The definition of a homeschooler seems to have become so blurred, that I feel compelled to write once again about this issue. I am going to be very straightfoward in order to be clear. Are you a legal homeschooler when you sign up for a charter school program?
Because the charter school programs are calling themselves homeschool programs, true homeschoolers have been made more vulnerable. For over 18 years now HSLDA has fought for the rights of families to homeschool with minimal regulations. If homschoolers contiune to rely on these government programs to help them homeschool their children, homechooling liberties will continue to be whittled away.
When I say that those in charter schools are not true homeschoolers, I am talking legal terms. Legally, if you are enrolled in a charter school program, you are not homeschooling but are in the public school. It may seem as though the words and definitions are no big deal, but in fact the words we use have huge consequences as they describe what is actually legal and true. For example, if one enrolls in a public school charter, HSLDA does not recognize them or even allow them to join. Why is this so? After all you are at home with your children all day. This is not to be unfriendly but just because it would be futile and silly to defend “homeschoolers” in public school programs. Please know and understand that you are no longer a homeschooler if you are enrolled in a government program. You are infact setting up a little public school in your home.
These definitions are made by law and the homeschooling community has had to rename certain terms in order to lessen the confusion and protect all that they have worked for decades to create.
Once again you may ask “Whats the big deal, who cares if we call a charter student a homeschooler?” The reason it is important to make these distinctions is because homeschoolers have worked too hard for years earning a reputation and gaining recognition from legislators all the way to next door neighbors. HSLDA and others are working tirelessly still to defend and protect our rights while the Dept. of Ed and NEA works to undermine homeschool freedoms and get as many students back as possible. The title or name “homeschooler” was hijacked by the public schools and it became redefined. That redefinition jeopardizes our homeschool freedoms legislatively.
I believe that the public charters use the name “homeschooler” because they know that this name is important and means so much to us. We will easily sign up if we can still “homeschool,” but if they offered us a public school program many would say “No thanks.” I am talking legal terms hear and not attacking peoples dedication to their children or how they spend their days. I think the reason it wounds and hurts some is because they have a homeschoolers heart.
Just so everyone has a clear understanding and so that homeschooling can be protected, if you are in a charter school please use the term public school, governemt school or even charter school…not homeschooler. Whether your charter school is homebased or in a classroom , these are 100% government programs.
Public schools have been around forever and they will continue to have many programs but they are not homeschool programs. HSLDA has some predictions about the future of homeschooling if the public school continues to enroll homeschoolers. These programs will continue to change the face of homeschooling . HSLDA is working hard to counter bills that are constantly being produced to destroy the homeschool movement.
Personally, I am all for educational choice…….and even support vouchers for charter or private schools. The more freedom’s and choices….the better. I also personally believe that the governmant schools are not appropriate for our Christian children…but that’s another topic.
We need to do all we can to protect our constitutional right to teach our children on our own if we want to.
For more information on charter schools please check out the following from HSLDA.