Homeschooling is not school at home, and school at home is not homeschooling. It’s about time this is discussed.
This one seems to be the be-all when homeschoolers get brought up in conversation or when you tell someone you homeschool, this is what they immediately think. They’re just bringing school home, why would they do that? Just send them to public school, it’s the same thing!” School at home is just that, bringing public school home. There are many ways to do this. You can purchase common-core aligned curriculum in a box made by the same companies that sell it to the school. You can do an online public school where your kids are learning exactly what the public school kids are on the same schedule, meaning you are doing schoolwork roughly 6 hours a day.
Personal opinion here: this is too much work. Many families choose homeschool because they don’t like the time away from their kids, and the amount of work plus homework they are required to do, so bringing the exact same curriculum home completely defeats the purpose of homeschooling.
When we first started homeschooling we were leaving the public school system. We had our oldest daughter in kindergarten before this dramatic lifestyle change. So, naturally, I went with K12, an online public school. It was free, and they promised to be completely different from public school, they also said that I would be homeschooling my kids, which is a completely and utter lie, btw.
You can check out my other post on why we chose to homeschool if you want to know more into our reasons to stay out of public school.
As a brand new homeschooling mom this was extremely misleading. Needless to say, we had a terrible experience.
This isn’t the only company out there that is misleading in whether or not they’re a homeschooling company.
I know education looks different for every family, and I totally get that, but…unpopular opinion ahead…
Public school and homeschooling are not the same, and the words and meanings are not interchangeable. You really are either one or the other. Doing homework with your children after they’ve come home from regular public school is not homeschooling, helping your public school child learn new spelling words on a Saturday is not homeschooling. That is just parenting. You chose to put your kids in public school (which is totally okay, and this is not a judgment thing), so your job as a parent to a public school student is to help encourage their learning at home. Homeschooling is a different concept, it is a way of life, a different way of learning, an individual approach to teaching our children is whatever way they learn best.
Using these terms interchangeably makes it extremely hard for parents to understand where they stand, what laws they need to follow, which curriculum they are required to use, and their attendance laws. They need to be separated when talking about them, but you can use them both within your family. You can send one child to public school, and another be at home, but you are in fact homeschooling one child, and one is public school student, and each one has a set of laws and requirements to follow that are completely different from the other.
DEFINITION: The education of children at home by their parents.
The parents educating their children at home on their own terms.
Image from www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com
The only reason I have chosen to write this post, and bring this to light is because it so deceptive to new homeschooling families. Parents need to be able to search and find what is important to their situation, especially regarding homeschooling laws. Some states don’t care what you do, others are so strict you could go to jail for not following through. Not to mention if someone doesn’t agree with you homeschooling and they decide to call CPS on you, then you need to be prepared to show them that you are doing what is required, and educating your children properly. Even though that sucks, it’s the reality of life.
You want to be prepared, and not caught off guard when it comes to the laws and your children.
Here you can find a link to all the homeschooling laws in each state!
Let me know in the comments if you were fully aware that online public school, public school options weren’t truly homeschooling?
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