AP NEWS

Utah has big increase in homeschool population and resources

June 27, 2019

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Homeschooling resources have increased significantly in Utah along with the number students, according to a report.

There are multiple organizations, co-ops, supplemental programs, and support groups dedicated to families in which children are educated at home, The Daily Herald reported Wednesday.

More than 4,000 children are homeschooled in Utah County, where Provo and Orem are located.

The Utah Home Education Association hosts an annual convention and organizes a graduation ceremony, proms and soccer leagues for homeschool families.

Debbi Edmonds, the association’s Utah County representative, receives at least one email each week from parents new to homeschooling.

“They are afraid because they don’t know how to get started; they don’t know what to do,” said Edmonds, who homeschooled five children and is homeschooling grandchildren.

Rise Up Academy operates from a farm building and has about 100 students from 30 families who want to ensure homeschooled children enjoy social interaction.

Dina Wells, founder and vice president, said Rise Up was created in 2010 as a support system for older children.

“When I started it, I thought it is something that my kids could raise their kids in,” Wells said. “I really thought of it as more generational.”

There are also homeschooling social media support groups for most cities in Utah County, as well as groups that focus on specific activities such as hiking trips.

Anna Mock’s Hit the Trail, Homeschoolers group on Facebook has grown to about 500 people within three years. The hikes are student learning experiences, as well as an opportunity for parents to connect, she said.

“The moms can talk and share information, and I think that is part of the point,” Mock said. “Part of it is for the kids to have social interaction with each other. Some of my kids have made really good friends doing this.”

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com

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