Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,888 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've enrolled my DD (6yo) in the Washington Virtual Academy, a public-school program that uses the K12 curriculum. Which basically means that I get the K12 stuff for free (through the public school) and all I really "pay" for it is that I am subject to the oversight of a "teacher" (who we telephone conference with on a regular basis). This is, I believe, a very good decision for our family.

Now, the problem with this is, I am neither a homeschooler (although we school at home) nor do I send my child to school.

I feel lost. This is more than a "what am I?" question. It is a "who will accept me?" question as well. Thinking of joining up with local homeschooling groups makes me feel awkward; technically my daugher is in public school! That she is schooled at home might mean little to those who have already decided that once you're enrolled, you are no longer a homeschooler, buh-bye.

I don't think I'm exaggerating my concern either. One look at a set of recent magazines confirms that I'm viewed as a "NOT a homeschooler" firmly enough that I might not even be considered as belonging in any homeschool groups at all
.

I'm not even sure I belong on this board
.

Neither do I belong on the school board, as questions of "what lunch?" and "how to deal with the principal" and "what to ask my kids' teachers" are simply not a part of our experience.

And now that I've typed this out, I don't know what kind of response I'm looking for. I'm just feeling conflicted and thought people here would at least understand WHY I feel that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikirj
I've enrolled my DD (6yo) in the Washington Virtual Academy, a public-school program that uses the K12 curriculum. Which basically means that I get the K12 stuff for free (through the public school) and all I really "pay" for it is that I am subject to the oversight of a "teacher" (who we telephone conference with on a regular basis). This is, I believe, a very good decision for our family.

Now, the problem with this is, I am neither a homeschooler (although we school at home) nor do I send my child to school.

I feel lost. This is more than a "what am I?" question. It is a "who will accept me?" question as well. Thinking of joining up with local homeschooling groups makes me feel awkward; technically my daugher is in public school! That she is schooled at home might mean little to those who have already decided that once you're enrolled, you are no longer a homeschooler, buh-bye.

I don't think I'm exaggerating my concern either. One look at a set of recent magazines confirms that I'm viewed as a "NOT a homeschooler" firmly enough that I might not even be considered as belonging in any homeschool groups at all
.

I'm not even sure I belong on this board
.

Neither do I belong on the school board, as questions of "what lunch?" and "how to deal with the principal" and "what to ask my kids' teachers" are simply not a part of our experience.

And now that I've typed this out, I don't know what kind of response I'm looking for. I'm just feeling conflicted and thought people here would at least understand WHY I feel that way.
Hey Nikki. I would imagine that there is a virtual academy group of parents who are schooling their children the same way you are and have already formed a group. I know in my small little mountain town, there is a healthy size group who are schooled this way. If by chance there isn't one then start one.

Don't get all caught up as to whether you are a homeschooler or not or what other people think. But if it means anything, I don't see a lot of difference from those who use a curriculum and call themselves homeschoolers to what you are doing. They follow a curriculum written by someone else and guide and work with their children. You are doing the same thing but with the exception of checking in with a live teacher now and then. Not a lot of difference if you ask me.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,939 Posts
I see this as two issues. As you said, technically, you're not a homeschooler, because your child is enrolled in a public school. So, you couldn't be counted amoung homeschoolers in that sense. I think the distinction is an important one, legally.

That said, socially, I can see where you'd fit in nicely with hsing groups. I'm thinking, field trips, park days, etc. Maybe an informal group would be welcoming? (I know some groups around here require applications and memberships and others are more casual, "come one, come all" sorts of groups.)

Or maybe, could you contact others who use virtual schools and form a "public schoolers at home" group?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I think you should find your local homeschooling group and check it out. In my area (Northern California), the groups I have belonged to have had a wide variety of homeschooling styles associated with them. You would have no problem finding a welcome there IF 1) you are willing to participate in the group (coming to and organizing events, field trips, etc.) 2) your child is available for play dates and activities during the school day and 3) you are not judgmental about how others choose to homeschool in their families (a corollary to this might be that you have to ignore others judging you, perhaps).
You don't know what method of homeschooling you may choose for your daughter in the years to come. It would be nice for her to have a community of kids available to play during the day if you continue to not send her to an actual school building all day, ykwim? And important for you too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
You might want to check deeper with your Virtual Academy. We tried K12 last year and not doing it this year but there were local k12 families and they were getting together for fieldtrips and activities. Look up local homeschooling groups and get involved in the HS community. Also If your kids are learning at home it's homeschooling. Consider yourself a homeschooler...k12 the kids can't do it by themselves...you will be homeschooling them. Guaranteed. Don't stress and don't worry about getting though everything K12 demands of you to go through in one day. You just can't. I heard their year of curriculum is equal to 1 1/2 years of another. It's very thorough and very good...just very time consuming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,681 Posts
I live in a jurisdiction (British Columbia, Canada) that has had a range of homeschooling / hybrid programs available for a number of years now. Distance Education, or DE, (which is similar to your program, though with more virtual-hands-on by the supervising teacher) has been around for decades. About 10 years ago Distributed Electronic Learning, or DEL, was added as an option, with internet-mediated overseeing by a school system but little provision of curriculum (reimbursement for some educational expenses instead). Then in the past 5 years things have exploded, with the line between DE and DEL blurring and eventually being erased outright. We have public and independent ("private", partly government-funded) schools and school districts providing programs covering a huge range of families' needs, everything from virtual schooling to part-time co-op-type learning to virtual freeschooling with no grades.

And here there has been absolutely no divisiveness at the community level (I confess there's been a little at the political level of the provincial homeschool organization). If your kids don't go to school, you're considered a de facto homeschooler, whether your kids are legally considered homeschoolers or are enrolled in an alternative program of home-based learning. Nowhere in the province have I heard of local support groups factionalizing or ostracizing one type of home-based learner.

I hope your experience will be similar.

Miranda
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Quote:
I don't think I'm exaggerating my concern either. One look at a set of recent magazines confirms that I'm viewed as a "NOT a homeschooler" firmly enough that I might not even be considered as belonging in any homeschool groups at all
.
There are SO many opinions out there. There can be great diversity among homeschoolers. Religious fanatics who homeschool bible verses, homeschoolers that school year round, relaxed homeschoolers, unschoolers and even among ALL of those there are diversities among them that you really aren't a religious homeschooler or unschooler. Do what works for your family. If you are teaching your kids at home you are homeschooling.

Quote:
I'm not even sure I belong on this board
.
Yes you do!!!
Welcome!!!


Quote:
And now that I've typed this out, I don't know what kind of response I'm looking for. I'm just feeling conflicted and thought people here would at least understand WHY I feel that way.
[/QUOTE]

I can understand why you feel that way. Like I posted earlier we were with k12 and we do go through a state homeschooling program with allotment and all but I submit samples, the ILP's my oldest does the required testing and that is it. We are totally on our own. His contact teacher processes paperwork. That is it. She is not his teacher. Anyhoo...you belong with homeschoolers IMO.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,487 Posts
I think looking into a homeschool group thru the k12 program is a great idea. I'm sure there are many other families doing the same thing in your near area. I understand that you sorta feel stuck in the middle. Your child won't be attending school yet legally they are counted as a public school child. I think that's possibly a nice way to ease into homeschooling because you will have a curriculum, supporting teacher, materials, etc. and it may be a wonderful experience for both you and your child. It also may be that you don't enjoy it like you though and stop during the school year, or decide to go a different route next year. I'm not sure exactly how it works to end a program like this but I imagine it's similar to withdrawing your child from a physical school setting. I would consider you a homeschooler just as anyone else who is keeping their child out of a classroom, you are teaching your child just as other's are. I hope it works well for your family, I've read both positive and neg experiences regarding virtual homeschooling,just as any other method, it has it's good and bad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
I fully understand. I think this is one of the reasons why I am entering her as a homeschooler on a cafeteria basis.

Frankly, k12 was developed as a homeschool program. I don't know how much interaction this teacher will actually have with B, but I perceive it as a happy little way you've snookered the state into providing you with a boss homeschool curriculum.

Depending on the interaction, I may change my mind (about the bennies of it all).

In the reality of the day to day, you are very much a homeschooler. You have been since I met you, in my mind. You already have a homeschool support group and you have the mentality that you can do this, and do it better for your child than a brick and mortar school can. I agree with the PP, and especially loved Miranda's comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Quote:
Religious fanatics who homeschool bible verses
Ah nice, those of us who are Christian and include Bible verses are 'fanatics'
:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
Can we stay on topic please?

I am a Christian and definitely a secular homeschooler. She's only referring to you if you want to take it that way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,888 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, thank you everyone! I hope it works out in reality like you've experienced, Miranda.

And thanks momof3sweeties
. We are using a regimented curriculum on purpose because I am entering midwifery school in the fall and feel like the more regimented curriculum will help insure I don't leave my daughter's education on a back-burner. I know she'll learn and grow regardless, but I need someone to do some of the thinking for me, too.

I think you're right that I've been failing to separate the social and political aspects of this; socially it should be pretty easy to understand that we live as homeschoolers, if politically the line is drawn exactly the opposite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Niki I really think that many of the "definitions" of hsing that people use are for their own usage or comfort level or whatever. You need to decide what YOU think you are! If you feel you're a homeschooler that happens to be using a certain program that the schools approve then so be it. It doesn't really matter what others think in the big picture.
People educate their kids at home for many reasons and regardless of the academic program-you are still teaching your kids the values, responsibility and social skills that you want to instill.
So I would go visit the homeschool groups for support and I'd be really surprised if it was a problem!
I know in my hs group we have alt ed (technnically counted in the public schools), unschoolers, religious schoolers, ecceletic schoolers, pagan schoolers and everything else. We don't judge each other's choices. We just love sharing experiences, supporting each other, and having other parents to talk to about all kinds of issues.
Good luck
Ann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,264 Posts
I have my own issues with the virtual academies but I think the "you're not really a homeschooler" perspective is very unhelpful and really not accurate. If anything, you're more a home-SCHOOLer than the unschooler-homeschoolers. I like using home-educator anyway, because I think it's more descriptive of what we do.

Anyway, check out your local group. Ours has a mix of people who use charter schools, people who don't, people who have the "you're not the real thing" attitude, and many who don't. No one was ever treated poorly for their decision in our group.

People are bolder in magazines than in person, and I think you and your kid owe it to yourselves to try finding a good community. Isolated home-educating - not fun.

take care!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by joandsarah77
Ah nice, those of us who are Christian and include Bible verses are 'fanatics'
:


Ugh...not my intention to belittle Christians.

I could of easily as written unschooling fanatics
: ...My point WAS that there are all sorts of divisions in the homeschooling community and OPINIONS of one method better than another. The magazine article nickirj mentioned is a perfect example of opinions out there that can cause doubt in a new homeschooling mom.

BTW I am a Christian and we read the bible from time to time. ( I also consider ourselves on the pursuit of being unschoolers) I don't teach bible lessons to my kids but we read and talk about the bible together from time to time. Again my example about the divisions...other parents who stucture their homeschooling around their religion might think I'm doing my kids a disservice by not doing as much as they do. I know I am a heathen in that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wolfmeis
Can we stay on topic please?

I am a Christian and definitely a secular homeschooler. She's only referring to you if you want to take it that way.
No intentions of offending!! Just making a point....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
You totally didn't offend me. I would describe ourselves much as you did:

Quote:
BTW I am a Christian and we read the bible from time to time. ( I also consider ourselves on the pursuit of being unschoolers) I don't teach bible lessons to my kids but we read and talk about the bible together from time to time. Again my example about the divisions...other parents who stucture their homeschooling around their religion might think I'm doing my kids a disservice by not doing as much as they do. I know I am a heathen in that way.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top