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Volume 17, Number 2
March/April 2001

The New Face of Homeschooling

Homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning


Adam Schieber's school day straddles two worlds. After eating breakfast with his family, the 15-year-old pads over to an iMac in his bedroom at 8 a.m. and logs on to the Virtual Charter School, an online compendium of Internet links, teacher webpages, lessons, and assignments created for homeschooled children by the teachers of Basehor-Linwood (KS) public school district, where Adam lives. At 10:30 he showers and goes to the local public high school, where his older brother is a full-time senior. Adam takes two classes, chemistry and French. Between classes he joins his brother and pals at lunch in the school cafeteria, and at 1:30 he returns home to finish off any schoolwork left over from the morning.

This is the new face of homeschooling. Where once, not so long ago, homeschooling families were entirely on their own to find curricula, provide opportunities for socializing, and monitor academic growth, today an increasing number of school districts are offering homeschooling parents a rich array of benefits. In Kansas, California, Colorado, Washington, and other states, school districts that once grudgingly granted permission for homeschooled children to participate in after-school activities now openly court them with virtual curriculum packages, school-based enrichment centers, in-service training sessions, and even, in at least one case, a full-time school designed to satisfy the demands of homeschool families. "It's an incredible safety net," says Adam's mother, Melanie Dearing, of the curriculum, textbooks, and professional support she gets from the school district to homeschool Adam and two younger children, Nicole, 7, and Brandon, 5.

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For Further Information

For Further Information

Basehor-Linwood Virtual Charter School, 3102 N. 155th St., P.O. Box 251, Basehor, KS 66007; 913-724-1727.

H. Cordes. "Battling for the Heart and Soul of Homeschoolers." (October 2, 2000).

Home School Legal Defense Association
, P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134.

P.M. Lines. Homeschoolers: Estimating Numbers and Growth. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 1999.

P.M. Lines. "When Homeschoolers Go to School: A Partnership Between Families and Schools." Peabody Journal of Education 75, nos. 1, 2 (2000): 159-186.

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District Charter School, 6264B Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018; 831-335-8344.

Z.P. Tyler and J.C. Carper. "From Confrontation to Accommodation: Homeschooling in South Carolina." Peabody Journal of Education 75, nos. 1, 2 (2000): 32-48.

K.M. Welner and K. Welner. "Contextualizing Homeschooling Data: A Response to Rudner." Educational Policy Analysis Archives 7, no. 13 (1999): 1-11

Wichita eSchool, 412 S. Main St., Wichita, KS 67202; 316-973-5181; fax: 316-973-7916.