Public-school at home, private school at home, umbrella school or independent? - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > Public-school at home, private school at home, umbrella school or independent?
2lilsweetfoxes's Avatar 2lilsweetfoxes 10:17 PM 04-04-2010
Which did you choose? What was your reasoning? Did it work as you expected? Did you change course? If you had to do it over, what would you do the same? Different?

ocelotmom's Avatar ocelotmom 10:53 PM 04-04-2010
None of the above?

I guess, technically, we're public school at home, because we're enrolled in the public school district independent study program. They provide optional materials and workshops a few times a week, we meet with a teacher once a week and give a report of our educational activities, and we're supposed to be meeting state standards.

In reality, we're free to use whatever curriculum we choose (and we use very little of the district-provided material), and while the reporting is annoying, there really isn't a ton of oversight or direction (unless we request it).

We decided to go this route because DS was heartbroken at the idea of not going to Kindergarten, and also heartbroken at the idea of not being able to go to Park Day with his homeschooled friends. This seemed like a reasonable compromise.

I think that it has been helpful overall to have the added accountability, and our teacher is absolutely wonderful. However, the lack of flexibility in scheduling is starting to chafe some.

If we were staying in the area next year, we would switch to a charter school, which provides money for classes and materials (of our choice, not getting stuck with whatever the district provides, as we are now!) and has fewer reporting requirements. As it is, we're moving to a state that has both less restrictions and less resources, and we'll be independent. I'm more comfortable with that idea now, after nearly two years of doing it the other way.
zjande's Avatar zjande 11:29 PM 04-04-2010
We don't really fall into the above either. Unless we're "independent" homeschoolers? I call us "structured, eclectic, Charlotte Mason inspired, homeschoolers".

What is "private school at home" & an "umbrella" school, anyway?
MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica 11:36 PM 04-04-2010
We're also none of the above- we are independent homeschoolers using the public school system part time (taking classes).

I like it, but we should have chosen fewer classes.
kittie313's Avatar kittie313 01:26 PM 04-05-2010
Public virtual academy, so public school at home essentially. If I had to go back and redo this school year, I'd still have chosen the k12 school we're using. HOWEVER, next year we won't be using it, we'll be independent homeschoolers. The k12 school was what we needed to get into the habit of schooling at home daily, and the structure, accountability, and support that we have from it this year was definitely needed as we've struggled with a few things, but I think that I have enough confidence after this year to go it on my own without all that. Plus, I won't be teaching two kids back-to-back levels of history and science next year this way because the k12 school said we can't combine them into the same grade level.
ocelotmom's Avatar ocelotmom 03:37 PM 04-05-2010
Originally Posted by zjande View Post
What is "private school at home" & an "umbrella" school, anyway?
An umbrella school is a private, usually distance learning school where the parent keeps records of their self-chosen curriculum and submits them to the school, which issues official transcripts and diplomas. They usually also provide some level of support and resources. I think these used to be more common before homeschooling became more mainstream.

I'd interpret "private school at home" as a distance learning/correspondence course type of thing, where the curriculum is provided by and work submitted to the school (kind of like K-12 is often considered public school at home), but I suppose it could also apply to a prepackaged complete curriculum.
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 03:39 PM 04-05-2010
We went with a state charter school.

Dh just wasn't convinced that independant schooling would work for us, partly cost and partly because at the time I was hormonally insane and we were having issues in our marriage. To him I did not look like a great teacher at the time.

I didn't really like the idea but was willing to try it, and it has been a lot better than I was imagining. They are flexible, let ds's work at their own paces, have no problem with me supplementing with lots of other stuff, and don't pester us. I think we will stick with this for at least a few more years, maybe through highschool.
SagMom's Avatar SagMom 04:56 PM 04-05-2010
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
Which did you choose? What was your reasoning? Did it work as you expected? Did you change course? If you had to do it over, what would you do the same? Different?
We're very happy to be independent. We've enjoyed the freedom to do what we want, when we want, how we want, without having to follow anyone else's guidelines or outlines or requirements.
Spookygirl's Avatar Spookygirl 05:29 PM 04-05-2010
We use a public charter school. They purchase the curriculum that I choose, or I use what they already have in their library. I meet with a teacher once a month. I use it because I like having the oversight, I like knowing that DD is staying on target. I never know what the future will hold, and if she ever had to go to PS, I'd hate for her to be at a disadvantage.
MyLittleWonders's Avatar MyLittleWonders 05:33 PM 04-05-2010
We are technically a private school - that is the way our state views independent home schoolers. But, for us, that means we are independent, on our own. I would not change things at all. I have friends that are part of a public charter school umbrella, and though they get a good amount of money to spend each semester for school-related expenses (including approved classes and lessons), they are also subject to state testing as well as being over-seen by a teacher.
Smithie's Avatar Smithie 05:44 PM 04-05-2010
We are using a virtual charter school (K12) for kindy this year. I was hoping to get my ds some OT for his fine motor problems.

Next year, we'll be independent homeschoolers. The OT failed to materialize, and while I don't think the K12 curriculum is useless, it sure as heck is more shallow, scattershot and image-focused than the curriculum I'm choosing for my book-loving, super-smart 1st grader.

In our state, independent homeschoolers must join a homeschool association and submit attendance records and some level of curricular description. I haven't received my packet from the homeschool association yet, but I hear from others that it is a pretty minor burden.

That said, if I could not afford to spend $700 or so on curriculum and various membership/class/co-op fees for a year of homeschooling, I would be sticking with K12 and very grateful to have the option.
MrsJewelsRae's Avatar MrsJewelsRae 06:00 PM 04-05-2010
We're independent I guess. I am not registered with the government, don't have to answer to anyone. I do keep my own records loosely in case I were ever investigated for whatever reason. We are somewhat eclectic homeschoolers, depends on the day- some days we do lots of bookwork, some days we do lots of art, some days we read all day, some days we go to the library to pursue particular interests in a unit study format, most days we do a little of everything. We love it. I assumed when I decided to homeschool we'd eventually settle for a packaged curriculum- likely Abeka Book or Bob Jones, but after getting into it I realized that especially for the early years I didn't want or need a bunch of textbooks to teach my child. My friend's son sits at the table for hours a day completing the work heavy curriculum she purchased from the time he was in kindy and yet my son is excelling in math and reading and we've never used any set curriculum until this year (just math). We use Story of the World for history (kids LOVE it!), looking into Teaching Textbooks for math, science we do hands on stuff, we use some Rod and Staff for my dd because she really wanted some workbooks and begged and pleaded for them, she loves them. Our relaxed approach works for us, I know they and I would both be overwhelmed with a textbook heavy workload type of curriculum that has many pages to complete in every subject. Sometimes the kids imaginations are better served with reading exciting account of history that day, or finding out everything we can about jungle cats, or dragging their easels outside and painting all day, or just running carefree around the yard when the weather beckons- we couldn't do this if we were too stringent and then I'd be stressed about them keeping on top of the work they have to complete or them not getting enough free time to be kids. It works for us and my kids are learning, my MIL often bothered me about making my ds do more seatwork and was so worried we weren't teaching him anything- yet he's at least 1-2 grade levels ahead in both math and reading and dd is right on track so we must have done enough of something- it works for US! I would highly reccomend going to a homeschool convention and seeing all the programs and curriculum that is out there, it is so exciting to see it all laid out and get a better idea of what it involves, you can mix and match, etc, meet other homeschoolers, go to workshops, etc. Good Luck!
2M's Mom's Avatar 2M's Mom 01:57 AM 04-07-2010
We use a public Charter School. They supply curriculum, which they have several choices, if we want. If not, we are free to choose whatever we want. We meet with a coordinator once every 8 weeks (more if we want). They offer on campus classes, park days, etc, that we can go to, or not. I absolutely love it. It has turned out to be a fabulous decision for us.