Mandatory Online Learning Places Parents as Unpaid School Administrators


Jill Baker, an online blogger wrote: “With the lingering effects of a summer move hanging over her, one Ohio homeschool mom evaluated her options and decided to try out an online public school program.

“I thought it would be a huge help,” she recalls. Online public schools tout their convenience and flexibility, so it seemed a logical conclusion.

The reality she described was quite different: “I felt I had acquired another job as an administrative assistant in the public school, making sure the kids were simply getting assignments done when there could be more worthwhile assignments they would be learning.”

Now her children were stuck in a program focused on checking off state requirements. One child had six science books so that his curriculum covered all the mandates.

Rather than helping her or the children, “it was so complicated,” she shared.

She and her husband determined it was time to withdraw and resume homeschooling.”

Retrieved from:

Education in the home is defined as who controls it, rather than where it takes place.  If the parent or learner controls it, it is called home education.  If the school controls it, it is called distance education, virtual school, distance learning, online learning, or paper-based learning, and many other terms. It is just like school but it takes place in your living room rather than the school building. The school is the “Learning Management System” with brand names such as Powerschool, Moodle, D2L, and First Class. The parent involuntarily becomes the unpaid teacher (who else is the child going to ask a question from at 2 am?), unpaid administrator (who makes sure the child knows how to work the learning management system), and learning strategist, (who teaches the child how to keep track of assignments and where to find them). Most of the “instruction” takes place when the child “reads” content from the screen. Yet, many of these school programs are funded as much as classes in a physical school. Unfortunately, the bulk of the invisible support and administrative work falls on the parent’s shoulder, and it is unpaid.

No thanks. My child can do that under “home education.” That way, we control the learning. We control the pace (take a month or a year), the content (let’s substitute Plato for Shakespeare), the delivery method (not all kids learn from a screen, so lets watch a video instead), the resources, (books, videos, webinars from our choice, not the school’s narrow choice) and the assessment (observation and discussion rather than essay). We don’t have to use the schools’ designated textbook which uses discovery math teaching.  We can choose a back-to-basics math book if that is what we want. If we want an online course, we get to choose it from all over the world, not just our government designated course. Best of all, parents and the learner can assess their learning.  When we home educate, we give the mark, not the school.

Home education is the only program that the learner can truly control and self-direct their education.


About Judy Arnall, BA, DTM, CCFE

BA, DTM, CCFE, Certified child development specialist and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices. Keynote speaker and best-selling author of "Discipline Without Distress", "Parenting With Patience", "Attachment Parenting Tips Raising Toddlers to Teens", and "Unschooling To University."
This entry was posted in Elementary-Primary Children Ages 5-12, High School Children Ages 15-18, Homeschooling, How to Unschool, Junior High School Children Ages 12-15, University-College Ages 18-25, What is Unschooling?, Why Unschool? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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