Utah families exploring nontraditional teaching options

Aug 18, 2022, 12:27 PM

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — When it comes to schooling, it seems now maybe more than ever, there are options for students heading back to school.

Some Utah families are looking into different kinds of schooling that are gaining popularity — homeschooling and pod learning.

Homeschooling, for the most part, is exactly what it sounds like: Learning from home instead of school. It relies largely on parent or guardian guidance.

Pod learning is essentially bringing a small number of students together to learn.

Mother of three Nicole Christoffersen says she and her family are exploring both these types of schooling, in addition to more traditional options.

“We have looked into pod schooling where we would share like a private teacher with neighbors. We’ve looked into doing combined schooling where kids can take a couple classes at the public school every day and then be homeschooled the rest of the day,” said Christoffersen.

Currently, her students have been enrolled in public school.

She says a combination of district policies and finding each of her students learns differently are key factors in looking into these other learning solutions.

“One of them, I think doing a combo of public school and home school is gonna be the best thing. Another one, I think would totally be satisfied doing some home school or pod learning, especially since there are some subjects I don’t feel totally qualified to teach. Having a teacher come in and do those would probably be ideal for us,” said Christoffersen.

If pod schooling works out, she says it could look like a private teacher being hired in the neighborhood where other kids are also pod schooling. From there, the cost would be split among participating families, making a private educator more affordable.

“It feels like it’ll be a different decision for each kid,” said Christoffersen.

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Utah families exploring nontraditional teaching options