of family-based education.)

Annette says, “Children are homeschooled, privately schooled or they are enrolled in ps and not exempt from compulsory attendance.”

Homeschoolers, legal or otherwise, are not exempt from compulsory school attendance, either, unless they live in a state where the laws expressly state that they are exempt, period. That means no regulation of homeschooling at all. Zip. Nada. (Are there any states that expressly state that?) As far as I know, in almost all states, (legal) homeschoolers are required to meet the compulsory schooling requirement through a statutory (defined) alternative to g-school enrollment.

Not that I’d want to, but here’s what I could do in my state if my kids were Real (Legal) Homeschoolers:

– I could enroll them at the local g-school. But only part-time, or they wouldn’t be Real anymore! (Part time in this case means “anything less than full time.” In other words, they could spend virtually all day at school but still maintain their legal status as homeschoolers.)

– I could sign them up for “ancillary” services through the local g-school.

– When they got old enough, I could sign them up for community college classes paid for by State school funds.

– I could get my undies in a right twist over those cyberschoolers who have the nerve to call themselves homeschoolers.

I do on a very basic level agree with Spunky’s and Daryl’s and Annette’s points about terminology. But this business of clutching the word “homeschooling” to our chests so the cyber-schoolers can’t get it, while we scurry over to line up for the bell, is like focusing on distinctions between house slaves and field slaves as if those differences were actually meaningful in the scheme of things, or mattered more than the fact of slavery itself.

This is why I didn’t sign the WSFH proclamation. It struck me as being like advocating for the 2nd amendment by fighting to preserve gun registries. It misses the forest for the trees. A lot of good folks have presented arguments for why focusing on the trees is a good thing to do, and they have made some salient points, and maybe they will do some net good in the long run, but that’s just not the bus I’m riding on.

Daryl says, “There’s a difference between ‘have to’ and ‘opt for.'”

Yeah, you did’t HAVE to have your kids tested, you COULD instead have chosen to have your child-rearing supervised by a government employee. You were free to choose between those two options (that must be one of those “homeschooling freedoms”), and that’s called Real Homeschooling!

“Are your kids under the NCLB? If ‘yes,’ then sorry, you’re not homeschooling.”

In other words, if you’re under THAT thumb, you’re not Really Homeschooling, but if you’re under THIS thumb, then you are.

In my state, homeschoolers are supposed to test annually. But they’re testing under state law instead of federal law, so they’re Real Homeschoolers. They may attend public schools for 99% of the school day if they want to (although, to their credit, few apparently do), but they’re not under NCLB, so they’re Real Homeschoolers, by golly.

If that’s Real Homeschooling, you are welcome to it.

But as long as Real Homeschoolers marginalize (with their “legal homeschooling” rhetoric) educationally independent families who LIVE the educational freedom the rest of you fancy yourselves fighting for, you bolster the State’s case against us and threaten educational freedom every bit as as much as cyberschoolers calling themselves homeschoolers. Probably more.

Okay, I’m hearing Miss Manners’ voice in my head now, something about four-page letters…… Just in time, too, because I was just remembering and contemplating searching for the quote from a “homeschooling advocate” in the ABJ smear job going on about how some abusive parents mentioned in the article weren’t homeschooling “legally” (they didn’t register, if I remember correctly) so they weren’t Really Homeschooling……


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 10:54 pm

No thanks. In this little drama I’m content to play the critic, not the star on stage –sort of like the Democrats.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 29th, 2006
at 11:22 pm

Whoops, to clarify — my last comment was in annoyed dismissal of the request that I further mulch FL law facts rather than relaxing to enjoy the full forest here with friends — hadn’t seen Freerangelife’s love letter yet. WOW! I am happy to defer my dissenting role in the long-playing clarity party line – this was masterful! I got goosebumps just reading it —

My own frequent use of the word “legal” is preemptive notice, to forestall what I’m so sick of hearing called “clarity” — being defined out as not legally hsing, when I clearly am.

But I agree the ideal is to tell the government and public to butt out altogether. If I were home-educating with my kids as a political statement rather than for education and personal reasons (love is very personal!) then I think I’d be non-compliant too. Or maybe if I had to live in a different state — no way I’d make it legally in OH or PA, for example!

I’ve long said the clarity movement does its greatest damage by hobbling any concerted effort we’d otherwise be making as a united front for real freedom protection, like say, pooling our best efforts across the political spectrum to end compulsory attendance laws and thereby make the word “homeschooling” irrelevant or at least quaint.

Daryl, any chance you’d entertain exploration of that as a better strategy?


Comment by
Annette
August 29th, 2006
at 11:27 pm

Annette wrote: We don’t have to do any defining here. It’s already been done. And because the defining of public schooling has already been done, it eliminates any possibility that a ps program can technically be homeschooling at the same time.”
***************************************
JJ wrote:
Except by law.
In Florida for sure, if nowhere else.
One exception disproves an absolute. That’s the law, and not just here.

JJ,
If you are referring to FLVS, I would argue that point with you. So if you have facts, please present them. I do not see Florida as an exception.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 30th, 2006
at 12:00 am

“Clearly” there’s no context for any such argument, especially not with this big ol’ smelly equine carcass in the way . . as usual we’re on different planets.


Comment by
Annette
August 30th, 2006
at 12:10 am

freerangelife,
Homeschool activism has to take on the shape of addressing the public school at home programs when fallout from those programs are or are about to become hsing’s problems. I want the communication and the bridge-building to happen with hs & ps-at-home folks. I think both sides will need that bridge. I think all kinds of bridge building and understanding is already happening. It’s a start. I have found clarity allowed for that bridge.
I would prefer to not find out who are the real hsers, but link up with people who are protecting what I love. Those individuals are not always hsing in any sense. Do you know of any great homeschool advocates that have never homeschooled their children? I do.

Sorry, for marginalizing you and your family. I paused and considered how to include the underground hsers just before I posted. I was on a hs site, I think it was the British Columbia one where basically the website reads, we don’t support illegal hsers at all because you don’t have any excuse with the laws being so good. That made me uncomfortable.

I know Helen Hegener set up Stillwater to look at & discuss working on such issues as compulsory attendance. stillw...e.org/
The Stillwater project is still very much alive.


Comment by
Annette
August 30th, 2006
at 12:12 am

JJ wrote: “Clearly” there’s no context for any such argument, especially not with this big ol’ smelly equine carcass in the way . . as usual we’re on different planets.

That’s fine just as you know I can back up my statement with Florida facts.


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 30th, 2006
at 12:43 am

Florida facts? LOL – flashing on Eddie Murphy laughing when the cop darkly warns him “we’re not gonna fall for that banana in the tailpipe again.”

Do you know there’s a bed and breakfast near Tampa where you can, for a mere Benjamin, cuddle up with an endangered baby bobcat, cougar or leopard?

Do you know there’s almost 14 million potential ways to win by combining the six numbered lottery balls we use to fund public schools, and just as many ways to LOSE?

Do you even know exactly how many millions of no-longer-endangered alligators we live among down here now? (Neither do I but it’s too many!)

And this Florida fact seems apropos:
Tthere’s s crypt in Key West is inscribed, “I told you I was sick.”


Comment by
JJ Ross
August 30th, 2006
at 12:48 am

Oh yeah – and Stephen Foster, who wrote “Old Folks at Home,” Florida’s state song, never even saw the Suwannee River, nor did he ever step foot in Florida. Not a real Floridian in fact . . .