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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just wondering if anyone wants to chat about HSing in Alaska.

I am in the Valley and often feel fairly alone in my pursuit to homeschool my children. I do not plan on using a state-run program and I suppose due to that, I find it impossible to find other Hsers.

So, what are your experiences with homeschooling in Alaska?
 

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This is our second year homeschooling in Alaska. Last year we did not go through the state and this year we are. We just could afford what we wanted to do without the state money. And, we figured, we pay taxes for schools, so we see it as getting our money back. But, honestly, I've never really looked for homeschoolers. We just look for friends. Although, we do know a couple of homeschooled teenagers from church and it's cool because at least one of them is allowed to do the occasional babysitting for me during the day, which is cool. In fact, he's watching the kids this Friday while I go to the dentist.

BTW, I'm the valley, too, so if you ever want to get together, just pm me.

Crystal
 

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Hiya -- We're in Anchorage and planning to HS ds, who is 13 months now. I've been looking for some Alaska homeschool connections, just to see what's going on and start thinking about it. There are a couple of Alaska HS yahoo groups but one is kind of Elmdorf-specific, and the other seems to be inactive. There are also I think a couple of homeschool families on the Anchorage AP yahoo group, but I haven't gotten around to chatting with them specifically. Unless I've just haven't tapped into it yet, there don't seem to be a lot of active homeschooling groups, like the books I've read say to look for, at least in Anchorage. Maybe time to start one?

I'll be watching this thread...
 

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Most of the homeschool groups I know of are actually charter schools, which I suppose, technically, is a form of public school. Our's, though is not controlling. They do want to know what we're doing with the kids, but we don't have to get real specific and I don't have to turn in any reports. At least, I've not been told that I did. I even got to make up my own curriculum. The only stipulation is that you can't use the state money for religious curriculum, such as Sonlight, but that's not really an issue (for SOnlight, it just means buying the instruction manuals out of pocket and the books through a book store). And actually, there are often Christian curriculums that have been given the okay. I know a family this year that is using Apologia science for their high schooler and were surprised to see it in the okay list. I really like going through the group because it gives my kids opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise -- like tap dance lessons and we got a piano so we can do piano lessons.

Crystal
 

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I'm here in FBKS and we use the Chugach school district program, grade K. I was a bit uncertain about this program at first but after shopping around and talking to the local reps from some of the other programs I decided to stick w/Chugach . Now I love it! We'd have a hard time hsing w/o the funding. We could afford the books and such but extra curriculars and coordinating social stuff would be hard.
 

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No problem. We go through Twindly Bridge. It's a smaller one, but so far I really like it. My daughter even does a scrapbooking class there. Which is kind of goofy, really, as I demonstrate and sell scrapbooking and stamping supplies, but she really wanted to do a class. I don't know much about any other charter schools. I do know that if you want your kids to do anything with one of the "public" schools, such as sports, only some charter schools do that. That is one reason we go through Twindly Bridge -- Aiden has speech therapy at Tanaina. They want him in class 4 days a week when he would only be doing ST twice a week and I didn't see the need for that. Figured I'd have less of a fight if he was enrolled with Autumn at Twindly.

Crystal
 

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I am homeschooling independently. Mainly because my husband doesnt want any school district involved in our homeschooling. Fine with me, he's willing to sacrifice the money and I have less paperwork.

I've joined in a couple homeschooling groups, one is through my church and the other is ERCHA, though I haven't made it to a meeting or any event with them yet. I find most people I know who homeschool, do so with one of the charter programs. I have a neighbor who has been independently homeschooling for years but then decided to do IDEA this year to help out since her kids are heavily involved in swimming.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by natashaccat View Post
IWe'd have a hard time hsing w/o the funding. We could afford the books and such but extra curriculars and coordinating social stuff would be hard.

That's exactly why we're going through the system this year. DD wanted piano lessons and tap lessons. Without the money we couldn't afford either. Going through the system allowed us to buy a piano and have her go to tap.

Crystal
 

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2000 per child, I believe. It might be 2000 total, don't remember. There are different ways to get it. You can do a book order through an authorized book seller who bills TB direct. A lot of places in the valley that do lessons have a direct bill option. You can purchase things yourself and then get reimbursed. If you take classes through TB they automatically take it out if there's a fee.

Crystal
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's great! I still think we will remain unassociated with the state, but I will look into it.

It *seems* like there a re quite a few church based groups and as tallanvor said charter groups. Does anyone know of any secular groups? My boys are still young, so I have not delved deeply into everything, but the general feeling I get is that hsing in AK is either religion-based, through charters, or very personal and private. I do not hear much about unschooling up here, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by elvispupy View Post
I am homeschooling independently. Mainly because my husband doesnt want any school district involved in our homeschooling. Fine with me, he's willing to sacrifice the money and I have less paperwork.

I've joined in a couple homeschooling groups, one is through my church and the other is ERCHA, though I haven't made it to a meeting or any event with them yet. I find most people I know who homeschool, do so with one of the charter programs. I have a neighbor who has been independently homeschooling for years but then decided to do IDEA this year to help out since her kids are heavily involved in swimming.
What is ERCHA?
 

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No idea of any secular groups. Everyone I know who homeschools goes through a charter school.

Well, depending on what you're looking for in a group, if nothing else, we can get our kids together and do stuff.

Crystal
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, that would be cool to get together. In an earlier post you mentioned looking for friends vs. looking for hsers. I thought about that. I very much like the friends that I have. None of them hs, but we have other things in common and it's great. I guess I am interested in befriending some hsing families simply to have someone to bond with on that level. To share ideas, concerns etc with. Also, I'd like to find a mama that would like to hang out on occasion to knit or can or hike or do whatever. Most of my friends or potential friends work and just are not available.
 

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Yeah, I could see that. A lot of my friends still have preschool aged children at home and so don't work, or they do something out of the house. I have a few friends that work. Usually when I need to talk "shop" I call my SIL because her son and my daughter are a lot alike when it comes to learning styles and we tend to struggle with the same things in teaching. But anyway, you ever want to get together, just pop me a message and we'll work something out.

I've been thinking about taking the kids down to the reindeer farm in the next couple of weeks. If anyone's interested, pm me.

Crystal
 

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Hi! We're in Kenai right now and ds is 21 months. We plan on unschooling and we won't be going through any of the programs (IDEA, etc) because I want less stress and total freedom with ds's learning. I don't hear much about unschoolers around here either...everyone is with IDEA so I don't feel that we'll fit in much, but maybe I'm wrong. Everyone is really nice. I have to admit that the money would be nice, but I don't want our kids to do standardized testing, curriculum etc. I did find a yahoo group of Alaska unschoolers on groups.yahoo.com but no one is near us that I can tell.

Great thread! I'll be keeping an eye on it to hear what people are saying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by jrose_lee View Post
Hi! We're in Kenai right now and ds is 21 months. We plan on unschooling and we won't be going through any of the programs (IDEA, etc) because I want less stress and total freedom with ds's learning. I don't hear much about unschoolers around here either...everyone is with IDEA so I don't feel that we'll fit in much, but maybe I'm wrong. Everyone is really nice. I have to admit that the money would be nice, but I don't want our kids to do standardized testing, curriculum etc. I did find a yahoo group of Alaska unschoolers on groups.yahoo.com but no one is near us that I can tell.

Great thread! I'll be keeping an eye on it to hear what people are saying.
I am a member of the yahoo unschooling. It has very little activity. Um, can you move to Palmer?


It's good to hear that there is another USer in AK . I suspect there are more, I am uncertain as to why there is not more comradery in that respect.

I have not commited 100% to USing. My boys are still preschool aged, so thus far we have US. One of my concerns is whether or not I have enough gumption and talent to be the mom of USers. Sometimes it feels like a curriculum would be plain old easier. Maybe I am wrong. Time will tell.

ETA: Ha! I just realized I pm'ed you earlier today jrose lee. Good timing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by unfrozncavegrl View Post

I have not commited 100% to USing. My boys are still preschool aged, so thus far we have US. One of my concerns is whether or not I have enough gumption and talent to be the mom of USers. Sometimes it feels like a curriculum would be plain old easier. Maybe I am wrong. Time will tell.

Yeah, I wussed out on USing. It seems like such a wonderful and gentle way to raise a child but it also seems like US families would be on education duty 24/7. I dunno maybe not, but I couldn't figure out how I would balance work, household duties, and educational pursuits. My dd's (esp dd1) get really bored around the house and start begging for movies if I don't devote my undivided attention to them while I'm home so I feel like I might as well use that time for structured teaching. DD2 might do OK w/unschooling at some point in the future because she's more introverted and more able to self direct, we'll see?
 
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