• Homeschooling in Alaska: parent perceptions and homeschool regulations

      Cavan, Lisa R.; Fabbri, Cindy; Adams, Barbara; Armstrong, Anne; Hogan, Maureen (2017-05)
      Homeschooling is a growing trend in the United States and Canada. States vary as to what regulations are required to homeschool a child. Current studies from the United States and Canada focus on the academic achievement of students who are homeschooled, the homeschooling styles that were used, along with education levels and income levels of those who teach at home. The studies only include students who are known to be homeschooled and do not account for the ones that are not required to participate in standardized testing. Research was conducted, first using online surveys completed by families that homeschool in Alaska, then with interviews that had more open-ended questions to allow for more detailed input. In Alaska, parents can choose to homeschool through a correspondence program or homeschool independently without having to notify the state. This research revolved around the following three questions: What does homeschooling look like for families in Alaska? What are parents' perceptions on homeschool regulations in Alaska? Why do parents choose to homeschool with a correspondence program that has more regulations than if they homeschool independently? Findings suggest that parents tend to have an eclectic approach in their teaching and student progress is measured by curriculum assessments, observation and discussion, much like is seen in a public school classroom. Parents may not fully understand the difference between homeschool regulations and regulations for correspondence programs in Alaska. Funding seems to be a top reason to enroll in a correspondence program. As the sample for this study was limited, it would be beneficial to have additional research regarding homeschooling in Alaska.