Considering homeschooling your child? This man wants to help
RIGBY – From the time Nate Evans started college, he’s been unsatisfied with the traditional education model in the U.S.
The 40-year-old Rigby man is a certified teacher and completed his master’s degree in secondary education last year. He’s now offering an independent homeschool program for middle and high school students.
He set out to become a teacher when he enrolled as a student at the University of Phoenix in 2011, and he quickly became frustrated with certain required classes and the amount of work he was forced to put into something that had nothing to do with the career he was seeking.
“I was registering for classes, and I’m just like, ‘This is ridiculous. Do you know how much money a student could save if they didn’t take the classes they’re forced to take that have nothing to do with what they want to do?'” Evans said in a conversation with EastIdahoNews.com.
Evans was a science major, and he remembers having to take some English classes to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
“Why?” Evans asks. “All I had to do was pass the class, and that was it.”
Evans has always enjoyed working with youth, and he’s worked as a substitute teacher in Jefferson School District 251 over the last five years. Though his students often praise him for his teaching ability, he says it’s surprising how many students graduate without a plan after high school.
“I usually substitute a junior or a senior class and I’ll ask them, ‘What’s your plans after graduation?’ I can’t tell you how many times (I’ve heard students say), ‘I don’t know,'” he says. “That’s sad.”
Students without a road map have no purpose, he says, and public schools should be helping students chart a course for the rest of their life.
In addition, Evans says restrictive rules regarding teachers’ ability to discipline ill-behaved students only exacerbates the problem.
Teachers are only allowed to tell disruptive students to be quiet, stop or go to the office. When students are penalized for bad behavior, he says teachers often have to deal with parents who lash out at them for enforcing the rule in the first place.
“Twenty or 30 years ago, the parents would be all over the kid,” he says. “Now the student is always right.”
This mentality doesn’t incentivize the student to behave in class, Evans says, and it stifles a teacher’s ability to help them learn.
Evans says he’s wanted to start his own school for a long time and with some parents in Rigby seeking an alternative to public school, now seemed like the appropriate time to do it.
He recently launched a website for Evans Resort Home School, which explains its objective.
“Our mission is to help every student succeed with a ‘B’ average or better in a safe and friendly environment and become a contributing member of society. We want to help students visualize their career goals and set them on a path to get there upon graduating,” the website says.
Evans’ educational model is completely independent of state requirements, meaning there is no standard curriculum to follow. Complete ownership of the educational process belongs to students. The focus of Evans’ school is to work with students one on one and target their education to whatever their goals are.
“The only thing the state asks — it’s not a requirement — is that parents at least teach their kids the four main subjects — math, English, science and history,” Evans says.
But the idea is not to waste students’ time and money with things they don’t need.
Classes are divided into two-hour blocks and are held online four hours a day, two days a week. Each class lasts an hour and there is room for about 40 students total. The length of the school year will be similar to a year of public school.
“I want it to be the same as (public school) so they can still have their summers. I’m trying to set it up into trimesters, too, so they can see an end to a certain class,” Evans explains.
Upon completion, students will receive a certificate saying they have completed a homeschool program.
Evans is hoping to have a building to offer in-person learning eventually.
The cost to enroll is $100, with an additional $100 for registration and $50 for supplies. There is also a monthly tuition fee of $475, but discounts are provided for every person a student recruits to the program. Visit the website to learn more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.