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We Stand For Home Schooling
we stand for ^ | 5 Jun 2003

Posted on 06/08/2003 7:14:39 PM PDT by steplock

We Stand For Homeschooling

The very nature, language and essence of homeschooling are being challenged and even co-opted by a vast array of emerging educational programs which may be based in the home, but are funded by government tax dollars, bringing inevitable government controls. These new "home-based" publicly-funded entities are variously called: charter schools, cyber-charters, e-schools, Independent Study Programs (ISP), dual enrollment, Blended Schools Programs (BSP), Programs for Non-Public Students (PNPS), Public School Alternative Programs (PSAP), virtual schools, academies, community schools, home bound, and other newly devised terms and concepts. There is a profound possibility that homeschooling is not only on the brink of losing its distinctiveness, but also is in grave danger of losing its independence. A recent article in Education Week illustrates the problem.

Now, the situation has been upended in an unanticipated manner as proponents of home schooling in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states use charter school regulations to launch cyber schools. In many cases, youngsters who were already being schooled wholly at home are simply turning to cyber charter schools as a conduit to public funding, but others who had been in classrooms are staying home, too, to take whole schedules of courses online.

This view is distorted and incorrect. The vast majority of homeschoolers has never sought public funding. The "proponents" are those who would make a profit from publicly-financed home-based education. These proponents are not homeschoolers. The newly-emerging consumers of these programs are being misled into thinking these programs are homeschooling. Anyone who is enrolled in a publicly-funded school program, even if that public school is based in the home, is a public school student and not a homeschooler.

Further evidence of an unprecedented crisis is seen in a report from the Ozaukee Press (WI). Reporting on the development of Wisconsin Virtual Academy, a for-profit K12, Inc. cyber-charter school directed by William Bennett:

[Northern Ozaukee] School Board member Kate Redmond said she liked the idea of using a virtual school to reach out to families that want homeschooling for their children. "It is bringing home schooling under the state's umbrella," Redmond said.

One of the most blatant examples of "blending" homeschooling with existing public school models is represented in the Okaloosa County (FL) Blended School Project (BSP):

This proposal is designed to create a seamless educational plan for two groups of students: students that are schooled at home and students that are schooled at "government schools" (public schools). The proposal on the following pages would add a third choice beyond just home school or government schools…Blended Schools.

In an additional report from the Akron Beacon Journal regarding Ohio's TRECA, a cyber-school consortium of multiple school districts:

Educating children at home is the fastest growing element of charter schools in the state. Enrollment could soar from about 3,000 cyberschool students last year to more than 12,000 in the next few years. The superintendent estimates that while the schools receive more than $5,000 in state and local money per child, the cost is only $2,500 per elementary pupil and $3,500 per high schooler. He said public school districts would use profits to fund other school programs, while for-profit companies would pocket the difference.

What happens to homeschooling when publicly-funded school programs come under fire as has already begun? What will be the inevitable results of this guilt by association? As cited in Education Week:

Ohio's first online charter school-the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow, or eCOT-received $1.7 million in state payments for students who may not have met enrollment requirements in September and October of 2000, a recent state audit concludes.

We understand that it is pure folly to define what homeschooling is because of its diversity; nor can any one group pretend to speak for all homeschoolers. However, some educational programs can be clearly identified as NOT homeschooling. It is time to take a strong stand. Any time home education comes under "the state's umbrella" through public funding, it is no longer homeschooling. It is now public schooling.


WHEREAS a significant aspect of homeschooling is the independence from government control that it holds for every family regardless of the approach to education they choose;

WHEREAS charter school enrollees are public school students;

WHEREAS publicly-funded programs have co-opted the very language which homeschoolers have developed and utilized for years, including words and concepts such as: home education, family-based, parent-directed, independent family education, and the very word homeschooling itself. Publicly-funded cyber-schools are often misidentified as homeschools and the public will view them as homeschools if they are allowed to co-opt the language of homeschooling;

WHEREAS it is clear that the strongest motivation of the proponents of publicly-funded programs is access to taxpayer monies;

WHEREAS savvy marketing and slick corporate styled PR campaigns are purposely blurring the distinct difference between a publicly-funded cyber-school conducted at a place of residence and a homeschool, and in the process they are insulting parents by stating that homeschooling is extremely "arduous", "you need not feel frantic," and you need an "expert;"

WHEREAS homeschool parents are capable, intelligent people who accept responsibility for their children's education and have been effective without the enticements of a computer, "experts," reimbursements or packaged curriculum, and have succeeded without standards-driven accountability models, testing and other government interference;

WHEREAS the biggest difference between homeschools and publicly-funded school programs is that homeschoolers take direct responsibility by choosing a curriculum, an approach to learning, and the principles and values on which these are based while publicly-funded school program parents accept and follow detailed instructions about what to learn and how to learn it, using a curriculum designed to comply with state requirements and values;

WHEREAS cyber-public schools masquerading as homeschools are justifiably under fire for abuses, inevitably tarring homeschooling with the same brush; and

WHEREAS corporations are finding willing accomplices in school district administrations who are enticed by the financial gains corporations are promising their districts. Public school districts, because of the loss of funding, have pre-empted the for-profit corporations by starting their own publicly-funded in-home programs, even districts which object in principle to charter schools,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the words and concepts of homeschooling should not be used by publicly-funded school programs, and/or by the corporations that control them, to seek legitimacy or profit;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the words and concepts of homeschooling should not be used to seek legitimacy by those who have chosen to enroll in a publicly-funded school program. These families should honestly call such enrollment what it is - enrollment in public school. Their choices should not compromise others' rights to remain independent.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the signers of this statement will work to ensure that the basic right to choose an education consistent with one's principles and beliefs is maintained for homeschoolers by informing homeschoolers and the general public that public school programs (including charter schools) that are easily confused with homeschools threaten the freedom to choose an education consistent with one's principles and beliefs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the signers of this statement will encourage homeschoolers to make known explicitly and publicly how public school programs that are easily confused with homeschools, threaten our basic homeschooling freedoms and the nature, language, and definition of homeschooling.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the signers to this document reclaim homeschooling.


We encourage you to print and circulate this document widely.
We also encourage others to join us by

View the Original Signers by clicking .

Download this document as an Acrobat .

Print a printer friendly directly from your browser.

Download Acrobat Reader HERE.


(1) Education Week "The Virtual Schoolhouse," by Gene I. Maeroff, February 26, 2003.

(2) Ozaukee Press, "Virtual school gets go-ahead in Fredonia," by Mark Jaeger, February 6, 2003.

(3) Okaloosa County (FL) Blended School Project Proposal at:

(4) Akron Beacon Journal, "Funding falls short for cyberschools," by Dennis J. Willard and Doug Oplinger, July 17, 2002.

(5) Education Week, "Ohio Audit Reveals Difficulties Of Tracking Online Students," by Andrew Trotter, December 5, 2001.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: charterschools; governmenteducation; governmentschool; homeschool; indoctrination; ohio; petition; poll; publicschool; resolution
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Your support needed to make strong stand for homeschooling

June 5, 2003 – Please join many homeschoolers and their allies who are publicly taking a stand for homeschooling. Why is this necessary? Because homeschooling freedoms are being threatened by the increase in both corporately-owned cyber charter schools and the creation of school district-sponsored programs directed at homeschoolers. Both are designed to bring homeschoolers under the control of public schools.

There are over 1000 signatures in just two days from a purely grassroots effort with no organization! Obviously this has hit a hot button. Here’s an alert that was sent to an Ohio homeschool statewide group.

Please pass this around to those who could possibly be interested.


1 posted on 06/08/2003 7:14:39 PM PDT by steplock
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To: steplock
Keeping Homeschooling free from government interference--BUMPS!
2 posted on 06/08/2003 7:22:57 PM PDT by TruthConquers
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To: 2Jedismom
home school ping!
3 posted on 06/08/2003 7:23:53 PM PDT by annyokie (provacative yet educational reading alert)
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To: steplock
I think that this is an attempt to put a crack into the homeschooling movement. You in Ohio and we in Michigan have extremely liberal laws when it comes to homeschooling. If you begin to pit homeschooler against homeschooler, I'm not sure that it won't come back to bite you in the butt.
My nephew is having a great success with the K-12 program which IS a charter in Ohio. Many people have the confidence to educate their children. My nephew and niece-in-law are 24 and were not sure that they could educate their son. K-12 was the answer.
People homeschool for different reasons. I personally am looking at homeschool to keep my daughter out of the element in the district schools. Other people do it for no government control, but if we begin fighting amongst ourselves, we may all lose.
I'm getting into the asbestos suit right now.
4 posted on 06/08/2003 7:38:45 PM PDT by netmilsmom (God Bless our President, those with him & our troops)
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To: netmilsmom
I'm with you. We homeschool and don't use any of the government programs, but I have no objection at all to them as long as they are voluntary.
5 posted on 06/08/2003 7:59:53 PM PDT by Restorer (TANSTAAFL)
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To: steplock
6 posted on 06/08/2003 8:03:30 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: homeschool mama
7 posted on 06/08/2003 8:12:32 PM PDT by Houmatt (Real conservatives don't defend kiddy porn!)
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To: Restorer
Ditto. We homeschool and accept no public money. Nor do I think we ever would. However there are some low income families who would like to take advantage of these type of programs.

I favor education choice. I want to be able to choose to school at home. I don't want to take away choices from families that want to school at home with government support. I find it ironic that so many homeschooling organizations are fighting to tell other families that they must homeschool "the right way" or not at all.

8 posted on 06/08/2003 8:39:14 PM PDT by PMCarey
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To: steplock
9 posted on 06/08/2003 8:49:58 PM PDT by Spirited
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To: netmilsmom
I completely agree about the disservice of this kind of "homeschool our way or else" proclamation. I've seen this proclamation discussed at length on a homeschool mailing list. I find it very troubling that some homeschoolers feel a need to be so divisive. I see it happen with private homeschoolers v. charter homeschoolers and even with unschoolers vs. curriculum users. In both cases people often feel the need to say that only their way is "real" homeschooling. I see frankly this kind of nannyism as a sign of insecurity. It's ironic that some of those who worry that charters are a "slippery" slope which will lead to government encroaching on private homeschooling feel the same need to control others' homeschool choices, rather than celebrating that we *do* have choices and the ability to choose what works best for our families year by year.

My personal point of view is that the charter homeschool is empowering. I am using my tax dollars -- the closest we'll ever get to vouchers in CA, I suspect -- to buy what I consider a high quality curriculum, K12. Using the charter also makes it easier for novice homeschoolers to take the plunge and withdraw from neighborhood schools. I personally know of several people who, after trying homeschooling through the charter, went on to homeschool privately. The charter opened doors and helped these people "think outside the box" of traditional schooling.

If the government directly threatens private homeschooling here in CA I would be among the first to declare myself a private homeschool and take a stand against this. Parents should have the right to direct their children's education as they see fit. (Fortunately the state homeschooling climate seems to shifting for the better under the new Superintendent of Education, who has removed language from the state's website telling parents that homeschooling without a credential is "outside the law.") I would also quit if I felt that the charter school teacher or requirements were too intrusive. To date I have yet to hear of a negative experience a CA parent has had with K12 and the California Virtual Academies (CAVA); to the contrary, I hear only that the teachers are very homeschool friendly and supportive.

Free choice includes my right to use my tax dollars to purchase a quality curriculum. To say that I am merely "masquerading" as a homeschooler is a juvenile insult. It is hard to take the hyperbolic language in this proclamation seriously. It is certainly not trying to win friends in a positive way. Why not build alliances by focusing on what unites, rather than what divides?

10 posted on 06/08/2003 8:54:51 PM PDT by GOPrincess
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To: Cathryn Crawford
As someone who was homeschooled, what's your opinion about homeschooling in general?
11 posted on 06/08/2003 9:03:12 PM PDT by Sparta (Tagline removed by moderator)
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To: netmilsmom; Restorer; PMCarey
People homeschool for different reasons. I personally am looking at homeschool to keep my daughter out of the element in the district schools. Other people do it for no government control, but if we begin fighting amongst ourselves, we may all lose....netmilsmom

I favor education choice. I want to be able to choose to school at home. I don't want to take away choices from families that want to school at home with government support. I find it ironic that so many homeschooling organizations are fighting to tell other families that they must homeschool "the right way" or not at all.....PMCarey

I'm in agreement with all three of you.

Our version of homeschooling is that we hired the best Christian teacher in the county to teach our two kids when they ran out of private school options in our small town. Within three weeks, we had seven other students joining our school in the third floor of our 1889 house.

That's what works for us.

It is not "traditional" homeschooling but, with a medical practice, I do not have the time to teach and my wife, who only two years ago was saying that public school was good enough for her, is, quite frankly, not cut out to teach homeschool.

Now, the kids are getting the best 6th and 7th Grade education in the county and my wife admits that public school would have been a disaster compared to what we have now.

The bottom line about our school is that like-minded parents and a like-minded teacher have control over our kid’s education.

We can afford to forgo any Government assistance but many families do not have such a luxury.

If you can trust parents to decide how to educate their children themselves, you can trust them to decide how much Government assistance and how many Government strings they are willing to accept.

12 posted on 06/08/2003 9:23:52 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Sparta
I enjoyed homeschooling a lot when I was in elementary school. It was nice being at home.

When I got older - about seventh grade - I started disliking it. I didn't have a social life, no real friends to speak of, and I was lonely. We lived in a rural area, so we didn't have the cool homeschooling groups that are available in the city.

By the time I hit ninth grade, I was thoroughly sick of it. I hated it. My parents - after three years - took note, and they enrolled me in a private school for the rest of the time.

I think homeschooling is an excellent concept. It is a great way to educate. I'm certian now that I was much better off at home than in the public school system.

However, the loneliness was great at times, and I didn't know how to relate to people my own age when I did start going to private school. I still struggle with feeling out of place and with confidence when it comes to people my own age. I always feel just a bit uncomfortable. I'm sure I'll grow out of it as I get older.

However, that's not to say that homeschooling is bad! Not at all! I just think that parents need to make certian that the child is getting the interaction they need with someone else besides just the parents. That's very important.

13 posted on 06/08/2003 10:16:14 PM PDT by Cathryn Crawford
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To: Cathryn Crawford
signed and passed on.
14 posted on 06/08/2003 11:46:05 PM PDT by lvmyfrdm
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To: steplock; TxBec
15 posted on 06/08/2003 11:58:22 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: PMCarey
Our state watchdog organization has been very involved with this issue and has a web page devoted to it.

>>These programs present to the public, and governing bodies, a more familiar, supervised and regulated form of “homeschooling.” The eventual result could be a lobbying of the legislature by public education to amend or abolish the Home-based Instruction law, and to re-absorb the homeschooling community into public education under the auspices of alternative education.<<

Washington state has a very generous homeschooling law curently and there has been several attemtps where legislatures have tried to take away rights and privleges we have both purposefully and accidentally (they didnt realize how certain wording in a law relating to public schooled students would effect homeschooled students.) The greatest fear is that if "Alternative Education Programs" become the norm for homeschooling then legislature might rewrite the laws and make independent homeschooling impossible. This would be a big deal in a state such as ours, In other states however APE programs could actually work in reverse and open up strict states to other homeschooling options.

Its kind of a tightwire.
16 posted on 06/09/2003 3:54:08 AM PDT by kancel
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To: steplock
I have a conflict here. I am for school choice. I am not saying that all parents who choose cyber schools can not homeschool or unschool, but how can we say we are for school choice when we want to deny some people, who could not do organic homeschooling, their choice.

I understand the fear is that our freedoms would erode, but why can't we have it both ways. The more people out of the government schools the better.

If the greedy jackels want their money, they will have to pay attention to the free market.

There will have to be changes made, because people are taking their kids OUT for a reason. IF they clean up the public schools and everyone gets choice, then isn't that ideal compared to the monolopy we have now? BTW I unschool :}

17 posted on 06/09/2003 5:06:52 AM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross ((were it not for the brave, there would be no land of the free -))
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To: steplock
18 posted on 06/09/2003 5:21:26 AM PDT by tutstar
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To: Cathryn Crawford
Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding your homeschool experience. Your thoughts on the need for social interaction with other children are especially noteworthy.

As a homeschool dad to a just-turned-eight-year-old, I worry about this, too. I'm not after "socialization" because that is a two-edged sword. Frankly, I don't want my son to internalize the behavior and thought-process of the typical eight-year-old.

The other side to this is that I don't want to raise a hermit, a misfit, a loner. We try to do that by encouraging (and, yes, sometimes insisting on) "extracurricular" activities...Scouting, Junior Golf and Tennis, Tae Kwan Do, outings with kids from families we like and trust.

Our goal is not to pick our son's friends, but to put him in situations where the pool of possible friends is of as high a standard as possible. So far, it's worked fairly well. We've hooked up with a homeschool group headed by a family we admire, and whose son is just old enough to be an excellent youth role model for our son.

The upshot of this is that we're involved in so many activities. We do our part as adults in volunteering with these organizations. Our homeschooled son has more opportunities for healthy interaction with other kids than the typical public-schooled student (if one takes time in class out of the equation). My nephew is a public school kid, and I love him very much. For him, his life is school and home. Nothing else. I think it's a pity, but that's my sister/BIL's issue, and I wouldn't begin to advise them.

That got a little long-winded, but thanks again for your thoughts.

19 posted on 06/09/2003 5:54:24 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: GOPrincess
I completely agree about the disservice of this kind of "homeschool our way or else" proclamation.

I'm with you, Princess. For all their excellent qualities and passioned defense of homeschooling families, I get a little put out with HSLDA sometimes. Especially their advice to avoid any kind of interaction with public schools.

Some states permit homeschooling families to take advantage of public school facilities and organizations, but not to "buy into" the whole public school course of study.

I'm told this is especially popular in Florida, where homeschooling teens often take Driver's Ed, Music, Lab Sciences, and Foreign Languages in the public school, but homeschool for other courses. I don't know if we'd do that, but I like it that there is an option for those that want to do so.

One of our reasons for choosing homeschooling was that we didn't want to subordinate our educational goals to someone else's agenda. Why would homeschooling families want to shove their agendas on other people?

In essence, we homeschooling families have told the government and all its beaurocracies to "mind your own business." I think it's time for a few of us to heed our own words.

20 posted on 06/09/2003 6:03:24 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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