Homeschooling kids who learn and think differently

By Gail Belsky

At a glance

  • Homeschooling is education that takes place outside of the school system.

  • It’s not public school at home or distance learning.

  • Each state has different rules and requirements for homeschooling.

Homeschooling is on the rise. If you know kids who are homeschooled, or if you’re thinking of teaching your own child at home, you may wonder how it works — especially for kids who learn and think differently.

First, it’s important to know that homeschooling isn’t public school from home. It’s education that takes place outside of the public school system. (Kids still need to meet state standards, though.)

Since COVID, many more families are homeschooling. In the first year of the pandemic, the number of families teaching from home jumped from 5.4 percent to 11 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Parents homeschool for different reasons. Some want a certain type of education for their child. Others do it for religious reasons. And many choose homeschooling because their child struggles in traditional school settings.

Some kids who learn and think differently do well with homeschooling. But it’s important to know that public schools may or may not provide special education services to kids who are homeschooled. 

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    About the author

    About the author

    Gail Belsky is executive editor at Understood. She has written and edited for major media outlets, specializing in parenting, health, and career content.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.