There’s been an educational brouhaha across the nation lately. I’ve held off blogging about it until I had more facts but I think it’s important to present you with what I have so far.
Are they homeschools?
Technically no, because the parent isn’t teaching the child and keeping their records. They are, however, considered alternative homeschools because the child is at home. They’re handy if the primary homeschooling parent (PHP) is ill and can’t keep up with lessons, or if the PHP has to care for ill or aging parents. In some cases the PHP may feel unqualified to teach a certain grade or class (I can help with that, let me know if you have that situation). There are times when an online school is God’s answer, but it’s alternative homeschool.
Some schools cover this by enrolling local homeschoolers in the public school anyway, either without the parent’s knowledge (which happened to us in Boston) or by telling the parents this is necessary which is a lie. Control has been the name of the game from day one. Who’s minding the children? Surely not the parents!
Is it any wonder someone’s gotten savvy lately in the public school system? The latest gig is a public state-funded, state-accredited online school that you can do in your home. Yeah, you’re a homeschooler now! Yeah, that’s the ticket!
This new program called K-12 is apparently available in every state but gets renamed as it’s adopted, sort of like the MCAS was. It’s public school online. And you don’t even need internet access or a computer, the state will give you that for free. Aren’t you interested yet? I hear bureaucrats sneezing into their hands at my breakfast table, “Get with the program, damn it.” It’s not intrusion if you let them in the door.
Here's the link to the news story about the Pennsylvania school that used their school issued computers to spy on families.
Is the free curriculum and computer deal attractive? To those of us who’ve given our life blood to fight for homeschool freedom for the last two decades, this is repulsive. The state will have control, not the parent, which is what homeschool circumvents. To those of us who have sacrificed that second income to protect and nurture our own, this sounds like the deal of the century. How many times have I thought if there was a decent public school around, I wouldn’t mind sending my children? (Usually in the heat of agonizing over a difficult math problem or yet another day of slogging through grammar when we all want to be at the park.)
But the truth is, if there was a decent public school around I still wouldn’t send my children because I am their teacher. I homeschool so I can teach them. They had the chance to go to an exclusive private school for free. We refused, because it’s not about what that’s about.
So why are they blurring the lines?
For every child they get in public school at home, they'll get that Federal money and then again for the physical seat that is filled at the actual school. That’s a lotta dough, folks, and apparently enough to have some using emotional manipulation and telling lies.
I don’t know about you but I don’t spend 10K on one child’s curriculum per year and guess what? They don't either, nor will they. Never mind the student gets a free computer for the school year… those are less than $500. now and at bulk rate for a state order, probably less than $200. each, where's all the rest of the money going?
And what will the parent get? That's easy, the same public school control, I mean, headaches, minus the social interaction everyone’s been screaming about homeschoolers losing out on all these years. Funny how they aren’t worried about that anymore since they found a way to use homeschool to their advantage.
Here are three links you’ll find very interesting. The second one is a sad state of affairs for that family, but of course things would go that route, it’s the government school. Unsuspecting parents have no idea until they are ensnared by the system. And sadder still, some of those implementing these things really think they are good ideas.
For Massachusetts: http://axiomqa.k12.com/mava/who-we-are
An Idaho family: http://www.iche-idaho.org/issues/19/
HSLDA's info: http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/issues/c/charterschools.asp
It’s interesting to me that the two systems in most disrepair in the US are the school system and the church system. The minute you start institutionalizing family, you’ve got a problem. Jesus didn’t send his disciples to Temple to get an education. He taught them the kingdom himself. And he didn’t send them to church either, he fellowshipped with them on hillsides, in gardens, and homes, wherever he was. I guess we’ve all been blurring the lines for a very long time. Home schools and home churches were the norm in the First Century and they worked. How and why we’ve gotten so far off course is not as important as getting back on course. Parents hanging out with their children is really what it is about.
photo credits: morguefile.com