Learning at home: Homeschooling another option for parents, children, 24 May 2007, Melrose Free Press, Beverly, Massachusetts Move over public and charter schools. There’s another game in town, and it continues to grow in popularity in Melrose and other communities. Home schooling, or “home learning” as some like to call it, was something of an underground movement even just a few years ago. But as more organizations supporting the self-educating of children have cropped up and home schoolers have grown in numbers, the movement is no longer grassroots.This year marks the 10th anniversary of North Suburban Home Learners (NSHL), a nonprofit organization founded by two parents to provide information, socialization, classes and services to home schooling families in and around Melrose and other communities in Middlesex Country.
The article is well-balanced in terms of the information offered about homeschooling, and the reactions of parents and children. The one, perhaps most predictable, inclusion that disturbs the tenor of the article is the nearly-obligatory opinion of a public school administrator.
Asked if the requirements were perhaps too lax, Muxie said, “It is difficult in terms of really getting specific info on a child and his or her progress. I would like it to be much more structured as an administrator, but can we make it more structured? No, we can’t,” she said, due to state laws. Muxie said even home visits aren’t required, and there is no standardized testing requirement, including the MCAS tests.
“I think we could tighten it up a little bit and encourage more outreach on our end,” Muxie said, adding, “We’re in the process of changing the forms that we’ve used in the district in the past.”
This viewpoint makes me wonder if the public school administrators also think they ought to do “outreach” to private schools as well. I also wonder why articles about public school activities don’t include obligatory opinions from homeschooling parents or administrators of umbrella schools.
posted by Valerie