Saturday, April 30, 2011

Public school at home?

Surrender Your Freedom and Get Free Stuff with Public School at Home Program

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The New Richmond public school system is getting ready to offer free stuff to homeschoolers—to parents who surrender their freedom.

Many New Richmond-area homeschoolers received a letter asking for their input about the school system starting an online academy. Here are three important facts you should consider.

1. The letter implies that your child can be homeschooled and be a full-time student in the public school’s online program all at the same time. This is misleading. When children sign up for a full-time public school at home program, they truly become public school students. These children are no longer legally in a “home-based private instruction program,” as homeschooling is known in Wisconsin .

2. The letter fails to mention that you would be required to use the public school program’s books and curriculum. Just as with a child attending a brick-and-mortar public school, you would have no right to substitute books that would be better for your child. (Of course, you could “supplement” with additional books—if you have the time and energy after all the public school work is finished.)

3. The letter doesn’t tell you that the books and curriculum they provide are thoroughly secular. They cannot legally offer you any book, CD, individual teacher coaching, online program, etc., that teaches the truth about God.

One of the strengths of homeschooling is that parents are free to choose the curriculum that best meets their child’s individual learning style, aptitude and interests. But since public school online programs only offer one curriculum for all children, it will be the wrong program for many children.

But even if the curriculum produces good academic results for some children, an education that does not place God at the ultimate center of every subject does not support the developing faith of a child.

If the New Richmond program follows the example of similar programs, it will offer free access to state-certified teachers, books, educational CDs, online programs—even a computer and Internet connection.

Do not be surprised if the public school at home program hires one of your friends as a recruiter. Think through how you will respond if someone you know and respect urges you to join. Consider how much your freedom means to you, and the real cost of the free stuff they are offering you.

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

And now for my input-
This isn't just an over-hyped tantrum from an overworked activist.  Personally, I know a family - have known for a long time - who have the "public school at home" system.  4 kids in one family who are all smart as anything.  I suppose that this may be the best thing for them since both parents work and they don't want their children submersed in the rancidity of public school "socialization".  (Don't worry, they get out plenty :)  Don't get me wrong, these kids live in a great home with many great opportunities, with loving parents.  Parents who don' have time to really homeschool their children (and it does take a lot of work!).  However, since these parents are concerned for raising their children knowing God and the truth.  So when everything in the school curriculum points to lies and left-wing-ism, they assign them books and such to contradict and hopefully override the jargon they are required to learn, at the same time kids in public school would be learning.  Same days and hours - same teachers and teachings.
The sad thing is that the youngest of this smart lot is failing many of his classes because, simply, he has a different learning style.  His mom says that when he resites his answers out loud, he aces the test, but when he is required to write them down, he is oft gets them wrong.  There is nothing wrong with him - just the style in which he is learning.  This boy may have to take 4th grade over again next year.

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