Interior Distance Education of Alaska sent off 25 graduates Tuesday evening, following a ceremony at the Kalifonsky Christian Center.
Kody Knox from Ninilchik and William Roth from Kodiak were the only two to make the trip from the towns where they received their home-schooling education. Now alumni, they discussed their home-school educations and where they are headed next.
“Going through IDEA we had the chance to temper our curriculum,” Roth said. “We could mold that around our life.”
The two students were able to take road trips Outside, spend time with family and friends, and make extracurricular and personal interests a priority with a flexible daily schedule.
Knox is planning to attend South Carolina’s Bob Jones University to pursue a teaching degree, he said. He is looking forward to teaching history or science in high school classrooms, a venue in which he said he has little experience.
The most desirable aspects of his own education was simply “being at home,” he said with a laugh. Home-schooling emphasized familial relationships, an opportunity for which he is thankful.
He said parent involvement in education is somewhat lacking for students going the public school route. He has observed that students are dropped off by their parents at the start of the day and have little to no contact until school is out.
Spending that extra time at home helped Knox, especially during the developmental years when other students are in elementary school and middle school. As he grew up he was able to take two courses through Ninilchik School, when expanding his social network became more appealing.
Knox said his education covered a general spectrum of subjects because he did not find any one thing that really piqued his interests. His mother also encouraged him to pursue a variety of subjects. Roth, on the other hand, preferred to tailor his education around personal interests.
In the last two years of his education, Roth said he discovered his dream job is to be a run a boat. This year he finished building the seiner that he will soon captain, and has developed a local reputation as one of the best skiff men working on Kodiak Island.
Home-schooling also helped Roth maintain a close connection with his family, who offered essential financial support for Roth while he was working toward his captain’s license. He was able to fit his schedule around the work he needed to do in order to pay the money back.
“It would have been a hobby if I hadn’t made it my job,” Roth said.
Reach Kelly Sullivan at email@example.com.
IDEA Class of 2015
Kaitlyn Atterberry, Soldotna
Daniel Barry, Soldotna
Jenna Barry, Soldotna
Ashleigh Bodolosky, Kenai
Breanna Carpenter, Kenai
Tatianna Clary, Soldotna
Bryce Conner, Soldotna
Elise DiLucchio, Soldotna
Andrew Fetterhoff, Homer
Ashton Hall, Kenai
Michael Hubbard, Kenai
Jeremiah Hudson, Homer
Sadie Kimble, Kenai
James Knox, Ninilchik
Philip Marlton, Kasilof
Cheyenne Larson, Kenai
Emmalyn Murray, Sterling
Sarah Newberry, Soldotna
John Petty, Kenai
Heather Prisk, Soldotna
Seth Robertson, Seward
Ruben Rodriguez, Nikiski
William Roth, Homer
Brayden Storms, Soldotna