The school founded by Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband Will popped up in the news reader reports about homeschooling.
- Will and Jada Fund a New Elementary School, 29 June 2008, E! Online
- Scientology is focus of flap over Will Smith’s new school, 29 June 2008, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California
- New Village leases site from school district, 1 July 2008, Ventura County Star, Camarillo, California
- Scientology sect claim just science fiction: Will Smith, 2 July 2008, The Australian, Sydney, Australia
Apparently there are others as well, but I didn’t go looking for them.
Normally, I’d give this a pass because my cut-off for homeschooling relevance could be said to be the front door of the house.
Yes, yes, parents can choose any form of information-delivery for their children, and pigeonhole it in whatever way they wish (like the lady behind me on the plane who explained to her seat-mate that she ordered the chicken entree and not the beef because she was a vegetarian [hand-to-heart, she said it, and no, I’ve not got a clue why she had to justify choosing one over the other] ), but for inclusion here, my own general guideline is that for newsworthy relevance to [James Earl Jones voice] Homeschooling, if the emphasis of the enterprise lies outside the family front-door, then the news applies to another form of education/information-delivery. If I didn’t have some form of cut-off, lord knows how long I’d be sitting in front of this computer.
Unfortunately, the media writers don’t make that distinction, so news outlets publish reports with connections-to-homeschooling such as,
The New Village Academy, a home-school program established by actor Will Smith and his wife, actress-singer Jada Pinkett Smith, will move this fall to the former Calabasas site of Indian Hills High School in the Las Virgenes Unified School District.
[my underlining so you didn’t have to guess what I was on about]
Yes, my distinction has a ‘can of worms’ aura about it (“But what if I send my child to an art class??”), and no, I’m not looking to exclude people or form a clique. It’s just that a private school [the mechanics, the laws, the physical plant] is something different from homeschooling. Many forms of information-delivery are effective as education, but lumping them all together as if one equals the other just makes for a muddle. Yes, I could have ignored the stories, but, hey, they’re about Will Smith. (!) (As the boss of the staff here at NewsComm — 2 cats and a scaredy-cat granddog [Zina] on thunderous days — I decide the latitude of the reports. It’s a perk.)
I hope the children of parents who find value … or whatever … in the Smiths’ approach do well. Goodness knows that kids can learn from all manner of instruction.
The ‘story,’ Will Smith’s homeschool program, just ain’t about Homeschooling.