How to Get Started with Homeschooling in Utah
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool!
You may be asking yourself- can I really do this?
Yes! Yes, you can! The most common misperception about homeschooling is that you must have a college degree or some other special qualifications to teach your own children. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are perfectly qualified to teach your children just because they are your children. No matter how competent and devoted a professional teacher may be, that teacher can never know or love your child as deeply as you do. And since love underlies all true learning, homeschooling parents actually have an advantage over professional teachers.
Legally Homeschool in Utah by Submitting a Notarized Affidavit
As you begin your journey, there are a few things you need to consider. First, you must submit a notarized affidavit to your school district. This can be done through the mail or in person. Within 30 days, the district will send you back an exemption form.
Evaluate Homeschool Teaching Styles
Next, decide on an approach. One of the advantages of homeschool is that you get to explore how your child learns best. Look for a methodology that fits your family culture and compliments your child’s learning style. Recreating a public school approach is not necessarily what’s best for most children. Take some time to research. Books, the internet, and talking with veteran homeschoolers are all great ways to find out the differences between the structure of classical education and the non-structure of unschooling and everything in between. Classical, Charlotte Mason, traditional, unit studies, unschooling, TJed, workboxes, and an eclectic approach are some of the most common approaches that homeschoolers use.
Prepare for a Transition Period
Expect a transition period. Children are used to being away from home and someone else telling them what to do all day long. Your child’s learning environment has changed and so has the dynamics of your family life. Everyone’s daily routines will now be different. It takes time to figure out a new family routine. Many families like to take a period to deschool. Deschooling is taking time off from formal learning so that their natural curiosity and love of learning can be rekindled. Taking field trips, going to the library, and spending time at the museum can all be beneficial during your transition period.
Connect with Homeschooling Support Groups
Don’t give up too soon! Many experts recommend making at least a one year commitment to homeschooling. There will be days you want to quit. Be patient with yourself and your family. It may be overwhelming at times, but as time goes by you will gain confidence and find your groove. Finding a support network is crucial. This can include homeschooling support groups, co-ops, friends, and family. Many of the homeschool groups offer monthly support meetings where you can ask questions and get support from like-minded individuals. This website is a great resource. We have a great directory of online Utah homeschool groups you can connect with here.