He loves to go into statcounter and see the map where visitors come from. The one he thought was strange was from Charleston WV. The strange part is the IP address is the West Virginia Department of Education. The visitor had been to his blog repeatedly.
After Kellen got his report done, I checked my stats a little closer than normal. Yep, the WV Department of Education has been watching my blog too. Eighty-one visits and a visit length of four and a half hours today. Crazy.
I'd like to think that perhaps this is someone who is curious about homeschooling. Who, with no agendas, wants to learn about how we spend our days. Maybe they are trying to understand the growing popularity of homeschooling. Perhaps it is a parent who is considering homeschooling their own child. Or maybe it is even a homeschool advocate in the department looking for some real life homeschooling stories. These were not my first reactions.
It may reveal my own insecurities, but my first reaction was that I felt we were being graded, judged, and tested. Are they trying to figure out how many days we actually open our books? Do they want to prove that homeschooling just doesn't cut it? Why are they watching me? I haven't been able to get this song out of my mind all day.
My reactions may be a bit silly. We have nothing to hide. Our kids are well rounded, educated and interact well with others. Kellen's test scores are excellent. Lydia will be testing for the first time this year, and I am sure will also do well. We meet the requirements of the law. Why the paranoid reaction?
Perhaps because I once was part of the public education system, and from that experience learned that most public educators are against homeschooling. I expect with the growing popularity of homeschooling will come the increased desire by the state to exert more control over it. I take for granted the relative freedom homeschoolers have in this state, and do not want to see it changed.
To my fellow WV homeschoolers, check your statcounter. I'll bet you will also find the WV Department of Education is checking out your blog. To the visitor from the department, I hope my paranoid reactions are incorrect. I hope you are just curious, or even better, an advocate of homeschooling. Either way, I think you will see that our ways are quite different than traditional school, but that they also are quite effective. Enjoy your visits to our blogs.