2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR ENROLLMENT
Registration is now open for the 2023-2024 school year. We've added new classes in almost all locations. In addition to classes all across Utah, we also have classes in Arizona, and all of our classes also have online options.
If you're not sure you want to register yet, and instead want more information, fill out our Interest Form and we'll get in touch with you as soon as we can!
WELCOME TO THE INDEPENDENT
CONSISTENT, FLEXIBLE, EXCELLENT EDUCATION
Many homeschool and alternatively educated families struggle to stay independent in their education programs because homeschooling itself isn’t meeting the growing needs of their teenage students. Many of these families love homeschooling, they want it to work, but they don’t have sufficient access to content that is-
At the secondary level
High quality and academically rigorous
Reliably available year over year
A la carte
This lack of access puts homeschooling families in a difficult position. On the one hand, they can piece together whatever options exist in their area, i.e. if their local co-op has a great math program, then great. If not, then things get tough. On the other hand, if they enroll their students in a school or program that has more comprehensive offerings, that program will also likely limit flexibility.
This decision between flexibility and quality education is a decision we don't want homeschool families to have to make. Good homeschooling should not be limited to the primary level. We want teens to have great education, regardless of whether they're part of a schooling system or independent.
The vision of the Independent Education Program is to fill that gap by providing consistent, high quality, academic content that gives parents more a la carte options to build out their secondary level homeschool curriculum. We also want to strengthen co-ops or homeschool friendly schools by creating high quality content that can add valuable offerings in their class schedules.
We work with all sorts of groups to provide the best education available to independently educated teens. Our model is not only flexible for the student, it's flexible for the group that student is a part of.
A large number of our students are part of a homeschool co-op or commonwealth, while others are enrolled in private or charter schools, or taking classes as part of a completely custom built curriculum.
All of our classes are offered online in addition to in-person, which means no matter where you are, you can access incredible courses in any setting.
If you would like to use one of our classes in your program, find out more with the link below, or contact us directly.
COURSES OFFERED BY THE IEProgram
SPEECH AND DEBATE
The speech and debate program (the Wasatch Independent Debate League) has been around for nearly 15 years and is directed by Sam Martineau.
In this class, students learn the skills of critical thinking, persuasion, listening, and effective communication in context of eight speaking and debate events.
The effect of this class on students is incredible, and as a result, students frequently place in national competitions. Not only that, students learn the soft skills they need to be successful at anything they do later on in life.
Directed by Joseph Holt, this course is about learning the text, context, meaning and intent behind the Constitution. Specifically, students use Moot Court to learn this document inside and out.
Students use real and hypothetical cases in a mock Supreme Court setting to learn the meaning and merit behind everything in this founding document of our nation.
Year one focuses on the body of the Constitution. Year two focuses on the amendments. Students will argue in moot court - both in class and against other students in moot court competitions!
Using both fiction and non-fiction literature, students learn the fundamental concepts of exceptional writing. Not only will students come to understand how to communicate their thoughts on paper, but how to dissect ideas expressed in writing, how to format and structure papers, and how to utilize the English more effectively.
This program, directed by ToriAnn Perkey, not only teaches students technical grammar skills, but literary concepts used in stories that shape our world. Students enrolled in the program will experience a deeper and more rich understand of the of the world around them communicated through what they read.
Students engage in a rigorous business building experience that both deepens their knowledge of business, but also helps them become more creative, as well as better problem solvers.
The aim of the class is to help students build their own business that makes them real money. But also, students learn mindsets that help them be successful regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in. Not only do they build a business, they become an owner.
OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING
In the Independent Education Program, we take our classroom approach very seriously to ensure that we facilitate the key experiences we want students to have. Our philosophy has four key elements:
We are serious about using research-based teaching methods. Specifically active learning. Study after study demonstrates that the most effective teaching methods are methods in which you can observe the learning that the student is doing. We care whether or not our teaching methods produce real results, and that is why students are constantly learning in observable ways that require grit and growth.
We invest a lot of time and energy into helping students develop mindsets and perspectives that aid them in dealing with challenges and growth. We also dedicate our classroom to teaching students to have a mindset that values responsibility, effort over perfection, risk taking over trophies, and motivating students by the desire for self respect rather than the fear of self degradation.
We take, as much as is practical and possible, a viewpoint neutral approach in our classrooms. While we are serious about teaching students the concepts and practices relevant to the subject they are learning, we are not interested in using the classroom to promote a specific political or ideological agenda. We believe that shaping student worldviews is a parental prerogative, and we seek to respect that.
Finally, we try to cultivate the same mindset in ourselves. We are willing to hear and, in fact, seek out feedback from our students because we are more concerned with doing what is best for them than with being right. We’re willing to learn and always trying to improve. We understand that great teachers are what make the biggest difference in a classroom, and we are willing to do what it takes to be great teachers.
MEET OUR PROGRAM DIRECTORS
SAM MARTINEAU, GENERAL DIRECTOR
Sam has been teaching speech and debate in the homeschool community for fifteen years. He is the founder and director of the Wasatch Independent Debate League, which has been introducing homeschooled students to academic debate for the past thirteen years. He has also seen significant success as a mock trial coach including coaching three top ten teams at the National Mock Trial Tournament.
Sam Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Weber State University with a B.S. and teaching certificate in Communication Teaching and a minor in History Teaching.
TORIANN PERKEY, ENGLISH DIRECTOR
ToriAnn has been teaching English and writing in the homeschool community for almost 10 years, and she’s been involved with editing, curriculum development, and publishing for over 30 years. Her goal with all English classes is to create an engaging and stimulating environment that invites students to think deeply, communicate well, and appreciate the beauty of the English language. She homeschooled her four children from birth to graduation, with the youngest to graduate in 2025. She’s also mentored thousands of new and struggling homeschool families through online and live presentations. When she’s not curled up with her latest book, she loves watching British mysteries, helping entrepreneurs run their online businesses, or learning to play the mandolin.
ToriAnn graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Classical Studies (Latin Emphasis), with a minor in History and a “minor” in Editing & Publishing (the minor didn’t exist yet, but the classes did).
MCKAY EARL, BUSINESS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
McKay Earl is a God-loving, family-loving, homeschool dad of 7 and enjoys every minute of the fun ride. A product of homeschool himself he gained a strong foundation that led to a love for a classically-based, leadership-focused education.
An entrepreneur at heart, he has started multiple businesses and works now as a marketing consultant where he has helped hundreds of small business owners grow their companies.
McKay also loves cycling, camping and the great outdoors - and especially when he can do all three at the same time! He and his beautiful bride of 21 years live in Gilbert Arizona.
JOSEPH HOLT, CONSTITUTION STUDIES DIRECTOR
Joseph is a student of philosophy, and is especially concerned with the intersection between cognitive science and artificial intelligence, the study of consciousness, and epistemology. Along with teaching speech and debate and directing the constitution studies program, Joseph has eight years of experience competing in the IEP. He assisted as a TA for numerous classes and competed as a state finalist in a number of mock trials.
Joseph has worked in education for several years, as an elementary instructor at a charter school in Pleasant Grove, UT, and as an online instructor for an international tutoring organization, teaching students from India, China, Greece, and all over the United States. Joseph is currently completing a philosophy program at Utah Valley University, and is preparing for further studies in consciousness research.