The Option of Homeschooling (cont.)

Some reasons why parents/guardians decide to homeschool include concern about school environment, wanting to customize curriculum, the desire for a better education, a wish to improve their child’s social interactions (less bullying and peer pressure), and supporting a learning-disabled child.

The quality of academic instruction depends almost entirely on the parent. According to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), the legal form of  homeschooling varies from state to state. In some states, parents homeschool under a homeschool statute while in others they teach under private laws. Depending on the state, parents may also homeschool through umbrella schools or through private tutor statutes. Some states have multiple legal options for homeschooling, each with varying requirements.

Homeschooled kids are often eligible for public school services. Most states provide free online public schools (virtual schools or virtual homeschools) for K-12 students.  

When it comes to progress, the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) says that those who are home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. Homeschooled students tend to score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.

One common concern for at home academics is a lack of socialization, but parents/guardians have many options for that. Beyond joining homeschool support groups, some states require public schools to permit homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at the school they are zoned for.  Programming for children is also available at community parks, the YMCA, local libraries, aquariums, zoos, art galleries, religious communities, and more.