Homeschooling is, in its simplest definition, educating a child outside the boundaries of a formal school. It typically means that parents take responsibility for their own child's education, but many people are surprised by wide diversity of homeschooling approaches from school-at-home curriculum use to natural learning much like the "free" school movement.
Is homeschooling legal?Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and in many countries. Each state in the United States has its own laws regarding compulsory attendance and homeschooling. More legal information.
Why do families choose to homeschool?Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons such as illness, a school that can't meet a child's needs, violence in the schools, religious beliefs, scheduling, or a variety of others. Why homeschool?
Homeschoolers are very diverse. They come from all religions, socioeconomic statuses, educational backgrounds, races and ethnicities, and family structures. Read more about homeschoolers.
How many homeschoolers are there? Nobody really knows. Several government agencies and homeschooling organizations have made educated guesses, but because not all states count homeschoolers, and because homeschools in some states are indistinguishable from other private schools, there are no hard numbers. Researchers currently estimate that there are 1.5 to 2 million homeschoolers in the U.S., representing 3 to 4 percent of the school age population.
Are parents really qualified to teach their children?Yes. Only parents will put these specific children's needs first and search for the very best learning resources for their particular children. Parents do not need classroom management skills and they do not need to know everything their children need to learn. They need to be resourceful and good facilitators. Read more about what it takes to homeschool successfully.
What about socialization?This is the question that generally brings smiles of disbelief to the faces of homeschooling parents and children. Homeschooling allows children to learn social skills from and with children and adults of a wide variety of ages. The older, more experienced help the younger or less experienced. No artificial, age-segregated borders separate the children as they interact. Support groups are available in many communities and are a good resource for finding friends. For homeschooled children, socialization means learning to get along, not to go along! See also Homeschooling - A Social Experiment.
Can homeschooled students go to college?Yes, it is commonplace for homeschoolers to go to college and they have been accepted at nearly all colleges across the country. See Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers which lists all colleges known to have accepted homeschoolers.