After a recent diary about Homeschool Socialization appeared on Daily Kos I realized from some of the comments left that homeschooling was being confused with Cyber Schools & Charter Schools. This post originally appeared on my blog September 6, 2006, I hope it clears up the confusion.
Sometimes the best post come from the responses to links left in the comments. Cerulean Sanctum claims to be homeschooling, but then goes on to say this.
Dan says: Today, my son formally starts Kindergarten with Ohio Virtual Academy, a homeschooling program chartered as a public school, so our taxpayer dollars go to our homeschooling!This is NOT homeschooling, this is public school in the student's home. I have no problem with Virtual Schools or Charter Schools, but PLEASE be honest about what you are. You are Virtual Schoolers or Charter Schoolers, you are NOT Homeschoolers. Your schools are supported by tax money just like traditional public schools and you have to answer to public school authorities. Which is why it is important to make the distinction between those who really homeschool their kids and those who simply attend a public school in their home. And it leads to people like Dee demanding that real homeschoolers be accountable to someone, after all the public school at home students are and they consider themselves homeschoolers, so why don't the rest of us jump on the government bandwagon.
Dee says: If I understand the comments of the folks above, they are against being accountable to anyone but the Lord for their homeschooling practices. Being accountable to the Lord is of utmost importance, but I have known parents who homeschool who need to be held accountable to more than just the Lord, because their children are not being taught well. In fact, sometimes their children cannot read at their grade level despite being of above average intelligence. I am concerned about those who just decide that their children don't need to study a certain subject such as math. Legislation might be avoided if homeschoolers would voluntarily be accountable to organized homeschool groups. Being involved with an organized group should be considered because of its great benefits rather than its limitations. I applaud you for choosing such a program.Exactly what organized homeschool group would she force me to be accountable to? HSLDA whom I don't agree with on many issues or some state run homeschool group? No, thanks! Dee is also assuming that all homeschoolers, homeschool for religious reason, which in my case isn't true. I certainly don't want to be accountable to some religious group (which the majority of homeschool groups are) for my children's education. I prefer being accountable to no one. After all I have my children's best interest at heart. And considering my oldest started college at 16 I think I have done a much better job then the public schools would have done. Dee has to be nuts if she thinks every public school student reads at grade level!!!!!! Most public school students read way below grade level as evidenced by the dumbing down of public school textbooks and classrooms.
At least Elena gets the difference, unlike Dan who seems to be emotionally invested in claiming he homeschools even though they do public school at home.
Elena says: Dan, I live in Ohio too. My oldest goes to Akron Digital Academy, a cyber school formed by the Akron Public School Board. My other four students are home schooled in that I filled out the notification form and sent an assessment by a certified teacher that they were working at their own level as required by Ohio law. So stating all that, I have to say that I love Bill Bennett's program. If I ever decided to use a public cyber school for my next oldest child, that's the one I would go with! However, it's not homeschooling. The legal requirements for enrolling my child in ADA was a lot different than what was required to homeschool. He has to take the Ohio proficiency tests, just as your son will. They are different.Dan turned off the comments so I can't respond on his blog, but what he and JettyBetty do not get is their insistence on calling public school at home, homeschooling, may someday limit the choices of real homeschoolers. That is why we do not want them calling themselves homeschoolers, not because we are elitist or because we think our method is superior, but because we do not want our choices limited.