Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Who is a "true" homeschooler?

When a mother at church asked me about homeschooling our six children and I mentioned our involvement in a co-op, she said, "That sounds good, but it doesn't sound like true homeschooling to me."

So, who is a "true" homeschooler?

A recent Wall Street Journal article referenced a 2007 statistic by the National Center for Education Statistics where online schoolers were included among the 1.5 million children who were homeschooled. But some homeschool advocates would say, "Using virtual academies is not true homeschooling." (Annette explains why here.)

All of the various choices available to parents who want to educate outside the "pupil shed" led reader Carol Topp to wonder if it is time to create a new term for what we do because "true home schoolers" are public virtual school families.
I think we home educators messed up when we started using the term "homeschooling." "Parent directed learning" is a better term for what we do, but it is a mouthful.

"Homeschooling" is a term that better describes public school at home.

Now the waters are muddied. I read an article in our local paper about a gathering of public virtual school students and parents. 230 families in our area and 2,042 in the state. The article mentioned "home schooling" about 5 times. Thee public virtual school families are probably the *true* home schoolers.

We are the parent directed learning families. Can we find a better phrase?
So will the "true homeschoolers" please stand up and tell us what you think?

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