Questions to Ask Before You Begin Homeschooling – State Homeschooling Laws
What are the homeschooling laws in my state? This is the question that may loom large for many new-to-homeschooling parents. We’ve worked hard to select curriculum, plan our studies, and select the homeschooling method that is right for us. We are ready to start our school year, but can find ourselves overwhelmed as we begin to wade through legal documents and education statutes. Homeschooling laws can be tricky to navigate, and information we receive from various parties can be highly varied. It’s no doubt that homeschooling parents can easily end up confused when it comes to various homeschooling laws.
Homeschooling laws and regulations vary heavily from state to state, so it is a good idea to do some careful research on what is required in YOUR state. Some states have little to no requirements, while other states (like my own) have much stricter regulations and require things like a minimum number of schooling hours, parent requirements, and standardized testing. While you may not have a member of your local school board knocking on your door asking to see your records, I feel it is important to follow the law and keep good documentation of your child’s work and progress.
When you are just starting out and beginning to consider homeschooling, reviewing the legalities can be overwhelming – or even discouraging (especially if you live in a more bureaucratic state.) I wanted to provide you with a list of questions you should seek answers for. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to ask questions. Make sure the answers and/or advice you are given is accurate – as some families aren’t always aware of the specific regulations and rules they should be following. Do your research. Ask questions. Take notes. You CAN figure this out!
You will want to find out the following:
Am I required to give notice to our local school district?
Are there any subjects I am mandated to teach my child?
Will I be required to give my child a standardized test? If so, will I be required to report their scores?
What types of records do I need to keep?
Will my records need to be provided to any school my child may attend in the future?
Are there regulations regarding the amount of schooling hours each week/month etc?
Does my child have access to their local public school for sports, extra-curricular activities, PE, Music, etc?
What are the graduation requirements for my state for homeschoolers?
What qualifications do I need to teach my child at home?
There are a few websites out there that list the guidelines for each state, but I recommend googling, “Homeschooling Laws for the State of ______.” This will allow you to see your state’s department of education website – providing you the most accurate information.