10 Freest States For Homeschooling

Eric Blair
Activist Post

What could be more natural than educating our own children? Everyone can agree on that. Where people differ is who has the responsibility to educate our children?

Unfortunately, because of mis-education many believe the State is responsible for educating our children. This is not the same thing as the State being responsible for providing an option for education. Rather many presume that the State has the authority to force their version of education on parents and their children.

If your answer is that parents have the responsibility to provide education, then we can safely assume that we have the right to homeschool our own children, yes? Several industrialized nations where homeschooling is outlawed say no.  And although most Americans would say we should have that right, they overwhelmingly demand oversight by the State to ensure this right is not abused.

Now we’re back to the question of responsibility. Is it the government’s role to make sure every child is learning the same things even if they aren’t in the public system? According to the Constitution, the government’s role is to protect our rights and liberties above all else.

But what if parents keep their kids home and don’t teach them anything that is taught in schools?  I say who cares — if it’s the right and responsibility of the parents. It’s not as if the public system has proven to be perfect either. Far from it.


Isn’t that child abuse to unschool?  Well, it goes both ways. Isn’t locking up children all day in a room, child abuse? Isn’t forcing them to learn an obsolete curriculum, child abuse? Isn’t forcing them to wear RFID tracking devices, abuse? And so on.

As we can see, it’s all a matter of perception. Fortunately, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Yet, since education is regulated by the states, requirements vary dramatically from state to state for homeschoolers. The difference ranges from complete freedom with no requirements to forced curriculum and achievement tests.

  • 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). (Source: HSLDA).

Here is a map of which states fall into each category:

ACTION States requiring no notice

WATCH States with low regulation

UPDATE States with moderate regulation

UPDATE State with high regulation

The 10 freest states for homeschooling are in green and listed below:

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

People homeschool their children for many different reasons and they should have the right to opt out of any standardized curriculum. Unfortunately this is not the case in most states. But for those who are interested in homeschooling with the ultimate freedom to unschool if they choose, the ten states above are your best locations.

Where do you homeschool and what has your experience been?

Read more articles by Eric Blair here

  • Amanda

    This is actually a very thoughtful response, thank-you.

  • An ex fundamentalist christian

    My parents did this to me and just know that you are wrong. If your daughter doesn’t clone out from the abuse then she will hate you for the rest of her life. When they are old enough to properly understand, teach them sex ed. As an adult I was clueless and I was raped and impregnated.. now I will pay the price of ignorance for the rest of my life.

  • SChapman

    Each state has different requirements. In Florida, there are no parental requirements for teaching. In Washington, however, you need to have a certain amount of college credit hours and if you don’t, you need to take a special home educator course. HSLDA has a great resource with a legal analysis of each state’s homeschooling laws.

  • tiffany

    I see some of the kids who are stuck in public schools 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and they can barely even spell. I think that many homeschool parents are worried about the indoctrination that their children are getting at school. Check out the article on infowars about how our govt is saying that we ‘must be careful as our children could be terrorists’. No kidding! The government controls the school curriculum. For excellent reading (it’s more like a book of prophecy), check out “The Rockefeller File” by Gary Allen. What he wrote about in the 1970’s has come true. His writing about ‘education’ is eye opening to say the least. Public school comes closer to Chinese ‘re-education’ classes than much else out there.
    The Constitution of the United States is what should be upheld. If parents don’t have the rights to their own children, then what rights do they have? Rights are constantly being eroded for ‘our own good’. It seems to me that you can write very well for being homeschooled by parents that didn’t do much.

  • tiffany

    Notice how many public school teachers abuse children? There’s plenty of abuse going on in homes where kids are in public school. Why do you think bullies do what they do? Many times it’s because they are being abused.

    • Wolfgang

      I went to school “back in the day” when things were not too bad yet. Still tons of teachers beating and molesting kids…

      • Wolfgang

        It is no wonder there are shootings now…

  • spelling cop

    through

  • Barner

    Your post doesn’t seem uneducated to me. Has your life really suffered as a result of your parents’ decision?

    • wolfcat

      Success in spite of bad parenting is not the same win, nor likely to the same extent, as success with good parenting.

  • Anita

    Indeed home schooling for some is a way to mask exploitation and abuse, homeschooling by itself is not the problem. Plenty of abused and exploited children make it through public schools without ever being identified, helped or even educated. There are far more children suffering from educational neglect and abuse either at the hands of their parents, or the educators and peers in school than there are children who are being abused and neglected at home with an unsupervised home school. Public schools used to do a better job of educating children in basic knowledge. Now public schools educate children in a lot of things that have nothing to do with useful knowledge and most of it is destructive.

    The reason why home schooling parents don’t want the government oversight is because the government is great at getting a little, innocuous hook in at first, and then using that to increase their power and control over time, making it a system of their dysfunctional design, like they have done to public schools. Public schools used to work better because they were controlled by local government. But once the federal government got involved, sometimes for good reasons like desegregation, the result has been ever increasing federal controls and decreasing quality. The same can be expected of government control over home school.

    I have been a programmer, writer, teacher and social worker in my various careers. Teaching opened my eyes to how bad public education has become. I naively sent my eldest child to public school, not understanding why she wasn’t learning the basics until I became a teacher, but she was learning a lot of troubling values that weren’t being taught at home. Being a social worker shows me how utterly incompetent the government is at protecting the weakest among us, and how politicized, ineffective and invasive the whole system is. The bureaucrats are the only benefactors. The children and dependent adults are re-victimized by getting lost in a tangled system. So I am sad to hear of your abusive parents, but even more sad to say public school and government oversight would have likely made your problems worse, not better.

    A last point, you probably learned as much as most public school children with your parent’s infrequent, indirect education. I am learning the hard way that my home schooled child learns more with less effort on my part than the teacher in me thinks possible. If children have no resources to learn from, then chances are they will suffer from educational neglect. But even just basic teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic gives children the tools they need to learn whatever they want or are able. Furthermore, those three basics can be taught in just a couple of years with short applications of effort. The rest is up to the child’s curiosity and ability to retain what they learn. I have sat in the same class as many other children and learned things that they insisted they were never taught. I have seen the same thing happen to my students in public school.

    There is a lot of wasted time in public school that kids could be using doing things more useful to their families and society. You may have learned more than you realize and benefited more than you understand. I bet you have a solid work ethic and know how to take care of your basic needs in ways many adults spend their 20’s and 30’s figuring out. I know that there is no perfect answer to this. But I believe that many more kids would be better off home schooled than public schooled, and many more families would benefit from the experience. Society as whole is suffering greatly with the current education crisis. Our prisons are used to deal with the short comings of our government controlled public schools.

  • Erica

    It’s been 2 years since you posted this. Can you update on the homeschooling situation in Scotland?

    • Spongebob

      Same thing. Just need to inform the state school

  • KELLY

    YOU ARE SICK IN THE HEAD. YOU MUST BE A DEMOCRAT ( AMERICAN ). LEAVE THESE WOMEN ALONE. ITS NOT OUR FAULT, YOUR MOM WAS LAZY AND NOT EDUCATED AT ALL. YOU ( GABRIELLE AMYX ) AMERICAN WOMEN MAKES ME SICK. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. RAISE YOUR OWN YOUR OWN LITTLE BRATS. THE LAST TIME I REMEMBER MY MOM GAVE BIRTH TO ME. I OWN MYSELF, NO OTHER HUMAN IN THE USA. IM VERY SUSPICIOUS OF YOU. YOU ARE TROUBLE.

  • illyanna

    How do you take your child out of the school system without a note? Do you just tell your child “Hey, you’re not going to school anymore..”?

    • Wolfgang

      Yep!

  • MM

    We are moving to Texas and homeschool our 3 children. I researched different homeschool co-ops and organizations and was very pleased to see a very well organized Football/Cheer league. There are also well organized homeschool sports leagues around the state.

  • Trappedhomeschooler

    I know your comment is a year old but I agree with you. I have lived in WV most of my life and have been homeschooling since 1999. No matter what the laws are the BOE’s still harass homeschoolers and ask for more that what is required by law. Just today Gov. Tomblin vetoed two homeschool bills that would have made it easier. I want to move this is really frustrating.

  • Jasmine Jackson

    I work in a school where children have come in and have been “home-schooled” and they know nothing. I’m not saying that all parents are not teaching their children, however there are many who aren’t educating their children. There should be some guidelines. At least a high school diploma or GED. We have parents that are illiterate that are home schooling. Who suffers? The child.

  • Michelle

    By the way you sound, it looks like your parents did a pretty good job anyway.

  • Sherryo

    Wisconsin is homeschool friendly. I have to fill out a small question air and turn it in by October 15th every year but that’s it. We homeschool our granddaughter who has autism and had an IEP. She blossomed when we pulled her out of school. She’s 7 and is doing much better acedemically at home- not to mention emotionally. Forcing children into social situations with children they did not choose to socialize with can cause anxiety. This was the case with my granddaughter

  • Sherryo

    Questionnaire

  • John H

    Gabrielle Amyx, you are wrong in your premise. Freedom to educate and raise your children is a natural, God-given right. and it must be protected at all costs. The problem with the STATE is that they will change laws, take away freedoms, incroach on lives, ruin families, kidnap children, etc, ALL BECAUSE OF 1 TRAGEDY or similar. They love to make SWEEPING LAWS for the 1% tragedy, but in a free society, tragedies happen. they happen everywhere.
    Just because you might have had lazy parents MEAN NOTHING TO THE REST OF
    US, certainly not to go asking the filthy government to INTERVENE and totally change the homeschool landscape.

    Lastly, you sound like a troll. you blabbing about children’s rights IS NOTHING BUT A PLOY TO TAKE AWAY PARENTS’ RIGHTS and that is DISGUSTING. you are leaning towards marxism. You sound like a UN Convention on the Rights of the Child apologist.

    People need to know this: Bad things happen to all societies and peoples. Governments LOVE to make persecutorial laws for the 1% situation when those tragedies happen (COMMON TACTIC OF LEFTIST MARXIST GOVERNMENT: change laws on the heels of tragedies, false flags).

    I am sorry if you didnt get a ‘great’ education, but CELEBRATE LIBERTY for the rest of America, dont try to take it away from them. Parents care the most for their children, FAR AND AWAY.

    if you are a troll, get lost. if you’re not, LEARN LIBERTY. LIBERTY NEVER WANTS a government oppressor coming between them and their precious children.

  • Wolfgang

    Too bad the downside is living in Idaho….

    • wolfcat

      Idaho is nice.

  • Wolfgang

    I am a homeschooler of 4 kids, and an avid supporter of it.

    However, I was homeschooled, and every college I have ever applied to said my diploma was fake and will not accept me…

    I even went out and got a GED, which is not supposed to be required under law, and still cannot get into college! Now I am so old, it is too late…

    • Nicholas

      Colleges have no incentive to illegally accuse you of a false crime, when they could spend a little extra time and convert you into a paying customer. Also, it’s never too late to apply for college. You’re either lazy, dumb, or a liar. Pick one.

    • Clover Clover

      I read that this also happened to a homeschooled student and HSLDA will write a letter to your college and put them in their place. They know your rights and will notify the college so they can accept you as a student.

  • Wolfgang

    How do you graduate college if you are illiterate???

  • Wolfgang

    How does one get a teaching license without testing?

  • Wolfgang

    I know it is an old post, but Kentucky is not too bad. Not free enough for us though…

  • Wolfgang

    Way too many rules for us!

  • Wolfgang

    That is VERY hard and restrictive!

  • Wolfgang

    Oh God the horror! There are still people that WELD today! My goodness! lolol

    Better than my job. I have a PhD in Linguistics and make $200 a month.

    Who needs to make “six digits”? That is the public school thinking that is unhealthy.

  • Wolfgang

    Way too many restrictions and rules for us!

    The free States are MUCH better.

    I do not believe in unschooling, at least not for us, but I like my Freedom!

  • Wolfgang

    You could be arrested and have your kids taken away….

  • Wolfgang

    I grew up in NY and love it! Best crappy State in America!

    All my kids were born there.

    But I can never bring my kids there again…

    In defense of mandatory schooling, NY is among the most educated in the nation.

    But screw forced brainwashing and child abuse.

  • Adam Hovey

    Most of my education has been public school with a little bit of private school and some technical college and university. I get a little sick of the stereotype that many Americans have that homeschooled folks are stupid in fact some of the most intelligent people I have ever met are homeschooled. The government does not own our children. And quite honestly I think it is up to the parents to teach the birds and the bees not in the public school to dispense 7th graders condoms

  • Adam Hovey

    I think West Virginia is a beautiful state so I’m sad to hear that. Well sad to read it.

  • Charity

    Hi, Eric, I don’t know if this has been addressed in the comments or not and I’m not going to read through them. I wanted you to know that your information is misleading. I am a homeschooling mom in WA state, I have homeschooled now for 8 years here using both private and public curriculum. The state law requires us to *get* tested, but no one but the parent *ever* sees the results. The only thing the state ever sees from us is our declaration of intent that must be filed by September 15th every year. Please update your chart to reflect this. We have enough issues with confusion with the law in our own state that we don’t need an outsider coming in to muddy up the waters and make things more confusing and frustrating for newbie homeschooling moms. Thank you!

    Veteran Homeschool Mom from WA State

  • Dangerous Dan

    …says the brainwashed liberal 🙂

  • MaggieCain

    What a horrible thing to say about other people. For the record, we have a fantastic homeschooling law in Wisconsin, and it was set up when Democrats controlled both the governor’s mansion and both houses of our state legislature. Your bitter and angry attitude seems like a coverup for the fact that you are not interested in becoming the kind of activist who can make your state a better place to live; instead you want to blame others for your situation.

  • MaggieCain

    It sounds like that’s really low regulation. Fill out simple form once a year (principal=Jane Smith, # students = 3, easy peasy lemon squeezy), write down what you do (I do that anyway, as I have a written plan that gets updated with what I do every day), study basic subjects. Living in a high regulation state means you have to follow a state-approved curriculum and send in proof that you’ve done it in the form of a portfolio, to get the state’s okay on your progress.

  • MaggieCain

    Nope. I also have perfect faith in the public school system, but choose to both homeschool and use a private school. It’s a myth that everyone who uses homeschool/private education hates the public school system. That may be how *you* feel, but the vast majority of us are pleased with all 3 and choose the best one for each child in turn.

    • Jehovah_is_in_control

      Gee Maggie, do you realize that in total your posts come across as, “you don’t share my point of view, therefore you’re wrong?” Perhaps you speak for the vast majority of home schoolers in your personal circle, but most widely available assessments and polling data do not support that notion. You need only Google “why do parents homeschool” to see that. I’m gathering that you’re a democrat and feel you have to represent and defend your side, and I do understand that, but it’s just coming across as combative.

  • That’s not quite accurate. I live and homeschool in Washington state. We are required to send yearly notification that we’re homeschooling, but we do not have to send in anything else. In 18 years I’ve never been asked for anything else either.

  • Bubbles

    I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a new state and you already homeschool. They can’t just come to your house and investigate right? That sounds like some bizarro world.

  • Bubbles

    I know this was posted 2 years ago, but I just saw this article. We are moving to Virginia we have been home schooling for 3 years, our son is autistic and 14. I figure I don’t need to contact the school for any reason, how would they even know I have a kid? Right?

  • Bubbles

    I don’t understand, how does the school even know you moved?

  • Bubbles

    Right, how would they even know.

  • KSGirl

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Those in Tennessee need to revolt. That is completely over the top.

  • Mimi

    Hi this post was witten in 2012; what about nowadays in 2016? Excuse my english, i’m french 🙂 These states are still free for unschooling? Here in France, it’s just really hard… Too much regulate and no freedom To do unschooling. I’d like To talk With unschooling families living in these states. I’d like To move in the US With my children To have a chance to see them growing joyfully… Thanx for your Answers!

  • Eve Kels

    I live and homeschool in Connecticut and you must notify the board of education in your city or town every year of your intention to homeschool.You must also keep records and transcripts for your children because they reserve the right to see your work .
    Although they do not bother you beyond that to list CT as a no notification state is innacurate

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