Johns Hopkins Launches Homeschool Hub

Dive into current information on homeschooling data, regulations, and research for all 50 states

The pandemic has fundamentally altered the educational landscape for families nationwide, reshaping parents’ perceptions of different educational options. Prior to that, homeschooling accounted for a modest 2-3% of K-12 students, according to federal estimates. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the United States Census Bureau now reports that approximately 11% of families have turned to homeschooling. Since then, participation has fallen to 4.5% according to federal estimates, but that’s “likely a baseline due to under reporting,” said researcher Angela Watson.

Concurrently, public attitudes toward homeschooling have shifted. Through EdChoice’s ongoing monthly polling, conducted in collaboration with Morning Consult, we’ve observed that in March 2020, 55% of parents expressed favorable views toward homeschooling. By April 2023, favorability rose to 63%. Despite this growth, research and data on homeschooling remains fragmented, collected by individual organizations across states, and receives less attention compared to other alternative education models.

In response the growing interest in homeschooling, and to help state policymakers, analysts, and other stakeholders better understand how the growth of homeschooling has shifted the educational landscape, Senior research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and EdChoice Fellow, Angela Watson, has created the Homeschool Hub.

The Homeschool Hub is a first-of-its-kind resource housing comprehensive data on the history, regulations and participation data for homeschooling in all 50 states. The Homeschool Hub is a non-partisan data project and all entries have been reviewed by academic researchers from the Homeschool Research Lab at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy.

Some of the key features Watson and her team created include:

  • Participation data: Users can easily download longitudinal state participation data for 39 states and disaggregated data with information on student age, grade, gender, and race.
  • State summaries: Fifty state summaries explain the history, legalization, and regulation of homeschooling. Additionally, there is information on the compulsory age, access to public school offerings, services, and other supports that vary by state.
  • School choice context: The Hub includes information about other education options families have in their state outside of homeschooling, which may impact participation. A cross-sector comparison places homeschool participation in context with other sectors like charter and private schools for various states.

Homeschool data can be complicated to collect for various reasons. First, the definition of homeschooling is not agreed upon across states. Some states provide multiple definitions. For the purpose of this reporting, Watson uses the definitions each state uses.

Second, the data is only as accurate as the state reporting. Not all states require reporting and, in some cases, states do not report historical data which may lead to incomplete longitudinal data. In these cases, the Homeschool Hub provides data collected in earlier years. As reporting is not always required, counts may be lower than actual participation.

Despite these challenges and limitations, Angela Watson and her team have collected all data available and created the Hub to increase transparency and awareness of homeschooling trends.

“As homeschooling continues to expand and evolve, we need a better understanding of this growing and diversifying education sector. We need policy based on facts, not historical stereotypes. My hope is that the Homeschool Hub will help fill these needs,” Dr. Watson said.

Visit the Homeschool Hub website to jump into the data, and check out our podcast featuring Angela Watson.

For more specific questions about the Homeschool Hub, its data and methods, reach out to Angela Watson: