Stereotypes abound in the tensions between the homeschooling and public schooling communities. Distrust and suspicion often lead to sharp divisions as people choose sides instead of opportunities. School districts in Michigan are busting stereotypes, breaking down walls, and building partnerships. A new MindShift article explains:
Michigan has a Schools of Choice program, which means families can choose where to send their children based on the programs offered, not only on where they live. School districts are competing to attract students, and the state funds that come with them. While many homeschool families aren’t interested in enrolling their children in public school full time, they see the benefit of taking a few classes if that means they have more access to funds to pay for instruction of their choice.
It’s expensive for homeschooling families to provide the music lessons, tutors and other opportunities they’d like their children to access. Getting help from the public schools — which their tax money supports — gave homeschooling families a tremendous lift and helped them overcome their distrust of the public system.
This model also benefits the public schools. With the extra money coming in from these part-time homeschoolers has helped fund a STEM program, teacher training, etc.. In addition, the partnership encouraged schools to focus on project-based learning while learning from homeschoolers how to customize and personally tailor education to fit with the needs of each student.
What started as a financial incentive for both sides has resulted in a program that has broken down stereotypes, built trust and helped change ingrained notions of how instruction and learning can look both in and outside the system.
Once these stereotypes are broken down, public educators
Get a chance to see what reality is, then all of a sudden they are supportive of the concept that parents have a right to choose the method under which their kids will be educated.
It’s good to see a public school system that can #TrustParents and work with them to get great results for their kids.
(You can read the full article here.)