FAQs


Questions and Answers about Our Group and Independent Homeschooling

What is required of members or to join this group? All that we ask of each family who would like to join our group is to request membership through our Members Only site.  Access the site here.  We encourage families to participate in activities as well as to join the Home School Legal Defense Association. There are no requirements as far as number of activities a family must participate in to be considered active members, no testing or record keeping requirements, or anything else; it would be ridiculous to come together in support of educational freedom and then add requirements.

What do you offer member families? To find out what we offer, click here.

Our family independently homeschools, why should we consider joining your group? For the support, friendship, encouragement, and opportunities that we share with each other in this group.

Are independent homeschoolers “flying under the radar” of government officials? No, and “flying under the radar” is quite a slighting term to many of us; it implicates that we are “hiding out” and not wanting to be seen or heard. We are exercising our Alaskan right to educate our children under our state law, and as you can see, we are quite open about it.

How can fellow Alaskan citizens be sure that independent homeschoolers aren’t being abused or neglected, including being educationally neglected? In our group are two state-certified school teachers, a momma who is currently obtaining her Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a medical doctor, and senior members of the military – all of whom are mandatory reporters of suspected familial abuse and or neglect, including educational neglect. While there is no set amount of participation in activities for our group members, almost all members choose to participate in many, therefore face-to-face, family-to-family group member contact with these state-mandated reporters is consistently high in our group; in fact, higher than in a lot of public-school-at-home programs, for in those programs many families only see teachers once a year for testing.

As far as independent homeschoolers in general, many are actively involved in churches, in their communities, or at least with other families. If there is abuse occurring, it is likely to be noticed by someone who can help.

How can independent parents homeschool without help from professionals? We live in a land of plentiful educational resources. If a parent feels inadequate about teaching a subject, he or she has no shortage of ways to make sure that his or her child learns the subject thoroughly. Here are some examples:

* There are DVD courses by outstanding teachers and professors available.

* There are several tutors available in Interior Alaska.

* The parent can learn with the child.

* There are members of our group with several different areas of strengths and expertise who are willing to help teach the child or offer suggestions on curriculum that the parents and children can use to learn together with success.

* There is the opportunity to enroll a child in a public school or college class for the subject.

* The parent can take a college course or courses to learn the material well enough to teach it.

As far as needing help from professionals to formulate a plan, record keep, and so forth, homeschoolers have had these things figured-out for a long time. There are books, forms, and computer programs a plenty for such things. There are also veteran homeschoolers in our group who have homeschooled for years who share their expertise on formulating a successful homeschool plan and system.

Why should Alaskan parents be allowed to homeschool without ANY government oversight? Because there has to be, in our great state and country, a way for people to legally “think outside of the box” and to create systems that work. In Alaska, independents enjoy the total creative freedom to develop truly individual, custom-made educational systems that work for our families, and in the case of our group, that are working-out very well for many families together. Systems that are financially responsible, that encourage and draw-in responsible parents, and systems that by virtue of their foundations help create future responsible citizens. Who knows if one of our families, or many member families working together, won’t come-up with a great system or ideas that can help all Alaskan families and education? We really can do that, but we must have the total freedom to do so.

It is understandable that the state would like to know how many children in Alaska are being independently homeschooled. Fellow citizens may question why independents would object to even reporting that information; the reason is because it is most likely that it wouldn’t stop there. When education officials start looking at numbers, it is very easy for them to start seeing dollar signs for education, making the old addage ”every student counts” very true at the expense of taxpayers. As it is, independent homeschoolers in Alaska aren’t costing this great state, or our nation, or fellow taxpayers one dime. There would also likely continue to be regulations, should we become numbered in a system, added that would eventually extinguish our right to independently homeschool, and if that happens, all Alaskans lose. We must, as citizens, leave a door open for responsible, creatively-thinking parents to find paths of educational success – our whole state can benefit from what is learned.

How can anyone be sure that independent homeschooling families are actually educating their children? In our group, as written above, we have professionals who would notice.

There are also several ways to educate children outside of the traditional public school model, and these and other ways should in no wise be considered “not educating”, for they have proven successful:

* There is the classical method in which a rigorous course-of-study including Latin, logic, and other classic subjects are studied.

* There is the unit study method, which is also popular in public schools.

* There is life-learning in which a child is taught a great deal about real-life living while incorporating the three R’s, this is also like unschooling.

* There is the workbook method.

* There is the Montessori method.

* There is the school curriculum in-a-box method in which a total curriculum set for all subjects is used.

* There is the one-room school house and ecologically friendly method.

* Here in Alaska, there is also the “Future of Alaska” homeschool method, in which the children are, in addition to and in relation to other subjects, taught a good deal about Alaska’s history, natural resources, permaculture, agriculture, politics, policies, laws, wonderful people, and all things Alaskan. Children who plan to stay in Alaska when they grow-up will have an abundance of information to draw-upon to help create new or enhance old systems and ideas that will help every Alaskan. Sure, there’s a big world outside of Alaska that Alaskan children need to know about and learn about, and we include this in our learning, too; but there are also going to have to be Alaskans who know this land very well to make our state all it can be in the future. With these children and families having learned such a good deal about Alaska in addition to learning about the rest of the world, we will have future Alaskans who understand Alaska’s very important place in and contribution to the world.

There is just no end to the creative ways to teach at home!

Is this group a religious group? Our group is a God-respecting group, meaning that all members follow the “good neighbor” principles of The Bible, such as: treating others the way that they would like to be treated, being responsible, and enjoying good, clean fun. If God is mentioned, we speak respectfully of Him.  Those who are okay with this, whether they are religious or not, are very welcome to join us.

If you have any questions regarding our homeschool group that aren’t answered here, please feel free to contact our group at:

E-mail: northstarindependents(at)gmail(dot)com

 

Thank you for your interest in our group!

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