BACK TO SCHOOL

Utah mom says her kids are thriving in home school

Aug 22, 2023, 10:45 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study ranks Utah number three in the nation for homeschooling. While homeschooling isn’t for everyone, KSL’s Tamara Vaifanua followed a Utah mom’s experience on Monday, highlighting the benefits for her family.

Meghan Hess started homeschooling her three children in 2020. 

“My oldest is Dean. He’s 10 ½. He’s going to be in 5th grade. Lucy is 9. She’ll be in 4th. And Thea is our bookend baby. She is 3 years old,” said Hess.

When Lucy and Dean were in public school, she booked hours of her time as a home mom.

“With Lucy, she always tested very poorly in school. Whatever the reason there was just a disconnect at school. When [Dean] was born until now, he’s been so energetic and so full of life and social but in a public school that translated into he was always in trouble.

She said their teachers were amazing, but with 30-plus students in their classes, Meghan felt homeschooling would be a better fit. 

“Every kid is so different.”

Hess can tailor lessons to fit their learning style, using simple resources that are easy to integrate. One of them is “The Well Educated Heart” — a library resource for parent educators like Hess. 

“’The Well Educated Heart’ is not a curriculum it’s more of a philosophy. It’s focused on really amazing music and art,” she said.

Without a slew of students in the classroom and a more one on one approach, Hess finds they can work at their own speed.

“Teachers have to absolutely carry on and keep going [through the lesson plan] but at home you can slow down and make sure that she understands what we’re talking about,” said Hess.

Most importantly, Meghan says homeschooling helps her bond with her kids.

“Not all of our learning happens at home, even though we’re homeschoolers. We’re field-tripping all the time.”

Despite the flexibility, Hess worried they would miss out on socialization, but meeting with a homeschooling group several times a week has helped.

“I hosted a Harry Potter club this summer so we got together once a week and did potions, astronomy,” said Hess. 

The most valuable lesson she hopes to teach her kids is to love learning and make it a lifelong pursuit. 

“Just seeing how awesome my kids can thrive when I can really focus on them was such a blessing.” 

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Utah mom says her kids are thriving in home school