Monday, July 19, 2010

Fighting with the choir

Recently I read a discussion about the difference between Homeschooling and Schooling at Home.  What? You didn't know there was a difference?  Neither did I.  Apparently one is where you use someone elses curriculum and the other one is where you do it all on your own.  I don't know anyone who does it all on their own so there must not be very many homeschoolers out there.  All the rest of us just school at home.  Ridiculous isn't it?  

People who share the same beliefs, whether it be religion or politics or parenting, are not always going to agree with each other 100% of the time.  Especially when you get down to the nitty gritty. The overall basic tenets is what brought us together, but its not what keeps us together.  What keeps us together is the understanding that we do agree on the big things if not the little things.  We are willing to over look the stuff that is minor, the stuff that makes us individuals.  The problem arises when you don't.

Its kinda fun to get together and share a rant session,  to tell each other they are just preaching to the choir.  Its not so much fun when you get together and someone starts ranting about how you are wrong and they are right, even though at the end of the day you two believe basically the same thing.  I don't care what kind of teaching tools you use, if you are doing it at home you are homeschooling...and thus schooling at home.  There is no difference. 

I remember when I had my kids in school and I had this conversation with the teacher.  My kindergartner had homework.  I wasn't thrilled with that.  I sent them to school for 8 hours a day and she had to come home and do more school work?  I told the teacher, 'If she is doing school work at home, then she is homeschooling and I should just not send her to school anymore'.  We, as homeschoolers, can't split fine hairs defining what is and is not a true homeschooler.  If you do that, you are fighting with the choir.  Its not only argumentative and combative, it also splinters a cohesive group. 

What is keeping homeschoolers together is the mutual understanding that our children are learning at home.  Whether you do unit studies or unschooling or k12 or Abeka or Bob Jones.  Its all still homeschooling.  Be confident enough in your decisions about the type of schooling that you do so that you don't find yourself fighting with the choir. 

Now, I am off to find my choir.  I have some preaching to do.  Better take my soapbox with me. 


  1. You're right in that the work parents who keep their kids home to school is greater than those who send them to a school... that is true no matter the kind of educating method said parents use.

    However, I must differ with you about the whole choir thing. When someone chooses to use the public school system's system for homeschooling their child it is not the same as those parents who educate their children by whatever means they have determined are correct and best for their child OUTSIDE the public school system's specific control and authority.

    When someone uses the PSS's stuff to educate their child, that is School At Home. The distinction is necessary because the parents who choose School At Home put themselves under the authority of the school system in a much more profound way than other homeschoolers. Each state is different, but here in FL I do not have to have my curriculum preapproved, I do not have to document hours, I do not have to have someone in my home regularly to check on the progress of my children (yearly evaluations are required, but they do not have to be in the home and "regularly" to me is monthly or even quarterly). All those things are out the window if I chose to School At Home. The distinction is not simply for the sake of arguement. I have read only a little, but what I've read has been from a legal point of view on this subject. If we continue to be bunched together... those of us who choose our own curriciulum will eventually lose that right and be moved under increasingly strick regulation by the government... like the schools. And look how NOT great that's going! The distinction NEEDS to be made... and documented legally... to protect those of us who WANT to remain free-er from the tyrany of the powers that be.

  2. There is a huge difference between signing up for public school and doing that at home and using a prepackaged curriculum. And there is also a difference between legal definition and scrutiny from fellow homeschoolers. I use Abeka and Spectrum and there are those who would say I only school at home and not home school because I didn't create my own curriculum. And thats what this post is about. AZ law is very lax about homeschooling, I have to get an affidavit and thats it. There is no record keeping, next to Texas we have some of the best laws in the country for homeschooling. But according to some unschoolers and those who do unit studies I am not really homeschooling because I use actual curriculum. And given the legal definition here those who sign up for public school to do at home is NOT a homeschooler. So its already been clearly defined. But again, not what we are talking about at all.