Homeschooling in Utah & Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in Utah & Homeschool Laws

You may be considering homeschooling your children, but don’t know where to start regarding Utah homeschool laws. This guide will walk you through what you need to know to successfully set up your own homeschool program under Utah homeschool laws. We’ll cover the history of homeschooling in Utah, current Utah homeschool laws, required notifications and filings, curriculum and testing choices, transcripts, extracurricular activities, graduation requirements, and special education services.

History of Homeschooling in Utah

The origins of homeschooling in Utah trace back to the late 1840s, when Mormon pioneers settled the beehive state. These early settlers, facing the challenges of frontier life and the absence of established educational institutions, naturally took on the role of educators for their children. This era laid the foundation for homeschooling in Utah, emphasizing independence, self-reliance, and the integration of faith and learning.

The real legal milestones for home education came much later. In 1978, Utah passed significant legislation that formally recognized homeschool as a viable educational option. The Home School law marked the beginning of modern homeschooling in Utah, setting the stage for Utah parents to take direct responsibility for their children’s learning, in compliance with state laws when homeschooling in Utah.

Since the enactment of the Home School law, homeschooling in Utah has seen steady growth. What started as a choice for other families has burgeoned into a widespread movement in the very homeschool friendly state, with estimates in the 2010s suggesting around 20,000 homeschoolers in Utah.

Current Utah Homeschooling Laws And Regulations

If you’re considering home education, Utah requires you to submit an affidavit to your school district expressing your intention for homeschooling in Utah. Filing this affidavit effectively withdraws any students listed from their local public school and exempts them from the compulsory state law. While each school district might have a recommended format for the affidavit, Utah homeschooling laws don’t require a specific form or a notarized affidavit. The Utah State Board is a helpful resource for information on Utah homeschool laws, but ultimately, Utah parents hold the authority to oversee the Utah homeschool experience, tailoring it to their educational goals and values.

Compulsory state laws require all children between the ages of 6 and 18 to be enrolled in a public school system, private school, or a home school. A home school is defined as any instruction provided at home for a student who has been excused from compulsory public school attendance.

Under this state law, a Utah homeschooling parent must file a one-time affidavit with their school district to satisfy homeschool requirements. Beyond this initial filing, Utah state laws impose very few legal requirements for homeschooling in Utah. See reference here.  

How to Set Up a Homeschool in Utah

In adherence to Utah state law, which specifically addresses homeschooling in Utah, you must adhere to the following guidelines to start homeschooling in Utah:

  • Submit a signed and notarized affidavit to your local school board for each child. This affidavit must include a declaration that your child will attend a Utah homeschool, affirming the homeschool families’ exclusive responsibility for instruction, with the exception of any dual-enrollment periods in public school. Following the affidavit’s submission, anticipate the school board’s issuance of an exemption certificate within 30 days, validating your Utah homeschool under state law. There is no need to refile the affidavit as long as your Utah homeschool remains within the same district. You will find the form here in the links provided.

  • Enjoy the flexibility inherent in Utah homeschool laws, which do not mandate specific instructional days or subjects. Utah homeschool families bear the full responsibility for the “selection of instructional materials and textbooks.” This autonomy allows you to curate a personalized educational experience that caters to the unique needs and interests of your child, fostering a dynamic and engaging learning environment for homeschooling in Utah.

Utah state laws have no requirements to teach, curriculum approvals, or similar steps to begin homeschooling. As long as you have filed the one-time affidavit, you are free to start homeschooling for the school year according to state law.

Maintaining Your Utah Homeschool

Once you’ve filed the initial affidavit, there are very minimal ongoing requirements to begin homeschooling in Utah:

  • Familiarize yourself with Utah homeschooling laws. Knowing your legal requirements will help you stay compliant with state laws and confident in your Utah homeschool group.

  • Develop a homeschool curriculum that aligns the educational needs of your child. Consider the learning style of your children and how you teach.

  • Ensure that you file the required affidavit with your local board for each child you homeschool. Remember to renew the excuse certificate annually by August 1.

  • Explore educational materials and tools that support your chosen homeschool curriculum. Utilize local libraries, online materials, and homeschool groups to enrich how you teach.

  • Join homeschool groups or co ops to connect with other Utah homeschool families. Attend homeschool events, conferences, or workshops to stay updated on educational resources.

  • Tailor your schedule to your the evolving needs and interests of your children. Consider incorporating real-world experiences, field trips, and hands-on learning into your homeschoolers routine.

  • Keep accurate records of your homeschooling journey, including attendance and any assessments. While not strictly required by Utah law, maintaining organized records can be beneficial for tracking progress and creating transcripts.

  • Regularly assess your child’s progress and adapt your approach as necessary. Be open to changing schedules to address any challenges and ensure a dynamic learning experience.

  • Explore dual enrollment options if your child is interested in taking classes or participating in activities offered by local schools or community colleges. This can provide additional educational opportunities and social interactions for homeschoolers.

  • Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, both big and small. This positive reinforcement contributes to a positive learning environment for homeschoolers.

By staying informed, maintaining a supportive network, and adapting to your child’s evolving needs, you can create a successful and homeschool in Utah.

Utah Homeschool Reporting Requirements

In Utah, homeschooling families have minimal reporting requirements. According to Utah law, homeschool is considered a form of private education, and families are not required to register their homeschool group with the state or local school district. Homeschoolers in Utah are not obligated to submit ongoing notices of intent, attendance records, or progress reports to the authorities when homeschooling in Utah.


In Utah, homeschoolers are not required to participate in standardized testing. Utah law recognizes homeschool as a legal alternative to public or private school education, and parents have the primary responsibility for their child’s education. Families are not obligated to report test scores, progress reports, or attendance records to the state or local school district. However, if home schoolers wish to participate in extracurricular activities or classes at a public school, they may be required to take the same assessments as public school students.

Funding Your Utah Homeschool

Homeschooling in Utah is primarily funded by individual families, as they take on the responsibility of their children’s education. Unlike traditional public school, homeschools don’t typically receive direct funding from the state or federal government. Instead, parents bear the financial responsibility for resources and any external activities.

Homeschooling families often purchase their own curriculum and textbooks. The cost of these resources varies, and many families can choose materials based on their budget and educational goals.

Utah Fits All Scholarship: The Utah Fits All Scholarship program has been developed to empower many families with increased flexibility in crafting their children’s educational journeys. Through this program, many families have the opportunity to receive financial support, with each eligible child being eligible for up to $8,000 annually. This funding is earmarked for covering essential educational expenses such as materials, textbooks, and many resources crucial for effective homeschooling. The program not only aims to ease the financial burden on families but also fosters a more dynamic and personalized approach to education within the homeschooling context. More on the Utah Fits All Scholarship/Voucher Program

Federal Tax Breaks

Homeschooling families may be eligible for certain federal tax benefits to help offset educational expenses. One option is a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows money to grow tax-free when used for qualified education costs. Homeschool parents might also be able to deduct a portion of mortgage interest or rent if part of the home is used regularly and exclusively for homeschooling. Finally, tax credits or deductions could be available for required books, supplies, and curricula used for homeschool instruction. To learn more about these potential tax advantages, homeschooling families should review the information and resources provided by the IRS.

Immunization Requirements in Utah

In Utah, homeschooling offers the flexibility for parents to decide on immunization, as it is not a mandatory requirement. Should you opt for immunization for your child, it’s advisable to include the relevant documents in your homeschool records for comprehensive documentation.

Utah State Graduation Requirements

Even though there are no state-mandated homeschool graduation requirements, keeping detailed records, including transcripts, course descriptions, and any standardized test scores, is advisable. These records can be valuable if your child plans to attend college or pursue other post-secondary opportunities.

Utah does not issue traditional high school diplomas to homeschoolers. Homeschooled students have the opportunity to pursue the General Educational Development (GED) test, which upon passing, awards them a Utah High School Completion Diploma. This diploma is recognized as an equivalent to a traditional high school diploma, opening doors to higher education and employment opportunities, just as it would for graduates from public school. 

Utah Homeschool Charters

Utah does have charter schools that cater to homeschoolers. These schools are known as “homeschool charter schools” and provide an alternative educational option for families who choose to be homeschoolers in Utah, and access certain resources or find support from a charter school.

  • Utah Virtual Academy is an online charter school that allows for flexibility in learning while providing some structure and support from certified teachers.

  • Utah Connections Academy is another large statewide charter providing home-based learning with a virtual curriculum. 

These charters are considered public schools, so children must meet enrollment requirements, follow state graduation standards, participate in annual standardized testing, and receive instruction from state-certified teachers. At the same time, the instruction occurs primarily at home. Charter school models vary considerably, so parents need to research individual programs.

Local Utah Homeschooling Resources

In addition to the homeschooling options above, Utah has numerous local resources, co-ops, and support groups to help families on their journey:

Cities across Utah have various co-ops and support groups. Check out the links provided here Homeschooling Hub Utahfor a directory of local homeschool mom groups and co-ops. These homeschool groups organize activities, field trips, enrichment classes, and provide curriculum guidance.

Utah does not directly fund any resource centers, virtual schools, or other homeschool group programs beyond the public charter options. But the homeschool in Utah community has developed a robust network of support over the years.

By taking advantage of local resources, parents can find valuable resources, homeschool curriculum ideas, a co op, social opportunities, and field trips to enrich their homeschooling experience in Utah for their children.

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