Unraveling the Mystery: Is “Homeschool” One Word?

is homeschool one word

The English language is as versatile as it is dynamic, with words and phrases morphing and evolving. One such term that’s been debated is “homeschool.” The question on many people’s lips is: is homeschool one word or two?

Understanding the Term “Homeschool”

“Homeschool” in its current form is accepted as one word. This wasn’t always the case. The term evolved from “home school,” a phrase that describes educating children at home. As the popularity of this style of education grew, so did the usage of the term. The lexicon evolved from the two-word version “home school” to the hyphenated “home-school,” and now, its most common form is the single-word “homeschool.

The English language can sometimes be challenging, even for those who have spoken it for a lifetime. A recurring issue that often stumps English speakers and writers is whether to write certain phrases as one word, two separate words, or hyphenated.

One term that seems to be shrouded in a mist of confusion is “homeschool.” So, let’s delve into the world of language to unravel the mystery: Is “homeschooling” one word or two?

The Evolution of “Homeschool”

“Homeschool” as a concept is not new, but its written representation has been subject to changes over time. Returning to the origins, “home school” was initially written as two separate words.

As the years progressed, the term became hyphenated – “home-school.” Eventually, the English language, as fluid and dynamic as it is, evolved to condense “home-school” into a single, unhyphenated word: “homeschool.”

“Homeschool” Today: One Word

In contemporary usage, “homeschool” is predominantly written as one word, especially in American English. Major dictionaries, such as the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary, endorse “homeschool” as a single word. They define “homeschool” as a verb meaning ‘to teach your children at home instead of sending them to a school’, and as a noun referring to ‘the practice of teaching children at home instead of at a school.’

The Linguistic Explanation

The English language often merges two-word phrases into one word when the phrase becomes a commonly used term. This linguistic phenomenon is known as “lexicalization.” When a phrase becomes lexicalized, it’s more than just a combination of two words – it takes on a life and meaning of its own.

In the case of “homeschool,” the single-word format has gained more popularity because it signifies a distinct concept. It no longer merely represents the combination of a “home” and a “school” but embodies an educational choice many families worldwide make.

In Practice: Variations and Flexibility

While the single-word variant “homeschool” is now the norm, you may still see “home school” and “home-school” in some contexts, depending on regional preferences, publication style guides, or personal choice. The language allows for some flexibility, and all three versions are understood. However, sticking to the one-word “homeschool” will ensure consistency with modern usage and dictionary recommendations.

Conclusion: is homeschool one word

This exploration of whether “homeschool” is one word or two serves as a great example of the dynamism of the English language. We see that “homeschool,” like many other terms in the English language, has evolved, reflecting changes in societal attitudes and behaviors. As the practice of homeschooling has grown more prevalent and recognized, so has the term solidified into a single, unhyphenated word.

Remember that language is a living, changing entity that grows with us. It’s a tool we use to capture our evolving cultures and practices, and “homeschool” is a testament to that.

Whether you’re a parent researching homeschooling options or a writer striving for precision in language, remember that “homeschool” today is generally written as one word. This word perfectly encapsulates the concept of an education system within the home, distinct from traditional school environments. This is yet another fascinating glimpse into the ever-evolving world of words!


Is “homeschool” one word or two words?

“Homeschool” is most commonly used as one word in today’s English usage. It originated as two words – “home school” – and has also been seen with a hyphen as “home-school.” Over time, combining the words into “homeschool” has become more widespread and is now the standard.

Why has “homeschool” evolved into one word?

The term has evolved into one word for simplicity and efficiency, reflecting the growing acceptance and prevalence of the practice. This evolution is typical in English and other languages, where common phrases often merge into single words.

Is writing “home school” as two words or “home-school” with a hyphen incorrect?

No, it’s not incorrect to write “home school” as two words or “home-school” with a hyphen. While “homeschool” is the most commonly used format today, the other versions are also accepted and understood.

When should I use “homeschool” vs. “home school” or “home-school”?

You can use any of the three versions based on your preference and your audience’s familiarity with the term. However, as “homeschool” is the most widely used variant, it might be the most recognized and understood by a broader audience.

Are there any other common words related to homeschooling?

Yes, other common words related to homeschooling include “homeschooler” for someone who is homeschooled and “homeschooling” as the act of educating at home.

Are there any spelling differences between British and American English?

No, there are no differences in spelling the word “homeschool” between British and American English. Both dialects use “homeschool” as one word, “home school” as two words, or “home-school” with a hyphen.

Is “homeschool” a noun, verb, or both?

“Homeschool” can be used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to the practice or system of educating children at home. As a verb, it describes the act of educating children at home. For example, in a sentence: “Many parents choose to homeschool their children.”