Best and worst states for homeschooling

We are told America is “home of the free and the brave.”

The last time I checked, no where in the U.S. Constitution does it say that Americans are compelled to send our children to dysfunctional public government schools, run by the NEA teachers’ union that recommends to its members a book dedicated to Satan.

And yet, since education is regulated by the states, if parents choose to teach their children themselves, they should know that 4o of America’s 50 states put restrictions on homeschooling, ranging from the mildest (parents must notify the state of their homeschooling) to the most onerous, including home visits by government officials.

The non-profit homeschool advocate organization HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) has a map showing which states fall into which of the following four categories:

  • States requiring no notice: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact
  • States with low regulation: State requires parental notification only.
  • States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.
  • State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).

homeschool map


Here are the 10 freest states for home schooling (in green):

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Idaho
  4. Illinois
  5. Indiana
  6. Michigan
  7. Missouri
  8. New Jersey
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Here are the 6 least free states for home schooling (in red):

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New York
  3. North Dakota
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Vermont

I guess we should be glad that homeschooling is still legal in all 50 states, although I doubt that will remain so for long.

H/t Eric Blair of Activist Post

See sage_brush’s excellent series on homeschooling, drawing on her experience and lessons she learnt successfully homeschooling her children:

and “Government Tentacles Reaching Into Home Schools,” May 4, 2012.



15 responses to “Best and worst states for homeschooling

  1. Great post, Dr. E! Yesterday Charlotte Iserbyt passed on this email from one of her regulars:

    I have a home-schooled grandson who is taking tests for the GED. (I know you know this and so did I, but a fresh view never fails to amaze me.)

    He took the 90 minute pre-test in 20 minutes and got 100% of the questions correct.

    He’s now started the test – 4 tests over 6 weeks time; 3 hours each. The first was a science test. It takes 3 hours because every question is read to everyone in the classroom.
    He can’t just read the questions; answer them and then leave.

    He said it might be 6th grade level; definitely nothing of high school level. There are 1000 questions and the “passing score” is 441.

    Pity those poor kids taking the classes to just pass!

    Pity the nation promoting the dumbdown


  2. SOME regulation is good. Too many people think that homeschooling is sacred in and of itself since it’s “the conservative thing to do,” without regard to the child’s physical, psychological, spiritual, and academic welfare. Homeschooling should be seen as a means to an end, not the end itself.


    • Julia – perhaps what you say has some logic.

      But there is another kind of logic in play here – that has nothing whatsoever to do with the “child’s physical, psychological, spiritual, and academic welfare.” This cold logic, is sinister – and duplicitous.

      As you can see from Eowyn’s article that Michigan, the state I reside in and accomplished over 25 years of home schooling in, is one of the “freest.” When we first started home schooling – it was illegal – and mothers were being put in prison for truancy.

      But now – we don’t even have to register, or annually test. Free? Don’t think that for a minute. I have heard from the horse’s mouth – that the extremely powerful MI teacher’s union ( the most powerful in the country) does not want home schoolers tested because the scores would be made public. How could they go on their annual strikes if the media can fling those test scores in their faces? How can the many extremely overweight teachers (Detroit) walk with placards, and bemoan their miserable living and working conditions when 1000’s of home schools get by on one salary, and get by very well?


      • No! Which other private school has to answer to the state for requirements or scores. For that matter who does the state have to answer to for their requirements or scores. Though they should answer to us, they are a law unto themselves.


  3. As a home school mom I agree with Julia. Some regulation is fine. Here in TN we have to declare and then provide attendance records (check marks on a calendar) and achievement test scores. I don’t have a problem with that. I’ve seen a few kids around here who are home schooled but really don’t do anything. That’s detrimental to the child. I also have one in public school but I am very involved and know what’s going on there at all times. He may stay home next year. We’ll see.


  4. The only way to change our Nation’s indoctrination of generations to larger and larger socialize government acceptance and rejection of our inalienable rights is to work on State legislators to take over the education of each state. I know one large problem is many states get their funding through the federal government and the other large problem is the same indoctrination of the teachers and curriculum providers. But if we could get just one state to break the chain of dubbing down and indoctrination, I think many more would follow and the result would be improved skills, knowledge, morals, and at a much reduced overhead cost.


  5. homeschool mama

    So good 2 have u back, sage!


  6. WA requires parents to have a year of college. This should be on in the red not the orange category


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