Can Homeschoolers Skip a Grade: How It Works For Parents and Kids | Home School Victory (2023)

Public school parents and their children know there’s a lot of repetitive learning, and to a certain extent, repeating information can help children remember information, especially when they’re young. However, it seems like more repetition isn’t necessary for some kids, so can they skip a grade in homeschool? The answer is interesting because homeschool is tailored to the individual needs of that child. Thus, traditional grade levels don’t necessarily apply. If your state requires heavy oversight, there’s likely more paperwork involved. You’ll need to include this in your letter of intent and show that your student can do the work, but grade skipping is simple enough. In fact, some traditional-school parents use a year of homeschooling as an opportunity to teach two grades and then put their kids back into the system at a higher level than their age-based peer group. As a former educator, my sons have skipped grades, and I’ll explain how it works so you can make an informed decision about when and if this is the right option for your home learners.


Can homeschoolers skip a grade? Homeschool children can skip grades. Regardless of the level of oversight from the state you live in, ultimately, your child’s grade-work level is at your discretion based on their abilities. In a few areas, you might need to apply to an online homeschool to have the next grade level assigned or take additional assessments. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward. Your child’s grade level is based on their learning ability.

Where is Skipping a Grade in Homeschool Easy or Difficult

The area you live in will determine how much oversight is required. Skipping grades in low-regulation areas is naturally easier than in states with more oversight. I’ll give you an overview of where it’s the simplest versus where it can require more testing and extensive record keeping.

Let’s begin with the places where homeschool is the easiest. With little to no government oversight, you are freer to decide every detail of your educational curriculum. You may want to consider moving to a low-oversight area if you don’t feel the need to waste time and energy on excessive paperwork. Especially for unschoolers, this is a significant boon.

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According to SheKnows, Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas require no notice to the district at all when you intend to homeschool. I always recommend checking with your local school district to be certain the rules haven’t undergone a recent change. Still, these eleven states are at the top of the list for easy homeschool-level skipping since they have the fewest regulatory practices.

The most district-mandated oversight list includes Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. If you live in these areas, you will need to keep better records and report on your child’s progress more stringently and regularly than you would in other areas of the country. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is more time-consuming. You’ll need to make sure you follow all the guidelines in your area carefully. For a full list of current homeschooling laws by state, click here.

When Homeschool Grade Skipping is a Problem

There are some times and places where a district might take issue with the idea of your child skipping a grade. For the most part, this has to do with mandatory testing. For example, home learners in Tennessee have to take mandatory assessments two or three times before graduating high school. If you had a fourth-grader there and tried to skip them to sixth grade, your district could question the choice if you also wanted to skip the mandatory fifth-grade skill assessment test.

In special cases like these, I recommend asking the district to allow your student to take the test. Kids who are prepared to skip the grade will almost certainly pass, and if your child does not pass, then you should reassess their readiness to skip that grade. Alternatively, you could move to a different area or request a re-test. Some students have special circumstances, or they are differently-abled. Sadly, this can lead to stress and confusion during testing, thus yielding an unusually low score for the child in question. Don’t be afraid to go to bat for your kids if you feel the circumstances warrant another look.

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When Should You Skip a Grade in Homeschool

While skipping a grade in homeschool mostly consists of some (often minimal) paperwork and then learning at the next level, deciding when it’s time to do so can be a little more complicated. The first thing you want to do is get an impartial assessment of where your child is academically so you don’t give them more than they can handle. A few simple, free online tests can help. You could also have them try a quick assessment or a couple of worksheets from a pre-made online learning site. Doing this helps remove parental bias and confusion about what level of teaching the child is prepared to do this year.

The next step is to look at what is being offered in the curriculum for the level you intend to skip them into. For example, if you have a kid who is starting high school, and they have a firm grasp of subjects like pre-algebra and algebra, then, assuming their other levels are similar, they may not need the freshman year. When there are only one or two subjects they struggle with, you can always teach two different grade-levels and assign them to the ‘grade’ in school that’s best suited to their overall skill level. So long as they don’t miss out on anything crucial, there is plenty of freedom in designing a homeschool program for your child.

Before you even think about skipping a grade, you also need to look at how ready your child is for other tasks related to that learning level. Maturity matters. For some kids, skipping so many grades, they graduate and begin university at twelve or thirteen is ideal. Meanwhile, an equally advanced learner two blocks down might be capable of completing the work but utterly unprepared to make adult-level life decisions about what to major in for college at that age.

If your home learners are in the latter category, consider doing a little less work each day to avoid grade skipping and overexertion, rather than pushing them to become someone they are not. It is just as important to avoid holding them back as it is to forgo pushing them forward too quickly for their development level. Kids need time to be kids, and they’ll generally indicate to you where they are through their actions and decisions. Although it is always a balancing act to make these decisions, erring on the side of what’s best for your kids at the time is always a good move.

(Video) Best Steps How to skip a grade Latest Updated Video

Not every homeschool child can or should skip grades. However, most are capable of moving ahead faster at some point. Make sure you take time to look at how they perform in all areas of development, not just test scores. Also, be aware, some homeschool accredited high school programs may have an age requirement to enroll. However, from personal experience, my son at the age of 13 was able to take a high school credit course. He just did not apply for their high school program. I did it through The American School of Correspondence.


Benefits of Skipping Grades in Homeschool

My oldest son skipped grades in homeschool and graduated at sixteen. He went on to university and has thrived due to not being held back based on his arbitrary age. Likewise, my fifteen-year-old is a junior in high school and will graduate next year at sixteen. Early college entrance is one benefit for home learners.

By graduating at a younger age, homeschool kids can intern and gain valuable work experience, which allows them to move up in their chosen field sooner than their peers of the same age. Moreover, they aren’t as likely to get bored in school and act out as a result. Instead, they can focus on their studies because they are interested, engaged, and attuned to their own learning.

Making mature decisions earlier can lead to a very fulfilling life. Additionally, joining the workforce early gives people more time to save for retirement and other large expenses like homeownership. Most of all, early graduation helps avoid problems like the ennui that tends to set in during the last year of high school. The feeling most young people have of waiting for their adult lives to finally begin is less common in homeschoolers because they have more control over the life they live.

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Final Thoughts

Like homeschooling itself, skipping ahead a grade or two is the decision of the parent or guardian. For many students, the ability to progress at their own pace means being miles ahead of what public school students of equal age are learning. Moreover, it helps avoid needless repetition and boredom.

If you have a gifted child, it’s almost a necessity to move forward more quickly. Holding them back can deeply impact your child’s confidence and love of learning. Most importantly, it’s unnecessary when they learn at home.

Skipping grades is definitely one of the nicest things about a homeschool education. Kids who are allowed to learn more freely tend to develop a healthy, life-long love of education and do well later in life.

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FAQs

Can you skip a grade if you homeschool? ›

academic classifications. Homeschoolers don't need to skip or repeat grades: grade level is almost always more flexible with homeschooling than it is with public school. There may be some exceptions because of particular states' laws or because you are choosing to homeschool through a charter school.

Does grade level matter in homeschool? ›

While grade levels don't really matter in homeschool. In the end, being aware of grade level goals can be useful for homeschooling moms. It's helpful to know what goals are realistic and which things you might need to study a little more as you plan and map out your homeschool year.

Is it possible to fail homeschooling? ›

Failure is never intentional. Yet, many fail at homeschooling—sometimes without even knowing why. One of the best ways to learn is from the mistakes of others. It's much less costly than learning from our own mistakes.

Are homeschooled kids successful in life? ›

Homeschooled students perform much better than their counterparts in formal institutional schooling. Peer-reviewed studies indicate that 69% of homeschooled students succeed in college and adulthood. Homeschooled students tend to perform above average on their ACTs and SATs.

Should I allow my child to skip a grade? ›

For many gifted children, grade acceleration is beneficial. Students are placed in classes where they are truly challenged and with peers more on their intellectual level. But, for some children, skipping a grade can be harmful to their social and emotional development.

Is there a way to skip a grade? ›

Although skipping a grade is not a common practice, school administrators may be willing to allow this option for gifted students. You'll need to make sure that you are academically prepared for such a jump. You will also need to consider social ramifications to going up a grade, which do impact your education.

How do homeschooled kids get graded? ›

A simple way to calculate grades is to take all the assignments and tests, add them together and take the average score. You can modify that by counting some assignments or tests more important, by adding them in 2 or 3 times–then taking the average score of it all.

How are home schooled kids graded? ›

Homeschoolers usually determine their own grading method to help create record keeping for their student's work. Some schools provide rules or guidelines for record keeping. A program might incorporate teachers to grade, attempting to provide an unbiased grade.

Do homeschooled kids get better grades? ›

The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is roughly the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.)

What is the most common issue for homeschooled children? ›

The most common was a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure (25 percent). Fifteen percent of homeschooled students had parents who reported that the most important reason was a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools.

Do you have to be smart to homeschool? ›

You don't have to be an expert to teach.

However, you do not need to be an expert in every subject to homeschool successfully. If you are dedicated to learning along with your child, you're smart enough to homeschool.

What is a negative impact of homeschooling? ›

A homeschooled child misses out on seeing the same classmates five days a week, potentially making it difficult to form friendships. Children learning at home also lack daily exposure to large groups, giving them fewer opportunities to practice socializing with many people at once.

What percentage of kids get homeschooled? ›

What percentage of students are homeschooled? In the United States, 6.73% of children at K-12 grade levels receive homeschooling. Based on the information provided by the US government, 3% to 4% of the primary school-aged population in America are homeschooled.

Is homeschooling better for Mental Health? ›

According to the Global Student Network, online homeschooling allows children to learn in a comfortable environment, which helps alleviate stress and anxiety. Another benefit of homeschooling is that students have greater control of their educational experience, inspiring both confidence and a sense of security.

How many grade can you skip? ›

American schools may oppose grade skipping, or limit it to one or at the most two grades, regardless of the student's academic and social situation. There is no research that supports these limits, and the decision to limit grade skipping is mostly based on the intuition of school personnel.

How rare is it for a kid to skip a grade? ›

Research shows that about 1 percent of students grade-skip. Students can skip grades at any level, and they can even skip multiple grades. Grade-skipping has led to many concerns.

Why should students not be allowed to skip grades? ›

As students advance in grades, their workload is bound to increase. A child who previously breezed through work may face unprepared academic pressures. The drastic transition can be overwhelming for your child, who might struggle to adjust to the new academic pace in the higher grade.

What is the best grade to skip? ›

Students most often skip only one grade. For example, you may choose for your child to skip first grade and go straight from kindergarten to second. It's also common for a child to skip second grade, moving from first into third. This single-year skipping keeps the student from feeling too distanced from their peers.

What are the benefits of skipping a grade? ›

Pros of Skipping a Grade
  • Intellectual Peers and Community. According to NAGC, gifted students who are moved a grade ahead are not affected socially and academically – at least not in a negative way. ...
  • Academic Challenge. ...
  • Reduction of Problem Behavior. ...
  • Academic Challenges. ...
  • Social/Emotional Preparedness.
Nov 28, 2017

Do homeschooled kids have to take exams? ›

Children who are homeschooled are not required to sit GCSEs, SATs, A-Levels, or any other exams. The legal requirement for home education is that each student receives an “age-appropriate, full-time education”.

What age do most homeschoolers graduate? ›

While it is sometimes even younger, a fair number of homeschoolers graduate at 16; more commonly, they are on track to graduate at 18 like their schooled peers. At the same time, many homeschoolers take an extra year for high school, finishing at 19, again, like many peers in school.

Do homeschoolers have to take exams? ›

Home schooled pupils are not required to take any public exams or to follow the national curriculum. This is because they are considered privately educated. The only actual requirement for home schoolers is that they receive a full time, age-appropriate education.

What age is best to homeschool? ›

Elementary school (ages 5-11)

Your kids are more and more aware (and able to articulate) new thoughts, concepts, insights and experiences all around them. They may also assert more of their independence to you and your ways of thinking.

How do homeschoolers give exams? ›

National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)

This board helps children to appear for exams of class 10th and 12th while the parents homeschool their children. Students have to register with the board and the certification is equal to any other of education in India.

Is homeschool harder than public school? ›

Homeschool isn't harder than public school. However, homeschooling has its own unique set of challenges for both parents and children. Knowing how to address these challenges is crucial in creating a beneficial homeschooling experience.

Why are homeschooled students more successful? ›

Homeschooled students perform better because they are given more control over their school experience. Remote learning is effective, flexible, relaxed, and every student has the opportunity to “choose their own adventure” so to speak. Every homeschool curriculum is moldable.

Why do parents decide to homeschool their child? ›

Generally, parents choose to home school their children for social, academic, family, and/or religious reasons. As for me, many educators are surprised to hear that academic reasons influenced me most.

Do homeschooled kids do better in college? ›

3. Higher Graduation Rates. Research has shown that homeschooled students have higher graduation rates when compared to traditional-school students. When talking about fall-to-fall retention at college, homeschooled students had a retention rate of 88.6%, while traditional-school students obtained 87.6%.

Why homeschooling is not recommended? ›

Home educated children are exposed to fewer world views and generally have less opportunity to socialise with children from different backgrounds. They will not have to negotiate and learn to deal with conflict to the same extent as children attending state schools.

Is homeschooling stressful for parents? ›

It's completely normal to feel stressed, uncertain, and overwhelmed about the days to come. While homeschooling can be a bit unpredictable at times, you can put your best foot forward by developing a simple routine and not putting too much pressure on yourself or your kids.

Do homeschooled kids struggle socially? ›

Most of this research finds that being homeschooled does not harm children's development of social skills, as measured in these studies. In fact, some research finds that homeschooled children score more highly than children who attend school on measurements of socialization.

Why going to school is better than homeschooling? ›

Children who attend public school have more opportunities for social interaction than many homeschooled students. There are homeschool co-ops that can be helpful, but a public school has built-in social benefits. Sending your children to public school frees you up to just be a parent.

Does homeschooling affect social skills? ›

The study reveals that homeschooled children have better social skills compared to their counterparts in public or private schools. Through the customized curriculum, a parent can adequately address the developmental needs of a child since learning is interactive.

Should I homeschool my child with anxiety? ›

So, homeschooling isn't a fool-proof way to shield your children from anxiety or uncomfortable social situations. However, it can significantly increase their confidence and ability to navigate them during one of the most cognitively critical stages of life.

What does the Bible say about homeschooling? ›

Proverbs 1:8 gives the command to children to follow their father's instructions and not to forget their mother's teachings. However, it does not mean that all children should be homeschooled. Reading the verse in the context, we need to remember that in the time of the Bible, there were no formal schools for children.

Are homeschooled students happier? ›

New Harvard Study: Homeschoolers Turn Out Happy, Well-Adjusted, and Engaged. Homeschooled children fared better than children who attended public schools in many categories.

Is homeschool a lot of money? ›

While the exact cost can vary immensely, the average homeschooling family will spend about $500 on curriculum and supplies (per year/ per child) to homeschool. Many homeschooling families also spend more than this average on extracurricular activities, such as: art classes, sporting groups, and social clubs.

How stressful is homeschooling? ›

In fact, homeschooling can be incredibly stressful. Balancing home and education has its own unique variety of pitfalls: bad attitudes and dynamics, different learning styles and needs, and the various demands of work/school/living all tangled up under the same roof.

What are 3 advantages of homeschooling? ›

There are even benefits of homeschooling for parents.
  • Continuing education. You can continue learning alongside your child. ...
  • Sharing your hobbies and interests. You can share your own passions with your kids more than if they were attending school full-time. ...
  • Saving money. ...
  • Freedom from a school schedule. ...
  • Personal growth.

Why are so many American kids homeschooled? ›

The three reasons selected by parents of more than two-thirds of students were concern about the school environment, to provide religious or moral instruction, and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools.

Where is homeschooling most popular? ›

Homeschooling is legal in many countries. Countries with the most prevalent homeschooling movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

How Fast Is homeschooling growing? ›

Overall, the proportion of American families home-schooling at least one child grew from 5.4% in spring 2020 to 11.1% in fall 2021, according to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis. Meanwhile, the number of Black families choosing to home-school increased five-fold during that time, from 3.3% to 16.1%.

What percentage of homeschoolers are successful? ›

Homeschooled students perform much better than their counterparts in formal institutional schooling. Peer-reviewed studies indicate that 69% of homeschooled students succeed in college and adulthood.

Is homeschooling better for ADHD? ›

Homeschooling offers great benefits and flexibility that are perfect for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Providing your child with ADHD an education that can be catered to their needs helps them gain confidence and perform better academically.

How does homeschooling affect adulthood? ›

A new study examining how homeschooling affected adolescents' character, health and well-being found that adolescents who are homeschooled are more likely to report greater character strengths and fewer risky health behaviors later in life, but are less likely to attain a college degree.

How do homeschoolers keep grades? ›

A simple way to calculate grades is to take all the assignments and tests, add them together and take the average score. You can modify that by counting some assignments or tests more important, by adding them in 2 or 3 times–then taking the average score of it all.

What are the requirements to skip a grade in Florida? ›

Public and private school students: Require approval from their school of record. Homeschool and FLVS Full Time students: Require approval from both parent and FLVS Instructional Leader for that grade level. FLVS follows an acceleration policy to ensure it is in the best interest of the student.

What are reasons to skip a grade? ›

4 reasons why it's beneficial to skip a grade in school
  • Improved academic performance.
  • Greater options for high school course selection.
  • Higher rate of college acceptance.
  • Greater chance of earning scholarships.
Feb 20, 2023

What age can you skip a grade? ›

Skipping a grade can take place at any point from early childhood to college. The Acceleration Institute lists several ways a child might skip a whole grade, including: Whole-grade acceleration: Skipping any grade during the course of elementary, middle or high school.

What are the cons of skipping a grade? ›

Cons of Skipping a Grade
  • Is the student able to move ahead in all subjects? For example, if the student excels in math but not in other topics, moving ahead a grade could cause more problems than it solves.
  • Can the student keep up with the increased workload? ...
  • Can the student stay in the top of the class?
Nov 28, 2017

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