With the Covid-19 crisis continuing to evolve, we’ve had a lot of questions from families who are trying to determine if this might be a good year to consider homeschooling for the first time. Deciding to homeschool can be a daunting choice--especially now, when there is so much general uncertainty. Everyone's schedules were thrown into turmoil this spring when schools were unexpectedly forced to close. We all had to adjust abruptly, scramble, and make do--no one was quite prepared for the many repercussions of a global pandemic! Schools and teachers did their best to continue providing a quality education from a distance, but conditions were far from ideal, and many families struggled with finding a work/school/life balance amongst so much chaos and uncertainty. Please realize, however, that the frustratingly makeshift home/online/school combo that you may have experienced this spring is not at all reflective of homeschooling. Homeschooling your children, even for just a year, can be an exceptionally rewarding bonding experience for the whole family. Even if everything doesn't go perfectly smoothly (and really, what does??) it will definitely be a year to remember and treasure!
In Alaska, we are extremely fortunate to have a large community of homeschooling families along with excellent homeschooling support via several formal programs that are administered through local school districts. You do not have to enroll in a program to homeschool in Alaska, but the programs are an amazing resource. They provide advice, record keeping, and a large allotment budget that families can use to purchase educational materials and pay for activities. For further information, please see:
The Basics: Homeschooling in Alaska
Whether you intend to homeschool only as long as the Covid-19 situation continues to unfold, or might consider a longer stint, the school district programs are the best source for essential fundamental information and resources, but pointers from experienced homeschool families are also extremely helpful! I've homeschooled four children from kindergarten through high school for the past 20 years and have advised many families who visit Enchanted Forest. My perspective is available here:
One educational approach that lends itself very well to homeschooling, even for families who may only want to homeschool for a year, is Waldorf. Adapting some of the techniques that traditional Waldorf schools utilize in a home environment can be an effective and rewarding approach for families who are new to homeschooling. Enchanted Forest offers many supplies that help support a Waldorf education approach. For more information, see: