Daryl has put up another link to an article that equates cyber-schoolingÂ (aka, cyber-charters, e-school, virtual schooling, public-school-at-home)Â with homeschooling:Â “All three, after all, are public schools. The cyber charters are different, of course, in that they are a form of homeschooling.”Â Â
Daryl doesn’t thinkÂ public cyber-schooling is homeschooling and says, “It’s an editorial, folks.Â You know what to do.”Â Â The first reply to his suggestion is, “Ignore it and move on?”Â
I’ve been thinking a lot about that tactic (ignoring) for a variety of reasons, not just concerning homeschooling.Â The main objection I have to ignoring — as tempting as it is because of the number of responses I’d like to make merely after reading the morning newspaper; after all, one can run off in only so many directions at onceÂ — is the impression created by the ignoring.
If Y is misinforming (or appears to X be misinforming), and if X is of that opinion but doesn’t point out that Y is, in X’s opinion, misinforming, then there is no ‘alternative’ information to work with.Â If a change occurs because of Y’s idea standing unchallenged, then X can’t complain when Y’sÂ plan is elevated to ‘common sense’ or policy, or whatever.
This is a problem for homeschoolers of the ‘cat herd’ persuasion [dial-up warning -- video download].Â WeÂ Of TheÂ Cat Herd areÂ ‘united’ by homeschooling, but we pursue it in so many different ways that the common ground, other than ‘homeschooling’ (however it’s practiced), is lacking.Â “Leave me alone” is not a uniting theme.Â (yet)
ManyÂ homeschoolers don’t have in mindÂ specific public policies for homeschooling any more than we have in mindÂ specific public polices for weekly menu planning.Â Yes, it’s helpful that public health nurses can find dietary information for us, but, I’m assuming, most of usÂ don’t want to be required to comply with compulsory community menus, even though having such menus would simplify food acquisition, just as public schooling simplifies the education of children for individual families.
- If community menus were instituted,Â Chief Cooks and Bottle WashersÂ could merely enrollÂ the family’s individuals with theÂ Community Menu Authority, and the dieticiansÂ would order the appropriate amount and kind of food necessary for a healthy diet depending on age, fitness level and special tracks, such as vegan, vegetarian, orÂ kosher.Â Â With a doctor’s prescription, menusÂ could be formulated for people with allergies or medical conditions requiring a special diet.Â Â Â
Food would be purchased in bulk saving all of us money, and time.Â No longer would we have toÂ think up menus, clip coupons or read the sales flyers.Â It would all be one-stop shopping for discount-priced food.Â
Seasonal production would be taken into account so that whatever was in season would be factored in, andÂ corporate farms could plan for each season.Â The foodÂ could all be packaged and delivered to the local public Menu Distribution Facility for weekly pickup.Â Pickups could be staggered so that everyone didn’t show up at once.Â
WeÂ could either pay taxes to support the program,Â or pay premiums to Food Management Organizations who would make the payments for usÂ to the individual Community Menu Offices.Â In this way,Â wealth redistribution would be encouraged and families with less money would be subsidized by those who can afford to pay more.Â
The stigma of accepting charity would be removed because everyone would be in the program.Â In this wayÂ there would be no need for food stamps, food pantries, or soup kitchens.Â Hunger in America would be eradicated, and the problems of obesity would slowly decrease as people were scientifically fed.Â Â
It sounds quite sensible.Â But you know there would beÂ individualists who would insist on opting out and either doing their own private shopping, or who would still eat out, thus driving up premiums because of decreased participation.
Yes, many ideas do die quiet deaths because of fatal flaws –Â myÂ public food program for one.Â But an idea that continues, and isn’t just a nine-day wonder, has to be addressed eventually in some form if it develops a following.Â Â Either one adapts to the change, or buttresses oneself to deal with questions (at a minimum) as to why one doesn’t buy into the change.Â Â We can’t all relieve our frustrations byÂ writing booksÂ such as Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club:Â Pulling the Plug on the Electronic RevolutionÂ (well, we can write them, but getting themÂ published is something else).Â Those of us who don’t get withÂ popular programs mayÂ have to deal with the consequences daily:
“What’s your cell phone number?”
“I don’t have a cell phone.”
“You don’t have a cell phone?!”
“No.Â If I did, people would call me on it.”
“Well, how can I get in touch with you?”
“Call my home phone.”
I’ll admit that I’veÂ caved in to modern sensibilities a bit and we do have an answering machine.Â Â Before we hadÂ theÂ answering machine the reply to how to get in touch with meÂ was, “Call back,” or “Write.”Â My ‘lead pencil’Â mental adjustment to the answering machine is to consider theÂ it a form of electronic butler who says, “I’m sorry, but Madam isn’t receiving calls today.”
I still have to deal with the stores who want my phone number to put into their cash registers.Â Sorry, it’s unlisted.Â (I also use cash with them) Â The clerks dither every time, but I refuse to get with their program.Â One way or the other, you deal with change.
I often feelÂ that, in matters of someÂ advocacies,Â the tail is wagging the dog.Â But if the dog doesn’t sit down on the tail occasionally, it wags the dog more and more, which is why we can’t just ignore the misinformation and the changes that develop from it.