Can I Homeschool?

Can I Homeschool?

Remember when you were young and you would ask, “Can I [insert name of thing you wanted to do] ?” and your mom or your English teacher would say, “‘Can’ or ‘may’?”? Mom / Mrs. McAllister was right — “can” conveys ability, while “may” conveys permission. But sometimes you need to convey both in a single question! — as in “Am I able to homeschool?” and “Do I have permission to homeschool?”

The answer to both is YES … with some conditions. In fact, there are enough conditions that the questions of ability and permission are going to be addressed in more detail in future Homeschooling FAQ posts. For now, we’ll give the short answers.

“Am I able to homeschool?” Yes, you are. This is one of the single greatest fears of people looking at homeschooling from the outside. It is based on the notion that teaching children is a mystical art, involving secrets learned at the feet of education professors in college. But if you are a parent (and since you have children whom you are considering teaching, we presume that you are), you have been teaching your children since birth. (That sleeping-through-the-night thing might’ve been a reaaaaally long lesson.) True, potty-training is not the same as algebra-training. But all teaching consists of certain basic elements, as I pointed out here. Start seeing yourself as a teacher; you already are.

“Do I have permission to homeschool?” Yes, you do, as long as you haven’t made the mistake of living in a place where homeschooling is illegal. There are no such places in the United States! Different states have different levels of regulation (some relaxed, some stringent), but homeschooling is legal in all fifty states. Start taking full advantage of that freedom if you think homeschooling might be a possibility for your family; it’s a freedom that not all parents around the world enjoy.

So, yes … you CAN homeschool, and you MAY homeschool. Mom and Mrs. McAllister would applaud your grasp of grammar. 🙂


Lucy Watson

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