Guides for Home Educators

Welcome, home educators! We have informational guides on a variety of topics. What sets our guides apart from those of other organizations? At CRHE, we were homeschooled ourselves!

CRHE was founded in 2013 by individuals who were homeschooled as children, with the goal of improving the lives of children homeschooled today and in the future. Our guides for parents draw on our experience being homeschooled, as well as our professional expertise as an organization that works on homeschooling full-time. We provide information that is centered on children’s needs and rights and grounded in solid, evidence-based research and best practices.

We recommend parents read through and familiarize themselves with all of the sections on this page. Our informational guides for home educators are designed to work together to provide parents with a comprehensive starting point for supporting their child’s education and wellbeing.

A Bill of Rights for Homeschooled Children

What does child-centered homeschooling look like? Our Bill of Rights for Homeschooled Children outlines an inspiring, positive vision of homeschooling. Read our Bill of Rights here.

A young child smiling at the camera.

Should I Homeschool My Child?

At CRHE, we believe that every child has a right to an education, whether that is public school, private school, or homeschooling. We believe that whether a child has access to an education matters more than what educational method is used.

If you’re considering homeschooling, now is likely an exciting time of research and questions. For many families, homeschooling provides a positive and child-centered educational option that meets children’s needs and furthers their interests. However, homeschooling is not for everyone, and in some cases homeschooling can go badly and be a painful experience. How can you know if homeschooling is right for your family? LEARN MORE.

Homeschooling can provide children with a good education, but it does not always, and in some cases, children may be better off in public school. At CRHE, we know that parents who come to us with questions about homeschooling want what is best for their children. We also know that parents base decisions for their children on the information that is available to them. We believe that it is important for parents to have access to accurate data. LEARN MORE.

No family should every try to homeschool completely on their own! Some homeschooling parents find support by enrolling their children in public school independent study programs, virtual charter schools, or homeschool umbrella schools. Even families who choose to homeschool autonomously under their state’s homeschool law, rather than through a program, seek support through homeschool groups and co-ops, or enroll their children in public school sports. In this section, we cover the types of resources available to home educators. LEARN MORE.

A young child taking a photo on his phone while another child watches.

Getting Started Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a big task, and is not one that should be taken lightly! Planning your homeschool can be daunting—but it can also be exciting and inspiring. Our informational guides will help you begin homeschooling equipped with information and confidence.

One of the first things a home educator needs to do is meet their state’s legal requirements for homeschooling. These requirements vary substantially from state to state, and are designed to ensure that children who are homeschooled receive a good education. At CRHE, we encourage homeschool educators to view their state’s requirements as positive safeguards designed to help them stay on track. In addition, we believe home educators should hold themselves to a high standard even if their state’s requirements are minimal. LEARN MORE.

Educational philosophies seek to answer questions like: What is the purpose of education? What should children learn? How should they learn it? What roles do the teacher, the student, and society assume in the learning process? Understanding your educational philosophy can play an important role in grounding your motivations for homeschooling. Having a clear sense of your beliefs about education will help center the decisions you make for your child in something more lasting than a single curriculum, or how you feel on a given day. LEARN MORE.

When you homeschool, everything you teach, or that your child learns, is your curriculum. Some home educators purchase a ready-made program that contains everything their child needs to learn, together with worksheets or projects designed to create that learning; other parents curate their own curriculum, choosing from among a variety of resources and crafting their own learning experiences for their child. In this section, we will walk you through choosing a curriculum and help you understand the role of state learning standards. LEARN MORE.

Four teenagers outside exercising.

Supporting Your Homeschooled Child

When you choose to homeschool, you take on more than just your child’s education. You also become responsible for your child’s social needs and health, as well as for recognizing and providing accommodations for any disabilities they may have.

Children who attend school build social fluency, however imperfectly, through their interactions with other students and with authority figures. Children who are homeschooled need a wide range of social interactions to effectively gain these skills outside of schools. Children also need practice navigating various situations with peers they do not know, as well as experience interacting with authority figures in varying situations outside of the home. Hear directly from individuals who were homeschooled about how to avoid pitfalls! LEARN MORE.

Homeschooling is about more than providing an education for your children. When you homeschool, you are also responsible for arranging regular medical and dental visits and health screenings, monitoring your children for physical or mental health problems and learning disabilities, and providing your children with health education. As a home educator, you should be aware of the health services provided through public schools so that you can ensure that you replicate these services at home! LEARN MORE.

By some estimates, between one-fifth to one-half of children have at least one disability. You should be prepared to recognize signs of disability while you homeschool, even if you are currently not aware of your child having a disability. Our disabilities section includes information on disability theory; recognizing disabilities; getting a diagnosis; becoming a special education teacher; and creating an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your disabled child. Every home educator should be familiar with this section. LEARN MORE.

A photograph of someone working on a breadboard circuit. Only their hands are visible.

Homeschooling for Excellence

Individuals with bad homeschool experiences often mention lack of parental organization, lack of planning for high school, and the failure of other parents to notice that anything was wrong. You can head off these problems by being prepared and educating yourself.

If you are homeschooling your children, you will need to make a plan for assessing their progress. Assessments are a means of ascertaining what learning has taken place, and a way to demonstrate that you are a responsible homeschooling parent. Assessments should be administered by a certified teacher who is not a family member or friend. Because your homeschool is a school, you are also responsible for creating your child’s academic records; we recommend that you make a plan for storing and maintaining these records. LEARN MORE.

Being homeschooled during high school can be a positive and empowering experience. However, this is not always the case: as a nonprofit organization that advocates for homeschooled children, we have spoken with many formerly homeschooled adults who had negative experiences being homeschooled during high school. This means we know a lot about what can go wrong. On this page, we offer practical advice on how to tap into the best aspects of homeschooling high school students, while avoiding potential pitfalls. LEARN MORE.

Children have rights that are independent from those of their parents. For example, children have the right to be cared for and to not be abused. Children also have the right to access information and develop their talents. All children, including children who are homeschooled, have the right to a good education and a safe home environment. Parents who homeschool their children should understand why homeschooling and child abuse can sometimes overlap—and what they can do to not only keep their own children safe, but also other children as well. LEARN MORE.

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