I have hesitated posting this infographic. It has a lot of great information in it, but the authors have also made a grave a mistake.
Under the heading “Today” the first thing it says is,
32 states and Washington D.C. provide Virtual Public Schools, Free education over the internet to homeschooling families.
This is very deceptive. It is true that many states have virtual schools in place that home educators can enroll. However, this has caused a lot of confusion from the legislators all the way down to the children enrolled in those virtual schools. My state began offering what they call VIP (virtual instruction program) several years ago. While the bill was going through the legislature my own representative, not knowing what he was saying, told me how the state was going to offer free online homeschooling. I thought he was nuts. It turned out he was, and he did not run for re-election.
Just because a child is being educated at home does not mean it is home schooling as defined by the state. Most states have laws that regulate homeschooling. My state, Missouri, has a very specific law regarding home schooling. It has a specific definition for homeschooling, and homeschooling is not regulated by the Missouri Department of Education. The VIP program is public school at home.
Enrolling your child in the VIP program makes him/her a public school student. It puts you and your child under the thumb of the Department of Education. The website for the VIP program clearly states that it is not homeschooling; however, homeschoolers are welcome to enroll.
Home educators use many tools outside of their homes to supplement their homeschool: piano lessons, gymnastics, sports, tutoring, or perhaps a program from their church. Virtual
public government schools are a tool available to homeschoolers; however, it is no different than sending your child to a brick and mortar government school.
Unfortunately, we no longer call things what they are. Government schools are now referred to as public schools, so the fact that these schools are run by our government is no longer at the front of our mind. A generation goes by and adults no longer think of anything called “public” as owned and run by our government. It is quickly forgotten that these things come with strings attached to Uncle Sam.
As a home educator, it is your decision whether or not to participate in your state’s virtual school. I encourage anyone who is considering enrolling in a virtual school to first do their homework and go in knowing exactly what they’re getting into.
With scrutiny, enjoy the graphic below.
By Lori Camper