Wondering what is homeschooling? Full parenting guide for how to prepare for homeschooling and understanding home education. If you’re new to homeschooling or wondering how to home school, curious about the topic and considering at homeschooling programs, want to understand homeschooling pros and cons, or just looking for some homeschool 101 stuff, asking the question what is homeschooling anyway and what is a homeschooler is a great place to start for new homeschool families.
WHAT IS HOMESCHOOLING? (Top Questions About Homeschooling Your Child)
Quick Beginner Homeschooling Guide For Parents and Students
Many parents today are reviewing school choice options and taking a hard look at the local public school system, charter schools, and even private schools and make a decision if home schooling is for their family. To help you better understand home education and educational choice, let’s start with what is a homeschool and how homeschool works and answer top homeschooling questions…
What is homeschool and how does it work?
Understanding how homeschooling works can be difficult if you’ve never experienced it. In the most simple definition of homeschooling, homeschooling is when a parent takes control of their child’s learning in more of a parent-directed education role and educates the child at home instead of sending them to a public school or private school (more traditional avenues). Homeschool parents accept complete responsibility for their child’s education and become the homeschool teacher instead of relinquishing control of their school-age children to another person or institute. (You may have outside teachers for homeschool, too!) Home schooling vs traditional schooling is very different!
Today, homeschooling growing is an upward trend and there are more families homeschooling than ever before. There are large homeschool families and even single child homeschool families. There are all different parent home school families!
Don’t miss the full Q&A about homeschooling below. KEEP SCROLLING for important homeschool for parents information!
Current Education Statistics (Homeschool Statistics Infographic For Current Homeschooling Information)
Is homeschooling growing?
Yes, homeschooling continues to slowly grow with more home schooled students each year. See the homeschool facts and homeschooling statistics below…
Interesting Homeschool Statistics
Information About Homeschooling:
- 3.1 million estimated k-12 homeschooled students in the U.S. during 2021-2022 school year.
- 87% of students in local public school, 8% in private school, 5% in home school.
- In 2019, there were an estimated 2.5 million homeschooling students. In 2022, there were an estimated 3.1 million homeschooling students.
Who Does Homeschooling?
- 4% White students homeschool
- 2.7% students with two or more races / ethnicities homeschool
- 1.9% Hispanic students homeschool
- 1.2% Black students homeschool.
(Most recent 2019 statistics)
Reasons Parents Homeschool:
- 80% of homeschooled parents said they chose homeschooling because they were concerned about the school environment (including peer pressure, drugs, and safety)
- 75% a “desire to provide moral instruction” in home schooling
- 75% “emphasis on family life together” and a parents guidance
- 73% dissatisfaction of current school system
- 56% “desire to provide religious instruction”
- 54% “desire to provide to nontraditional approach to child education”
HOMESCHOOL TIP: You may want to jump to the question of what is the best homeschooling curriculum and what do we need to learn for schooling at home. But that’s not the first question to ask about homeschooling. READ ON because you need to know more than just home schooling curriculum / at home schooling program options or even home schooling style types in the beginning!
Introduction To Homeschooling (Homeschool Parenting Tips)
What is the purpose of homeschooling?
You may be wondering what is homeschooled? For many, homeschooling is less about test scores and academic excellence and more about guiding a well-rounded child and developing a child’s interest. Homeschool students also do field trips, extracurricular activities, take group classes, play sports on sports teams and more! With home school, you create the school environment that works best for your family!
If you have more questions on what is home schooled, let us know! We’re happy to answer questions!
READ THIS NEXT AFTER WHAT IS HOMESCHOOLED: WHAT IS THE COST OF HOMESCHOOLING? (How To Pay For Homeschooling)
Who does homeschooling?
Homeschooling is typically done by parents or legal guardians who have chosen to educate their children at home instead of sending them to a traditional school. However, in some cases, other family members or private tutors may also be involved in homeschooling. The decision to homeschool is often based on a variety of reasons, including religious or philosophical beliefs, concerns about the quality or safety of traditional schools, or a desire for more individualized instruction for a child.
Why do people homeschool?
Families home school for different reasons:
- Customized education: Homeschooling allows parents to customize the education to fit their child’s unique learning style, interests, and abilities.
- Flexibility: Homeschooling provides more flexibility in scheduling, allowing families to work around travel, work, or other activities.
- Safety: Some parents choose homeschooling to avoid bullying, violence, or other negative influences in traditional schools.
- Religious or philosophical beliefs: Homeschooling allows parents to incorporate their religious or philosophical beliefs into their child’s education.
- Academic performance: Homeschooling can provide an opportunity for advanced students to progress more quickly through the curriculum, or for struggling students to receive individualized attention to address learning difficulties.
- Family values: Homeschooling allows families to reinforce their values and teach their children at home.
- Health concerns: Homeschooling may be a good choice for children with chronic health conditions or disabilities.
- Special interests or talents: Homeschooling can provide flexibility to pursue special interests or talents, such as music, art, or athletics.
- One-on-one attention: Homeschooling provides more one-on-one attention from the parent or tutor, allowing for a more personalized educational experience.
- Avoiding standardized testing: Some parents choose homeschooling to avoid the stress of standardized testing, or to opt out of testing for personal or philosophical reasons.
Home Schooling K 12: How does home schooling work?
If if parents choose to parents educate their children at home, you can home school young children, homeschool elementary school (homeschooling for elementary education for all grades,) and middle school, and even home school high school!
That’s right! You don’t need to send your kids to public high school if you don’t want (if you’re struggling with is homeschool better than public school).
Homeschooling high schoolers can still get a high school diploma if they homeschool. There are many home school educational options for all ages and many homeschooling families with success stories of graduating high schoolers from home school!
Also, if you wish, once your child gets to high school grades, you can put them into a traditional school setting after homeschooling, but you can keep homeschooling a preschooler through high school graduation if you wish!
IMPORTANT HOMESCHOOL TIP: Understand the difference between schooling from home and home school.
We’ve covered a quick definition of homeschooling, so let’s take a closer look into what does homeschooling mean for homeschooled students?
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THIS IS PART 1 IN OUR SERIES FOR NEW HOMESCHOOLERS.
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(Don’t miss more homeschooling solutions at the bottom of this homeschool article!)
What Is Homeschooling Like?
How do you describe homeschooling?
With homeschooling, parents educate their own children at home. Homeschooling families may follow an at homeschooling curriculum (many include all the educational materials you need for a subject or grade level), use several sources to create their own eclectic curriculum or for specific subjects (yes! you can make your own curriculum), teach religious instruction or secular curriculum, be part of a co-op, have some group classes in person and/or some online courses, or even follow a more relaxed unschool method based on your child’s interest.
Being able to choose how you homeschool is one of the biggest homeschooling advantages and makes it a flexible type of education. (An important reason to school from home!)
Also, homeschooling students can work at their own pace — like spending less time on things they grasp quickly and slowing down on things that need more work!
You customize homeschooling to meet each child’s needs, the child’s learning style, and the needs of the entire family and help your homeschoolers be more successful.
(We get into a full list of homeschooling pros and cons (homeschooling advantages and disadvantages) on another post.)
Depending on where the homeschooling family lives, they may be required to follow a specific state-required curriculum or lessons or you may have very relaxed homeschooling laws that allow you to pick and choose your homeschool resources, homeschool curriculum, and homeschool method (like Charlotte Mason / Montessori method).
You may also have to participate in home visits to review work or submit to homeschool testing and evaluation.
This is why you need to fully understand your state requirements!
There are a wealth of resources for homeschooling, no matter what method or style or homeschooling program you choose!
Now that we’ve given you a what is homeschooling definition, let’s get into more homeschooling details.
IMPORTANT HOMESCHOOL INFO!
Homeschool laws and regulations vary by state and country, so before you begin (or even ask about at home schooling curriculum) check the homeschooling laws for your area!
In the United States, each state has their own set of laws and regulations for homeschooling.
If you are wondering:
What do you have to do to start homeschooling?
Can you start homeschooling at any time?
Can you start homeschooling in the middle of the school year?
Know this: you must first understand the homeschooling laws for your area before you do anything else. Reviewing your homeschooling laws will answer all of the above questions (and more) for you. Simply search online for “homeschool legal requirements [your state]” / “homeschool laws [your state]”. In some cases, you state may have you follow some requirements of your local school districts.
What’s the difference between homeschooling and school?
There are marked differences between homeschooling and school (and even home school and school at home). It’s important for you to understand the difference between virtual schools (online schools / virtual learning) and home schools for your children’s education. Homeschooling gives you complete autonomy over your child’s education, but school at home or even some homeschooling online schools may not.
We’ll guide you through more of this in STEP 2 of HOW TO HOMESCHOOL GUIDE, so be sure to head over after this!
Also, if you live in a country other than the United States, closely check your country’s homeschooling laws! In some countries (like Germany), homeschooling is illegal and may have repercussions for your family even if you are temporarily living in those countries overseas (like with military families).
Answering what is home schooling in USA is very different than answering what is homeschooling in other countries!
WHAT IS HOMESCHOOLING? 60 Second Homeschooling with Homeschool Super Freak [HOW TO HOMESCHOOL VIDEO]
How does homeschooling work in high school?
Homeschooling for high school works similarly to homeschooling for younger children, but the curriculum and expectations may be more advanced and rigorous (depending on the high schoolers plans after graduation). High school homeschool courses are often tracked more closely by parents to ensure students are getting enough credit hours to graduate in their home state. It also includes assessments, college preparation, or preparing for life after graduation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOME SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL HERE
Benefits of Homeschooling (Home Schooling Advantages and Disadvantages)
We have good news! Homeschooling doesn’t just happen in the home! One of the biggest homeschooling 101 misconceptions is that homeschoolers are isolated kids who never leave the home. However, many homeschoolers have part of their studies at home and also participate in regular classes, activities, and meet-ups outside of the home.
Homeschooling parents are often focused on giving their children a well-rounded education full of life experiences built around their own lifestyle and home life and find it the best option for educating children!
Many parents also put homeschool socialization as a priority. It’s a good idea to put in some effort so that your child can be exposed to a variety of different social interactions and group opportunities.
(Yes, sorry. You will need to leave your house…)
Read more about disadvantages of homeschooling and pros of homeschooling here.
A Short History of Homeschooling
An Introduction to Homeschooling History
If you’re new to the concept of homeschooling and home school as an educational option, you may be wondering how this educational method started.
You know. what is the history of homeschooling?
Homeschooling was actually the norm in early America, going as far back as colonial times when people came over on the Mayflower.
Then, it was standard to school your children at home while completing all the other homesteading chores.
It wasn’t until 1837 when Massachusetts opened its first public school that the move toward compulsory education started. Not long after parents were even being jailed for not sending their children to school!
(READ ON TO FIND OUT WHY – and also get resources on how to homeschool better!)
After what is homeschooling really like, also check out how to decide to homeschool:
REQUIREMENTS FOR HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD (Hint: It’s not an education degree!)
By 1918, all states enacted compulsory education, requiring children to attend school, and making homeschooling a crime in all states.
Homeschooling Was Still Illegal in the 60s and 70s, But Changing…
In the 1960s and 70s, homeschooling started to gain a widespread interest again.
However, at that time removing children from public schools to homeschool was illegal.
During this time, when parents removed a child to homeschool, the traditional schools recorded the amount of time that children were out of the school as unexcused absences instead of a withdrawal from the school which got parents into A LOT of trouble!
Some parents started the homeschool process before children were ever enrolled in the traditional school system so that no public school record of the kids existed.
Some families even went as far as to move to a new community where their children were never enrolled in that local school system and wouldn’t be “found out.”
Unbelievably, other parents were still fined or even served jail time for simply wanting to teach their children at home.
If you live in an area where homeschooling is legal, then count your blessings!
There are still many areas where you cannot homeschool or that have very strict regulations on how you homeschool.
THIS WILL ALSO HELP WITH HOME SCHOOL (More Information For Homeschooling For Beginners):
QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING
Making Homeschooling Legal (Again)
Late in the 1950s, Nevada and Utah started to allow homeschooling again. It wasn’t until 24 years later in the 1980s, that other states followed. By 1989, Michigan, North Dakota, and Iowa were the only three states that still considered homeschooling illegal. By 1993, all 50 states had enacted legislation to make homeschooling legal again.
So, what is homeschooling like… really?
To be completely honest, homeschooling is hard.
It takes a lot of work and commitment and should not be entered into lightly.
HOWEVER, it is one the most amazing things that you’ll ever do!
Having a hand in how your child is educated, being able to encourage their natural interests, and help instill a lifelong love of learning are things that will serve your child throughout their entire life!
If you’re new, one of the most important pieces of advice I can give (aside from starting with your state laws), is to find HOMESCHOOL LOCAL SUPPORT GROUPS ASAP.
Come on over and join us in our online group, even if you’re just curious about homeschooling or just starting your research! We support and share a ton of things for homeschooling parents and educators at all levels — from the curious, to newbies, to homeschooling parents who have homeschoolers graduate! There are many who are willing to honestly share their homeschooling experience to help others.
I’ve also listed some of the other common how to homeschool questions below and additional information to help you decide if home schooling is a good fit for your educational choice / educational path. Many more homeschooling guides below!
Now that we’ve answered what is home schooling (aka: how to explain homeschooling), you’ll also find more help with the homeschool resources and home schooling information below.
COMMON HOW TO HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS ANSWERED: More Homeschooling How To Help and How To Teach Homeschooling!
HOW DO YOU START HOMESCHOOLING TODAY? (How To Manage Homeschooling)
What do you have to do to start homeschooling?
At Home Schooling Programs And Curricula (Homeschooling Techniques and Methods)
What qualifications do you need to homeschool your child?
Is homeschooling more effective than public school?
What are the benefits of being homeschooled?
How do people afford homeschooling?
Homeschooling For Working Parents
What home school supplies do I need?
What to do if you’re way behind in homeschool?
Statistical information on homeschooling: [source][source][source][source]
Need More Help With How to Homeschool and Questions You Have (or That Others Are Asking You About Homeschooling)?
Check out my homeschooling book (available in print and electronic formats).
It hit #1 BESTSELLER in FOUR educational categories!