Many Ohio families have been very excited about the opportunity to have their children study under licensed teachers using government curriculum and computer equipment. This is a great alternative for parents who want to have a more hands on approach to their child's education. Still, I wanted to make sure that our readers understand that although this is online learning conducted at home, it is not considered Home Schooling.
Home school is not simply school done at home.
Virtual public school and home school are both conducted at home but the rules are very different. The state requirements and statutes are very different for the two groups. Although some home school families do use online curriculum they are still responsible for their own record keeping and testing in addition to other unique responsibilities that the virtual public school student and family are not required to fulfill. In fact, both K-12 and Connections Academy state on their websites that they are not a home school program.
The truth is that true homeschooling families are independent from the school system and they are responsible for providing their own curriculum, teaching the required subjects and the parent is recognized as their child's primary teacher.
The parent who chooses to use a virtual public school program agrees to state regulations and in return they are given free curriculum and certified teachers. The parent's role in these situations is defined as an auxiliary assistant.
Why it matters.
Many parents who choose to home school desire to be free of the federal regulations that come standard with public education. Virtual school parents are not usually concerned about these hard fought-for freedoms. Homeschooling families have some concern about using the terms interchangeably as this may eventually lead to the erosion of many of the legal protections now enjoyed by home schoolers.