Who “Counts” as Homeschooled?: The Case of Alaska’s Correspondence Schools

  • Rachel Coleman Coalition for Responsible Home Education
  • Chelsea McCracken Coalition for Responsible Home Education; Dixie State University

Abstract

Defining which students “count” as homeschooled is complicated both by disparate state laws and by disagreements within the homeschooling community itself over how to categorize students enrolled in publicly funded cyber charters or virtual public schools. This paper works to clarify the definition of homeschooling by exploring the history of Alaska’s correspondence schools, where education officials have long relied on the home as an extension of their work and parents have learned to shape these same forces to serve their needs. Which factors determine who “counts” as homeschooled? The location where education takes place? Whether or not public funding is involved? Parents’ decision to take control of their children's education? We argue that students in Alaska’s correspondence programs should “count” as homeschooled, and that both scholars and members of the homeschooling community should take an expansive and inclusive approach to defining homeschooling.

Author Biographies

Rachel Coleman, Coalition for Responsible Home Education

Rachel Coleman, Ph.D., is the Executive Director at the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.

Chelsea McCracken, Coalition for Responsible Home Education; Dixie State University

Chelsea McCracken, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at Dixie State University and a Senior Research Analyst at the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.

Published
2020-07-01
Section
Peer Reviewed Articles

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