Homeschool Empowerment Webring & Political Action

Mary Nix has a post up at Home Education Magazine’s News and Commentary:

Responding to ‘A Look at Homeschooling & Education Choice’
By Terri W. (webring owner of Homeschool Empowerment)

A bit of background information that relates for readers:

A good effort, I believe, was started on behalf of homeschool activism a few months back. Terri W., longtime Florida homeschool advocate, put together a webring for the purpose of supporting grassroots homeschool activism. I’ll include here the description of the webring:

Homeschool Empowerment Webring

This is the homepage for the Homeschool Empowerment Webring. Webring members consist of grassroots homeschool support groups, blogs and websites committed to empowering home educators to make educated decisions in their own lives by sharing information and resources freely and equally. Member groups are outspoken, highly interested in homeschool activism and willing and able to participate in media outreach.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? I certainly thought so until Terri W. approved membership for charter school founders whose children are enrolled in that charter school. Now, I don’t have a bone to pick with these three moms who state that they are homeschooling while their children are enrolled in a public charter school. These parents do not reside in my state. I don’t agree with them, but then again, I don’t live in Alaska as they do.

However, I had joined a national homeschool webring based upon its description. I am not disappointed in the webring itself, on the contrary. I am disappointed in the lack of discernment from the webring owner in changing the focus of the webring without any notification to the current members. I cannot seem to get an answer from Terri as to why public school parents with a blog which promotes schooling with a public charter school is eligible for membership in a “homeschool” webring. If the criteria for membership is that any parent or blog owner *can claim* that they are homeschooling while their children are actually enrolled in a public school at home program, then I would like to know this is the case.

Previously, I blogged: “A Level Playing Field for Ps-at-home Folks within Homeschool Activism?”

My inspiration for this blog entry came about because of a recent discussion with Terri W. that took place at the Home Education Magazine Networking yahoogroup that involves this situation.

To encourage readers this should not be a case of “live and let live”, I’ll share the links to posts which are now tied to “Homeschool Empowerment Webring”.

About Homeschool 2 Point 0

3 Steps to Making State Standards Useful at Home:

No Child Left Behind Homeschool

If this as a homeschool advocate causes your blood pressure to rise, please do not flame these blog owners. It is my opinion that unless a person lives in Alaska, what is on that blog is not a problem to them. However, it is also my opinion that a national homeschool webring whose members are stated (in the group description) to be willing to participate in media outreach should be a huge concern to homeschool advocates everywhere. Why should homeschool advocates be so accommodating to the point of their own downfall? To even have to invest time to refute information generated from the webring that one can homeschool through a public school at home program is self-defeating to homeschool advocates. At one point, on a large national list, Terri stated that the webring belonged to the members. If this was a sincere statement, then the members, potential members and readers should be able to have the opportunity to influence the webring owner that an error has been made; an error which should be reversed.

If you’re interested in discussing in a public forum how homeschool and public school at home advocates might work together to influence the webring owner, please feel free to do so at the American Homeschool Association’s Political Action Yahoogroup. This is something that should be of concern to public school at home parents as well. It is important to the survival of both educational options that we do not allow these options to be blended into one–not even by a homeschool webring owner. I can be reached via email at: ajcjdm@localnet.com

About Annette

Annette - A former homeschool mom in a state with no public school at home programs (yet).
This entry was posted in AHA: Homeschooling & Ps-at-Home, Alaska, Commentaries. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Homeschool Empowerment Webring & Political Action

  1. To some of your points, Annette, such as they are:

    >… I had joined a national homeschool webring based upon its description. I am not disappointed in the webring itself, on the contrary. I am disappointed in the lack of discernment from the webring owner in changing the focus of the webring without any notification to the current members. I cannot seem to get an answer from Terri as to why public school parents with a blog which promotes schooling with a public charter school is eligible for membership in a “homeschool” webring.

    I answered you completely when you inquired on the HEM list (sorta—you never did really inquire, you just complained) : Homeschool 2.0 is welcome on the Homeschool Empowerment webring because I believe they fully fit the description of a homeschool support group that can inform and speak out on behalf of homeschooling in their state. Since, as you’ve admitted, you’re not in Alaska, that doesn’t sound like it affects you at all.

    >… However, it is also my opinion that a national homeschool webring whose members are stated (in the group description) to be willing to participate in media outreach should be a huge concern to homeschool advocates everywhere. Why should homeschool advocates be so accommodating to the point of their own downfall? To even have to invest time to refute information generated from the webring that one can homeschool through a public school at home program is self-defeating to homeschool advocates.

    It’s a *webring* not a federal project, for goodness sakes! The description is relatively general because it’s just a webring, a loose, internet association of websites with similar foci — a *webring* is what you’re going nuts about here. I think some serious perspective is in order.

    This isn’t going to bring down the world as we know it, honest. Homeschooling’s “downfall” is not imminent because there’s one group out of twenty on a webring (out of thousands in the country) that you don’t like. To even *be* investing the time to refute a webring is rather bizaare.

    (Personally, I have huge concerns about this blog representing homeschoolers, but hey, I think everyone should have a voice, even when it’s strident and somewhat incoherent. )

    >If you’re interested in discussing in a public forum how homeschool and public school at home advocates might work together to influence the webring owner, please feel free to do so at the American Homeschool Association’s Political Action Yahoogroup.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to contact the webring owner? You can drop me a line at willinghamster@gmail.com and I’m happy to chat (you don’t need to Annette – you’ve already spoken your piece) and consider all views.

    Although, again, it’s just a webring, and I may well be busy with my family or work, which seems like a better use of my time — and I hope of others’ time, as well — so I may not answer right away (although I always answer).

    Or better yet – here’s an idea! You can start your own webring if you don’t like HomeEdPower. That would be *so* much less time consuming for all of us.

    >This is something that should be of concern to public school at home parents as well. It is important to the survival of both educational options that we do not allow these options to be blended into one–not even by a homeschool webring owner. I can be reached via email at: ajcjdm@localnet.com

    I had *no* idea a single small webring could wield so much national power and influence, that the actual survival of both virtual schools and homeschooling completely hinge on a the existence of….a webring!

    And I thought there was so much riding on the 2008 election.

    Terri

  2. Annette says:

    Terri,
    Thanks for addressing my concerns over at AHA-Political Action yahoogroup:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AHA-PoliticalAction/