The term homeschooling refers to the process of educating children at home rather than at an institution. Generally, homeschooling consists of parents teaching their own children, which contrasts with institutionalized education where schools hire professional teachers who usually have no previous relationship with the child.

In modern society, the majority of children go to institutional schools, and homeschoolers consist of only a minority. That occurred as a result of the introduction of compulsory schooling laws around the nineteenth century. Before that, most families educated their children in the home.

Most jurisdictions allow parents to opt-out of institutional education for their children, which means the parents can legally choose to not send their children to a school. Different jurisdictions make parents jump through various hoops to do that, though. As a result, homeschooling families often encounter legal obstacles.

Additionally, homeschoolers often face financial obstacles. Homeschooling parents have to buy school supplies, such as pencils, workbooks, educational videos, and sometimes even desks or chalkboards. Unfortunately, homeschooling parents usually still have to pay taxes to the government to run the public schools. Homeschooling parents almost never receive any type of credit or subsidy for taking their child out of the public school system. In other words, homeschooling parents end up paying for their child's education twice.

Homeschooling's Relationship to Unschooling

Most people think of unschooling as a form of homeschooling, without the use of a curriculum. However, many unschoolers avoid using the term homeschooling to refer to unschooling, because they want to make note of the fact that unschooling does not recreate the school environment at home.

Of course, most forms of homeschooling involve changing more than location of learning, but also the method. In other words, the point of homeschooling isn't just to change where the child is taught, but also to change how the child is taught.

Parents of all races, religions, and political opinion choose to homeschool.

The most common reasons for homeschooling are as follows:

  • Can give child better education at home
  • Religious reasons
  • Poor learning environment at school
  • Family reasons
  • To develop character/morality
  • Object to what school teaches
  • School does not challenge child
  • Other problems with available schools
  • Child has special needs/disability
  • Transportation and/or convenience
  • Child not old enough to enter school
  • Cannot afford private school
  • Parent's career
  • Could not get into desired school

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