Homeschooling is a practice that has become popular in recent times. However, each state has requirements to teach their children from home.
In Utah, homeschooling is a viable option for parents who choose to do so. The only requirement that the state has is a notification to the district’s school through a form that they have available, including basic information about the children and their parents.
If you live in Utah and are interested in homeschooling, the laws and requirements must be met. Keep reading this article to understand more general information that will help you have a more in-depth experience.
In the state of Utah, there are two options for homeschooling. The age range of students must be 6 to 18. The state does require notification for homeschooling. However, the state does not require specific subjects to be taught. Teachers do not need to be qualified or certified to teach classes, and it is not necessary to take periodic standard-level assessments.
Although the state of Utah does not require a minimum education time, it is good to consider the time you will spend providing a quality education for your child. Each subject and activity takes time to teach correctly, apart from time for questions and concerns you may have regarding the class.
To homeschool in Utah, the state has only one requirement by law: to fill out a notarized Utah homeschool affidavit form. After sending it to the local school district, a notification will be sent to the parent within 30 days showing the certificate of exemption. Unless you decide to live in another district with a different public school, the affidavit will be sent only once, but the certificate will be sent to you annually.
You only need to send the notification once to your local district school for the record. In the document, you must put general information, such as the child’s name and the name of the parent or legal guardian, their location, why they decided to opt for homeschooling, and the parent or guardian recognizes the responsibility for the education of their child.
The cost of homeschooling will depend on the academic planning of the parents. The costs can be divided into the following aspects:
- The curriculum is one of the most important factors to consider when educating at home. It can cost between $ 300 and $ 600 per child per school year.
- The materials that will be used in the activities and projects for the smooth operation of the school year.
- Field trips may be free, but they can also be costly. It all depends on what you plan for your child’s school year.
Prices are relative, as some items may be more expensive. However, the average cost of a homeschool year is between $500 and $1800 per child.
Utah does not have required courses that must be taught when parents decide to homeschool their children. They also do not have a specific or recommended curriculum for them to follow. Therefore, it is up to the parents to choose the curriculum and teaching methods they think are appropriate.
A recommendation would be to investigate your child’s learning method and your preferred teaching method. Thus, the parents will choose a better curriculum and include activities that can make the lessons from home more enjoyable. You can ask for a test of the different curriculum until you find the most suitable one for you before investing in the one you choose.
To help start your search, here is a small list of some well-known home-based learning programs. ABC Mouse and Adventure Academy offer an interactive and engaging platform for young learners through elementary. Alpha Omega Publications has online, digital, and printed materials to choose from that provide a Christian-backed education. Schoolhouse Teachers allow parents to select and create individualized lesson plans for any age, grade, or learning level. K12 provides public school online. Duolingo, Khan Academy, and Abeka are also worth looking into.
Utah does not have any laws that require student records to be kept. However, it is best to have a copy of the most important documents that can demonstrate your child’s academic progress if the district school or universities request them. Documents such as tests, evaluations, assignments, projects, and essays can offer a good glimpse into the academic knowledge that the student has acquired during homeschooling, showing how well that knowledge has been taught.
Homeschooling And Special Education Services In Utah
In Utah, there is no other law for homeschooling children with special needs. As long as you notify the local school district and comply with the state’s recommendations, there will be no problem with this type of alternative education.
However, it is advisable to consult with a professional about the teaching methods that would be most appropriate for your child according to their particular needs and choose a curriculum based on the analysis and advice provided by said professional.
Also, Utah does not offer homeschooling funding for children with special needs.
The state of Utah allows homeschooled students to participate in all public school extracurricular activities, and schools cannot add any requirements to homeschooled children that do not apply to public school students.
If a child wishes to enroll in public school after being homeschooled, Utah does not impose any requirements by law. However, it is advisable to investigate with the public school in your district. Some schools require a prior evaluation to verify that the knowledge acquired during homeschooling aligns with that taught in the grade the student is assigned. Also, it is essential to keep the student’s portfolio up to date to support this acquired knowledge.
Testing And Graduation Requirements In Utah
It is not a statutory requirement for homeschooled students to take a standard grade test in Utah. In some cases, parents may decide to make an academic portfolio for their children and include quizzes to prove their academic progress.
Homeschool graduate students cannot earn a high school diploma from Utah. However, students can take the GED to gain their official state diploma establishing high school completion. If not, parents can award their homeschool diploma that validates the completion of the educational process.
Field trips are an excellent way to supplement homeschooling. Some recommendations for these excursions in Utah are:
- Otter Creek State Park
- Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument
- Goosenecks State Park
- Golden Spike National Historic Site
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
- Frontier Homestead State Park Museum
- Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
- Camp Floyd / Stagecoach Inn State Park Museum
- Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum
Remember to assign an assignment, project, assessment, or essay related to this trip so that it can be saved in your child’s academic portfolio.
Homeschool Associations, Groups, And Co-Ops In Utah
Utah has several options for homeschooling groups, associations, and co-ops. Depending on your preference, they can be virtual or face-to-face groups. It is advisable to investigate the groups near your area to choose the one that goes according to your principles, values, or religion.
These associations are ideal for promoting the social factor in children and that parents have support from other families that are also implementing this type of education.
Utah has few requirements for parents who decide to start homeschooling. The parents or instructors will choose the subjects, curriculum, and teaching methods. One recommendation is to speak with families who have already been homeschooled and ask them about their experience before deciding.