Homeschooling – also called home education or home school – is the education of children at home, typically by parents or guardians, rather than in a public or private school. Prior to the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws, most childhood education occurred within the family or community, with only a small portion of the population attending schools or employing tutors. Currently, the great majority of children in developed nations receive their formal education in public and private schools.
In many places homeschooling is a legal option for parents who wish to provide their children with a different learning environment than exists in nearby schools. Many of these families make this choice on religious grounds. It is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations and those who choose, for practical or personal reasons, not to comply with school regulations.
Homeschooling may refer to instruction in the home under the supervision of correspondence schools or umbrella schools. In some places, an approved curriculum is legally required if children are to be home-schooled. A curriculum-free philosophy of homeschooling may be called unschooling, a term coined in 1977 by American educator John Holt in his magazine Growing Without Schooling.