2024-2025 Student Registration

Registration for the 2024-2025 school year is now open for all students. We are excited to be offering more classes in more locations than ever before!

There are a number of important changes from last year to understand. Please take some time to visit our registration page for more information.

Summer Information Meetings

The IEProgram is hosting two Information Meetings for anyone interested in learning more about the Program and the different classes and opportunities we offer.

They will be Thursday, June 27 from 7:00-8:30 pm and Tuesday, July 16 from 9:30-11:00 am.  Both meetings will be on zoom.  There will be a short presentation followed by opportunities to talk to teachers and ask questions.  We hope to see you there!

2024 Mock Trial Camp

Registration for our 2024 annual Mock Trial Camp is now open. Any student going into grades 8-12 is welcome to register, but spots are limited.

Registration is open until July 22, or until spots are filled.

Welcome to the Independent Education Program

Excellent Education for Your
Homeschool Teenager

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

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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.

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:

One

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.

Two

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.

Three

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.

Four

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.

Courses Offered by
The IEProgram

Speech & 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.

 

 

Constitution Studies

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!

English

The English program is designed to create great writers and deep thinkers who appreciate the value and beauty of stories and the written word. Our courses integrate the quiet work of reading and writing with lively in-class activities and discussions to create a comprehensive, life-changing experience that prepares students for college (or other goals) after high school. 

Our literature curriculum invites students to drink deeply from classic literature and thoughtful nonfiction, to explore the great themes of the human existence, to understand the literary tools authors use to communicate their ideas, and to experience a deeper and richer understanding of a teenager’s “inner world” and the world around them.

Our writing curriculum encourages students to make connections and develop their unique voice while also focusing on the fundamental concepts of exceptional writing. In addition to learning how to communicate their thoughts effectively and creatively, students learn technical skills such as grammar, mechanics, structure, and format through essays, creative writing, and other literary activities. Surrounded by peers who are also doing the hard work of writing, students are incentivized to elevate their effort, complete assignments, and showcase their work.

Leadership &
Entrepreneurship

Self-doubt, procrastination, and perfectionism continue to grow in youth. The Leadership & Entrepreneurship program addresses these problems by teaching personal leadership while having students create and run a for-profit or not-for-profit business.

Students have a blast with leadership games, discussions, problem-solving, and opportunities to get outside of their comfort zones. In addition, they receive troubleshooting advice and accountability from their classmates and teacher to help them when they get stuck or need encouragement to keep going.

This program goes beyond mere money-making; it's a systematic curriculum designed to empower students in project execution and to cultivate a leader’s mindset.

Start a Class in Your Co-op or Commonwealth

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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.

Meet Our Program Directors

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Sam Martineau

General Director

Sam has taught speech and debate to thousands of homeschooled students over the course of seventeen years. He is the founder and director of the Wasatch Independent Debate League and the Independent Education Program. He is a 2021 U.S. Distinguished Teacher and a recipient of the KSL:Teacher of the Week award. He has seen significant success in coaching in the National Mock Trial Competition, International Public Policy Forum, and Utah Model United Nations.

Samuel Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Weber State University with a B.S.and teaching certification in Communication Teaching and History Teaching.

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ToriAnn Perkey

Executive Director

ToriAnn has been teaching English and writing in the homeschool community since 2014, 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, make connections, 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, Survivor, or the latest Sci-Fi movie.

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).

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McKay Earl

Leadership & Entrepreneurship Director

McKay Earl is a God-loving, family-loving, homeschool dad of 7 and enjoys every minute of the fun ride.  A product of homeschooling 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 24 years live in Gilbert, Arizona.

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Chuck Higgins

Constitution Studies Director

Chuck Higgins  is passionate about teaching the U.S. Constitution, which he took an oath to support and defend as an officer in the U.S. military. He has traveled the world as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and as a pilot for United Airlines. These experiences have sparked a deep interest in principles of leadership and government, which he has studied and taught to both youth and adults.

Chuck graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.  He and his wife have homeschooled their 5 children for almost 20 years. Though he can’t carry a tune and has 2 left feet, he enjoys supporting his children’s involvement in the performing arts.  When his children are not on the stage, he enjoys playing sports, hiking, camping, backpacking, and traveling with them.