Combining Public School with Homeschooling: Does it work?

 This question was asked on a Yahoo group list, and I thought it was worth posting here.  The information is relevant to Arizona.  I have not checked the laws nor circumstances in other states.

Hi. I’m new here but have toyed with the idea of homeschooling for a long time. Since school let out for summer I’ve been essentially homeschooling my otherwise gifted son on remedial language skills, and our success has encouraged me to consider the idea of homeschooling in the fall.

 Does anyone have experience or knowledge of partial enrollment, like sending a child to the public school for certain classes? I have some questions and would just like to chat about it. I am curious to hear how it works out for your family and I also have more specific questions regarding how to set that up with a school.

 Thanks in advance!

 -Michelle
 

Hi Michelle, 

I have known many who have used Eagleridge that was mentioned in a previous post–some good experiences and some not good at all. 

If you do use this program or any others like it, here are some things that you need to be aware of: 

1.  Eagleridge is a program just for homeschoolers, but is run by the Mesa Public School District.
2.  You are required to attend in blocks of 6 hour increments per week so the school can be paid the ADA money (Average Daily Attendance funds, which can be paid by 1/4, 1/2 , 3/4 or full-time portions.)
3.  Any students participating in the school are no longer considered homeschoolers the moment they enter the classes, even though the set up is only for homeschoolers.
4.  Since the pupils are not homeschoolers, they are considered public school students and are thus required to follow all the state regulations while in classes there.
5.  All students in Eagleridge are required to take the AIMS test in the appropriate grades, even though homeschoolers are specifically exempt from the AIMS test by state law.

I have heard that Eagleridge has some good courses, and I believe that every family needs to decide what is best for their own needs.  Do be aware of the ramifications of whatever path you choose. 

Arizona is an open enrollment state that does allow part time participation in the regular public schools on the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 time basis. For high schools, 1/4 time is one class, and for younger students, it is 6 hours per week.  You are allowed to choose any school that you wish, but may need to get special permission if you choose one in a different neighborhood.  Twelve years ago, my daughters each took a class or two at Greenway High School (one took Advanced Chemistry and Photos and the other took Drama).  This worked well for us at the time, and no extra restrictions were placed on us.  I do not know how the current status is with the public schools allowing hs’ers to come in part time.  I understand that each school or district may make their own rules about what is allowed.

When we first checked into it, our local high school, Thunderbird, had a principal who would not allow any part time classes by anyone.  In order to go to Greenway, (still in the same District) we were supposed to get a variance from the district office.  However, when I talked to the Greenway VP, no extra paperwork was required, and he basically let us choose the classes (even advanced Chem) and the hours that we wanted.  Others with whom I have spoken have not had such an easy time at other schools.

Another option you may want to consider is co-op classes.  There are support groups all over the valley that do various classes together–some as informal parent and kids time and others that have paid instructors for each class.  Additionally, Covenant Home School Resource Center has classes in central Phoenix, North Scottsdale and Sun City West. (http://www.chsrc.org )

Best wishes.  Let me know if I may be of further assistance. 

Thanks and Blessings,

 Holly Craw

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