Sunday, February 1, 2009

Charter Schools

"Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools in the United States that receive public money but have been freed from some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter." (Wikipedia)

We use a charter school and right now we love it. This is often frowned upon in home school circles and is considered "not really homeschooling". I am so confused by this response and so I thought I would share what I know which to be honest is not a lot but it is MY experience so I think that counts for something! :)

A charter school is funded by the government and is covered by the public school system. Some charter schools have children attend classes on site and some charter schools give the child all the work they need to do and there is no parental choice. This has not been our experience.

I have chosen ALL the curriculum that we have used with Caeden. We do have California standards we have to meet but that can't be all bad right? But within those frameworks we can choose whatever we want. We pay for anything that is religious based and they reimburse all other curriculum and supplies up to $1000.00. These funds pay for anything that supports our learning. The chicken needed for the chicken mummy? Submit the receipt! Felt for sewing? Submit the receipt! Crayons, paper, glue, literature, manipulatives, juggling scarves, the list goes on. They have not EVER said you MUST get this or that and this is the common response I see on message boards or hear in conversation when people talk about charter schools. Thankfully this has not been our experience.

I am not responsible for all the record keeping which totally eases my mind. I am also accountable to someone and they help me with holes that we are noticing. For example, right now we are really struggling with math and our ES (educational support) has been giving me ideas on how to review math ideas. I am so grateful for her experience!

When we started this journey I went to a informational meeting for the charter we are using and the best thing they said was this:

"The charter school is for the parent who can't afford to send there child to a private school but is unhappy with the public school system. It gives back parental choice."

I loved the idea of parental choice and as long as we are getting this in this "system" I will stay. If this is compromised I will look at other options.

All this to say that I am not saying Charter schools are the only way to go. I have great respect for moms who are doing it on their own! I don't want to come across as a Charter school snob...really the reasons aren't all that snobby. I need help! To each his own. :)

Happy schooling no matter how you do it or who you are accountable to!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Thank you for writing this. it needed to be said!