Tuesday, April 19, 2011

*versus* - or *and*...

Traditional homeschooling versus Blended homeschooling?
Traditional homeschooling and Blended homeschooling?
i am going to try to make this post brief - mostly 'cause i hate confrontation & this is such a touchy subject in some homeschool circles. There are a variety of opinions & i'm just gonna share mine - since i foolishly brought it up on my last post & that invited questions. i'm not gonna dwell too long here 'cause i've got a lot of things i'm interested in & passionate about - & while homeschooling is one of them - the politics surrounding homeschool right now - especially among homeschoolers - isn't one of them.
In Alberta there are many, many choices for schooling your children. Some of these include public, catholic, private, christian, charter, homeschool, online etc....
You'd think with all these options, that homeschoolers would be a pretty unified little group - choosing to do something that i find to be extremely faith building and a lot of hard work... but no...
In Alberta, the government regulations have divided homeschoolers into 2 (or more) camps. The 2 main lables are Traditional homeschoolers - and Blended homeschoolers. The main difference between these two is that Blended homeschoolers receive more funding because they agree to align their program of studies to the learning outcomes of Alberta Ed. (i'm aligned in math and LA - because the learning outcomes are a part of my educational plan anyway). Some of the Traditional homeschoolers (and their boards, and AHEA) feel that the Blended homeschoolers (and their boards) are being unethical in their interpretation of the homeschool regulations. (They say that if you are blended, you have to have those subjects taught by a teacher using teacher led curriculum somewhere other than at home... this has not been my experience with blended).
The heart of the matter is that the regulations are read & understood in two different ways by these two camps. When i approached my board about these accusations, i was informed that they are audited every couple of years and that the Ministry was completely satisfied every time that things were as they should be. And yet - despite the fact that the people who created the regulations are satisfied that they are being followed... the rift remains.
What i'd love? To see homeschoolers supporting each other.
It's hard enough, this job we're doing - without the fragmentation that causes tension - and maligns the character of those who have chosen differently.
i don't know who reads my blog - traditional homeschoolers, blended homeschoolers... whatever. i hope that there isn't a big clarification & war of words in my comments section - but this is just a tiny piece of the struggle that exists here.


Stephanie said...

Well said. :)

Alisdair said...

Thanks for the clarification. I'd never heard about all that before. Being from Saskatchewan, we don't get funding so perhaps it isn't as big of an issue. Nice to know in case we decide to move a few miles West (we've talked about pros and cons of a move as we are so close to the provincial border!!) I know I always feel appreciative to meet other "homeschoolers" simply to know I am not alone "doing something crazy/out of the ordinary."

Blessings today (and always),

Saskatchewan Cousin

Lisa said...

I think that some of the problem comes in that a board *was* found to not be doing what they needed with blended students. I don't know if you remember that (phoenix), but it was messy and the blended hsers lost their funding that year :(

Now I totally agree with you, just so ya know....

But from my understanding, blended and aligned homeschoolers are not legally considered homeschoolers, but are counted as part of the public/catholic board when the gov't runs their numbers. Personally I don't agree with this, but the gov't has created it. And yes some people and ahea take it too far :( I think it sucks how its all played out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Paige,
I think most of the "rift" comes from that blended homeschoolers take more gov't funding and it gives the gov't more say in their childrens education. Meaning more control.
Traditional hsers don't want to lose their freedom with hsing- and the more people who choose to take more and more gov't money- the more freedom is lost.
Homeschool regulations are constantly being re-written and I think it's more about not letting the freedom of traditional be slowly completely taken away with the government running everything.

I didn't understand this before either, then I heard a lawyer from the homeschool legal defence association speak on this(Paul) and I understood.

You should call him for more insight.

I don't think it is such a matter of blended vs. traditional - homeschool is homeschool and I feel everyone for sure works just as hard as each other. Just in the case of the funding and control, it can easily be taken away from traditional if too many people let it be.

That being said, I'm sorry that it is a hurt for you at AHEA. But, also I'm sure your board and others have their own conferences where traditional isn't invited.

Hope this has shed a *little light on it for you. I don't know about others- but I completely agree that all homeschoolers do the same amount of work according to their own convictions.


Lola said...

Wow, I had no idea about any of that. We left Alberta before we had to think about homeschooling registration and funding but I do remember my friend Lisa talking about getting more money because she decided to align.

Here you can do whatever you want... seriously anything, and you just have to send in a little form at the end of the year... they don't visit or anything. BUT there is Zero funding.

Lori-Dawn said...

Carlee, you worded perfectly what I was trying to tell Paige at AHEA...but couldn't find the right words!
I hate the division. I don't care if people are blended, aligned, traditional homeschoolers...while I understand the stand that AHEA is taking in fighting for our freedom, it should not divide us as homeschoolers. Especially when often only the blended or aligned hs boards offer the much needed help with the learning disabled.
sigh...I raise my cup of grape juice to world peace...LOL

Eva said...

Hi, I came upon your blog through http://7plantedbythewater.blogspot.com/ and I love to read about other homeschoolers.

I homeschool our 4 children in Manitoba. I can see how having two kinds of homeschooling defined by the government would make things more difficult between homeschoolers. We have many different ways of homeschooling here but as far as the government is concerned as long as you are educating your children at home it is simply Homeschooling.


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