DRAPER, Utah – Homeschooling is evolving into co-ops. They’re made of several families who share the responsibility to teach.
One parent may teach math and another may teach science.
Homeschool co-op classrooms include students of all ages. ABC 4 found a student as young as 8 learning Spanish with 16-year-olds in Sarah McKay’s Draper home.
McKay helped form the southern Salt Lake County co-op with 19 other families. The co-op is made up of about 80 students.
They travel back and forth between 5 homes to learn subjects like Spanish, math and history.
“With co-op you are with other kids all the time and I think it’s better than public school for socializing,” said Jared Tew.
The social dynamics and rules in this homeschool co-op setting would likely be foreign to most any public school student.
Tyler Pease for example attended the fourth grade at Sunrise Elementary in Sandy last year.
“It’s a lot better," said Pease. "Why tell me about that," replied ABC 4's Noah Bond. "Because all the kids are nicer because I got bullied a lot,” Pease responded.
All the students who talked with ABC 4 said there is a more loving atmosphere, small enough to foster deep meaningful relationships, but large enough to give the kids a variety of friends.
“We’re so lucky to have what we have because we’re together all the time. We have these wonderful experiences,” said Mindy Mitchell.
All of her seven children are products of homeschooling.
“I worried about are we going to be at each others throats are we how are we going to interact at home? The interaction at home actually got better. It improved because we have a lot of common ties that we didn’t have before,” said Mitchell.
So while it’s clear the choice of friends these students have is much smaller than their peers in public schools they do have options.