"We should expect homeschooling to be a growth industry in years ahead."

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Diane Heeney's picture

I find it interesting that the public school system is getting it's foot in the door as well, through "public school at home" curriculum like the www.K12.com program I mentioned in another thread. In the brochure, they say,

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"If your son or daughter isn't thriving academically,you've probably hard complaints like these: "School is boring." "Everything takes so long." "The teacher doesn't make sense." "The kids are mean!"

Truth is, as much as we hate to admit it, a traditional brick-and-mortar school environment does not work for every child. Some get distracted by classmates. Some need a different pace, or more attention than a group setting can permit. Even with dedicated classroom teachers, it's impossible for any school to meet the needs of every child. Don't let yours fall through the cracks.

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The school-at-home programs in each state are different, but there are more strings attached than what they lead you to believe. Even though they claim to allow individualized instruction, it is still within the confines of state approved curriculum, standardized testing, public schools schedules, and credits for state approved courses only. Which is fine if that is what you want- just don't go taking the bait unless you've thoroughly examined the hook.

I've noticed many articles lately, in newspapers and blogs, that homeschooling isn't just for hippies and radical Christians anymore. Normal people are looking the idea over too, and seeing something they like and want to try. Bleah

Diane Heeney's picture

Susan R wrote:
The school-at-home programs in each state are different, but there are more strings attached than what they lead you to believe. Even though they claim to allow individualized instruction, it is still within the confines of state approved curriculum, standardized testing, public schools schedules, and credits for state approved courses only. Which is fine if that is what you want- just don't go taking the bait unless you've thoroughly examined the hook.

I agree Susan. As I said in the other thread, although K12 is being offered as a freebie currently in our state (and seems to be very popular nation-wide), the "price" may be too high. Without trying to be cynical, I can't help but wonder...is the public school system now recognizing the growing popularity of the homeschool movement, and, with programs like this, trying to somehow still maintain some control? I don't want to get all "Big Brother" about this, but to read statements like mine quoted above, and from a public school resource, perhaps is significant.

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Diane Heeney wrote:
Susan R wrote:
The school-at-home programs in each state are different, but there are more strings attached than what they lead you to believe. Even though they claim to allow individualized instruction, it is still within the confines of state approved curriculum, standardized testing, public schools schedules, and credits for state approved courses only. Which is fine if that is what you want- just don't go taking the bait unless you've thoroughly examined the hook.

I agree Susan. As I said in the other thread, although K12 is being offered as a freebie currently in our state (and seems to be very popular nation-wide), the "price" may be too high. Without trying to be cynical, I can't help but wonder...is the public school system now recognizing the growing popularity of the homeschool movement, and, with programs like this, trying to somehow still maintain some control? I don't want to get all "Big Brother" about this, but to read statements like mine quoted above, and from a public school resource, perhaps is significant.

I've spoken to several parents who use the cyberschooling programs in their state, and some of them like the structure, because they don't 'trust' themselves to be disciplined about their child's education without the accountability. But for those who want to homeschool because of the freedom to explore and pursue their interests and abilities, or because of learning delays, it has been a serious tangle of conflicting priorities- the program vs. the parents.

A lady who lives around the block from me used Ohio's cyberschool program, she was very unhappy about how the program was presented to her vs. how it actually worked. She could not individualize their instruction to the degree she was led to believe. She also found out she had to keep the public school schedule. When she had to have surgery, she got no support from those associated with the program who were supposed to act as tutors and homework helpers. The boys got 'behind' and were going to be 'failed' if they didn't finish their work by the 'end of the school year'. She was completely stressed out, and what she had hoped would be a good experience that encouraged her boys to love learning turned into a jungle of red tape with her boys tangled up in the middle.

I understand that when we are suspicious of gov't programs, it does sound paranoid, but when you've dealt with dishonest or incompetent state employees year after year, you can't help but be skeptical. And if you follow the money trail, then you realize that cyberschool students are counted as public school students, and the schools receive federal funds based on the number of students enrolled, be they physically in the classroom or schooling-at-home. Nothing new under the sun.

Diane Heeney's picture

Quote:
And if you follow the money trail, then you realize that cyberschool students are counted as public school students, and the schools receive federal funds based on the number of students enrolled, be they physically in the classroom or schooling-at-home. Nothing new under the sun.

I had not considered this aspect of it.

As always, Susan has the inside scoop--though I'm sorry your friend had such a bad experience. I hope she's found a better, doable solution.

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Thanks Diane- my neighbor did finish the year and then the following year she used Switched on Schoolhouse, which is economical, self-directed, and parent friendly. And what was a blessing is that next year her parents' health began to fail, and her family was able to minister to her parents (they moved in to their house) while the boys still keeping up with their schooling.

I think it is the family bonding experience that many homeschoolers seek nowadays. There are many times that we are out together and I receive comments about how my kids interact with the people around them- what is sad is that they express the novelty of well-behaved children who can speak intelligently and carry on a conversation with adults. What is nice is that it gives me a chance to witness about the Lord, (even though it's a temptation to just tout the benefits of homeschooling Smile ) because it is obeying God's Word as parents that results in character and kindness in our kids. Wink

Becky Petersen's picture

Susan R wrote:
Diane Heeney wrote:
Susan R wrote:
. And if you follow the money trail, then you realize that cyberschool students are counted as public school students, and the schools receive federal funds based on the number of students enrolled, be they physically in the classroom or schooling-at-home. Nothing new under the sun.

Definitely, that is how it was working in AK when I looked into it. For each student enrolled, the county got something like 6 or 8K, so if they gave the parents 2K for curriculum, they still came out way ahead, and for doing almost nothing. It is ideal for the government agency who figured out that they can get that much gravy.

Diane Heeney's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:
Susan R wrote:
And if you follow the money trail, then you realize that cyberschool students are counted as public school students, and the schools receive federal funds based on the number of students enrolled, be they physically in the classroom or schooling-at-home. Nothing new under the sun.

Definitely, that is how it was working in AK when I looked into it. For each student enrolled, the county got something like 6 or 8K, so if they gave the parents 2K for curriculum, they still came out way ahead, and for doing almost nothing. It is ideal for the government agency who figured out that they can get that much gravy.


Some folks just have too much time on their hands. If they need something genuinely productive to do, my lawn needs cutting. :~ KWIM?

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I fairly skeptical about research papers and statistical data. It is so easily formed into whatever lens you need to focus people on whatever agenda you are trying to promote. After I read Dr. Mohler's article, I later got around to reading the NCES report itself (it's only 359 pages). Then I saw that the USA Today had done a http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-05-28-homeschooling-report_N... 'summary' of the report. Oscar Mayer has nothing on the USA Today.

Parents who home-school children increasingly are white, wealthy and well-educated — and their numbers have nearly doubled in a decade, a new federal government report says.

Puhlease. For starters, the percentage of 'white' families who home educate went from 75.3% in 1999 to 77% in 2003 to 76.8% in 2007. And that's only reflective of those states in which homeschoolers are required to report this kind of information, if any, to their DoE. Who knows what the real numbers are? Certainly not the USA Today.

Voddie Baucham does a good job of http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2009/5/30_USA_Today_Misses... interpreting USA Today's misinterpretation of the data-

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...as evidence of the “wealth” of these families, the report states, “Home schooling has grown most sharply for higher-income families” (emphasis added). The author bases this assertion on the fact that, “In 1999, 63.6% of home-schooling families earned less than $50,000. Now 60.0% earn more than $50,000.” What the report doesn’t tell you is that their definition of “higher-income” is a complete farce. According to the Census Bureau, median income in 2008 was $50,233 (the mean was over $67,000 the year before). In other words, sixty percent of homeschool families are at median income level (and well below the mean). I’m no mathematician (remember, I’m a product of government schools), but I’m pretty sure that there is a big difference between ‘median’ income and “higher-income”.

Moreover, the story ignores two crucial facts. First, the story completely glosses over the fact that median income in 1999 was only $38,885. Thus, it stands to reason that the number of people making over $50,000 a year would be higher in 2009. This is merely a reflection of increasing wealth overall, not a shift in socioeconomic status. The author could well have said “Americans are increasingly wealthy” based on the same statistics! This has nothing to do with home educators coming from a wealthier class than they did ten years ago.

Second, the story ignores the fact that income levels of homeschool families (unlike private school families) mirrors the income levels of government school families. In a 2008 report ironically titled, “As Popularity of Home Schooling Grows, Greater Numbers and More Diversity among Families Choosing Option”, the Hoover Institution found:

[color=blue ]Among both homeschooling families and public school families, about 26 percent have an income of $25,000 or less; less than 10 percent of private school families come from the same income bracket. On the other end of the spectrum, less than 22 percent of homeschooling families and slightly more than 25 percent of public school families have an income of more than $75,000, compared to 50 percent of private school families.[/color ]

That’s right, there is a slightly higher percentage of “higher-income” families in government schools (25 percent), and a significantly higher percentage in private schools (50 percent) than among home educators (22 percent). Moreover, home education offers an open door to lower income families that practically does not exist in the private school sector. In other words (surprise, surprise), USA Today is slanting the story! Their piece paints a picture of filthy rich families teaching their children at home simply because they have the financial wherewithal to do so, while the “wealthy” families are in fact more prevalent in government and private school ranks.

Dr. Mohler is right about home education growing, and as this lifestyle and educational method becomes more widespread and therefore influential, you can just bet that there will be a corresponding increase in the desire to market to this demographic, as well as an effort to control it.