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Facebook For Homeschoolers


I read Facebook's announcement this morning and wanted to applaud. Facebook's minor verification system has always required a school affiliation for the minor, which means that homeschoolers have been unable to sign up as themselves.

Facebook doesn't detail what the verification process for homeschoolers will be, but it will be a welcomed networking opportunity for many students who may have limited opportunities in their own communities. While many cities have vibrant homeschooling communities with many activities that allow homeschooled students to socialize, others in areas without a large population of homeschoolers depend on the Internet for a good portion of their socializing.

While it may seem like nothing much to Facebook's large audience, for homeschoolers, the addition of a homeschooled category for students is a nod from an established social network that they are every bit a part of the online community. Considering the number of learning-themed applications making their way to the Facebook platform, this also looks like a very savvy move on Facebook's part. The addition of homeschoolers, many of whom participate in either online courses or chartered "distance" schools, may provide an eventual revenue stream for Facebook. Imagine a distance learning program developed specifically for use on the Facebook platform.

This is by far one of the smartest moves I've seen Facebook make in quite a while. I'll be watching how it plays out with my friends who are still homeschooling, and hoping that this makes enough of an impact that by the time my daughter reaches the minimum Facebook age, it helps sway her back out of the public school system.
I did ask a homeschool graduate what he thought of the idea, and he was against homeschooled students identifying themselves as being homeschooled on Facebook:
"I would recomend not saying you're homeschooled on facebook even if its possible. Homeschoolers in general face major prejudices so saying 'i'm homeschooled' on facebook can be bad for future prospects."


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