Are Most Homeschoolers Religious? Yes, but...

As of 2022, roughly 2/3 of registered homeschoolers are identify as religious... but, only 16% of homeschoolers are homeschooling primarily for religious reasons. In fact, according to the same study by the University of Notre Dame Sociology Department, the number one reason for homeschooling among parents was concern over the safety of their school environment.

Why Homeschool? Non-Religious Reasons Families Choose Homeschooling

Before we started homeschooling, I had a common misconception about homeschoolers...I thought that all homeschoolers were super religious. It's a common misconception in the United States because that's what the general public sees and it's what's shown to us through the media.

When homeschoolers are portrayed on tv they tend to be overly conservative, long skirt wearing, overly sheltered, and SUPER weird. For many Americans, when you mention the term "homeschooling" there are three generalized images that pop into mind....the Duggar family, polygamists, and/or Joe Dirt.

Think about it, when have you seen a highly successful family of homeschoolers portrayed in the media?

Ironically, most child actors are homeschooled. Homeschooling gives them the freedom to be available for casting calls, filming, etc. Just a few famous homeschoolers include Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Emma Watson, the Jonas brothers, Venus & Serena Williams, Simone Biles, and so many more.

Non-Religious Homeschooling Grows Exponentially

Just like thousands of others, our homeschool journey began when the COVID19 pandemic hit.

Until April of 2020, my kids attended public school and I had never given a single thought to homeschooling. I was one of those moms that needed "my time" during the school hours. I felt sorry for kids when I heard they homeschooled. But these thoughts were lead by my misconceptions about homeschooling and what all it entails.

After finishing out the 2019/2020 school year with virtual learning, I knew something had to change. My kids were miserable! Distance learning was a complete disaster for them and we were dealing with constant meltdowns. So I started to research homeschooling.

I figured, "they're home anyway, how much worse could homeschooling be".

Well, the differences between virtual learning and homeschooling are like night and day! Check out K12 Online School or Secular Homeschool: Which is Better?...I discovered that homeschooling was the answer my children needed.

The only problem was...we're not super religious.

Sure, we consider ourselves "Christian". But, we don't believe in creationism, we believe science is real, we support LGBTQ individuals, we believe Black Lives Matter, we go to church on major holidays, we cuss, we drink alcohol occasionally, etc.

In fact...we identify as....gasp....Liberals.

So, where does that leave us in the homeschool community?

Well, after much research I discovered that not all homeschoolers are super fact, not all homeschoolers are religious at all. There's a whole sub-sect of homeschoolers who are just like us....they're called "Secular Homeschoolers".

what is secular homeschooling
Secular homeschooling is an approach to homeschooling without religious intent

Secular Homeschoolers are Growing

Secular homeschoolers are the fastest growing niche of homeschoolers out there. They're people who have chosen to homeschool for various reasons but they don't homeschool for religious reasons.

In fact, 25% of all homeschoolers identify as secular and that number is rising.

The way school boards approached the pandemic with remote learning, mask mandates, contact tracing, etc etc....many parents started wondering if public school was really the right place for their children.

With many school districts playing politics instead of listening to the science, parents found themselves in a hard spot. Do we send our kids to school and risk them catching COVID or do we find an alternative?

Unfortunately, turning to private schools and charter schools was not the answer because they too were playing the politics game. So, many parents, started looking at school alternatives like homeschooling.

As more non-religious families turn to homeschool, the secular homeschool community continues to grow. But, many of us have the same misconceptions/biases because of how the media portrays homeschooling. Therefore, many secular homeschoolers lay low and it can feel like we're all alone even though we're not.