Homeschooling in the USA
Homeschooling in the USA is one of the fastest growing education movements in America. Since the 1970s homeschooling has become a viable alternative with numbers steadily rising to approximately 3.5% of the school population pre Covid pandemic.
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?
Parents choose to homeschool for various reasons but during the Covid pandemic child safety was a primary concern. This table demonstrates the issues most important to parents homeschooling in the USA in recent years.
|Important reasons for homeschooling||2012||2016||2020|
|Dissatisfaction with academics||74%||61%||18%|
|Safety concerns during pandemic||50%|
How Covid Impacted Homeschooling in the USA
The Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions has seen homeschooling in the USA grow dramatically. National Census Data from the Household Pulse Survey, indicated 11% of the school age population were being homeschooled in the USA in 2020.
States with significant homeschool population jumps of over 10% included.
|% Jump from 6 months prior||2020 Homeschool Population %|
New York State which had the lowest percentage of homeschooled children pre pandemic, grew from 1.2% to 10.1%.
States that saw no real change in homeschool numbers were:
- California 8.6%
- Delaware 8.9%
- Iowa 6.6%
These states were already above the national average of 3.5% prior to Covid.
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.
Homeschooling Trends Globally
Students homeschooling in the USA are the largest population of homeschool students globally. However, homeschooling is also on the rise internationally.
During the pandemic homeschooling numbers in the UK increased by 200%. Australia saw an 18% increase in registered homeschoolers. Homeschooling is also popular in New Zealand, India, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Russia.
In some countries, such as Germany and Sweden, homeschooling is illegal and parents who homeschool are at risk of having their children taken from them.