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Guest Post: What is American Homeschooling?

by: Emily Sewell

When people outside of the United States think of American homeschooling, I can only imagine what comes to mind. Religious zealots, living off the grid, and/or families of at least fifteen children most likely. I think there is a solid stereotype in there somewhere. Well, I am here to dispel some of those, hopefully.  Hi. My name is Emily Sewell, and I am the blogger behind Intentionally Well. I write about homemaking, motherhood encouragement, and, homeschooling. We arena the middle of our second year as a homeschool family. I have a first and third grader as well as a preschooler. You can read more about our personal reasons for homeschooling in this post, But I want to take this opportunity to talk more about American homeschooling as a whole.

American Homeschooling Statistics American homeschooling is defined as parent-led home education. 6-7% of children in the United States are homeschooled as of the 2020-2021 school year according to the National Home Education Research Institute. That number did jump about two precent from the previous year because of the COVID19 pandemic, but homeschooling has been on the rise for a while now. Homeschool families span the spectrum of ethnicities, religions, political views, and socioeconomic status. 

How is American Homeschooling Regulated? One thing to to keep in mind is in the United States many of the laws are decentralized from the federal government. This means states make many of their own laws and regulations. Homeschooling laws fall under this category. They vary from state to state. Some states require a lot of oversight of homeschool families, while others have little to none. If you’re curious about a state’s specific regulations, check out this resource

What Does an American Homeschool Day Look Like? A typical day of homeschooling with vary from family to family, but I can share what our days look like. My children wake up early, so they usually watch television until breakfast. After breakfast, they have morning chores. These are very basic and include things like unloading the dishwasher, feeding the dog, etc.. Then it is time to begin our school work. Families typically purchase homeschool curricula for each subject. First, we start with whatever book we are reading for literature, then the children fill out their vocabulary work that corresponds to the book. After literature, we move on to history. This year we are studying ancient history. Next, we watch a video for our American Sign Language lesson. ASL is our foreign language study.  By now, everyone is ready for a little break and lunch. After lunch, we finish up our day with math and language arts. This concludes the bulk of our school work. We usually finish everything by 1:30pm. During the afternoon, the children have independent reading. We have tea time together a few days out of the week, while other days we make an effort to go on a hike or visit a park. 

And there you have it! I hope this helps you better understand American homeschooling. Before reading this, what were your perceptions of homeschooling? I’d love to know in the comments below. 

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