Public schools have joined the homeschool movement with many states proving schooling materials to students who prefer to learn at home. This has caused a rift between traditional homeschoolers and those who use the program.
Question: What is your opinion of K12.com curriculum and other curriculum offered through state sponsored homeschool programs? Why do many homeschoolers seem to be against it?
Answer: Academically, state sponsored homeschool programs are on par with what is being taught in public schools, only it is taught at home via the computer. If your goal is to homeschool for just a couple of years and then return them to school, then using a state sponsored homeschool curriculum is a very good idea.
Another reason you might want to use public school curriculum, or even a private version of the same curriculum is that it is a good transition curriculum for new homeschoolers to use as parents become comfortable with choosing and designing curriculum that is better suited for their child.
Be advised however, that a state sponsored curriculum is not technically homeschooling. As the child is using curriculum paid for by the public school system, then they are still public school children and fall under the authority of the schools. If you are OK with that then fine, but it can be very constricting when compared to other methods of homeschooling. They can be pretty inflexible with scheduling requiring a child to spend a certain amount of hours a day online. For a child trying to homeschool around a sport or perhaps acting, the scheduling can be restricting. Before signing up, you must be sure to ask the representative questions about any concerns you may have and talk about any special services or flexibility your child might need.
In all, K12 and other programs like it are rigorous and a child who completes all of the work and studies hard is ensured a smooth entry back into public school and even college. However, students lose the benefit of fitting the education to their needs instead of making them conform to the curriculum. This is why homeschoolers are against it. The homeschooling movement has always focused on relaxed learning in a comfortable environment. When using a school-at-home approach the only part of homeschooling that remains is the home. Add that to the fact that such programs are controlled by the schools, which homeschoolers consider an invasion of privacy, and you will find that traditional homeschoolers don’t want to be associated with it.