Across America, the number of children being educated at home rather than in public, private, charter, or religious schools was already growing before COVID-19 in 2020 forced schools to close their doors to help keep students safe. Some 1.7 million children (3.3% of the nation’s school-age population) were homeschooled in 2016, the latest estimates available from U.S. government studies. That’s double the number from 1999, when 850,000 students were homeschooled.
Asked why, parents of homeschooled students often cite concerns about their local schools, including safety, illegal drug abuse, or negative peer pressure, according to research by the Institute of Education Sciences, the statistics and research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Other common reasons for homeschooling are dissatisfaction with the quality of academics at local schools or wanting to provide children with religious instruction.
HeyTutor compiled a list of homeschooling laws in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., drawing from state education laws and national organizations that research, monitor or support homeschooling. Most U.S. states do not keep count of how many children are being educated at home. Nearly a dozen states do not require parents to notify authorities if they are homeschooling, and others count homeschool households rather than students.
State laws range from nonexistent to extensive when it comes to homeschooling. Some have mandatory subjects to be taught, while others have no such requirements. Some require parents to have at least a high school education, while others have no teacher qualifications at all. In some states, parents must keep detailed records of their child’s progress and achievements and take them for regular standardized testing, while other states leave the evaluations and monitoring entirely up to the family. Take a look and see what homeschooling is like in your state.