The Homeschool Boom

How Homeschool Numbers Have Increased Dramatically In The Last Two Years

Corbin Long, News Reporter

For decades, homeschooling has offered an alternative way of education for students in the U.S. While some parents always saw homeschooling as a way to be more connected to their child’s educational needs, many students and parents stuck to the public school system, which checked all of the boxes for most working families.

Then came 2020.

Suddenly, millions of parents frantically searched for an escape route from the public school system. As the 2020 – 2021 school year drew startling close, families were nearly out of luck. But through the chaos, gleaming lights shone down from the heavens and offered a solution: homeschool.

“Homeschooling provides an education that is more tailored to the student,” Idaho Freedom Foundation president Wayne Hoffman told the ILA Beat.

By The Numbers

Between 2010 and 2016, there were roughly 1.5 million students homeschooling, or about three percent of students in the U.S.

However, the number of homeschool students has tripled in the past two years, with roughly 5 million students actively homeschooling as of 2022. That’s a record eight percent or 1 in 12 students homeschooling this year.


Amid the chaos, families had many reasons to turn to homeschool, especially in Idaho.

According to the Idaho Freedom Foundation, “The results of a Gallup Poll showed that parental satisfaction with their child’s education dropped 10% in 2020 while the number of parents choosing to homeschool their child doubled to 10%.”

Here are some of the most common reasons families started homeschooling, resulting in the surge of homeschool students in the past two years.

1) The Covid-19 pandemic brought on new challenges to the public school system. Most schools turned to remote learning, where students interacted with their teachers through Zoom or other video software. Most parents felt that this new style of learning wasn’t meeting their child’s academic needs, and switched to homeschool as a result.

2) “Other parents have been pushed into homeschooling because they have witnessed the government schools’ effort to indoctrinate their children,” Hoffman explained, referencing the recent instability of the public school system. In many cases, school board meetings lasted hours with no progress, and simple decisions couldn’t be agreed upon. This led to many last-minute decisions that parents were unhappy with, including mask mandates, campus restrictions, and complicated new schedules for students.

3) Some parents were fearful of their child’s exposure to Covid-19 and viewed homeschool as a safe environment for their children to learn. Conversely, parents believed that new restrictions hindered their child’s ability to learn well.

Pros and Cons

Idaho has one of the highest homeschool populations in the country, with about 10% of K-12 students being homeschooled according to the Idaho Freedom Foundation. With this substantial increase, it offers new benefits to the homeschool community and ILA. However, it also brings new negative impacts as well.


– Offers more opportunities for co-ops and joint homeschool groups

– Increased revenue for recreational areas, small businesses, and private field trips

– An overall larger homeschool community for more interaction between students


– More crowded co-op classes with fewer class spots available

– Less flexibility for extracurricular activities

Homeschooling’s New Future

Whether we like it or not, we are in the midst of a homeschool boom. Millions of new homeschoolers are bringing on new benefits and challenges, but also new diversity within the homeschool community. This new boom, especially in Idaho, is changing the shape of education as we know it.

To learn more about the organizations that support homeschoolers in Idaho, checkout