North Dakota explicitly outlines the state’s responsibilities to the homeschool family for things like informing them of their rights to resources. No other state does this as explicitly.


Located in the western United States, North Dakota legalized homeschooling in 1989. The state defines homeschooling as a “program of education supervised by a child’s parent.”


North Dakota requires homeschool parents of children, ages 7 to 16, to file a Statement of Intent with the local superintendent.

A parent with at least a GED may homeschool. Without a GED, parents may homeschool with monitoring from the local school district. N.D. Cent. Code §§15.1-23-03, 06 and 07.  Students are required to receive at least 175 days of instruction for at least four hours a day. There are also lengthy curricular requirements. See N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-23-04 and §15.1-21-01 for details. Certain grades must take the state test, which is offered at no cost to families. Homeschoolers may choose to take a different test at their own expense. While many states require testing, few require reporting the scores. North Dakota requires reporting of test scores to the local school district. Some consequences related to test scores could include continued monitoring and more. See regulations for details.

Homeschooled students have unfunded access to extracurricular activities at their local public school on a part-time basis. However, students must meet several requirements in order to participate, including proof of immunization and identity. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-23-02. This benefit does not extend to other nonpublic students. Students with special needs also have access to services in North Dakota.

State Data

North Dakota collects and publicly reports information on homeschool participation. For example, around 1,700 students reported homeschooling in 2010, which increased to over 4,500 at the height of the pandemic. Participation information by district is also available.

A bar chart showing homeschool rates in North Dakota from 2007 to 2024, with rates steadily increasing from 2007 to 2019, spiking in 2020, dropping in 2021 and 2022, and spiking again in 2023.

Similarly, U.S. Census estimates indicate that around 2.8% of North Dakota families homeschooled in the spring of 2020 and increased to 8.2% by the fall of 2020. Note that these percentages reflect family participation. Student participation would be higher, given that many families have more than one child. The U.S. Census also estimates that, during the 2022 and 2023 school years, an average of 3.8% of all North Dakota K-12 students were homeschooled during this time.

Download Homeschool Hub State Data

Cross-Sector Comparison

During the 2019-20 academic year, 2.67% of North Dakota’s K-12 students were homeschooled. Homeschool participation in the state was much lower than the 7.39% of students attending private schools. During the 2021-22 academic year, 3.20% of North Dakota’s K-12 students were homeschooled. Homeschool participation in the state was much lower than the 8.72% of students attending private schools.

A pie chart showing home, charter, private, and traditional public school percentages in North Dakota in 2021-22

School Choice Context

In addition to homeschooling, parents in North Dakota have several educational choices available. These options include enrollment in traditional public schools with inter-district choice options and private schools. North Dakota has no magnet or charter schools. Currently, there are no private school choice programs in the state.


North Dakota offers families broad access to educational services and opportunities offered at local public schools. The state also offers a free testing option. However, other choices are limited in the state, with no charter or magnet schools. The state could improve transparency and better inform our understanding of homeschool participation trends by reporting more of the data it already collects from homeschooled families.

Last updated December 2023.