It seems like we shoot ourselves in the collective foot when we say 'homeschooling.' It is usually an inaccurate term.
Look at the word. Home-school. Logical conclusion? School at home. Have your school room, mom stands in front of her two kids who are locked in from 8-3, kids never go outside.
It's like saying you're a lefty, but you actually use your right hand for everything.
It seems like we could save ourselves a lot of time and trouble if we started being more uniform and accurate in our descriptions. I'd like to hear other people's opinions, suggestions, objections, whatever you have. All terms are what I would use. Examples are all taken from my friends.
Definition: Parent as teacher, use of curriculum.
Example: Cole, Noelle, Garrett and Wyatt H. Follow a school-type curriculum. Their mother assigns school work and homework, and grades assignments.
As much as it might lead to fewer negative connotations, I believe we are just stuck with the term "homeschooling". The idea of kids going away to a school building is just so rooted in society, but even if it is not totally accurate, the term "homeschooling" quickly tells someone that you are not sending your kids off to the school building every week day.
Once you tell someone you are a homeschooler they are probably going to ask you questions about how and why you do it and start expressing your concerns. And I think if you identify yourself as an unschooler, independent learner, or on-line student people are going to start by asking you what that means and then asky about how and why you do it and start expressing their concerns.
And the vast majority of homeschoolers use a variety of methods. Some do school-at-home for a few subjects and unschool everything else, so how should they describe themselves succinctly. "Homeschooling" covers a wide variety of options and people. The only term that would be roughly equivalent and slightly more accurate would be "home educating".
I've thought the same thing as well. Homeschooler does have a somewhat negative connotation. It is probably part of the reason so many think we lock our kids up and they never see the sunlight, or other kids/people.
I think independent student/learner is a good one; it's much more positive.
I guess your right. Maybe "Homeschooler" has become a negative word. I guess maybe I'll be an Independent Educator this year. My children will be Independent Learners. (Don't I wish)
I think the whole system should be called the
Home-Based Education System
Home Schoolers are exactly as you said. In a structured situation with Parent as supervisor or Teacher.
On-Line Schooling is as you said, turn on computer and work at a web site.
Home-Based School In A Box. One of those complete courses you buy with books, CDs and DVDs.
Self-Schooling should replace unschooling. Loosely structured learn-by-doing process that covers one or more genunine academic or practical study groups (sorry, mastring Doom doesn't count, mastering chess would count, learning to cook or work a garden would count).
I wonder how many people out there are opposed to Work Out Of Home. I know three people that do it and they don't get to "socialize" with the people in the office. Are they deprived because they don't get to be involved in office politics!
Ok, the word 'Homeschool','Homeschooler' or 'Homeschooling' are a GENERALIZATION that means you are learning AT home.
Students who attend classes via the Internet are not ACTUAL homeschoolers. They attend a VIRTUAL School which the parent(s) pay for. The same is true for those who attend UMBRELLA schools.
Virtual and Umbrella schools are paid for by the parent(s) and therefore send THEIR curriculum for the student(s) to do and keep hold of ALL paperwork, scores, transcripts until the student(s) graduates. The parent is mearly a MONITER to ensure that no cheating goes on and that the schoolwork is done promptly and turned in quickly. This type of schooling has little room for Field Trips and very rarely bends to the child's particular learning style or needs and sets a time 'LIMIT' on when work is recieved,done and returned. The parent has little to no say in the curriculum.
True HOMESCHOOLING whether it is Classical,Unschooled,Child Directed,Relaxed, is when the parent is in charge of 'Creating' the schoolday and bends the work to suit the childs needs,style,level and interest.
Many parents feel comfortable using a Boxed or Prepackaged Curriculum, while others use whatever is at hand. Some parents lean strongly towards Religious based learning while others take a Darwin stand or go with the Big Bang theory.
The point being is that when the parent is in charge and answers to noone other than a yearly review or evaluation THEN you have homeschooling.
But when you allow someone else to 'DICTATE' how your child(ren) learn, you pay them money and they handle the paperwork you are NOT a TRUE homeschooler but a SYSTEM schooler who simply does their work at home.
I am happy to claim Homeschooling as is my daughter. While I may have to submit a yearly evaluation for her and hold on to her schoolwork for 2-5 yrs. It is nice to know that I can slow down or speed up her learning, teach to her style, sprinkle liberally with field trips,not have to stress her out over upcoming State Mandated tests, give her REAL answers to her questions and not have to say 'You're too young', leave on vacation when I want and not have to rush back for fear she'll miss a schoolday and be able to chuck the whole system if it doesn't work for her and find what does work.
You can't do that with Regular School OR with Virtual school OR with Umbrella School.
FYI the only reason that we even give 'Grades' or say that our child is in a particular grade is because the SYSTEM gives us blank looks and insists on 'pigeon-hole'ing children.
We tell them what they want to hear and go our merry little way.
I think we should not be so concerned about semantics, or terminology, but rather concentrate on what it is we are doing as home school families, which is educating our children.
We are choosing an alternative form of education for our children over the traditional conventional way of schooling.
There are always going to be those who oppose this choice.
Changing the name, or terminology to describe our choice is not going to eliminate this at all.
There is so much information on home schooling available today that it is almost impossible not to be able to educate oneself on it.
It is not about clarifying, or defining home schooling; some will never see it for what it really is; our God given right to direct the upbringing, and education of our children.
busymom definitely said it best.
People are going to choose to think what they choose to think. Just like some people choose to think negatively about people that choose to send their children to publicschool without stopping to consider this may be the best option for them.
My vote is less labels, less trying to define people based on EXACTLY how they choose to educate their children and more understanding and acceptance of those with different definitions of "best"
Our attitude towards others will do more to change someone's mind about the educational choices we make than making sure everyone uses the correct terminology and making sure everyone with a certain "title" meets the "requirements" necessary to "earn" that title.
We usually use the term "home education" up here now. The term homeschool is on it's way out but I use it online because it seems to be more universally accepted.
good question: I like life-long learner or:
a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.
I fail to see how I "shoot myself in the foot" when I simply say that I am a home school teacher. To tighly define terms is more lethal than to loosely define them and allow for further explanation later. Also, to assume that one parent schools the same way for each child is to assume home schooling is far less flexible than it actually is.
I will use myself as an example.
I unschool my 4 yo. My 7 yo was unschooled until this spring. My 7 yo now uses some workbooks and joins my 10 yo and 13 yo in unit discussions and projects. A 11 yo boy who comes to our doorstep every morning except for Saturday and Sunday did not do anything the other children did last year. This year he still comes to learn in my home and still uses Calvert through an online school but now he also joins the 7, 10 and 13 yo children at the unit discussion time. Last year the middle boys projects, books, ect. assigned by me but they decided the time frame in which they would complete the assignments. The 14 yo goes away to a co-op for biology lab, uses an online school for art and driver's ed and Spanish 1, uses text books in a self-taught method for Algebra, Literature and learns writing from a program I designed for his specific needs.
What am I? Hmmmm. I suppose I could say that I run an individual-study private school. ;)
Too make it simple for people who are interested in what I do for a living and to sell the wonderful diversity of home schooling, I say I run a home school. If they want more information later, I will gladly supply it. Now to those who call me to sell me insurance in the middle of the work week I answer the phone, "Hello, this is Liberty Gospel School. How may I help you." Ahhhh. This is so effective! They appologize for the wrong number and hang up. :D
I stipulate that terms may need to be adjusted depending on the person to whom you are talking and that learning can be as individual as the child. It need not be the same method under one teacher or facilitator.
Why should I confuse people by saying I am an unschooling, Classical, unit study mom??
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