Monday, August 16, 2010

You Are NOT a Homeschooler If You Send Your Child to Public or Private School

I am so tired of public or private school parents claiming to be homeschoolers.

All parents are "home school parents". Some choose to share that educational mission with others outside of the home as their children mature. When they do, those partners in the educational mission should look first to the parents, not to a bloated federal bureaucracy.

If you "share the educational mission" by sending your child off to pubic or private school you are not a homeschooler.

A homeschool parent chooses the curriculum for their children, chooses the textbooks, creates lesson plans, grades papers, gives test, organizes field trips, and MEETS all the legal requirements the state they live in has for homeschoolers.

If you merely help your child with homework and "supplement" what they learn in public or private school you are NOT a homeschooler and it is insulting to homeschoolers to imply you are. It also gives ANTI-homeschoolers ammunition to use against homeschoolers. After all if Keith Public School Parent is a homeschooler and sends his child off to PUBLIC SCHOOL why can't all homeschool parents send their kids to public school and just homeschool after school like  Keith Public School Parent? We then have to waste time explaining to these imbeciles that know nothing about homeschooling that  Keith Public School Parent isn't a homeschooler even though he is stupidly insisting on calling himself one, because his God says something about parents teaching their kids in the Bible.

And yes, to some extent all parents teach their children. We teach them how to do many things before they are school age and we hopefully continue to influence them throughout their lives regardless of the educational choices we make for them. And yes, no matter what educational choice we make for our children we as parents should be involved in their education.  But if you send your children to public or private school you are not a homeschooler.


  1. Interesting. I think a lot of compulsory school parents do feel bad about sending their children to school. Whether it's an issue of being away from them for so long, or that they wish they could homeschool and are unable to for whatever reason, etc. And, whether or not they will admit to themselves or others. I only say this because the statement has a tone one would use to make someone else feel better. As in, "It's okay. You're still a parent who teaches your children, you just choose to do it 'this' way".

    Homeschoolers and compulsory schooled families are so different in basic schedule. Homeschoolers don't send their children to an "education partner" for 8 hours 5 days a week (not to mention tutoring from a 3rd partner). That's wonderful if that's what's best for their family. But, no, they aren't homeschoolers. Or home schoolers.

    I wonder why the writer of that article can't just be confident with their decision to send their child(ren) to compulsory school. What do we, homeschoolers, have to do with that? Why does the writer of that article feel the need to try to help compulsory parents feel better about their decision? I've never heard a homeschool parent say, "Well, I send my child to public school, it's just in the form of Science Co-op for 2 hours a week on Wednesdays and has nothing to do with the ISD I live in." Oh, that would be funny, though!

    It reminds me of the people who brag about sitting around the dining room table most nights to have dinner as a family. Those people in my life try to tell me that I should do the same. I always say, "I'm with my children all day long, I don't need to reconnect with them over dinner. Trust me, we spend plenty of time gathered around the dining room table together.

  2. yeah I have started hearing that...funny I didn't before. And having been a ps parent before I started homeschooling, t really does not compare.

    LOL Catie about the dinning table. Now I know what to say next time I hear a comment about not eating at the table...because we don't have one. Our "dining room" is a sewing room.

  3. Wow... that's a new one for me. I am still stuck on those people who claim to homeschool pre-k and then put their kids in school for a proper Kindergarten experience.

  4. Agree with you. Thanks for the insight.

    x imelda

  5. Nice article. I am putting it in the next carnival of homeschooling.

  6. I like the term "afterschooling" to encompass what these types of parents are doing. If circumstances changed and I wound up having to outsource the primary teaching responsibility to a bricks & mortar school, I would still almost certainly feel the need to supplement (and unfortunately probably re-teach). But I wouldn't consider my children to be "homeschooled".

  7. Crimson Wife, I like the term after schooling for the parents who send their kids to public or private school and then supplement their education too. I wish they would use it.

  8. You are right on spot. I hate the ones that said they homeschooled from birth to kindergarten. Ah, no you didn't, you loved and nurtured them into becoming little people, which is parenting, but you didn't homeschool them. That makes as much sense as saying a chicken homeschools her chicks to peck in the bread pan. People seems to have such a need for labels or egostroking, that they need to call themselves teachers instead of parents, like parent is a derogatory term.

  9. ahhh! Thank you!

    I call it being a good parent. But it's NOT homeschooling no matter what they call it.


  10. I agree with Lizzie. They are being good parents, but no, they are certainly not homeschooling.

  11. That is very interesting, I have been home-schooled for years and for the last 2 years I have been taking math and science at a public school but I am still taking the rest of my classes at home.
    What does that make me?

  12. What does that make Diva? Self-educated. All the fuss about where kids are schooled and by whom, in what, is a tragedy imo. To be schooled is to be a passive object. It's intransitive. Encourage your children to be active learners, not passive recipients of schooling, anywhere by anyone! And then it won't matter much to you or to them, what names they hear other folks calling each other.

  13. Sorry, but I find you to be a little self-righteous. I send my kids to public school and I homeschool.

    I may choose to take advantage of the wonderful teachers and staff at my local (and, by the way, quite wonderful) public school. I may choose to allow the boys to experience the opportunities our public school offers.

    But, make no mistake about it ... around here the responsibility for my children's education starts and ends at home. That makes me a homeschooler.

    They continue to learn as much (or more) from me in our every day activities and in our excursions as they do at school. That makes me a homeschooler.

    I take sole responsibility for their school successes and failures. That makes me a homeschooler.

    I sometimes question the motives or methods of those of you who choose to un-school. I would never say you aren't a homeschooler.

    I might wonder why you participate in co-op if you are "home"schooling your children. But I would never stoop so low as to question what you call yourself.

    If you want those of us who choose to send our children down a different path to respect your choice, maybe you should start respecting ours.

  14. Patricia Baker I respect your choice to send your child to PUBLIC SCHOOL and applaud you for being an involved parent.

    But you are not a homeschooler. You have no say in what textbooks your child uses, you do not grade his/her school papers, come up with lesson plans and meet the legal requirements for homeschooling in your state.

    And frankly I am perplexed by PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS who insist they are homeschoolers. Do you claim you send your child to private school too?


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