Our area homeschool store periodically sends out an email newsletter and the most recent news included this tidbit that I thought might be helpful to share:
Notes - We have recently had a rash of parents visit the store for help
after becoming disillusioned with "homeschooling". The problem was that they
weren't really homeschooling - their children were enrolled in "virtual" (or K-12)
at-home schooling programs. These government-funded, public school programs are
just that - public school at home, not homeschooling in the true sense. While
new homeschoolers may be looking for guidance and even free curriculum, this
option offers them none of the freedoms they had envisioned as home educators.
Several of the limitations created by these programs include:
- Government-selected curriculum vs. customized for your individual child
- Requirement to log attendance and hours in line with public attendance laws
- Requirement to submit samples of work to school authorities
- Oversight by a teacher, leaving the parent as the "learning coach" only
- Complete elimination of all faith-based material
- Inability to participate in any other public school activities at your local school
- Obligation to fulfill state testing and grad standards requirements
- Inability to study subjects as a family as all subjects are grade specific
All of this results in much longer school days vs. true homeschooling.
We encourage anyone considering enrolling in a virtual at-home program to first
explore the other options and support available. When considering your true
goals in bringing your children home, we believe that you will not be satisfied
by the reality of what public education at home has to offer. You really can do
this without government oversight, and we're here to help!
I know some families use the public school homeschooling program and are happy with it, yet this store obviously has seen some dissatisfied parents and a video I saw at the MACHE conference put out by the HSLDA compared this government effort to a Trojan horse, aimed at growing more invasive over time. What is your experience?