Closing Ranks?

Posted by Annie on Sep 20, 2009 in Education |

As a data miner so-to-speak, I collect homeschooling data on a massive scale, to use primarily as a resource to connect homeschooling families.

Closing Ranks?

Living in an area overrun with charter schools and very few independent homeschoolers, we don’t socialize much with fellow homeschoolers. It wasn’t planned, it just is. My attempts at starting a local group have been futile at best. Our lifestyle doesn’t lend itself well to structure or advance planning. We tend to grab life as it happens.

What I see in growing trends is a closing off of groups. I’ve received dozens of requests for the removal of groups, not because the group no longer meets but because they don’t want to accept new members. This is harsh folks.

If a group gets too large, you split it up into smaller groups that are more in-line with the members needs or location. Options are endless but to close your group to new members, prevents new homeschoolers from receiving the kind of help you found, when you were taking baby steps in the homeschooling realm.

To counter the closing of ranks, I see many, many new groups forming, with the group leaders complaining they can’t find a local support group.

It is my qualified option that we need to make ourselves more visible and more available to new homeschoolers if we ever expect to grow our ranks away from being termed a fringe element of society.

I have also noticed a greater push, this year — more so than in the previous couple of years — toward more government control. We are seeing a huge push in Alaska right now, more troubles for homeschoolers in Germany, England and now Sweden. This isn’t a public outcry; this new drive is coming from the public school system. The public schools are really starting to feel the pinch from declining enrollment, not only due to an increased number of those homeschooling, but also due to a decline in numbers of enrollment age children.

We must work together to strengthen our homeschooling families because the push for additional regulation or in some instances, outright bans, will continue to get worse in the coming months and years — especially as the economic situation worsens for many.

P.S. If your local homeschool support group is not listed on LocalHS please consider adding it — your neighbor might be looking for you to help get her homeschool off to a terrific start.

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