What About Other Homeschool Options?
Government-funded programs for home educators are enticing. They provide free materials and educational experiences to homeschooling families. But what price do parents pay to participate in these programs? You might want to check out the DVD in MÂCHÉ's store, Exposing a Trojan Horse, which uncovers the hidden costs of parents participating in government-funded programs for home educators.
Definition of Home Education
MÂCHÉ believes that true home education takes place when children are primarily taught and educated under the authority of their own parents in their own home. We believe parents, not government, should determine the curriculum and standards for their own children. Home education fulfills its highest calling when parents educate their own children according to Christ-centered, biblical principles.
virtual charter schools
Virtual Charter Schools have increased in popularity in recent years. This taxpayer-funded system attempts to achieve a sort of "compromise" between a public school education and a real homeschooling experience. The idea is that, using a Government-sanctioned curriculum, the student can have a homeschool-like experience, while the parents enjoy such benefits as academic excellence and cost savings. But is this reality? Do Virtual Charter Schools deliver what they promise?
The answers to these questions are a resounding "No!" These and other Virtual Charter School myths are addressed powerfully by the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE). In short, ICHE says, "The practical effect of enrollment in a virtual charter school program is to bring the public school district into the home of the student." We enthusiastically recommend the Idaho Coalition's entire analysis, provided HERE.
Minnesota's experience with publicly-funded virtual academies mirrors the poor results found in other states like Idaho. John Tuma, MÂCHÉ board member and Legislative Liaison, noted the following concerning virtual public school at home:
"Recently the highly respected Office of the Legislative Auditor, in a programmatic review of Minnesota’s publicly funded online schools, found performance of online schools woefully lacking. In comparison to students who attend traditional public schools, the full-time online students’ academic test scores were significantly lower, they showed less progress, and in some cases their dropout rate was eight times higher.
"MÂCHÉ and other homeschool leaders have been warning about the dangers of these government-funded programs for years, and now the studies are bearing out the concerns we have raised. You can find the Office of the Legislative Auditor’s report is available online at http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/k12oll.pdf."