What is School Choice?

What is School Choice?

What are the school choice trends in 2022-23?

In the United States since 2011, the last week of January each year has been designated School Choice Week to promote the concept of all the different forms of school choice. For this current school year, National School Choice Week will be January 22-28, 2023.

There are six main options for schooling in the United States: traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. The National School Choice Week Team has published the trends for 2022-23, recapped here.

Traditional Public Schools and Open Enrollment

Available in all 50 states, traditional public schools are established by school districts. Open enrollment policies mean that parents can choose a public school that is outside of their own zone or district. Currently:

  • 13 states allow parents to choose any public school for their child, in any school district
  • 18 states allow open enrollment to parents that meet certain requirements, like living too far from the assigned school, or wishing to transfer out of a low-performing school.
  • An additional 19 states allow districts and schools to choose whether they will participate in open enrollment. So families must request and receive school district approval to take advantage of open enrollment in these states. Some states are lenient with their requirements while others rarely permit transfers.

Public Charter Schools

Charter schools are created by school districts, colleges, nonprofit organizations or other entities and are generally innovative schools within the public school system. 45 states and the District of Columbia allow public charter schools, and there are currently about 7,700 in the U.S. The number of students in charter schools has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

Magnet Schools

Magnet schools are also public schools operated by school districts, but they allow students to focus on a specific learning track, like STEM, medical science, or performing arts. There are more than 4,000 magnet schools across the US, and there are thousands of magnet programs within traditional public schools nationwide. All 50 states permit magnet schools, theme-based schools, or magnet programs, and 5 states have magnet programs but no freestanding magnet schools at this time.

Private Schools

Private schools are an educational choice in all 50 states and vary widely as to tuition and curriculum. Many private schools and nonprofit organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for tuition. In addition, 30 states offer official programs that provide scholarships or tuition assistance for families choosing private schools.

Online Learning and Course Access

Virtual academies instruct students 100% through online or digital curricula. In the 2019-20 school year, approximately 375,000 K-12 students attended a statewide online school full time in the United States. That number jumped to 656,000 for the 2020-21 school year. The numbers for 2021-22 aren’t in yet.

35 states offer full-time, tuition-free online public schools, established by state authorities, school districts, or charter schools. In many states, students can use online coursework to supplement their in-person schooling. Many states also offer this online course access to private school or homeschooled students.


All 50 states allow parents to homeschool their children. Many families collaborate with others, using tutorials, cooperatives, and leagues. Enrollment in homeschool programs nearly doubled from 1999 to 2016. By 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2 million children were homeschooled. As of 2022, that number has grown to about 3.7 million, and is growing in all race and income categories.

To view maps showing the details of these various school options for each state, please visit SchoolChoiceWeek.com.

Homeschooling 101 for parents – the ultimate survival guide

Homeschooling 101 for parents – the ultimate survival guide

Guest Post from Yumble – Healthy Meals for Kids

Homeschooling is a frightening prospect for some working parents. Getting your day organized and kids meals planned means you can survive – and thrive!

Homeschooling takes adjustment, preparation, and dedication. It can be daunting, but we have your back! This article gives some top tips to survive and even enjoy the homeschool experience.

Be clear on your expectations

First things first – do not put too much pressure on yourself. Nobody is expecting you to pull out a whiteboard and be a full-time teacher. The idea of homeschooling is to provide the best environment for your child to continue learning during this period.

The best plan for this is to build a realistic schedule that works for you and your child. Stick to it as best you can each day, but do not stress when it goes awry. Plan homeschool kids meal breaks and exercise into the day, too, so all bases are covered.

Test what works

You may find that some days your schedule simply does not work. There may be an urgent requirement from your job that you simply have to attend to. Have some backup plans ready for these periods. Your kids can enjoy some dancing or kids’ yoga classes on YouTube while you work.

Not everything has to be books and study. You can also do some practical work. Try baking, building a new Lego design, or even some simple gardening. You can even have your child ‘help’ you with some housework. Settling them down with some art and craft activities is also a great way to buy a little time.

Kids meals

Plan your kids meals for homeschool days. Healthy kids need their share of fruit and vegetables. Even fussy eaters will enjoy treats for working hard! Try healthy snacks but with a tasty sauce. Broccoli with a cheese dip or cucumber in salsa work especially well to get around picky eating!

Set a routine – and build in rewards

Draw up a schedule on some paper or a whiteboard every morning. Talk your child through it and see if they are comfortable with it. Tell them when break times and lunch will be. Let them know what delicious treats are on the menu! This is especially important for fussy eaters.

For schoolwork, try to fit in the most important activities such as math and English in the morning. All kids will be fresher and focused after a good night’s sleep, not to mention a wholesome breakfast.

3 Tips for Summer Homeschooling

3 Tips for Summer Homeschooling

Summer is right around the corner and that means different things to different people. Many families are opting to continue their child’s education into the summer. Schooling at home may be new, but fear not as we go through some tips to make sure your learning process is effective and fun for both you and your child!

Tip 1: Choosing a Subject

Best practices recommend that you choose a subject that your child is passionate about. It is also recommended that you are knowledgeable in the subject as well, but passion is by far the most important aspect.

Without fellow classmates to get your child excited about a subject, passion for the course material will be the main motivating factor for your child. Schooling should be fun and educational for all involved, so keep in mind that your passions might not be the same as your child’s passions.

We recommend making a list of topics to cover and then letting your child decide which ones to go over first. This ensures you are covering what’s necessary while simultaneously giving your child a sense of ownership and drive for the course.

Tip 2: Routines, Routines, Routines!

Children can thrive on routines, and the younger they are exposed to discipline, the better. Not only does this keep them on task and help them take ownership of completing their multiple assignments, but it fosters the idea of being proactive in their own lives.

This idea of discipline and routine can be utilized from the micro to the macro aspects of homeschooling. On one end, having an everyday routine helps both you and your child accomplish the tasks for the day and keep on schedule with the curriculum.

Some parents find that following the public school calendar is helpful while others prefer to establish a year-round school schedule. Either way, a calendar helps your child anticipate and prepare for school time and family time.

Tip 3: You Are Not Alone!

Feeling stuck? Chances are you’re not alone. Many families are taking their initial plunge into summer learning, and online forums are booming with information to help you and your child get the most out of your experience.

Online forums allow you to ask veteran homeschoolers any questions you may have. There is a good chance that what you need help with has already been discussed and answered by others in the forum. So it’s a good idea to check for frequently asked questions, and be sure to check if there is already an answer out there before posting a question.

Some popular parent homeschooling resources online include:

  • Homeschool.com
    This website dubs itself the “Original Homeschooling Community” and makes that evident with an extensive amount of resources such as forums, free curriculum, and a lot more!
  • GHFLearners.org
    Have a gifted learner? Then look no further than Gifted Homeschoolers Forums. Parents gain access to resources that help them “understand their gifted kids, support for homeschooling families, and online classes for gifted learners
  • Homeschool for Free – the Facebook Group
    Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive, and this private Facebook group is dedicated to sharing free, or cheap, resources for homeschooling parents.
  • r/Homeschool – the SubReddit
    Reddit is one massive online forum, with sub reddits for different topics. This subreddit, dubbed r/Homeschool, is your one stop shop for any questions regarding homeschooling.