HOMESCHOOLING

IN ALASKA

Choosing an Alaska Homeschool is a wonderful option when making personal academic choices for a family. Please note the information/resources listed below are not to be taken as legal advice for any personal circumstance, but to assist you in making an educated decision on what homeschooling in Alaska entails. Also, Alaska homeschool laws can change often so please check updates at the Alaska Department of Education.  If you want specific information regarding Alaska’s homeschool attendance laws go to Alaska Statute Section 14.30.010 (12).

A couple of popular avenues are available when you decide to homeschool in Alaska: independently homeschooling, homeschool with a state recognized correspondence/homeschool program, or a blend of the two.

INDEPENDENT Homeschool

state recognized correspondence / homeschool program

The website A2Z homeschooling provides information on Alaska homeschool laws and some tips when a state requires no record keeping, “Alaska is a no-notice state and homeschooling is easy! That means there are no requirements to notify the state, seek approval, test, file forms, or have any teaching qualifications. Even though the state does not make you keep further records we recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in event that you would need to show some form of education proof to the state or other legal entities. This includes: attendance, lists of text and workbooks used, student schoolwork samples, correspondence with school officials, portfolios, and test results”.  Independent homeschooling gives a family freedom to choose any curriculum including faith-based options without consulting Alaska Education Standards or a certified teacher. Conversely, choosing to homeschool this way does not allow for a student allotment or for parent reimbursements for supplies, technology, or curriculum.

PACE is one of the Statewide Homeschool Programs available

Instead of independently homeschooling in Alaska, the other popular choice is choosing a state recognized Alaska correspondence/homeschool program.  The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development’s Homeschooling/Correspondence page is a wonderful resource along with the Directory of all the correspondence programs in Alaska.

The directory lists all the Alaska correspondence/homeschool programs available, including those that are only for local district residents and those that are statewide.

Moving Beyond the Page gives a good description of what choosing to homeschool in Alaska within a program looks like, “You will receive additional support in educating your child while being required to check in regularly with an advisory teacher, submit work samples, and take standardized tests.

These correspondence programs are worth looking into for several reasons:

  • Choice — you can choose any Alaska homeschool program from across the state
  • Funding — each Alaska homeschool program will give you state funding to help fund your curriculum purchases and any enrichment materials (museum memberships, online database memberships, physical education classes, etc.)
  • No commitment — if you look into Alaska homeschool programs and find none that are the right fit for you and your family, feel free to strike out on your own

Whatever path you choose, there is a wealth of resources available to you”.

When an Alaska homeschool family chooses to enroll their students in a Alaska homeschool program, that Alaska homeschool program is their guideline and support with certified teachers and staff. These Alaska homeschool programs also come with an allotment to be utilized for the homeschool student’s school year. Each Alaska homeschool program has their own allotment amounts and their own way of deciding how they are distributed amongst different age groups; no two programs are alike.

DECIDING WHICH PROGRAM TO PICK

If a family chooses to homeschool in Alaska with an Alaska correspondence/homeschool program, how do they pick the right fit? Thankfully for the internet most Alaska homeschool programs have a website. Location is a great start to meet staff at a local Alaska homeschool program office before branching out to other areas. Social media is also another way to gather information and compare different Alaska homeschool programs locally or statewide. When using social media also search for any local Alaska homeschoolers, Alaska homeschooling groups or homeschool in Alaska pages that could provide any information on a certain Alaska homeschool program. The Alaska Department of Early Education and Development’s website gives a family a chance to look at any Alaska homeschool profile including Alaska correspondence/homeschool programs and an option to compare two schools. These are all wonderful resources to make an informed decision on which program would be the best fit for a family.

Is it possible to do a mixture of both? Can faith-based curriculum in be used or a family construct their own Alaska homeschool curriculum and have it count for credits within a Alaska homeschool program? The answer is yes, a student’s Alaska homeschool allotment will not be able to be reimbursed for faith-based curriculum, however their homeschool classes will still be able to be accounted for within an Alaska homeschool program by providing a homeschool transcript. When a family constructs their own Alaska homeschool curriculum, the family writes their own syllabi and lesson plans and the homeschool course is reported on the correspondence school transcript.

Encouragement and Resources

In regards to encouragement and the Alaskan homeschooling community A2Z homeschooling noted on their webpage,

“Current Alaskan homeschoolers can help you figure out what type of legal homeschooling is right for your family, how to notify and comply with the regulations to homeschool, and help suggest methods of homeschooling that will make your transition easier.

Local homeschoolers are also a wealth of information on nearby resources, field trips, social groups, and more than those not currently homeschooling in your state can provide”.

The Alaskan homeschooling community continues to grow and multiple programs available to homeschooling families are waiting to enroll students and provide support. Numerous Alaskan homeschooling resources are included below, all had been updated as of April 2020. If any links do not work or if there are any suggestions or additions please email nboor@craigschools.com.

A2Zhomeschooling

Alaska Homeschoolers

Moving Beyond the Page

Alaska Field Trip Ideas Time4Learning