Homeschooling has been legal in all 50 U.S. states since 1993. According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, homeschooling was illegal in most states as recently as the early 1980s. In 1989, only three states, Michigan, North Dakota and Iowa, considered homeschooling a crime. There are several national interest groups for homeschooling, such as: In the `60s and `70s, homeschooling families faced many different lawsuits, mostly related to compulsory attendance laws. On a case-by-case basis, the courts concluded during this period that homeschooling was “private education”. In one case, three Amish fathers refused to enroll their children in public or private schools. They won their case against the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. Supreme Court when it was declared that forcing their children to attend public school violated their First Amendment rights. They had benefited from religious exemptions from compulsory education. On the basis of this landmark case, state after state has begun to revise its presence requirement. Portfolio: Some states offer a portfolio option instead of standardized tests or professional assessments.
A portfolio is a collection of documents that describe your student`s progress each school year. It can include records such as attendance, grades, completed courses, work samples, project photos, and test results. In 2008, a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that children must be taught by a certified guardian or someone with a teaching qualification. The court stated: “It is clear that the education of children at home, regardless of the quality of that education, is not exempt from private all-day school or recognized guardians of compulsory schooling in a full-time public school.”  The court rejected the parents` reliance on Yoder`s position on religious choice.  However, in March 2008, the court agreed to rehear the case and reversed its earlier decision. In August 2008, the court issued a new decision that unanimously overturned its earlier decision, and the court declared homeschooling legal in California.  In the 80s, James Dobson helped the homeschooling movement when he interviewed Raymond Moore, who is now considered the father of the modern homeschooling movement. He once called homeschooling “a recipe for genius: more family and less school, more parents and fewer peers, more creative freedom and less formal instruction.” Dobson was so inspired by his interviews with Moore on his Focus on the Family radio show that he and his wife also began homeschooling. This has inspired many others to follow the well-known example of the Christian radio host and author. Homeschooling has had a tumultuous journey over the past century, with many controversial court cases along the way. One of the first court cases involving homeschooling was a 1904 decision with State v. Peterman, where the court ruled that homeschooling was equivalent to a private school.
Since that time, homeschooling has had many ups and downs and has evolved to meet the needs of families across the country. The modern homeschooling movement began in the 1970s when John Holt, an educational theorist and proponent of school reform, began to argue that formal schools` emphasis on memorization created an oppressive classroom environment that turned children into conformist employees. Holt urged parents to free their children from formal education and instead follow a method now known as “unschooling.” Early Holt followers connected through Holt`s newsletter Growing Without Schooling, founded in 1977. Proponents of higher demands argue that they are necessary for the societal purpose of an educated public willing to participate in a democratic society. However, no scientific studies suggest that higher requirements lead to better results. In general, standardized test scores are no better in states with high requirements than in states with lower requirements, which casts doubt on the wisdom of imposing high demands on homeschooling because higher requirements result in higher administrative costs.  Standardized test: Many states require homeschooled students to take nationally standardized tests at regular intervals. Tests that meet each state`s requirements may vary. In the United States, homeschooling is legal in all fifty states. The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled specifically on homeschooling, but in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S.
205 (1972), she supported the rights of Amish parents to keep their children out of public schools on religious grounds. However, the court ruled that parents have the fundamental right “to establish a home and raise children,” as well as the right “to worship God according to the commandments of [their] own conscience.”  This combination of rights underlies the description of homeschooling as a fundamental right within the meaning of the Supreme Court`s concept of liberty, which is protected by the due process clause. Laws that restrict fundamental rights are subject to rigorous scrutiny, the highest standard, when the law is challenged in court. Compulsory attendance: This is the age at which children must attend any type of school. In most states that set a mandatory attendance age for homeschooled children, the minimum is generally between 5 and 7 years old. The maximum is usually between 16 and 18 years old. In 1983, Michael Farris founded the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Its mission was to enable homeschooling and “tirelessly defend the right to homeschooling – before the courts, legislators and wherever we can make our voices heard.” A minority of states have laws requiring public schools to provide students with access to district resources such as school libraries, computer labs, extracurricular activities, or even academic classes.
In some communities, homeschooling children meet regularly with a teacher to review the curriculum and make suggestions. Some state laws allow districts to provide homeschooled students with access to such resources. In 2020 and 2021, homeschooling continues to thrive. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that more than 11 percent of families were homeschooled. Other statistics showed that of these students, 25 per cent who returned to public schools achieved at least one grade level above the recommended level of education. And parents are now doing a great job of ensuring their homeschooled children are socialized and have a well-rounded life, with 98% of homeschooled students participating in an average of 5 activities outside their home. Traditional schools simply do not allow this kind of experience. In fact, the benefits of homeschooling and its acceptance have led to tax credits available to homeschooling families in many different states.
In the 1980s, there was a boom in homeschooling organizations and families.