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Idaho Distance Education Academy

The boys are enrolled in a Public Charter School for homeschooling families. Idaho Distance Education Academy

They have a catalog that I can order curriculum and school supplies from. I get about $3500 for all the boys for the school year to spend on the catalog items or for outside lessons (like music or gymnastics) or for field-trips, museums passes, etc. We have a nice teacher names Kendal Fleshman that helps us if we need it. I am in charge of coming up with my own lesson plans. I can use what ever I want to teach the boys, even if I did not buy it from the catalog. As long as I am meeting State Standards. So there is a great deal of flexibility for me as a homeschooling parent.

I submit a Progress Update once a month, outlining briefly what we have learned and give the boys a number grade to show how they are doing. Two times a year we have Portfolio Conferences with our teacher Kendal. We have to show to show between 5 and 6 work samples for each subject they are taking that year. These samples must match up to State Standards. The boys also take all the same testing a public schooled child in Idaho would take. These include the ISAT's, DMA (Direct Math Assessment), DWA (Direct Writing Assessment), and IRI's (Idaho Reading Indicator). We have enjoyed using the school to help with our homeschooling.

My least favorite thing about the school is having to do the Monthly Progress Updates. I just hate paperwork and having to type out what we have done into a form, after I have already done lesson plans, is just a pain to me.

My favorite thing is all the resources we have available to us. They offer us many free services that we would not be able to afford otherwise. Like subscriptions to Discovery Education Streaming and Science and Brain Pop. They have a library were I can borrow various books and homeschooling resources, things the Public Library does not have.

Also having Kendal there to consult with if I ever got stuck or need advice is a real stress reliever. She is just as invested in our children's education as we are. She is sweet and does not hound or invade our personal lives, but lets me homeschool and is there for us if needed. She does send out reminders and things but they are not invasive at all.

We considered leaving the school next year and doing our own thing, just for a change of pace. The boys were sad and said they would "miss Kendal". They really look forward to showing her their Portfolio's and seeing her during testing and our visits to the IDEA Center in Boise. So we are staying in to continue to take advantage of this great opportunity that is IDEA.

Here is a photo of Kendal and the boys after IRI's and our Portfolio Conference.
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1 COMMENTS (click here!):

Arya said...

I think it's awesome that there are resources out there to help those who homeschool. I didn't realize there were charter schools that help as well. I always wanted to homeschool but always felt so overwhelmed.

I always admire those who can do it and wondered just how you do it!!

Thank you for's been an eye opening experience for me, seeing homeschooling thru your eyes.

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