Alaska Homeschooling FAQs
How do I homeschool my child in Alaska?
Alaska has some of the most lax laws in the country when it comes to homeschooling. There are options you should consider prior to making a decision on how to homeschool.
How do I know if homeschooling is right for my child / my family?
This will be a personal decision that only you can make. The good news is that Alaska offers plenty of support and multiple options when it comes to homeschooling.
But as a parent/guardian, you need to make an educated and informed decision to determine whether you are able to provide the instruction and oversight necessary for homeschooling. This also includes access to quality curriculum, the ability to accurately track or assess your child’s learning, and devote time to provide instruction and oversee the work.
Do I have to enroll in a correspondence program in order to homeschool in Alaska?
No. Alaska state law allows you to homeschool independently without any government regulation or oversight.
If I want to enroll in a homeschool correspondence program, can I enroll any time of year?
While most homeschool correspondence programs will allow open enrollment at any point during the school year, there are requirements / deadlines for enrolling to receive a state funded allotment. The fiscal year for homeschool correspondence programs begins July 1. The enrollment deadline for some programs ranges between September & October, but make sure to check with the individual program.
If my child was previously enrolled in public school, do I need to withdraw them to homeschool in Alaska?
If you plan to homeschool independently, you should contact the school office, in person and/or in writing, to let the school know your child will be instructed at home and is being withdrawn from public school. The school may have a withdrawal form to be completed. If a parent does not withdraw the child, the child may remain on the school attendance list and may be considered truant.
If you plan to homeschool with a correspondence program, many programs will do the necessary steps for you to notify your child’s previous public school that he/she is withdrawing — but make sure to check with the program!
What if I realize homeschooling doesn’t suit my family? Can I re-enroll my child in public school?
Yes. You can re-enroll in public school at any time throughout the school year.
Does Alaska pay you to homeschool?
Alaska does not pay homeschool families, however, students who are enrolled in a state funded correspondence program have access to a specific fund referred to as an allotment. That allotment can be used for their child’s educational needs. However, there are state regulations attached to this funding that all programs must follow.
Can I dual enroll my child in public school AND a correspondence program?
Students may enroll in both, but there are some stipulations.
If the student is enrolled in a public school, the student’s allotment through the correspondence program will decrease. The state offers allotments depending on the number of courses the child is planning to complete. Four courses is considered full-time which makes the student eligible for a full allotment. If a student is enrolled in one to three classes at a public school, the student can still be enrolled in a correspondence program, but their annual allotment will be reduced / adjusted accordingly to the number of courses they’re completing with the correspondence program versus the public school.
Can I dual enroll my child in private school AND a correspondence program?
Yes. If the student is enrolled in a private school, he/she can also enroll in a correspondence program and be eligible to receive an allotment based on the number of courses on their Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Again, four courses is considered full-time enrollment and the student is eligible for a full allotment.
What about social interaction for homeschoolers in Alaska?
Whether homeschooling independently or homeschooling with a correspondence program, there are plenty of opportunities for social interaction for Alaska homeschoolers.
Many correspondence programs offer students/families opportunities to socialize at various weekly/monthly events & gatherings. There are also options for co-ops, groups and classes depending on your location in the state. Please note: Due to covid-19, plans for most public gatherings are currently on hold.
How do I know if my child is on track while homeschooling?
If enrolled with a homeschool correspondence program, you will be paired with a contact or sponsor teacher and will be required to communicate with him or her at least once a month. Contact or sponsor teachers are there to help you and your child with any questions and/or concerns you have regarding curriculum and homeschooling in general. Some programs have employed many contact or sponsor teachers who have years of personal experience homeschooling, and they can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise that’s very valuable.
Is there a requirement to conduct homeschool instruction/learning on the same days as public schools?
No, a parent/guardian has the responsibility of setting hours of instruction per day and deciding what days of the week instruction occurs for their child(ren).
Can my child still participate in high school sports & activities even if he/she is homeschooled?
Yes! Alaska Statute, AS 14.30.365, also called the ”Home School Law,” went into effect on July 1, 2013. This law allows homeschool students to select a “school of eligibility” within a public school district or private or religious school to participate in sports and interscholastic activities.