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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Homeschoolers on public school teams?

COFFEEI am absolutely bonkers about the Atlantic Station  neighborhood in downtown Atlanta. I actually have real plans to move there when my nest officially becomes empty.  I will live in a high rise apartment and have access to live shows, stores within walking distance, and restaurants on every corner.

There is a square Atlantic Station which is a very nice green space where lots of activities take place. There are a handful of tables and chairs around this green space where patrons of the restaurants can sit and enjoy the free internet provided in the area while sipping their coffee or eating the lunch they have purchased in the area.  Technically, anyone can sit at these tables and use the internet for as many hours as they please, but this leaves the people who are actual patrons in the area to perch uncomfortable on a stone ledge, or give up altogether, possibly even causing the stores to lose revenue as the patrons don't purchase a second cup of coffee or linger pick up a mid afternoon snack.

While the internet service is paid for by the city or community, one could argue that tax payments cover the use, so they can take up the tables with no regard to those who don't beat them to it, but it disturbs me a little bit that people could hog up all of the services without participating in what is the proper thing to do... patronize the businesses near the tables you are taking up.

It also disturbs me a little that as homeschoolers many of us don't want to patronize the schools, but still take up space on the football team that a child who does go to the school has earned. 

Besides that, it is not that difficult to find a travel league or alternative for homeschoolers to participate in.  Furthermore, I feel like it is a little hypocritical of us to complain about public schools and then still use the portion that will make our lives easier.


1 comment:

Catherine said...

I think this might be viewed a little differently based on where you live. We live in a town of 2000. The local schools are pretty much the only show in town. There is a Lutheran K-8 school and then the public high school. A very few families send their kids an hour away to private schools. The state doesn't allow homeschoolers to participate in high school sports, which doesn't really bother me because it's easy to see how that can be abused. For less competitive activities, like music, the school systems make their own rules. We have been very fortunate that our kids are allowed to take 1 class and/or extra-curricular at a time in middle school (if there is space available) and 2 classes and/or extra-curriculars in high school (again, if space is available). My daughter was in choir for a year and has since been taking Art in high school. My son has been in middle school Band.

For those of us in a small town, this can be a blessing. For me, it gets the kids out of the house for an hour a day (since we live in town, they can walk) which is great since I have chronic headaches! But, it also provides a chance to do something they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. In a small town, there's not enough other kids to have a high school Art class or a band.

I have a brother and sister-in-law who live in the suburbs of a large city who homeschool and who are able to participate in homeschool activities that aren't available in rural areas.

So, I think there may be a place for us to work with public schools. But, we do so understanding that we are essentially "guests" in the system. And our family has decided that it's OK.