The end of the month produced a small flurry of generic ‘about homeschooling’ news articles across the country.Â
- Norwin Star, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, 19 July 2006, This learning is child’s playÂ Â Â Â
“I have a friend who counts the days of summer, so she can send her kids back to school. That is so alien to me as my homeschooling is to her,” Cantini says. “I want to be able to enjoy those ‘aha!’ moments when the gears actually click and something they’re learning is actually learned.”
Â (the article is about the play group)
- Home Educator’s Family Times, Brunswick, Maine, Home is Where the Learning IsÂ Â Â Â Â Â
I know I have come to appreciate the process of teaching my children what they need to know.Â I have seen the benefits of homeschool in many families as well as my own.Â We are closer together, we talk more and I can solve conflicts my children have before they get out of hand.Â If I had to do it over again, I would still homeschool all of my children.
- Parents & Kids, Boston, Massachusetts, 25 July, 2006, The road increasingly traveled: HomeschoolingÂ Â Â Â
For one segment of the population, however, the balmy pre-autumn month carries a different set of images. Rather than shopping for back-to-school clothes and stocking the house with pre-packaged, lunch-friendly snacks, these families are more often leafing through curriculum catalogs and scheduling upcoming community field trips. They vary face-to-face, house-to-house, and run the gamut from PhDs to high school diplomas: we call them homeschoolers. These folks have opted-for the short- or long-term, for one, or for all of their children-to explore the alterative educational path of educating their sons and daughters independently
(three-page article, apparently the first of two, but the second isn’t yet at the site)
- Lakeland Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, 31 July 2006, Parents Are Taking Education Back HomeÂ Â Â Â
Home schooling is booming in Florida. More than 51,000 students were home-schooled in the state during the 2004-2005 school year. That’s up from fewer than 40,000 five years before.
This article has a lot of information about homeschooling in Florida, some of it not all that warm and fuzzy if you’re viewing it from a state with less regulation, but that’s something for Floridians to negotiate for themselves.Â
The article presents homeschooling as something that families continue to do in concert with state education authorities, but I don’t know if that is how homeschooling is developing in Florida, or if it’s only the way the reporter has perceived the situation after speaking with state officials.
- A lot of people in Florida have a very independent spirit,” said Steven Adams, director of charter, virtual and home education with the Florida Department of Education.
Director of home education?
The article does spell out differences between the users of virtual schools, and homeschoolers.
- He said these days there are many ways parents can participate in educating their children at home. But not all are considered “home education.”Â …Â Another option for parents is the Florida Virtual School. This is a state-run online school for sixth-graders through high school seniors. Students take classes on their computers at home but the classes are considered public-school classes.
The compulsion to return to public school if progress isn’t adequate leads to the question of what happens to publicly schooled kids who also don’t make progress.Â Where do they go?
- “If at the end of the first year they’re not showing progress, they’re put on probation for a year,” Weaver said. “You have another year to get that student to show progress. If after that second year they’re still not showing progress, then they can be compelled back into public schools.”
And then there are the (almost) humorous incidents.
- “I’ve had a number of phone calls saying, `I’m going to home school my kid, where can I pick up my curriculum?’ ” he said. “So there’s a lot of information that needs to be sent out. That’s done on a local level.”
All in all, the article is informative.