The Accidental Homeschooler


The Accidental Homeschooler is a term that we started using as we spoke to homeschoolers and listened to their stories.

Homeschoolers seemed to fall into two groups:

As I started to create some materials on this subject, I found a few things:

  1. Many parents really responded strongly. It seems that many parents do not recognize themselves in many of the online homeschooling websites and forums and newsgroups which can be very militant and zealous about homeschooling as more than just a simple choice. These parents, many of them quite religious and enthusiastic about homeschooling, felt that they were homeschooling not out of some great principle but because of a combination of events regarding their life, children, family, and schooling options.
  2. Some other people on the web had used this same term. In some cases, they are using the term to refer to the accidents that happen as you homeschool. You try to teach x, the kids learn y. You try to do science, it turns into a comedy routine. You try to teach them to cook, you laugh yourself to sillyness and beyond and end up explain something about Moe, Curly, & Larry. To others, I think we are thinking along common lines......

The best description of accidental homeschoolers, and I quote: Accidental homeschoolers is a term coined to describe how large groups of homeschoolers seem to have started homeschooling....We coined the "Accidental Homeschooler" term to describe those starting to homeschool motivated by a process of elimination, not because homeschooling is their primary choice. There was one particular conversation that got us thinking about these families and the process of suddenly jumping into homeschooling....They have the impression that all other homeschoolers are philosophically dedicated to homeschooling and that they are one of the few who are doing it only because it's the best option for their kids.

My impression is that there are alot of homeschoolers who intended to have their children in school and started by putting their children in school. But... it didn't work. There are many reasons that it didn't work relating to schools, children, family etc.

As they considered their options (many people first tried changing schools), they found that homeschooling was the best option.

The online homeschool blog has good articles on accidental homeschoolers

There is a great discussion you could follow or join about why and how people started to homeschool.