OK, so I’m trying to make heads or tails of the forum post an online friend found in which one commenter has confused public-school-at-home with homeschooling and is railing about homeschooling being a scam and a money-pit for taxpayers. After two days the blog post I’m working on still sounds as if it was written by a reactionary buttressing the dikes against the seas of change.
The waters of change are slopping over the top of the dike and I’m tired of being wet. Maybe there is an interesting story I haven’t yet picked up from the news alerts? I save the blog post, refresh the screen, and skip over to my blog reader. I see a post by Daryl. He points, without much comment, to an article about the Keyser school districtnot being able to figure out what a homeschooler is because they’ve got full-time students using the designation of homeschooler. (Maybe those families are ‘free-choice-schoolers,’ but how can the kids be homeschooled if they’re usually at school? ‘Not at home’ I can understand, but usually at school?) A commenter at Daryl’s thinks it’s all peachy-keen, and another commenter says she’s flying under her own ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ radar.
I don’t want to kvetch today. It’s Friday. I want something easy to write about, something cheerful. (editorial privilege, plus Daryl’s already got the follow-up Keyser story in the Blogosphere, so I’m not suppressing anything) I go to the news alerts figuring I’ll post some stories from there. I click on the newest alert.
Athletic bond issue set for August ballot, 19 April 2008, The Buckeye Lake Beacon, Hebron, Ohio
Thornton asked for some guidance from board members after two district homeschooling families asked about part-time academic and activity participation. Specifically mentioned were band, athletics, and some math/science courses. He said the Ohio High School Athletic Association allows home-schooled students to participate in athletics, provided the district has a specific policy addressing it. Thornton noted that district home school parents are paying the same taxes as other residents. “I would like to pursue it with guidelines,” he said. “I think there have to be standards.”
No, not this one. I don’t feel like repeating my mantra that even people without the ability to use the schools pay taxes. I also don’t feel like tilting at the accountability windmill, or the warning about strings tied to usage. I click on the next alert.
These kids really want to stay home from school, 17 April 2008, The Western Star, Lebanon, Ohio
Whereas Veritas has a mix of enrichment and educational classes, other home-school groups are more structured and follow a model. Classical Conversations models their co-op classes after the classical model of education that focuses on students practicing rhetorical skills like debate, oral presentations, written exposition, protocol and performance.
Walking into Deerfield Methodist Church where Classical Conversations meets, a group of 4- and 5-year-olds are lined up across the altar steps singing multiplication tables.
Who’s having the break from reality, me or the headline writer? These kids are not home from school, they’re just in a different kind of school. I go on to the next report.
Board to hear save-school plan, 17 April 2008, The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, British Columbia
Three trustees with the Coalition of Progressive Electors have already thrown their support behind the plan, which calls for Garibaldi annex to become a hybrid of regular schooling and home schooling.
Great. Now a school will be holding homeschooling classes. The one thing that the word homeschooling no longer seems to mean in the mainstream press is homeschooling. Is all this an example of poor reporting skills or over the past eleven years have the frogs been well and truly boiled?
One of these reports I’d just blow off, two would have been irritating, three would have been a pattern. But five in a row? That’s definitely a trend. Over the years people have asked (concerning the articles advising caution) ‘where’s the beef?’ Today, up there [she points back up the article], up there’s the beef.
TGIF. I’ll see you next Monday.