Guide to Homeschooling in Alaska
Homeschooling has been legal across the United States for several decades now, but because it is regulated by state and local governments, homeschooling looks a bit different in each state. If you are considering homeschooling in Alaska for the first, there are certain things to consider before making the transition to home education. Power Homeschool is pleased to provide you with resources and information to help you jump start you homeschool journey in Alaska.
Homeschool Laws and Requirements in Alaska
Before transitioning to homeschool, you should thoroughly research the laws to ensure you can abide by the homeschool guidelines and requirements in the state of Alaska. Parents have four options to legally homeschool their children in Alaska, including working with a private tutor or under school board approval. Homeschoolers in Alaska have a unique advantage compared to those in other states. Home educators in Alaska can qualify to receive a stipend from the state government to help with the costs of homeschooling.
For detailed information about the four homeschool options in Alaska, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alaska Department of Education are both wonderful resources. If you have specific questions or concerns about homeschooling requirements, we encourage you to reach out to your state homeschool association.
In Alaska, the records that homeschoolers are required to maintain depend on the option they choose. It is, however, a great idea to keep thorough records of your child’s home education whether you are required to or not. Keeping reports, transcripts, and samples of work are beneficial to have if a homeschooler is transferring to public or private school as well as when they apply for college or work eligibility after high school.
Power Homeschool’s parent portal makes it easy to maintain detailed records. You can access attendance records, progress reports, transcripts, and samples of course materials all through the Acellus app. We also recommend keeping standardized test results, immunization records, and any other information that is pertinent to your student’s education.
Homeschool Standardized Assessments in Alaska
Alaska homeschool students are not required to take standardized tests. Some parents to choose to use these assessments to evaluate their students’ education and ensure they are on track with their traditionally schooled peers. There are several state standardized assessments, including the Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) and National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Homeschoolers can also take nationally normed tests, such as the ACT or PSAT.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Alaska
In Alaska, homeschool graduation requirements are established by the parents of each homeschool. Parents are also responsible for issuing diplomas. We recommend that home educators set graduation guidelines based on what the students wish to do after high school. Many colleges, universities, and trade schools outline admission requirements for homeschool graduates. Likewise, the military or other employer often provide guidelines for homeschoolers to be eligible. Researching these earlier in your student’s high school education will ensure they are meeting these requirements throughout their studies.
Homeschool Associations & Support Groups in Alaska
Homeschooling can be a difficult process, especially if you do it by yourself. Luckily, Alaska has many resources available to homeschool families, including a statewide homeschool association. The Alaska Private and Home Educators Association (APHEA) is a Christian organization that aims to aid Alaskans who seek education alternatives to public schools. The association sponsors an annual homeschool convention and special events, provides regular newsletters, and stays updated on legal changes that affect homeschoolers.
In addition to joining a homeschool association, homeschool support groups and cooperatives (co-ops) are available across Alaska that offer even more resources and benefits.
How to Start Homeschooling in Alaska
Before making the decision to homeschool your student, you will want to conduct thorough research to ensure it is a good fit for you and your family. Once you decide on homeschooling, you need to select between the homeschool options in Alaska. Whether it is required or not, it is a good idea to officially withdraw your student from their current school.
Next, you’ll need to create a homeschool curriculum or choose from one of the many options available to home educators. Power Homeschool is an online curriculum that provides courses and resources to K-12 students and their families. Learn more about getting started with us today!
Join thousands of parents that homeschool with our self-paced, interactive courses.
Homeschool Field Trips in Alaska
Field trips allows students to explore firsthand what they are learning in their day-to-day lessons, and Alaska is home to many destinations that will provide educational fun for the whole family. Although Alaska is a sparkly populated state, there are still plenty of field trips options. The following are just several options available to homeschool families;
- Alaska State Museum in Juneau: Dedicated to Alaska’s culture, history, and people, this museum hosts various traveling and online exhibits as well as special events and exhibitions.
- El Capitan Cave in Naukati: Homeschoolers can tour the longest cave in Alaska and learn about history, earth formations, and geology. Free guided tour are available during the summer and children over seven years old are welcome.
- Katamai National Park and Preserve in King Salmon: Learn about various active volcanoes and hundreds of wildlife species that are home to the Katamai National Park. Ranger programs, nature hikes, and other explorative activities are also offered.
- Aleutian World War II National Historic Area in Dutch Harbor: Students can explore the battleground and learn about how Aleutian Island and the rest of Alaska was affected during World War II.
- Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Bettles: Take a trip up north to visit one of the most remote national parks. There are various visitor centers where you can tour exhibits and get help planning your excursion.
- Alaska Zoo in Anchorage: As a zoo that is dedicated to the conservation of Arctic and sub-Arctic species, the Alaska Zoo is home to polar bears, snow leopards, Arctic foxes, and so much! Students can participate in camps and numerous other educational activities to learn about species native to cold climates.
- Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward: Discover hundreds of marine species, including seals, crabs, eel, jelly fish, and so many mores. Homeschoolers will learn about wildlife conservation
- Anchorage Museum in Anchorage: This museum is the perfect place for Alaska homeschoolers to learn about the people, history, and culture of the state. Tours, classes, and special events make the Anchorage Museum the perfect field trip for learning about Alaska.
- Big Delta State Historic Park in Junction: At the center of this park, is Rika’s Roadhouse, which welcomed travelers, hunters, gold stampeders, and traders during the early 1900s. With guided tours, museum exhibits, and acres of land, this park has plenty of areas to explore with the whole family.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web page is for general information purposes only. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and may not contain the most up-to-date information.