The following series of articles is from the Lawrence Journal World of Lawrence, Kansas, and was published as the feature, Learning Outside the Lines, 13 May 2007. One of the interesting aspects of the series is the comments section at the end of each article. The readers of the newspaper are avid commenters.
The viewpoints of some of the commenters can be better understood in the context of Lawrence being the hometown of the Jayhawks. Visitors to town to buy Birkenstocks or dill salad dressing practically trip over professors and students. The culture of higher education permeates the town.
“Kansas is definitely what we’d call a good home school state,” says Ian Slatter, director of media relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “We’re essentially satisfied with what the law is in Kansas.”
In fact, if you tell certain officials you “home school,” they will send the posse out after you. But if you tell them you operate a nonaccredited private school in your home for your own children, you’ll get along just fine! If you think this is legal nit-picking, you’re right.
Seems as if HSLDA has a little bit of in-house differences of opinion; either that or ‘satisfaction’ comes in an unusual package.
Virtual schools are somewhat contentious within the home school community, if only semantically.
“There are those of us who don’t think virtual schooling is home schooling,” says David Barfield, a Lawrence home school parent and advocate. “We think that’s doing public school at home.”
It isn’t semantic, it’s the essence of the virtual school.
Lawrence Virtual School
LVS (K-8) is a public charter school in the state of Kansas. The charter is granted through the Lawrence School District, USD 497. The school is managed by the local school board and delivers curriculum by K12 Inc. (“K12″).
Martha Bachert is sick of the question: How do your children meet anyone if they’re home-schooled?
“We’ve all heard it a lot,” she says. “We call it the ‘s-word': socialization. Our lives are so full of it (socializing) that we have to say no. We have too much of that.”
The Kouns family, which now lives in Tonganoxie, uses curriculum through Lawrence Virtual School, although Sarah Kouns said some home-schooling families preferred other options besides virtual schools.
Ballard plans to home school her daughter, and in doing so joins a growing number of families who choose not to send their children to public or private schools.
“It’s a strong statement: I don’t think the professionals can do as good a job educating my child as I can,” Ballard says.
More parents are agreeing with that assessment, according to government figures and groups that advocate home education.
It was the article above that prompted me to note at the top of this post about how avidly the LWJ readers comment.
While home school was supposed to be a temporary solution, the Farris family found a program when they moved to Basehor that went above and beyond their needs.
The Basehor-Linwood Virtual School sent the Farrises a card in the mail inviting them to join the program, which caters to all students who cannot or choose not to attend traditional public school for any reason.
Basehor-Linwood Virtual School: “BLVS operates as a fully accredited program with 36 certified teachers within the Basehor-Linwood Unified School District 458.”
Many people ask us what is next since we are now finishing up our home schooling journey. We continue to believe that private home education is a great way to prepare children for life as we are able to select and pace curriculum to benefit each child’s learning style, interests and gifts, and to fulfill our responsibility to raise our children as we believe God desires.
Even though our days of home schooling our own children are coming to an end, we still desire to support others who wish to home school in this way. I will continue to teach science classes to home school students in our support group, and my husband and I will continue on the TEACH Board in an advisory capacity.
Since I was 6, the most constant question in my life has been “What grade are you in?”
It’s a fairly basic question, and most children can answer it without thinking. It categorizes children in people’s minds, unless a child simply doesn’t fit.
Most people assume that home schooling is just the same as school, except at home. While for some people this is true, for most it’s not. Home schooling, like most things, is a wide continuum, ranging from people who spend eight hours a day with a curriculum to people like me.
Hi, my name is Claire and I have been home-schooled for the past four years. I am a seventh-grader, and I am home schooled through the Lawrence Virtual School. There are a few things I would like to share with you about my view of home schooling. I will share my “likes” first and then share my “dislikes.”
Indeed, I’m often surprised by what Rain knows. Through books, television, radio, talking with people, Internet browsing, classes, live lectures and perhaps osmosis, she’s acquired a rich tapestry of background knowledge and an impressive skill base. The availability of resources for learning in today’s world is amazing to me, and Rain has learned to maneuver this world with dexterity and grace.
posted by Valerie