| Updated: January 22, 2019

Home Schooling in America: Why Families Teach at Home

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Nearly 2 million students are being home schooled in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education. For the families who choose to teach their children at home, their reasons for doing so are as diverse as they are. Incorporating religious studies into students’ education is often a factor, as is the desire for students to explore topics more deeply than schools tend to. Military families who home school often do it for stability because of their frequent moves. Some parents subscribe to the “unschooling” philosophy that puts their children at the center of deciding what, and how, they learn. In this Education Week video series, you’ll meet four families who’ve chosen to home school, how they do it, and why.

Muslim Family Weaves Religious Studies Into Learning

Sadia Shakir’s 5th grade daughter wanted to memorize the Quran so Shakir began home schooling her. Now, with the help of tutors, her daughter is learning traditional subjects, along with studying the Quran and Arabic.

Military Family Finds Stability in Learning at Home

For a mother of five with a husband deployed in Iraq, home schooling brings many challenges. But for Lindsay Jobe, it also provides continuity, flexibility, and more of a say in what and how her children learn.

An African-American Family’s Cultural Decision

In many schools, African-American history begins with stories of slavery. Monica Utsey, a Washington, D.C. mom, wanted to give her sons a deeper and richer history of black people, which is what motivated her to home school them.

‘Unschoolers’ Put Children in Charge of Their Learning

When Daniel Matica, a father of five, first heard about "unschooling," he was skeptical. Now, with one college graduate, two children in college, and two thriving teenagers—none of whom ever attended a school—he says he has proof that unschooling works.

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Coverage of how parents work with educators, community leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions about their children’s education is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, at waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.