Alaska is one of the most unique and inspiring places in the United States. With its stunning landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and unique culture, it’s no wonder that so many families are considering homeschooling in Alaska. Homeschooling in Alaska is legal under the state’s home instruction law.
High School of America is a premier online high school that provides a top-notch education that prepares students for their future endeavors. At our online high school, we offer a range of diploma courses tailored to meet each student’s unique needs.
Our curriculum is designed based on the latest standards the Alaska Department of Education sets. Our teachers are highly qualified professionals committed to providing students with a quality education.
We are fully accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, meaning employers, colleges, and universities recognize our diplomas. Whether you’re a student looking to complete your high school diploma or a parent searching for the right homeschooling option for your child, we are here to help.
At High School of America, we can provide you with the tools and resources you need to meet these requirements and ensure that your child receives a top-notch education.
Contact us today to learn more about our homeschooling program in Alaska!
Homeschooling Law in Alaska
Alaska has relatively lenient homeschooling laws, which allow families to homeschool their children with minimal government intervention.
In Alaska, teenagers aged between 7 and 16 are required to comply with homeschooling laws or attend school. There are four options under which families can legally homeschool. Each of these options has its own requirements.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under the homeschool statute
This option allows parents or legal guardians to homeschool their teenagers. You are not required to notify the state, file forms, test, seek approval, or have specific teaching training.
Option 2: Homeschooling with a private tutor
In this option, teenagers are taught by an instructor who must be Alaska-certified.
Option 3: Homeschooling with school board approval
As a parent, you’re required to submit a written request to the school administrator or principal of the school your teen attends and get a written excuse from attending school.
Option 4: Homeschooling as a religious private school
Under this option, you are required to comply with the following state requirements:
- File a notice of enrollment.
Parents must file an annual private school report form with the local superintendent by the first day of public school using the Enrollment Reporting Form for School Districts located on the Department of Education’s website.
- File the Exempt Religious & Other Private Schools Enrollment and School Calendar forms.
You must file these forms with the Department of Education prior to October 15 every year. Be sure to use forms provided by the Alaska Department of Education on its website.
- Maintain monthly attendance records.
Parents and legal guardians must maintain monthly attendance records that indicate that homeschooling students attended school for 180 days each year.
- Maintain permanent records.
Parents must maintain and certify to the Department of Education that they are keeping records of physical exams, academic achievement, standardized testing, courses, and immunization.
- File a corporal discipline policy.
You must file a corporal discipline policy with the Alaska Department of Education if you homeschool students from more than one family.
- Don’t accept any state or federal funding.
Religious or private schools, by definition, can’t receive direct federal or state funding.
- Comply with testing requirements.
Standardized test results should be accessible to the Department of Education upon request. Parents can choose any nationally standardized measure of accomplishment in mathematics, spelling, reading, and English grammar.
Alaska Homeschooling Required Courses
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development does not require any specific high school courses. So it is upon the parents to determine the kind of courses they want their homeschooled students to learn.
Under Alaska homeschooling laws, parents or legal guardians must ensure that their homeschooled students attend school for at least 180 days each year and maintain monthly attendance records. These attendance records should include the date, time, and hours of instruction and should be available for review by the Alaska Department of Education upon request.
In Alaska, homeschooling parents or legal guardians are required to submit quarterly reports to the Alaska Department of Education. These reports should include the student’s progress in each subject and their attendance records for the previous quarter. The reports should also include samples of the student’s work in each subject, such as tests, quizzes, essays, or other assignments.
Homeschooled students must undergo an annual assessment, such as a standardized test or an evaluation by a certified teacher, to demonstrate academic progress.
There is no requirement for probation for homeschoolers who do not meet Alaska homeschooling requirements.
You must keep detailed homeschooling records that show your progress. This means you will encounter fewer problems when preparing for college admission or changing your teen back to public school. Some of the items you are supposed to keep track of include:
- Standardized tests result
- Attendance records
- Homeschool transcript
- Curriculum courses and topics covered
- Samples of your homeschooling student’s work
- Correspondence with school administrators
- Workbooks and textbook information
- Documents prove that teens receive the right education that complies with the law.
It is crucial to keep compliance with Alaska homeschool laws and high school transcripts in your files. You can use a homeschool portfolio to track of all the achievements of your homeschooler. The portfolio ought to reflect instruction covered and the way your learner is remembering what they are learning.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Alaska
Alaska does not have graduation requirements for homeschoolers. However, parents might consider the graduation requirements for public schools. In Alaska, students in public schools must complete a minimum of 22.5 credits to graduate.
These credits are distributed as follows:
- English – 4 credits
- Physical Education – 1.5
- Electives – 7 credits
- Health – 0.5
- Social Studies – 3.5 Credits
- Mathematics – 3 credits
- Science – 3 credits
Shifting to Public School from Homeschool in Alaska
Parents might wish to transfer their teens to public school after homeschooling for a specific number of years. Most do so upon realizing that homeschooling is not the best option for their families.
Upon deciding to change to public school, you must contact the private or public school that your teen will be enrolling in to understand the registration requirements. They might want to see your homeschool portfolio to determine grade placement, or they might use their own assessment methods.
Alaska Homeschooling Online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I homeschool my child in Alaska?
In Alaska, homeschooling is legal and regulated by the state. Homeschooling requirements must be fulfilled in order to remain compliant with the law. The Department of Education and Early Development provides guidance on its website regarding homeschool regulations, requirements, assessment options, and other resources for parents interested in homeschooling their children.
How do I know if homeschooling is right for my family?
Homeschooling is a big commitment and can be a rewarding experience for both parents and children if done right. Before deciding to homeschool, it is important to do research and consider the pros and cons of homeschooling. It is also important to consider your family’s lifestyle and needs to determine if homeschooling fits your lifestyle.
Can my homeschooled teen take part in high school sports and activities?
Yes! Alaska Statute, AS 14.30.365, also called the” Home School Law,” which was effected on July 1, 2013, allows homeschoolers to choose a “school of eligibility” within a religious, private, or public school district to participate in interscholastic activities and sports.
Do I have to enroll in a correspondence program to homeschool in Alaska?
No. Homeschooling law in Alaska allows parents to homeschool independently without any oversight or regulation from the government.
If my teenager was previously enrolled in public school, do I need to withdraw them to homeschool in Alaska?
If you intend to homeschool your child in Alaska independently, you must contact the school administration in writing or in person to inform them are being withdrawn from the public school and will be taught at home. You will be required to complete a withdrawal form.
If you do not withdraw your child, he will remain on the public school’s attendance list and might be considered absentee.
Does Alaska pay you to homeschool?
No. The state doesn’t pay for homeschooling families. However, learners enrolled in corresponding programs funded by the state can access a specific fund called an allotment which can be used for a child’s education needs.
What about social interaction for homeschoolers in Alaska?
Whether homeschooling with a correspondence program or homeschooling independently, there are many social interaction opportunities for Alaska homeschooling families.
Is there a requirement to conduct homeschool learning on the same days as public schools?
No. A parent is responsible for setting instruction hours per day and determining days of the week when they will offer instruction to their teens.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Alaska
The number of families choosing online homeschooling options has been increasing in recent years due to the flexibility and convenience they offer. This trend is not unique to Alaska but is being observed across the United States.
According to the United States Census Bureau, families that chose to homeschool their students doubled in 2020. In Alaska, homeschooling households rose to 27.5% from 9.6%. Alaska state saw the most remarkable differences in homeschooling compared to other states as of 2020.
How to Do it
To start homeschooling in Alaska, parents or legal guardians must first choose one of the four homeschooling options allowed under state law. Then, they must create a plan for their child’s education, including a curriculum, schedule, and assessment method.
Parents may also choose to enroll their children in an online homeschooling program that meets state standards. They can also online resources and educational tools to supplement their child’s learning. Lastly, they should keep track of their children’s progress and evaluate their learning regularly.
Benefits of Homeschooling Online
There are several benefits of homeschooling online in Alaska, some of which are:
- Flexibility: Homeschooling online allows families to create a customized schedule that fits their lifestyle. This flexibility can be particularly helpful for families in Alaska, where the weather can be unpredictable, and travel may be difficult.
- Personalized Learning: Online homeschooling allows for personalized learning experiences tailored to the student’s individual needs, interests, and learning styles.
- Access to Resources: Homeschooling online provides families with access to a wide range of educational resources and materials, including online courses, textbooks, educational apps, and virtual field trips.
- Cost-Effective: Online homeschooling can be more cost-effective than traditional homeschooling because families do not have to purchase textbooks, classroom supplies, or pay for transportation.
- Safe Learning Environment: Homeschooling online provides a safe learning environment for children, free from bullying, peer pressure, and other negative influences that can be found in traditional school settings.
- Supportive Community: Alaska’s large homeschooling community provides families with support, resources, and social opportunities.
- Preparation for College: Online homeschooling can prepare students for college by teaching them valuable study skills, time management, and independent learning.
- Greater Control: Homeschooling online gives parents greater control over their child’s education, enabling them to tailor the curriculum to their child’s specific needs and interests and monitor their progress closely.
Homeschooling online is a viable option for families in Alaska who want to take control of their children’s education. With flexible schedules, a wide range of resources, and the ability to customize curricula to meet individual needs, homeschooling online has become an increasingly popular choice.
Alaska’s homeschooling laws allow families to educate their children in a way that suits their needs, and the state has a supportive homeschooling community. However, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling before deciding to pursue this educational path is essential.
Ultimately, each family must decide what is best for their children and their unique circumstances.