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12-20-2013 07:16 PM
ewink
Quote:
Originally Posted by yippityskippity View Post

We've used two charters in CA. One was very much public school at home (UGH!) but the current one is fabulous. We get around $1,000/yr per child for secular curriculum and activities. In exchange we meet with someone from the school once a month for about 15 min. Every semester we hand in one work sample per subject (language arts, math, social studies, science) for a portfolio.

While at our current charter we've basically unschooled DD and encountered NO interference or problems from the charter.

Legally, she's a public school student. Socially she's a homeschooler.

Actually, in California - from a legal standpoint - I don't think homeschooling exists. You're either a private school student (file the PSA), tutored by a credentialed teacher or go through a public charter. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I've missed something )

We did the same thing when we lived in NorCal. The first one was pretty much considered public school (it was through the local office of education), and there were way too many limitations as to what curriculum we could use. For certain subjects you pretty much had to use what they gave (the same as what was used in the public schools in that district). This was our first year of homeschooling. There was no money either, they just provided a big portion of the curriculum, and had some classes (art, music etc). My oldest DD was in K then, officially, but doing 1st grade mostly. My youngest, DS was officially still a preschooler, but insisted on starting K too then, and the teacher who came to our house (weekly) was really nice and brought books and curriculum for him too (at K level), although some of it I didn't like and I ended up buying some of my own for him, since he wasn't officially enrolled and I could do whatever I wanted for him.

We switched to a charter school for homeschoolers the next year, and liked it much better. We got $1700 per kid per year, for curriculum (had to choose from their selection, tried to get them to order something else once, but didn't get it approved), materials (such as writing utensils, printing paper, art supplies etc, they even bought a violin for my daughter to use as long as she was enrolled!), and extracurricular classes and activities (such as music lessons, gymnastics etc). While a ES ("education specialist") came to our house once a month for nearly 2 hours each time, to record what we had done, the reality of the situation was that we really did have quite a bit of freedom. In theory we had to follow school hours, but we really didn't do that all the time. Some weeks we took a few days off during the school week, or other times we'd do a bit of school during the weekend, or a school break, but nobody had to know. When the ES came, I just checked off attendance on the official school days and all was good. LOL

Now, about the testing, my kids weren't old enough yet at that point (doesn't start until 2nd grade) to do the tests, but apparently in CA at least as a parent you can sign some kind of waiver and not let your kid do the tests! They don't advertise that of course, as they want everyone to do them, but legally you seem to have that right, unless that changed since we moved in Sept. 2011.

While there were for sure some limitations that I often disliked quite a bit, I have to say that $1700 per kid per year really does make a huge difference, at least for us it did. We really feel the difference here in AZ. Let's just say that if there suddenly was the same option in AZ, I would most likely sign up with them for my DS. There are enough ways around the limitations. The curriculum choices in the last charter were really extensive enough to find good ones for all subjects, and the few that I really wanted and couldn't get approved I could always buy myself. 

12-17-2013 11:01 PM
koolkids

Thanks for those information. I personally never opposes such a move from the Government.

12-16-2013 09:21 AM
SweetSilver

Interesting thread to revive.  I have my own strong opinions, but I'm off to waste time perusing this over the day.

12-16-2013 09:03 AM
phoshilaron

From what I am understanding about the 'govt. funding,' it's pretty much our tax dollars that we've paid to provide free public schooling for our kids, so when you're telling the govt. that you're homeschooling, you're basically just asking for that tax money back. 

 

I am not opposed to this. There's still a lot for me to learn, but that's where good research comes into play.

06-29-2010 10:35 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2homeschool View Post
I have to say that I would love just a little bit of the money I pay in taxes for public schools to come back to me. Perhaps as a tax credit? Or a small stipend each year to help with the cost of books. I also understand that some of my tax money needs to go to the ps as some of those children will one day be our doctors and lawyers and even cashiers. Here in VA, if you are in the ps high school you can take cc courses for free through the dual enrollment program. However, if you are a homeschooler, you have to pay. To me that is ludicrous. Why should my child have to pay for the same opportunities? And of course, no one in the cc can answer that for me!
What a pain! Here homeschoolers can take them for free also.

-Angela
06-29-2010 08:26 PM
luv2homeschool I have to say that I would love just a little bit of the money I pay in taxes for public schools to come back to me. Perhaps as a tax credit? Or a small stipend each year to help with the cost of books. I also understand that some of my tax money needs to go to the ps as some of those children will one day be our doctors and lawyers and even cashiers. Here in VA, if you are in the ps high school you can take cc courses for free through the dual enrollment program. However, if you are a homeschooler, you have to pay. To me that is ludicrous. Why should my child have to pay for the same opportunities? And of course, no one in the cc can answer that for me!
06-29-2010 02:40 PM
Jennifer3141 I want to thank everyone here who chimed in on this thread. I'm in MI too and I'm going to attend the local meeting here in 2 weeks for this program.

There are pros and cons for us like crazy. We did Calvert K this year and I have to say, it was pretty freaking boring.

I live in an area where our schools are really struggling. The hippy in me wants to help all kids locally by enrolling in Connections. But the other hippy in me is worried about more governmental involvement into our lives.

So we've got some pondering to do before September...
06-28-2010 11:25 AM
chaoticzenmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by sha_lyn View Post
The school systems here are already in financial trouble. Teachers are being forced to take furlow days, there are talks of increasing the length of the school day and going to a 4 day school week to cut costs etc. If the proposed hoeschool legislation passes there is no magic money tree there to cover the costs. The only place to get the money would be to raise taxes.
This has been an issue here in the Seattle area. The state gov't tried to cut all of these programs because it does cost the state money to have homeschool students counted as students in a school district. They pay the school districts for these students. The school districts are opening these umbrellas because they want the money that these kids bring in for their school. It's great for them because they get more students counted, pay the students a little for supplies and they get the rest. Here, the district gets around 6000 per student. They pay homeschoolers in the umbrella $500 to 1600 (depending on the district).

So, while they could raise taxes, more than likely, they'll cut these programs.

This thread has been great. I love reading all of the different viewpoints on this.
06-28-2010 09:36 AM
sha_lyn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I don't get how taking the money gives them power, though. It takes away some of the government's money... money is power.... ergo, aren't you taking away power, if anything? The infrastructure to OFFER homeschoolers money is already there, so taking the money isn't adding to the system. I don't get it.
I really feel like I am talking to a brick wall here (the whole thread not you specifically)
The infrastructure to offer homeschoolers money is not in place here. The legislation has not passed.


Using your own line of thinking It isn't the governments money it is our money. When the goverment taxes us they are taking our power. The goverment has overhead. "The people" do not get 100% return when they benifit from a government program. Therefore for the people to have more power they must keep more of their money to begin with by limiting the government's power.
06-28-2010 02:49 AM
MamaMonica This discussion encompasses a lot of issues... but please do not venture too far off topic. Thank you!
06-28-2010 02:19 AM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Actually, *public* education isn't compulsory. Education is. It is compulsory that children be provided an education. I'm in TX where private schools have NO governmental oversight and homeschoolers are seen as private schools so I can do anything I want. I do think that there are children for whom "compulsory" school is a very very good thing.
It is compulsory that children attend some sort of school program. None of the states I homeschooled in had the word "education" or "educated" written in to the statutes. Private schools in my state have governmental oversight and homeschoolers are treated the same.

Sure, there are kids who benefit from being made to go to school, because their family situation stinks or what-have-you. Then there are kids (like my DH) who felt that he'd been tortured for 13 years. His school experience was so dreadful that he has classroom anxiety to this day, and the thought of going back to college makes him physically ill.

Yes, child abuse happens. I don't believe that forcing all children into institutionalized settings in order to catch a few abuse cases is reasonable. It's kind of like circumcising a thousand newborns to save one old man from cancer. And anyway, the vast majority of children go to school, and abuse still goes undetected the majority of the time. Ever read "A Child Called It"?
06-28-2010 02:12 AM
Tjej There is a really big difference between how the government and taxes are seen in most of the first world and the US. At least in my experience in Scandinavia and Canada vs. the US. If you are used to the idea of higher taxes and the government programs supporting various things it doesn't bother you. If you aren't used to it, it does seem really intrusive and power-mongering.

I remember talking with Scandinavian friends in college. They thought it was juvenille that my parents were helping me with paying for school, but in no way saw the same sort of ties/dependence upon their government that was making the same payments for them to attend the same school.

So I GET the general American idea of "hands off, government" (of course it is not the idea of all Americans, nor even a majority, nor even exclusively American... hows that for qualifiers to try to cover my stereotyping?). I think that for a non-American who is used to the $100 a month childcare benefit and the subsidized preschool and college and all that it isn't as easy to see why taking that money would be perpetuating or creating a problem.

I personally LOVE the idea of government $ for homeschooling and it is definitely weighing into my thought processes about where to live as we raise our kids. But I do understand the desire on some peoples' part to stay away from that possibility and the possibility of government enroachment on personal rights. I find that where I currently live, government money available for homeschooling seems to make it more accessible to people (and more accepted) and does not harm the integrity of choice of how a child is ultimately educated.

Tjej
06-28-2010 02:05 AM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post
Ah yes...those DOE employees with their good faith negotiated contracts. I'm sure they're enjoying their second homes, helicopters for transportation, and staff to care for their large estates. Can we spare the red herring?
You're bantering with the daughter of a public school teacher. Spare me.
06-28-2010 01:37 AM
Smokering
Quote:
Originally Posted by sha_lyn View Post
I completely disagree. The way to make big goverment smaller is not to give it more power. The only way to make it smaller is to take away some of the power.
I don't get how taking the money gives them power, though. It takes away some of the government's money... money is power.... ergo, aren't you taking away power, if anything? The infrastructure to OFFER homeschoolers money is already there, so taking the money isn't adding to the system. I don't get it.
06-28-2010 12:56 AM
sha_lyn
Quote:
Yes, I realise the answer is probably the increased control thing; but in and of itself, I don't the argument that they shouldn't have taken it in the first place is an argument for not taking it back. The reverse, if anything...
I completely disagree. The way to make big goverment smaller is not to give it more power. The only way to make it smaller is to take away some of the power.
06-28-2010 12:51 AM
sha_lyn
Quote:
Yeah, OK, but given that they already have taken your money, why not try to get as much back as you can? It's not like refusing it will influence the government to tax you less. Wouldn't they just use the money you refused to do more things you don't feel the government should be doing?
The school systems here are already in financial trouble. Teachers are being forced to take furlow days, there are talks of increasing the length of the school day and going to a 4 day school week to cut costs etc. If the proposed hoeschool legislation passes there is no magic money tree there to cover the costs. The only place to get the money would be to raise taxes.
06-28-2010 12:42 AM
pampered_mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
She's suggesting that tax dollars contribute to good schools, and implying that most schools are good ones because of funding. Not only do I disagree with this (in my area, tax dollars contribute to fat paychecks for DOE employees....the 2003 study showed that RI schools were ranked #37 in the nation, yet we rank #9 in teacher pay), but I don't understand why someone who believes that most schools are good would choose to keep their children out of school (unless they live in an area with bad schools, in which case the argument that her tax dollars contribute to good schools doesn't fly).
Ah yes...those DOE employees with their good faith negotiated contracts. I'm sure they're enjoying their second homes, helicopters for transportation, and staff to care for their large estates. Can we spare the red herring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
Sure, the majority of the population will likely attend schools, and they should be good. It doesn't follow that the schools are, at this point, good. Some are, no doubt. But many aren't. I support funding schools with my tax dollars because adequate funding is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for the development of good schools.
Most especially this. Might I add to that decently paid teachers...such that they can both go to school in order to get their teaching certificate and then pay off said loans before they reach retirement age (something that may become increasingly difficult as college costs increase and funding for scholarships, grants, etc decrease).
06-28-2010 12:19 AM
Smokering
Quote:
I've realized one main difference between my line of thinking and several on here boils down to our politic philosophies. Many have the position of "I pay taxes so I have a right to receive money from the government".
OTOH I am very much more on the Libertarian or Costitutionalist end of the political spectrum. I want the tax dollars to stay in my pocket from the beginning. I don't want the government taking my $$ and then deciding how much of it I am entitled to get back.
Yeah, OK, but given that they already have taken your money, why not try to get as much back as you can? It's not like refusing it will influence the government to tax you less. Wouldn't they just use the money you refused to do more things you don't feel the government should be doing?

Yes, I realise the answer is probably the increased control thing; but in and of itself, I don't the argument that they shouldn't have taken it in the first place is an argument for not taking it back. The reverse, if anything...

Quote:
The problem is....one person's "Draconian" may not be another person's. I feel resentful that I have to deal with the school department AT ALL. There are several states in this country that have a "hands-off" policy for homeschoolers. I wish every state were like that.
I tend to be resentful of having to comply with the government at all, out of sheer laziness - I hate having to deal with taxes, ballots, reminders to get my cervical smear, jury duty, whatever. But I'm not convinced it'd be a good thing if the government totally left everyone to their own devices. Child abuse and neglect happen. "Interference" by the government has been known to save kids from starving and receiving no education whatsoever. I know *I* won't be abusing my kids, but the government doesn't, and enough cases of abuse/neglect happen that the odd check-in does more good than harm, IMO. (Bearing in mind I'm writing in NZ, where the restrictions really are minimal - I'd be the first one to gripe if the government started saying that delaying reading until 6 was neglect, or anything like that.) Anyway, that's probably a larger discussion...
06-27-2010 04:06 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

(FWIW, I'm not opposed to public education being available. I just don't believe it should be compulsory.)

Gotta go to work now.
Actually, *public* education isn't compulsory. Education is. It is compulsory that children be provided an education. I'm in TX where private schools have NO governmental oversight and homeschoolers are seen as private schools so I can do anything I want. I do think that there are children for whom "compulsory" school is a very very good thing.

-Angela
06-27-2010 03:35 PM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Thinking something is "great" or "good" does not mean that the default should be to use it.
True.

If I found a great pair of shoes that didn't fit, should the law require me to buy them for someone else? In addition to having to buy my own shoes?

Let's say I struggle to pay for my own shoes (all the while paying for someone else's shoes by law). Let's say the government opens up a shoe program, in which tax dollars will furnish me with shoes as long as I accept their style and color, and meet with someone monthly to make sure they still fit properly and don't have any holes in them. Because I obviously can't be trusted to pick out and maintain my own shoes. Sound familiar?

(FWIW, I'm not opposed to public education being available. I just don't believe it should be compulsory.)

Gotta go to work now.
06-27-2010 03:07 PM
eclipse She doesn't, but that was more about me than about her - I didn't want to deal with one kid at home and one at school. She's happy either way - I have no doubt she would have been fine, happy, adjusted, emotionally supported, and well educated there. The main reason it was not great for my son is because he didn't want to be there. He didn't want to be around other kids for a good portion of his waking hours. There's nothing really a school can do to combat that. Obviously, for a lot of kids that wouldn't be a problem. In any case, my biggest point was that homeschoolers are not always opposed to the idea of school in general. Choosing to homeschool is not, necessarily, an indictment of all schools or most schools or even any schools. Thinking something is "great" or "good" does not mean that the default should be to use it.

I'm not a "school is great! rah! rah! rah!" person myself - I think that there are some really issues in a lot of schools. But not every child has the same resources my kids do or your kids do (and by resources, I don't mean money or one parent at home full time or internet access or anything like that - I mean parents who care enough and are capable enough to participate in and ensure their educations). For those kids, even mediocre schools can be better than the alternative.

Now, to bring it back to the issue of government funds and resources being used for homeschooled kids (and I really, really don't want to fight about the definition here of homeschooled) - I would homeschool whether those funds and resources were available to me or not. Technically, I don't think we should even be enrolled, since our primary residence in Mexico. If we weren't enrolled, though, I think I'd be in legal gray area in Mexico, as I have not been able to find any information about homeschool and school attendance laws here. Good schooling here opens a lot of doors for people that would otherwise be closed, so it is very hard for people to understand why I'm not sending my kids to private international school (which is inexpensive by US standards, but probably out of reach for us with three kids - I'm not sure). People here will live with two families in a tiny apartment with all adults working several jobs to be able to send all their kids to private school, because it makes such a huge difference for the future of their children. I know that's off topic, but it gives me a different perspective on what kind of role schooling/education plays in people's lives.
06-27-2010 02:53 PM
moominmamma
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
If the school was not meeting your son's needs, how was it great? Does your daughter go to school?
Imagine yourself trying on a lovely pair of shoes. Unfortunately they don't fit your feet. Does that make the shoes bad? Does that make your feet bad? Not at all. It's just that the perfectly good shoes don't fit your perfectly good feet.

Miranda
06-27-2010 02:52 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
Sure, the majority of the population will likely attend schools, and they should be good. It doesn't follow that the schools are, at this point, good. Some are, no doubt. But many aren't. I support funding schools with my tax dollars because adequate funding is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for the development of good schools.

Mirnda
Well put. I agree.

-Angela
06-27-2010 02:50 PM
alegna
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
So....if you believe the majority of schools are good, then why do you homeschool?

I homeschool because I oppose the school model. I believe that schools were implemented to create a standard citizenry and to get people used to doing what they're told. And from what I've seen, a high school diploma does not = educated. Schooling as we know it is not going away anytime soon, but I can't say I truly support dumping my money into a failed system.
I never said the majority of schools are good I said it's in my best interest to have good schools for the majority. They're not there yet.

I am not super-keen on the school system we have set up right now. I think that changing it is a process and I can't fathom doing away with it entirely in the foreseeable future.

-Angela
06-27-2010 02:50 PM
moominmamma
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


If the majority of the population are to attend good schools, wouldn't that mean the majority of schools would have to be good ones?
Sure, the majority of the population will likely attend schools, and they should be good. It doesn't follow that the schools are, at this point, good. Some are, no doubt. But many aren't. I support funding schools with my tax dollars because adequate funding is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for the development of good schools.

Mirnda
06-27-2010 02:44 PM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I took my son out of a great school to homeschool him (or, I dunno, I guess out of one charter school to another that happens to instruct out of my home and use me as free teaching labor). It was better for my son to be at home with me. Other kids were thriving there. A lot of homeschoolers don't homeschool because they believe school=bad.
If the school was not meeting your son's needs, how was it great? Does your daughter go to school?
06-27-2010 02:30 PM
eclipse
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
So....if you believe the majority of schools are good, then why do you homeschool?

.
I took my son out of a great school to homeschool him (or, I dunno, I guess out of one charter school to another that happens to instruct out of my home and use me as free teaching labor). It was better for my son to be at home with me. Other kids were thriving there. A lot of homeschoolers don't homeschool because they believe school=bad.
06-27-2010 02:18 PM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
That's not what she said. She said that she believes in good schools for the majority of the population. The term majority was referring not to "good schools," but to the portion of the population who cannot or will not choose to homeschool.


If the majority of the population are to attend good schools, wouldn't that mean the majority of schools would have to be good ones? I fail to see how the majority of the population can attend good schools if most of the schools are bad.

She's suggesting that tax dollars contribute to good schools, and implying that most schools are good ones because of funding. Not only do I disagree with this (in my area, tax dollars contribute to fat paychecks for DOE employees....the 2003 study showed that RI schools were ranked #37 in the nation, yet we rank #9 in teacher pay), but I don't understand why someone who believes that most schools are good would choose to keep their children out of school (unless they live in an area with bad schools, in which case the argument that her tax dollars contribute to good schools doesn't fly).
06-27-2010 02:12 PM
moominmamma
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
So....if you believe the majority of schools are good, then why do you homeschool?
That's not what she said. She said that she believes in good schools for the majority of the population. The term majority was referring not to "good schools," but to the portion of the population who cannot or will not choose to homeschool.

I'm of a similar mind. I am happy for my tax dollars to support capable, humane, effective public hospitals, even though it is my hope that my family will not need to use them. Ditto for schools.

Miranda
06-27-2010 01:45 PM
2xy
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Interestingly, I am 100% okay paying taxes to support public schools. I recognize that I am "lucky" enough to be able to homeschool by having the ability to survive on just my husband's income. I recognize that not all families are able to do that. (of course many could that choose not to- different things though)
And then there are those families who homeschool without a full-time SAHP....like my own. DH works 40 hours a week and I average 32-35. And yes, we are just "surviving," too. I don't think of us as being "lucky". I see us as making sacrifices for what we think is best for our family.

Quote:
I am quite alright not getting back my money and having it spent on public schools. It is in my best interest (and my children's best interest) to have good schools for the *majority* of the population. Do I think that the public schools are perfect? Of course not. I'm still content for them to spend my money to attempt to do the best they can to educate the masses.

-Angela
So....if you believe the majority of schools are good, then why do you homeschool?

I homeschool because I oppose the school model. I believe that schools were implemented to create a standard citizenry and to get people used to doing what they're told. And from what I've seen, a high school diploma does not = educated. Schooling as we know it is not going away anytime soon, but I can't say I truly support dumping my money into a failed system.
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