Similar Educational Options, Yet Chemically Different

At the NCSW yahoogroup and blog, the reader will find a picture of a bridge. The bridge represents to me a bridge of communication that I have been interested in establishing for some time now with those who are involved in public school at home programs. I see homeschool parents at one end of the bridge, and parents whose children are enrolled in home-based public schooling at the other end. I see it as opposite ends because the differences between the two educational options are much like oil and water. Oil and water are both liquids. Yet when mixed, the mixture will soon separate. The reason for this is that the two are chemically distinct. Oil and water can be blended together, but it is an unstable relationship. Although, unstable relationships can be profitable and enjoyable. Salad wouldn’t quite be the same without salad dressing. :) I envision that through the group we are able to meet in the middle of the bridge together without fear of the bridge being sabotaged by either side.

At NCSW, the goal isn’t unity between two groups of parents to strengthen educational choice. The goal is understanding what polarizes us with our focus on our two different educational options. We want to know answers to questions such as:

  • Is homeschooling being negatively impacted by public school at home programs?
  • How might homeschool parents and home-based public school parents work together in ways that are beneficial to both of the two educational options?
  • Why it is that online homeschool discussions have the tendency to deteriorate when the topic of public school at home arises? What can we do to prevent this from happening?
  • Are the two educational options able to comfortably co-exist, side by side?
  • What things should we understand are not going to change among the two groups?
  • How might our differing perspectives be a stumbling block for communication?

One thing I would like to leave the reader with is Shawna’s experience with a public school at home program. I believe homeschool advocates find it a reason to celebrate when a child is able to get out of failing public schools into something better. However, there are too many experiences of parents like Shawna who are feeling overwhelmed and dismayed with the public school program their children are enrolled in. In such cases, homeschool advocates are quite willing, unapologetically, to point out the reason for their dismay and frustation, and offer a possible, better alternative for that particular family called, independent homeschooling.

About Annette

Annette - A former homeschool mom in a state with no public school at home programs (yet).
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4 Responses to Similar Educational Options, Yet Chemically Different

  1. Pingback: Homeschooling and Public School at Home » Similar Educational Options, Yet Chemically Different

  2. Pingback: Annette Asks Some Good Questions « A Woman On Purpose

  3. Shannon says:

    I love the idea of understanding and not unity. I don’t believe unity in the homeschooling cause will ever happen with these two groups. It really is oil and water. Here in Washington State the public school at home programs are popping up every day it seems. I am a team member of a local support group and we have always not allowed advertising of these programs but discussion of them. It has caused quite an emotional out burst of those who participate in them. We have found that they are not necessarily homeschoolers by law anymore yet call themselves homeschoolers. This is exactly where the line is drawn for me personally. I feel it blurs the lines of public instruction and home base instruction. I believe we have a common goal…the education of our children but other than that I am still trying to figure it out.

    Thanks for your blog I will keep in touch with it.
    Mid-Columbia Washington

  4. ChristineMM says:

    Is there a place (blog, site, whatever) where I can read what some of the issues are?

    I have homeschooled my children since birth. Public school at home is not a big thing in my state yet. I am active in HS networking in the inclusive group in my state.

    I have always wanted a clear delineation between the charter school at home, public school at home and “true homeschooling”. However I have no idea what problems may have resulted so far from the public school at home or virtual charter school thing happening.

    I have no clue of clashes between shall I call them ‘traditional homeschoolers’ and the public school at home group.

    Anyhow other than joining the yahoogroup and trying to search the archives has this topic been summarized in past blog posts here or someplace else?

    You have my curiosity up.

    I linked through from my friend Judy’s blog, Consent of the Governed.