Why are people so adamant that homeschooling/unschooling is going to get my family arrested?

My guardian did research about homeschooling/unschooling requirements in my state before I started this semester. Basically what we learned was that I needed to be able to show evidence that I was being educated in mathematics, language arts (reading and writing), science, and health. That, and I needed to be able to pass the ITBS/ITED or some other standardized test every year. Well…I’ve been doing fine with those every year although the material rarely has that much to do with what you learn in classes anyway. 

We were nervous about meeting requirements, so my family and I looked at a lot of those online high schools. The problem with those was that they basically became public school without the social interaction. In other words, you aren’t really freeing yourself up or your time up from regular school so much as doing it starting at a screen versus staring at an overhead projector. What I’m doing right now is a combination of Education Portal, Kahn Academy, a bit of Saylor (although we use lesson plans from there as ideas and not as set-in-stone programs), sometimes those Yale lectures, and Allison.com (which I ended up finding a bit too easy). I am also enrolled at a place called the Grey School of Wizardry. That sounds silly, but the courses actually teach you or encourage you to teach yourself quite a lot about mathematics, history, multiculturalism, people skills, health, writing effective essays, etc. To illustrate, on Education Portal I just got done learning about the Mayan civilizations and in Mathemagicks they wanted me to write a paper about a pyramid. To go along with my Education Portal curriculum, I wrote about one of the Tikal pyramids and included that paper in my “paper trail” related to my social studies work. 

On the forums, I’ve run into a lot of people saying that it is absolutely illegal/unacceptable to use the Grey School as part of homeschooling or unschooling. I guess I’m very confused about that. If Kahn Academy is alright, and Education Portal is alright, why is a paper written for a course that asks you to research the very thing you’re learning about on Education Portal not something worth showing “the state” if they ever ask what you’ve been learning about? I tend to make my Grey School assignments longer and more in-depth than they have to be so that they can be incorporated into my regular curriculum. They’re obviously not all I do, but they are interesting to me and keep me writing which keeps me creating a good paper trail should somebody ask. 

I’ve noticed that in a lot of places, there seem to be people who think that homeschooling or unschooling (unless you maybe stick to some kind of Common Core thing or some kind of obvious curriculum online) is a one-way ticket to jail/failure in life. My guardian knows a ton of public school graduates who went on to college and landed jobs at grocery stores after months of searching, so I’m not sure why there’s all of this insisting that public school works. It doesn’t, not for everyone at least. 

Why are people so convinced that homeschooling or unschooling is illegal or wrong? My family and I reviewed the requirements for homeschooling in my state as well as the common core standards for each course and figured out what we could do/wanted to do within those guidelines and think we’re all doing okay. So what’s with the drama? 

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2 thoughts on “Why are people so adamant that homeschooling/unschooling is going to get my family arrested?

  1. I have never heard of the Grey School before. On looking it up it looks like something that my son may enjoy. I will research a little bit more before signing up, as I am finding the class descriptions a little vague but what you have said here sounds good.
    I suspect that you are getting push-back/comments about it because based on the name, this school would be considered completely unacceptable for most Christians, not because it is actually illegal.

    1. Haha that might be, although some of the push-back comes from people who actually use the school or work there. I think some of them may be under the impression that homeschool = doing an accredited online high school at home and thinking “oh geez, that’s not what we are.” You know, the funny thing is that Grey School doesn’t discriminate religiously at all. You’d expect they’d be Pagan-ish or New Age-slanted, but they’re not. I don’t think any questions I’ve had to answer so far for homework assignments have actually required me to talk about religion.

      It’s $45 for a whole year for youth students which is nice because then you don’t have that whole monthly thing to deal with.

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