The old stereotype of the nerdy homeschooled kid is gone. With high academic scores and increasing options, homeschooled kids are coming out on top, and parents are, too: with more control over what their child learns and more quality time spent together.
Alaska is seeing a boom in homeschooling, with a 10% increase in Interior Distance Education for Alaska (IDEA), a homeschooling program, in the 2012/2013 year alone, reports this Juneau Empire article. Whereas homeschooling options used to be limited, with a one-size-fits-all approach, recent programs like IDEA, in partnership with the state, offer customizable curriculum for parents.
For example, students are able to take certain classes at local public schools but also choose to replace the standard gym elective with dance or ice-skating. Parents are able to choose what their child focuses on in school, while also having a wide array of options for socialization.
IDEA and Homebridge, another Juneau homeschooling option, are both funded by the state. Kristen Garot, the principle of Homebridge, lists some of the many benefits of homeschooling: “Homeschooling provides options for families who have the time and energy to be creative or spend more time with their kids; it provides older students the opportunity to perhaps finish school earlier and move on to the next steps of their lives; it provides a family the opportunity to personalize their child’s education and continue a course of study that prepares them for future options.”
What began as a solution for many parents in remote areas, far from a local public school, has grown to include many others who really want to offer their child a quality education that they have control over. The evident success of many graduated homeschooled kids combined with helpful programs like IDEA and Homebridge is showing Alaskans that homeschooling is an incredibly attractive educational option for their family.
Do you see homeschooling as a wise and valuable option for education? Share your thoughts and experiences here!