Thinking about moving? Here are the best homeschool states to choose from in 2024.
My eyes started to ache from squinting at the computer screen too long. My husband had job opportunities in a few different states so I spent hours researching homeschool laws.
After over 9 years of homeschooling, I’m in it for the long haul. So finding a homeschool-friendly state isn’t just a plus, it’s a necessity.
And after all of that research, I’ve learned that homeschool laws and regulations can vary widely from state to state.
Some states are pretty lax and let you do whatever you want. And some states have strict standards and regulations which make it hard to homeschool your kids.
It’s important to know which states are more homeschool-friendly than others. The last thing you want to do is move somewhere new just to realize the homeschool laws are a massive headache.
In this article, I’ll recap the top 10 best homeschool states in 2024 so you know where to start your research before you move. I’ll even let you know which states you want to be sure to avoid at all costs.
Let’s dive in!
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Table of Contents
Choosing the Best Homeschool States
Here is a quick recap of how I chose my top 10 best homeschool states. Deciding what laws and requirements are a deal breaker can be a pretty personal decision.
Your current experience and the laws in your state can influence how you feel about it. For example, I homeschool in Louisiana where you have 2 options for homeschooling and the requirements are pretty minimal.
If I moved to a state like Florida that has portfolio and attendance requirements, it might feel like a lot. But Florida natives, or those from states with even stricter requirements, might feel like it’s not bad at all.
Therefore, I tried to pick criteria that empower homeschooling parents. But please, always do your own research and talk with local homeschoolers in the area.
They’ll be able to better help you understand how easy or difficult it is to homeschool in that state.
The first method for choosing the best homeschool states is the homeschool laws and regulations. States that have fewer requirements and are more hands-off tend to rank higher on this list.
The fewer regulations and requirements a state has the easier it will be to homeschool in a way that works for you and your family. You have more options when choosing the curriculum, method, and even how many hours a day you do schoolwork.
For a lot of families, that’s the whole reason they choose to homeschool in the first place, so it’s an important factor to consider.
States with the most relaxed homeschool laws
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, here are the states with the most relaxed homeschool laws:
- New Jersey
All of these states have almost no regulation for at least one of their homeschool options. Don’t worry if none of these states work for you though, there are several more with minimal regulations as well.
The next thing I looked at for choosing the best homeschool states is how many homeschooling options the state has to choose from. Some states only allow for one method, while others have several.
This is important because different methods work better for different families. Having options allows for more flexibility and the option to tailor your child’s education to their needs.
States with the most homeschooling options
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, here are the states that offer the most options for homeschooling:
- Iowa: 5 options
- Alaska: 4 options
- Pennsylvania: 4 options
- Virginia: 4 options
- Maryland: 4 options
Several other states offer 3 options for homeschooling, which is still a good variety to choose from.
Another criteria I used to choose the best homeschool states is the size of the homeschool community. If a lot of families in that state have chosen to homeschool, it’s often a good indication that the laws and regulations are favorable.
Furthermore, a large homeschool community means more resources, support groups, co-ops, and events for homeschoolers. It’s always helpful to have a strong network of fellow homeschooling families in your area.
States with the highest number of homeschoolers
According to a study published in 2022 by the National Home Education Research Institute, here are the states with the most homeschooled students:
- North Carolina: 160,528 students
- Florida: 152,109 students
- Georgia: 91,296 students
With more and more families choosing to homeschool, I don’t doubt these numbers have grown since then.
Homeschooling tax breaks
Lastly, I looked at states that offer tax breaks for homeschooling families. It’s nice to have a little financial help when it comes to purchasing curriculum and supplies.
Some states offer tax credits, exemptions, or deductions for homeschooling expenses. This can add up over time and make a big difference in your budget.
States with homeschooling tax breaks
Not too many states offer a tax break to homeschool families, but there are a few:
These states either have tax exemptions or credits for homeschool families. It’s worth considering if you want to save some extra money.
The Best Homeschool States in 2024
Now let’s dive in to the best homeschool states in 2024.
Top of the list is Illinois. This state ranks as one of the best homeschool states in 2024 because of its laid-back homeschool laws.
The state requires you to homeschool certain subjects and that they are taught in English. But beyond that, there is next to no oversight.
You don’t have to report to anyone, there are no requirements for attendance, record keeping, or even what you use to teach the required subjects.
This offers a lot of freedom for families to homeschool in a way that works best for them.
Add in the tax credit they offer and Illinois is a dream state for homeschoolers.
Alaska is second on the list because it’s another state with stress-free homeschool laws. If you choose to homeschool under their homeschool statute option, there are no requirements.
You don’t have to notify the state, seek approval, or submit any standardized tests. You also won’t have any teacher qualifications to meet.
If for some reason all that homeschooling freedom doesn’t appeal to you, they offer 3 other homeschooling options that are pretty straightforward to navigate.
If you want to live on the East Coast, a good state to look at is Delaware. Delaware is 3rd on my list of best homeschool states in 2024 because of its relaxed homeschool laws.
Under their single-family homeschool option, they do require that you notify the state each year of your intent to homeschool and that you submit your attendance information at the end of the year.
But that’s pretty much it.
You get to choose the subjects and curriculum for your children and there are no testing requirements. And despite requiring that you submit attendance records, they don’t have a required number of days you need to teach, so you have a lot of freedom there as well.
They also have an option where you can homeschool your child in coordination with the local school district. It’s similar to the first option, except you also need to contact the superintendent of your school district first and then teach the same subjects they teach.
This is a nice option for families who don’t intend to homeschool long-term.
Another bonus for Delaware is that they have a large homeschooling community. It’s nice to know you’ll be able to connect with other homeschool families in your area for support and resources.
Next on the list of the best homeschool states in 2024 is my state, Louisiana. This state ranks in the top 5 because of its easy-to-navigate homeschool laws and its thriving homeschool population.
Because of poor performance and often dangerous environments, the public schools in Louisiana don’t inspire a lot of faith in its residents. This has driven more and more families to start homeschooling.
They offer 2 options for families. The first option allows you to file with the state as a “private school” not seeking state approval.
With this option, you have no reporting requirements. You can teach your children however you see fit.
With option 2, you file as Home Study which means you have to show proof of learning when you refile at the end of each year. Some families still prefer this option though.
Option 2 helps them stay on track if their child will return to public school at a later date. Also, if you file for Home Study for grades 11 and 12, your child is eligible for scholarship money toward college similar to what public school students get.
Plus, Louisiana offers a state tax credit for homeschool families. This is another reason it’s a great state to homeschool in.
The 5th best state to homeschool in is Idaho. Idaho is another state that offers you a lot of freedom with your homeschool decision.
You don’t have to report to the state if you choose to homeschool, there are no teaching qualifications or testing requirements, and you don’t have to submit progress reports or grades.
They do recommend/require that you teach the same subjects taught in public schools, but there is no oversight on how you do it.
Families in Idaho have a lot of freedom with how they choose to educate their children.
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Another great state to homeschool in is Mississippi. Similar to one of the options for homeschooling in Louisiana, their only requirement is for you to annually notify the state of your decision to homeschool your child.
Beyond that, you get to choose when, with what program, and how often you teach your child.
Mississippi also doesn’t require any proof of learning or testing requirements when you file each year. This is great for families who want minimal oversight and maximum freedom with their homeschooling.
7.) New Jersey
Next on my list of the best homeschool states in 2024 is New Jersey. A lot of states on the East Coast tend to have pretty rigid homeschool requirements, but New Jersey has managed to avoid all the homeschooling red tape.
Parents are encouraged to provide an education “equivalent” to what they would get at a public school. They also have a list of suggested subjects to cover, but that’s about it.
New Jersey has no requirements to report if you’re homeschooling your child, no attendance requirements, and no testing requirements.
If you make a good-faith effort to educate your child in the major subjects, you’re good to go in New Jersey.
This state also has a sizable homeschool population. Especially considering it’s one of the smaller states in the U.S.
8th on my list of the best homeschool states in 2024 is Oklahoma. Oklahoma is in my top ten because of its relaxed homeschool laws and large homeschool population.
Considering they have next to no homeschool requirements, it’s not a surprise many families choose to educate their kids at home.
They require that you teach 180 days each year, but have no reporting or testing requirements. They also recommend you cover the main subjects of language arts, math, science, and social studies, but they have no official homeschool laws requiring it.
You don’t even need to report to the state if you homeschool your child. This makes Oklahoma a great state for homeschoolers.
The next state I would recommend moving to as a homeschooler is Texas. Texas is on almost every top ten list for the best homeschool states.
This is because of its relaxed homeschool laws. They only have 2 requirements:
- Teach the required subjects of math, reading, spelling and grammar, and good citizenship.
- Use a written curriculum.
Beyond that, you’re good to go.
Texas also has a huge homeschool population. This is great for new and veteran homeschoolers as there are plenty of resources and support groups available.
Last on my list of the 10 best homeschool states in 2024 is Utah. Utah, like all the other states on this list, has pretty easy-going homeschool laws.
As parents, you need to file an affidavit with the local school board when you start homeschooling your child. And as long as you stay within the same school district, that’s it.
With the affidavit, you accept sole responsibility for teaching your child. Utah pretty much leaves it up to you after that.
Which is probably why Utah is another state with a good-sized homeschool community. With no testing or reporting requirements, families are free to teach their children however they see fit.
The Worst Homeschool States in 2024
An article on the best homeschool states wouldn’t be complete without also listing some of the worst homeschool states. If you have a choice of where you choose to move, you might want to avoid these states if you can:
Despite having 4 different options for homeschoolers, Maryland still ranks at the top as the worst state for homeschoolers. This is because 3 of their homeschooling options function more like private schools rather than homeschools.
They require the family to enroll the children in an umbrella school after which you’ll be required to follow whatever rules and requirements said umbrella school has.
And to make matters worse, The Department of Education in Maryland doesn’t acknowledge diplomas issued by church umbrella schools, which is one of their homeschooling options.
If you choose not to go the route of an umbrella school, you still have a lot of hoops to jump through. You have to:
- File a Notice of Consent,
- teach the required subjects,
- maintain a portfolio,
- allow the local superintendent to review said portfolio if requested,
- AND meet any additional requirements your local school board has.
Submitting to on-demand portfolio reviews is bad enough, but add in all those other hoops to jump through and you’re better off trying to homeschool just about anywhere else.
The 2nd worst state to homeschool in 2024 is Massachusetts. This state is on the bad list because homeschoolers have to get approval from their local school district before they can homeschool.
Whereas most states, even the more strict ones, give you a chance to prove you can homeschool your child, Massachusetts requires that you notify them of how you’ll homeschool your child first, and then they’ll let you know if you can.
You have to provide your local school superintendent:
- The curriculum you’ll use and the number of hours you’ll teach.
- Proof you’re competent to teach your child.
- Examples of how you’ll teach the required subjects.
- How you’ll assess your child annually.
And to make matters worse, the expectations can change depending on what school superintendent you have to report to.
I can appreciate how they give you some choice in your homeschool testing, but the fact that the local superintendent has to approve homeschooling families before they can teach their kids seems like a way to stifle the homeschooling community.
If you end up with a school superintendent who doesn’t like homeschooling (which, let’s face it, most public school officials don’t) you probably have an uphill battle trying to prove you can give your child a solid education.
My advice, avoid this state if at all possible!
The 3rd worst state to homeschool in is Minnesota. Their requirements aren’t as strict as Maryland and Pennsylvania, but they’re still a lot to deal with.
You’ll need to:
- Notify your school district you plan on homeschooling.
- Provide proof of immunization compliance for kids 7 and up.
- Teach an extensive list of required subjects.
- Keep records and proof of teaching the required subjects.
- Annually test your child with a standardized achievement test.
Personally, they lost me at “annual standardized tests,” but requiring proof of immunization to teach your child sounds like some serious overstepping in my opinion.
The only saving grace for Minnesota is they do have a pretty decent-sized homeschool community. So although there is some overbearing requirements on the part of the state, there are plenty of families that have figured out how to make it work.
The next state you don’t want to move to as a homeschooler is Pennsylvania. Unless you choose to homeschool with a private tutor or in a satellite school, you’ve got a lot of requirements ahead of you.
It’s pretty much all the same expectations of a public school except you’ll be the teacher. Here’s what Pennsylvania requires:
- High school diploma or equivalent to homeschool.
- File with the local superintendent when you homeschool for the first time.
- Teach 180 days and 900-990 hours a year.
- Required courses for each grade.
- Standardized tests at grades 3, 5, and 8.
- Annual portfolio reviews.
If ever a state went out of its way to say “We don’t trust you to teach your child,” Pennsylvania is it. If you can opt to homeschool somewhere else, do it.
5.) New York
Last on my list of the worst states for homeschoolers in 2024 is New York. New York makes the list because they’re another state that assumes homeschooling should look like public school at home.
And they’ve got the homeschool requirements to prove it. If you want to homeschool in New York, here’s what you’ll have to do:
- Submit a notice that you intend to homeschool by July 1 or within 14 days of starting to homeschool.
- Provide an Individualized Home Instruction Plan stating who’s teaching, what you’ll teach, what curriculum you’ll use, and dates you’ll submit your quarterly reports.
- Meet their attendance requirements: 180 days and 900-990 hours.
- Teach the required subjects for each grade.
- File quarterly reports including the number of hours taught, the material covered, and the grade your child received.
- An annual assessment, which includes standardized tests starting in 4th grade.
With so many hoops to jump through and little flexibility, New York is not where you want to be if you like more freedom in your homeschool.
Final Thoughts on the 10 Best Homeschool States in 2024
I hope this guide on the best homeschool states in 2024 helps you narrow down your options if you’re looking to move. However, I do encourage you to do your own research on homeschooling laws before making any final decisions.
But hopefully, I’ve saved you some eye strain and late nights scrolling for information.
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Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.