Homeschool Resources & Support
No parent can effectively homeschool completely on their own. Children need a variety of teachers, adult role models, and access to peers, and every parent needs a support system. Fortunately, there are many resources out there for home educators to draw on!
In this section, we will cover five topics:
- Public and charter school programs that enroll students who are educated at home, providing an online curriculum, enrichments, or financial support.
- School district resources that are available to homeschooling families, including athletics programs and services for students with disabilities.
- Homeschool groups and co-ops, in which parents pool resources to provide each other with support, and their children with academic enrichment and peer interaction.
- Homeschool umbrella schools, which enroll students in some states and provide a legal option for homeschooling and various forms of support.
- Other local resources that offer services for homeschooling families, including libraries, museums, community centers, and more.
Responsible homeschooling families have a high degree of engagement with educational resources outside the home. According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics:
- 18% of homeschooled students attend school part-time, most commonly attending a public or charter school.
- 23% of homeschooled students take at least one course online, most often through a public, private, or charter school.
- 31% of homeschooled students receive some amount of academic instruction from a homeschool co-op.
- 61% of homeschooled students participate in activities with other children who are homeschooled.
For decades, members of the homeschooling community have debated about which students educated at home can truly be considered “homeschooled.” For example, children who are enrolled full-time in online public or charter school programs are legally considered public or charter school students, and in some states, all homeschooling takes place under the state’s private school law. Yet, parents who homeschool have always used a variety of different options to educate their children, and historically, many homeschooling parents have always enrolled their children in a variety of correspondence programs and private umbrella schools.
At CRHE, we approach “homeschooling” as a big tent term that includes a variety of practices and options, including both public and charter school programs and homeschool co-ops. While some families choose to homeschool autonomously under their state’s homeschool law, choosing and implementing curriculum on their own, other families seek additional support by enrolling their children in public school independent study programs, virtual charter schools, or homeschool umbrella schools. We want families to choose the option that works best for their family.
For more on our perspective on the diversity of a “big tent” homeschooling world, you can read our article, Who ‘Counts’ As Homeschooled? For additional reading on this subject, see home educator and author Mary Griffith’s 2003 article on why she would not sign a statement distancing homeschooling from virtual schools.
In order to avoid confusion, we use the term “autonomous” homeschooling to describe education that takes place in the home, without enrollment in any public or private educational program. Families that homeschool autonomously follow their state’s homeschool law directly on their own, while families that enroll in public and private partnerships offered by charter schools or umbrella schools follow the rules of the program they are enrolled in and receive support and resources. Of course, even families that homeschool autonomously need support and resources! These families typically rely on the support of homeschool groups, a variety of local resources, and school district resources that are available to homeschooling families.
Every homeschooling family needs access to support and resources. No family should ever try to go it alone. This section will help you learn how to identify and access the resources your family needs to thrive while you are educating your child at home.
Don’t forget to read the other articles in this section!
— Homeschool Resources & Support
— Public and Charter School Partnerships
— Access to School District Resources
— Joining a Homeschooling Group
— Homeschool Umbrella Schools
— Drawing on Local Resources
Return to our main Home Educator page!