I wonder if there is some kind of root instinct in people for banding together, because that’s how the co-op phenomenon looks. I even tried a co-op class for the kids, once upon a time, so I’m familar with (one form of) the motivation.
I don’t know if it’s an ‘instinct’ or ‘urge’ or merely a desire for efficiency, but it seems, among some people, to work ‘against’ family homeschooling. X-number of people in a geographic area independently decide to homeschool, and before long they get together as homeschoolers, and soon there are co-ops and hired teachers, and everyone appears to be taking the first steps towards a private school. The phenomenon almost looks like an expansion (into homeschooling), then a contraction (back to the school model).
I don’t mean this to be a squeaky-squawky outburst, it’s just that I’m seeing this trend in more news articles.
Kentucky.com, Lexington, Kentucky, 4 February 2007, Home-schoolers gain socialization, specialized teaching
Home-schoolers commonly attend enrichment classes and take field trips, learning about unique subjects, meeting the expectations of someone other than their parents and having a chance to socialize.
Many members of the FAITH (Families Acquiring Instruction Through Home schooling) support group take part in regular enrichment classes, where more than 100 kids turn First Christian Church in Elizabethtown into a school. …
“A doctor actually teaches me biology,” he said. …
Parent Michelle Piscatello, for example, is an electrical engineer but has a passion for art and wanted to pass it on to children, she said. …
In another case, a police officer and father of home-schooled children teaches a D.A.R.E. class.
At the high-school level, parent Cindy Vaughn organizes the classes and teaches literary analysis.
Is the school model more efficient? Is it the manifestation of the ‘tribe’ passing along their culture? Is it just the model we’re imprinted with? Has that model become inevitable in this place and time?
No answers, just questions.
One caution: On an email list there was a recent warning about the IRS considering homeschool support groups who hire professional teachers to be employers — and to be responsible for FICA and Medicare withholding, and issuing W-2 forms.
posted by Valerie