Utah Homeschooling F.A.Q.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling
Do you have a question about homeschooling Utah? Start here by browsing the most frequently asked questions. After that, visit one of the support groups, call a board member or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get help when I need it?
Literally hundreds of resources are available to homeschoolers. Besides this website, there is the annual UHEA convention which is packed with great ideas and information. There are area representatives, board members, the UHEA newsletter, local homeschool support groups and co-ops. Community classes are also a great resource. The public library is an invaluable and inexpensive resource for homeschoolers. Many homeschoolers purchase only a math textbook and use the libraries as their main curriculum source for other subjects.
How do you get your housework done?
If a homeschool mom tries to maintain the house and do all the teaching single-handedly, the situation can become unbearable. As in other areas, you do what works for your family, but a good way to start is to make housework part of your curriculum. It’s called Life Skills!
How many homeschoolers are there?
The latest statistics project that Utah will have over 18,000 students homeschooling during the 2015-2016 school year. Estimates of the number of homeschoolers nationally have ranged as high as two million, though these statistics are not always reliable. The fact is: no one knows exactly how many children are being educated at home, either in Utah or in the United States. The only sure thing is that the number is growing every year.
What about college?
One of the best-kept secrets in education today is that a high school diploma is not required for college admission. In fact, the only profession in Utah still requiring a high school diploma is law enforcement. Most colleges, even the prestigious Ivy League schools, admit students on the basis of their performance on tests like the ACT and by compliance with that school’s particular admission requirements. Many excellent colleges even give preference to homeschooled students because their experience with homeschoolers has been so good.
Can you teach junior high and high school at home?
Definitely! This age is a great time for more emphasis on academics, and many teens prefer homeschool because they recognize its efficiency. They can get their academic work done more quickly and have time left to play a musical instrument, practice gymnastics or basketball, serve vocational apprenticeships, pursue their own consuming interests, and generally get on with real life. In fact, many homeschoolers have been able to enter college early because they were homeschooled through high school.
Dual enrollment (attending public school part-time while homeschooling) is also an option in Utah. Some students choose to attend high school classes like algebra, drama, orchestra, debate, or journalism, and free-lance the rest of their education at home with great success. Some school districts will work with homeschooling families to arrange for class credits and a high school diploma, if desired.
What about socialization?
This is probably the most-often-asked question of all. However, homeschooled children have plenty of people and activities to help them learn social skills. They have neighbors; extended family members; church leaders, teachers, and peers; community sports teams and coaches; community education classes, 4H, scouting, apprenticeships, gymnastics, hobby clubs; and of course, they have other homeschoolers to play with. Because home-educated children learn their social skills from their own parents and within social groups their parents select, they grow up feeling poised and capable in almost any social setting. They become civilized rather than ‘socialized.’
What do homeschoolers do all day?
Most people who ask this question are operating out of their own public-school experience and are hoping to be handed a schedule showing reading at nine o’clock, math at ten, history at eleven, and so forth. In fact, many homeschoolers do begin by patterning their homes after the public schools, but few do it for long, because we quickly find better ways. Home school is not just ‘school’ at home; it’s a completely different approach to education. Life itself can be the best possible school.
What curriculum should I use?
This depends on what you want your child to learn, how much or how little structure works for you, what you feel is the best way to learn, and your child’s personality. How much time should be spent at a desk? Developing artistic, musical, or physical talents? Going on field trips or apprenticing? Watching the grass grow? Some parents prefer a structured approach and follow a daily schedule, others choose unschooling, and many pick and choose from many approaches, using whatever works for each child, sometimes including part-time public school enrollment. Read the articles about various approaches to learning, talk to your homeschooling friends to discover what works for them, check out possible resources in your own community, and then make your own decisions according to your children’s needs.
What if my child learns differently?
Many parents choose to homeschool their children because they learn differently or have special needs. While traditional schools are set up to service the needs of many, home education can be tailored to the individual and many children thrive.