PostHeaderIcon The Home School Conspiracy

By Jael Strong

I’m a conspiracy nut. I recognize this about myself, but I am certain that I am on to something here. For those of us who have chosen to home school our children, the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Why did we choose to home school our children?

As discussed in a previous post, the advantages to home schooling are many. There are three things that seem to rank high on the list when it comes to good reasons to educate our children at home. One, we can help our children to avoid harmful influences. Two, we have scheduling flexibility. And three, we gain control over our child’s curriculum. Why are so many parents choosing to take control of their child’s education through home schooling and then throwing the control back into the hands of the public school system through online schooling?

Online schooling can take several forms. There are charter schools designed for home education. There are also correspondence courses that home schooling parents can purchase for their child’s educational needs. These are not what I am talking about. I am talking about public schooling simply made available online for parents who have expressed the desire to home school their children.

For any parent that has gone to the school board and said, “I want to home school little Johnny,” this may sound familiar. You tell them that you aren’t satisfied with the public school system and wish to home school your child, and they tell you that they have a solution. You can “home school” junior at home through the online public school. They may even toss in a free computer and an internet connection.

Here is the problem with this scenario: This is not home schooling. By engaging in this type of “home schooling,” you immediately give up the three desirable items listed at the outset. Your child has online communication with other students that you do not know. Screening who your child is associating with over their school internet connection may present even greater challenges than the physical public school scenario. Time flexibility is taken away since now you will be subject to the public school’s timeline. Finally, you lose absolutely all control over your child’s curriculum because these online public schools are subject to the same standards to which all other state run schools are subject.

The public school system feels threatened by the home schooling phenomenon. (Though home schooling was originally deposed by the public school system.) In order to deal with this threat, these online public schools were instituted. These virtual public schools boost the public school enrollment records and thus aid in funneling more tax money into the public school system. They keep control out of the hands of parents, and therefore fly in the face of the principles most often associated with the concept of home schooling. These computer classrooms are not designed to help children learn. As concerned parents that have taken the step to remove our children from the public school system, shouldn’t we carefully consider the consequences before handing the education of our children over to those from whom we took it?

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