I've slipped once again into my sucking-as-blogger funk, having posted so fitfully that I probably ought to be ashamed.
I had a rant all worked up about a bunch of people complaining about anti homeschooling media bias for not informing us all that a spelling bee winner was homeschooled, and their comments to the story are just ridiculous, especially when you learn that the child in question isn't really a homeschooler. He's actually a student of the public school whose family has opted into a program that allows children to do public schooling from home.
Outside of the homeschooling universe it may seem that the differences are not worth being concerned with, but inside our little world, it is a big deal. My family has opted out of compulsory schooling for a variety of reasons, though many of our reasons are shared by both the left and the right side of the homeschooling world.
Public school at home programs often sound like a great idea. The program often offers the family many resources, presumably free, such as computers and access to teachers. If that is the best idea for your family, then your family should by all means pursue such a program, but we ask that you not pretend that you are homeschoolers. In fact, most homeschoolers, though they may agree with my opinion that this family is not homeschooling would in fact argue for their right to seek out the best educational model for their family, and to me, that's the very heart of homeschooling, reviewing all possible options to best aid your family.
The problem has to do with questions of law. As homeschoolers, we often have chosen this to allow our family an amount of freedom from the teaching that happens in a public school. Teaching history provides a great example of my opinion. I want my kids to find history through a variety of sources and develop the ability to pick out the thread of truth. While this is possible even with children who attend brick and mortar public school, it's much less likely as the children need not be concerned with truth so much as the answer that is expected and deemed right by the system.
A further problem comes when these public school at home families start to represent homeschooling more than we are able to represent ourselves. We fear that legal issues will arise that will eventually erode our freedom to educate our children as we see fit. We fear that these programs will come to replace what we feel is our right to raise our children and educate them.
And that's my rant. The people on the wings never help anyone, and we'd all be glad if they'd just shut the fuck up. I did provide a link to the wackos that I'm discussing, but I'd be doing you a disservice if I suggested you go and read it. No one has that much time in their day.