The Stevens Family

Meet the Stevens Family!

Patricia , David and Samantha Stevens

What type of school environment are your children currently in?

Our child receives an Arizona Empowerment Scholarship (ESA) and is educated at home. 

Please share your current model of schooling and some of the reasons why you chose it.

Educated at home (Eclectic Homeschooling)  Our child learns best with Kinesthetic learning.  She has seizures that can be triggered by reading and writing so we have to use lots of different methods to teach her and we utilize all tools we can to giver her the best education possible.

Why do you feel this model of schooling best meets the needs of your children? How have you seen them grow and thrive in these environments?

My child attended A rated public schools through 2nd grade.  She has a very complex and rare gene mutation that causes seizures, pain, and anaphylaxis.  She cannot participate in physical activities, she cannot be exposed to temperatures higher than 75 degrees or lower than 50 degrees without constant supervision.  Even then, she can have random medial issues at any time. When we brought her home we realized that she needed more to learn and grow. It took some time but now, she thrives and looks forward to school at home each and every day.  Her confidence has grown 10 fold, she is happy, well adjusted and just found her groove. She can likely never return to a classroom setting but having the options to teach her at home, online and bring in teachers has been life changing for her.  She is even researching professions that she can do with her medical limitations and rather than feel like the future is closed it is wide open and exciting for her. Having the freedom to learn in an eclectic environment has tapped her learning center and allowed her to soar.

How do you feel living in Arizona and the school options you have in Arizona have helped your children in their academic and life pursuits?

Absolutely!   I am a native of Arizona and so is my daughter.  Arizona gives parents and caregivers the freedom to teach our children in the way that fits them best.  When children click with their learning their futures are bright and the possibilities are endless. I think Arizona understands this and looks for ways to help children flourish and achieve great things.

What do you love the best about your current school environment for your kids? What advice do you have for other families considering this option?

We love our home classroom and the freedom to really dig into the subjects.   When we started this journey to educate at home we were overwhelmed with all the advice.  What I would say to people who choose to educate at home, follow your child’s cues. Find what works for them.  It make take a while but utilize all the free and trial options for curriculum out there. Also, be willing to work with changes.  What works this year may not be the best next year. There is nothing more amazing than watching a child’s eyes light up when they love what they are learning.  Watching them click with the subject and eager to learn is so rewarding for us and her.

Anything else about your school / education decisions that you would like to share or mention? Any other questions we didn’t ask?

When we started this we were told some incorrect information about who ESA is for and what is does.  Everyone needs to really read all the information and gather data themselves and find the right fit for their family.  In our world the only “right” way to educate a child is the way that child needs to be educated. We have so many choices open to us in Arizona, do not be afraid to explore them.