PPPs vs. Homeschooling

Email of the Day:
I feel sometimes those who choose a route like this- 2 days of school – choosing only classes and curriculums we approve of as parents- are viewed by some, not all, as having a lesser status as someone who hand picked the curriculum but their child goes to a co-op once or twice a week. Again, I know that’s not everyone- but I think that stigma of being “not really a homeschooler” can dissuade some from choosing a path that offers a lot of oftentimes much needed support, while still being in control of what classes your child takes. The one restriction at PPPs is counting hours used from a religiously based curriculum- and I get that is a deal breaker for some. And I know some parents really need the pep talk to hang in there, but I feel an equally strong message should be that parents who choose a PPP or ALE are not “selling out” because a lot of parents and children need that for a lot of different reasons.

Here’s the single reason I think elucidating the difference between ALEs/PPPs and homeschooling is so critically important: a lot of people don’t know that you can homeschool.

They think participation in an ALE/PPP is the only “homeschooling” that can be done. They think they’re trapped. They think the only thing they can do is slog along while their kidlet flails and feels like a failure.

And that’s heart-breaking.

I can’t tell you the number of people for whom I’ve lifted the weight of the world from them simply by explaining the difference. It’s like they’re the cow who thinks its still chained to the tether, and doesn’t even try to go for the grass outside the trampled circle.

And that’s heart-breaking.
And it’s so easily preventable.

Words have meaning. And they matter.

We have all these great choices in schooling in WA: private schools, traditional public schools, ALEs, PPPs, Virtual Academies, Homeschooling.

We have the option of part time attendance.

Attending a PPP or ALE or VA isn’t “selling out.” It’s “buying in.”
It’s the first step to buying in to taking charge of your child’s education. It’s the first step to buying in having your child at home some or most of or all of the time.

It’s just not homeschooling.

And that’s okay.

I have a Jeep and I have a Subaru. Both get me where I want to go. My Subaru is never going to tow as much as my Jeep nor lumber over logs in the forest. My Jeep is never going to corner or be as smooth (and quiet) a ride as my Subaru. My Jeep is awesome — but it’s not a Subaru. My Subaru is awesome — but it’s not a Jeep.

Here’s what makes homeschooling so gloriously unique among the choices in education that we have here in WA:

RCW 28A.200.020 states that “parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction shall be subject only to those minimum state laws and regulations which are necessary in ensuring that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children receiving such instruction. Therefore, all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent.”

The homeschool law also states that “the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.”

~ Jen GS