Homeschoolers need another resource

Recently, the wife and I started using a homeschool forum. The curriculum we use, My Father’s World, is a great resource and we love the whole package. For homeschoolers who want to interact with other homeschoolers you need to consider the two best venues.

  1. Local support group
  2. Online forum

I won’t go into all the value and details of joining or starting a local support group. I will state that it is extremely important for all homeschoolers to join one. This helps in ways you can’t even see right now.

Additionally, participating in an online forum, dedicated to homeschooling, can expand your support group. Generally speaking, a forum will help connect you with other homeschoolers, increasing the chance that you will find someone with a very similar situation.

The possibility of a single-dad homeschooling, finding a local group of homeschooling single-dads is pretty slim. But, hitting the internets, that dad is going to find a whole assortment of dads, in need of wisdom, and willing to share their own.

So, where do you start? I suggest that you start with either looking for an online group that fits your unique make up; ie. single-dads. Or you can start with your curriculum.

That’s where we started. Our curriculum is not the largest. In fact, many have not even heard of it. However, with the ease of installing an open source (read: free) forum, even the smaller curiculum companies can afford to adminstrate a forum.

The My Father’s World Forum is great. Deanna is able to find encouragement from other moms who are using the same text books that we are. She is able to seek advice from moms who did exactly what she is doing now, last year. It’s great!

I even signed up with an account and have taken the opportunity to encourage a couple of exhausted homeschooling moms.

But, sometimes, we homeschoolers need a bit more. Sometimes we are separated from the simple things that can limit our kids’ opportunities. Years ago, homeschoolers had to play in community leagues if they wanted to compete in organized sports. But now, many private schools and even public ones, have programs in place to allow homeschooled kids to participate. That’s just one example of how, over time, we’ve been able to solve one of the simple issues.

Well today, the fact that our homeschooled kids can’t have a “.edu” email address can be limiting.

Just a few days ago, a local Fox affiliate in Austin, TX, reported that homeschoolers are being kicked off of Facebook because they don’t have an “.edu” email address. Facebook says that in order to verify that these minors are in fact minors, they need an “.edu” email address. They are concerned about predators getting into communication with our kids. Hey, I have no problem with Facebook working hard to keep their place safe for children. I think they should be applauded for doing so. However, Facebook is one of those great tools that our homeschooled children can use to their benefit for many things.

I briefly tried to find out how to purchase an “.edu” domain name. I could not find anything.

However, I, alone, would not have much power to influence Facebook, if I were handing out “.edu” email addresses. But, a national homeschooling organization could do this. They could at least offer up an email address for each of their own members.

So, I’m challenging the HSLDA, the nation’s largest homeschool advocate, to establish an email address system for all of its members. This would allow our children to have that coveted “.edu” email address.

It may seem like such a small thing, but for a homeschooled child who properly uses the internet for opportunities to expand their homeschool experience, this is very necessary.

********UPDATE*******

Facebook addressed this issue, and I missed it. Sorry for not being on top of such an important problem.

Author: TREVOR

Leukemia survivor. Son of The Most High. Father. Man.

5 thoughts on “Homeschoolers need another resource”

  1. We are currently working on building some curriculum that would be based around Geni.com, a social network for families. If any homeschoolers or teachers would like to offer suggestions for us during this process we would be grateful. We really want to cater towards the homeschoolers now that we see a deep rooted interest in incorporating social networks into schooling. Let us know what you are looking for.

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  2. There needs to be more places for homeschoolers to gather and be welcomed. I am currently working on a project in that vein and would love to hear feedback and requests.

    Feel free to drop me a line. Great post!

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  3. @Christian Prophet: Yeah, it sure does sound a little like the ol’ USSR. Actually, it reminds me of the current episodes of Jericho.

    @BD: Purchasing .edu domains isn’t limited to only educational/degree-granting institutions. The Getty Center has an .edu domain. (http://getty.edu)

    Also, I agree that Facebook could be pressured into accepting homeschoolers, via an alternate verification method. Hey, Apple Computer offers special discounts to homeschoolers, and we don’t need an .edu email to get that one. We don’t even need a school ID either.

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  4. About acquiring a .edu domain: If I understand correctly, only degree-granting, four year institutions may have a .edu domain; while there are always exceptions to rules, homeschools (and HSLDA) would not meet this requirement. EDUCAUSE (educause.edu) administers .edu domains.

    My daughter’s college outsourced their email, and students all have a somecollegename.com email address. My daughter has a Facebook account from using that email address. So, asking Facebook to allow/recognize a specific .com domain might be a better approach.

    My 2 cents.

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