Homeschooling USA

Homeschooling in the USA: Facts and Figures

Homeschooling in the USA is becoming an increasingly popular option for families who want more control over their children’s education. However, it can be overwhelming to navigate the legal requirements, curriculum options, and socialization opportunities. In this guide, we’ll explore the latest statistics and facts about homeschooling in America.

Quick Facts Homeschool USA:

The number of homeschoolers in the USA is growing.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.

USA Homeschool Statistics

According to the National Home Education Research Unit, the number of homeschooled students in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past decade. In the 2016-2017 school year, approximately 1.7 million students were homeschooled, representing 3.3% of the school-age population. This is a significant increase from the 1999-2000 school year, when only 850,000 students were homeschooled. 2022 statistics suggest 3.1 million students were being homeschooled, which is about 6% of the school age population.

Homeschooling in the USA has become a viable alternative. 70% of American parents now feel more comfortable with the idea of homeschooling according to a recent 2020 Education Choices study.

15 % of new homeschooling parents plan to continue homeschooling post pandemic and 40% said they are likely to choose an alternative to traditional school in the future.

Why are people homeschooling in the USA

Prior to the pandemic families choose to homeschool because for various reasons. However, during the pandemic 50% of new parents choose to homeschool for their safety.

Parents top reasons for homeschooling have been changing over the years. This table demonstrates the top reason parents choose to homeschool.

Important reasons for homeschooling 2012 2016 2020
Religious instruction 64% 51% 15%
Moral Instruction 77% 67% 26%
School Environment 91% 80%  
Dissatisfaction with academics 74% 61% 18%
Non-traditional approach 44% 39%  
Special Needs 16% 20%  
Individualized attention     35%
Safety     50%

2012 & 2016 results –

2020 Statistics results –

Homeschoolers come from diverse backgrounds.

Homeschooling is not limited to a specific demographic or socioeconomic group. In fact, homeschoolers come from diverse backgrounds and include families of different races, religions, and income levels. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschooling families are more likely to have a higher level of education and income, but this does not mean that homeschooling is only for the wealthy or highly educated. Homeschooling can be a viable option for families from all walks of life.

Comparing Homeschooling in the USA to Other Countries

Students homeschooling in the USA are the largest population of homeschool students globally. However, homeschooling is also on the rise in the United Kingdom Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Canada, England, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Scotland, and Russia.

During the pandemic homeschooling in the UK and Australia numbers also doubled.

In some countries homeschooling is illegal and parents who homeschool are at risk of having their children taken from them. Two example countries are Germany and Sweden.

Choose a Home Education Method That Works for Your Family.

There are many different homeschooling methods to choose from, including traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, and Montessori. It’s important to choose a method that aligns with your family’s values, goals, and learning style. Some families prefer a structured approach with textbooks and lesson plans, while others prefer a more flexible approach that allows for child-led learning. Research different methods and talk to other homeschooling families to find the best fit for your family. Remember, you can always adjust and adapt your approach as you go along.

Legal Requirements for Homeschooling in the USA

Education requirements for homeschooling in the USA are controlled at state level. Notification and reporting requirements vary widely from state to state. New York State homeschool requirements are some of the most difficult to satisfy with quarterly reports, set subjects and mandatory testing. While Alaska has some of the easiest homeschool laws, with no notification required to homeschool.

Here’s an overview of how HSLDA categorizes the level of regulation for homeschooling in each state.

Can I homeschool in the USA?

Yes you can!

Today there is a lot of support for parents wanting to homeschool. If you want to DIY your curriculum you can, but you can also get support from a community like My Homeschool that does the curriculum for you.

You do not need to be a school teacher to apply, you just need to be a parent or the legal guardian.

Find out what makes a good homeschool teacher.

Is it hard to get permission to home educate?

It depends what state you live in. New York seems to have the most difficult process. Alaska has no requirements.

Create a Curriculum That Suits Your Child’s Needs

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to tailor your child’s education to their individual needs and interests. Start by identifying your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning style. Then, choose curriculum materials that align with their needs and interests. You can also incorporate hands-on activities, field trips, and real-world experiences to enhance their learning. Remember to regularly assess your child’s progress and adjust your curriculum as needed.

Do I have to use a specific curriculum?

There is no set curriculum that you need when homeschooling in USA.

The main requirement is that a child educated at home should be taught well and regularly – at least as well as they would be taught if in a registered school.

Various homeschooling methods are popular in the USA. Some like a traditional workbook approach, Charlotte Mason homeschooling and unschooling are also popular.


Using My Homeschool For Your Curriculum

My Homeschool is very much a curriculum that USA families can use. We already have a few Americans using our program.

Since there is no specific requirement to use a particular curriculum choosing My Homeschool is a good option for many reasons.

Global Perspective

My Homeschool offers a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum that includes lots of Global Goodies. For example, you will find world history and geography in all the primary years.

USA Content

We have a reasonable amount of USA literature and homeschooling content in our curriculum.  We don’t cover a lot of specific USA history but we do offer suggestions. 

Documentation Help

On the purchase of a course, you are provided with a planning template, Scope and Sequence, and Weekly Planner to help you plan out your year ahead with ease and confidence. This will make your homeschool application/exemption very easy as we have already done most of the work for you.

USA Dollar

You’ll find that our curriculum is very good value when you convert it to from Australian Dollars to US currency.


International Grades For Curriculum

When buying homeschool curriculum from other countries such as Australia, it is worth noting that grade names are different internationally. See this table to see grades and ages for international schools.

International School Grade Comparison chart



Can I homeschool high school?

Yes, you can homeschool your child at any time during their education. Homeschooling through high school without teacher training can be done successfully. Here are some ideas on teaching subjects that scare you.

Does my child need a high school qualification?

You don’t need a high school qualification to complete homeschooling. It depends what the reason is that you are wanting the qualification. If you don’t need a high school qualification to enter your chosen career path then you may choose to skip this qualification.

However there are various options available to homeschool students who want a high school qualification.

Keep Records and Evaluate Your Progress.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to tailor your child’s education to their individual needs and learning style. To ensure that you are meeting your child’s educational goals, it’s important to keep records and evaluate your progress. This can include keeping track of lesson plans, assignments, and grades, as well as assessing your child’s understanding of the material. Regular evaluations can help you identify areas where your child may need additional support or where you may need to adjust your teaching approach.

My child is at school but can I swap to homeschool them?

Absolutely. Homeschooling is available to all students. You can move to homeschooling at any time of year.

If your child is at a private school, you can still remove them at any time but you usually need to give a terms notice regarding the fees. This may mean you still pay fees for a term even if your child has left, but some schools may waiver this right.

Can I send them back to school later if I need to?

Yes you can send your child back to school after homeschooling. You can apply to the specific school you want to go to and you are treated like a new student application. The same conditions will apply to you like any new students.

Some schools will request to see a portfolio of work completed to help them with class placement but this is not a requirement.

Do you do special exams when you homeschool in the USA?

Some states do require specific testing as a part of their homeschool registration process.

Many homeschool resources include tests and quizzes. You can also make up your own exams. At My Homeschool we provide Charlotte Mason style exams from Year 5 (Grade 5 USA).

Further Articles of Interest

The normalisation of homeschooling in the USA by Michell Stevens ©2003

Homeschooling has been shown to have many benefits, including academic achievement. According to a study by the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschoolers score on average 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized academic achievement tests. Homeschoolers also tend to have higher rates of college attendance and graduation. Additionally, homeschooling allows for a more personalized education, tailored to the individual needs and interests of the student.

A Review of research on Homeschooling and what might educators learn? Brian Ray 2017

USA Department of Education – Homeschool Statistics study 2012 -2016 (December 2019) Parental Involvement survey.

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