The Option of Homeschooling

In recent years, homeschooling has been on the rise in the U.S. Although it is legal in all 50 states, homeschooling requirements vary from state to state. According to statistics referenced in a 2017 Institute of National Sciences article, the homeschooling rate grew from 1.7 percent of the school-aged student population in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012.

Although organizations such as National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provide information, state departments of education and individual school districts do not collect demographic data.

Specific challenges such as these make it difficult to gather accurate data on the number of homeschooled students, including information on race, family educational background and income. Families who homeschool and agree to share their information often report varying interpretations of what homeschooling is, making it even more difficult to assess.

HomeSchoolBase.com states that the following criteria must be met for a person to be considered homeschooled: Individuals must be school-aged (ages 5–17) and in a grade equivalent to at least kindergarten, but not higher than 12th grade. The individual must receive all or most of his/her educational instruction at home rather than at a public or private school.

HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) agrees that international numbers are also difficult to obtain, but home education is on the rise in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, and Japan.