Saturday, November 11, 2006

A new breed?

A post that I read at Mom is Right has gotten me thinking about something that has really been bugging me lately. There seems to be a growing group among homeschoolers who have the gimmes.

Most of the homeschoolers that we have known over the years--numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands, of families--have just wanted to be left alone to educate their children in the way that is best for them. They've banded together with other homeschoolers to create opportunities for group activities and support. They have understood that in leaving school behind they were potentially giving up some benefits.

The new breed that we're seeing likes the idea of homeschooling, but they often want help. Many of them think that they should get money back because they aren't using the schools. Some think that although they have opted out of having the schools teach their children they should be able to take part in the activities that they choose like sports or music groups.

And they don't care if this isn't the best thing for homeschoolers. They don't care if it brings more regulation. They don't care if hard-won freedoms are lost. They just want what they want.

Sometimes we all have to make tough choices. The choice to continue homeschooling through high school has meant fewer opportunities for our oldest son. In an ideal world sports wouldn't be tied to school, but they are, and it's a choice we made. My son having the opportunity to play high school sports--and he is good enough--is not worth chancing a loss of freedom for other Hoosier homeschoolers.

We could all use a little more money. But if it comes at the cost of testing and curriculum requirements then we've lost far more than we've gained.


Meg L. said...

I hate the gimme type as well. Just leave me alone!

Good to see you again!!

Beth said...

What are the policies in Indiana concerning homeschooled kids and high school classes and programs? Here in Illinois, being taxpaying citizens, our kids are allowed to take classes and participate in programs as long as they are not full. I think that that is fair.

I'm not quite sure why you call homeschoolers who feel that their kids could benefit from these things 'gimme types'. Homeschooling is not just about keeping the kids away from public school, but doing what is best
for each individual kid.

Our highschooler, previously exclusively home taught took driver's ed and is now taking French at our local HS. He also took the pre ACT with the sophomore class. I've established a relationship with the school, and the teachers there like and respect my son, where before they had had only negative experience with homeschoolers. I think that it has been a good thing for everyone.

Jane said...

Beth, this required a long enough response that I made it a new post.