Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can someone explain to me.....

Why the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention (http://www.cincinnatihomeschoolconvention.com/) would allow the Virtual Community School (http://www.vcslearn.org/) and K12 (http://www.k12.com/who-we-help/homeschoolers/) to set up booths at their convention? Does this seem to anyone else like La Leche League (http://www.llli.org/) allowing formula companies to set up booths at their National convention? Virtual Community School and K12 are NO MORE HOMESCHOOLING than formula is BREASTMILK. They are NOT THE SAME! Virtual Community school and K12 are PUBLIC SCHOOL over the internet.....you are NOT HOMESCHOOLING your child, you are allowing public school to be administered IN YOUR HOME! If you are going to allow VIRTUAL SCHOOLS to PURCHASE booth space at a HOMESCHOOLING CONVENTION, then why not let the local private and public schools to purchase space as well...why even call yourself a HOMESCHOOLING convention if you are promoting options that AREN'T HOMESCHOOLING?

It really irks me when people who enroll their children into these virtual academies like VCS or OVHA think they are homeschooling or even worse, portray themselves to the rest of the homeschooling community as homeschoolers. It bothers me even more when these families lead others astray and encourage them to "homeschool" using a virtual academy. One homeschooling list that I am part of, that isn't very big (probably less than 100 families), has about 10 families participating in virtual academies and they frequently sent out emails to the group encouraging others to join. Now if I was to send out emails extolling the merits of our local school district and encouraging everyone to enroll their children in a local school, the emails wouldn't even make it onto the email list, they would be edited out by the moderator (as they should be), but for some reason it is OK to perpetrate the lie that virtual schooling is HOMESCHOOLING. Part of me wonders why as VIRTUAL SCHOOLERS they even join HOMESCHOOL groups, seems to make about as much sense as me joining the PTO at the local school.

It annoys me that when someone puts Ohio homeschooling into a search engine, because they can AFFORD to pay for the advertising (with our tax dollars!) that Ohio K12 (http://www.k12.com/ohva/) is the FIRST LINK that appears, I just pray most people are smart enough to go further down the page. And just so they get their "fair shake" here, I can't forget to include Connections Academy (www.connectionsacademy.com) who seems to almost MONTLY send me a postcard in the mail encouraging me to join their virtual school. I am not sure if they just do mass mailing to everyone with a school aged child within the state of Ohio or if they target us specifically as a homeschooling family. Neither would surprise me.

Yes, virtual academies have their place. I am sure for some students and parents they are an absolute God send, the answer to their prayers to keep their child/children out of the local school system. But call it what is it.....it is PUBLIC SCHOOL at home. It ISN'T HOMESCHOOLING!

2 comments:

Jody said...

I totally agree!

kristen said...

I agree, and I'm a teacher for a K12 (public school) academy. I have a lot of homeschooling friends, and refer to our school as schooling at home, not homeschooling (I often have to educate our families on the differences). K12 does offer curriculum for folks to purchase individually, though, and those materials can be used for homeschooling. Lots of folks just aren't familiar enough with all the options to use the correct vocabulary.

I love that I have families doing all mixes of things... full-time virtual school, part-time virtual/part-time homeschool, and part-time virtual part-time unschool. If parents choose to homeschool or unschool certain subjects, they are not enrolled with us for those studies, and we do no monitoring or dictating of how those subjects are taught. (I do love hearing about what they are doing in those subjects, though, when families choose to share.)

Kudos to you for all your great work with your kids!