Homeschooling Offers You More Control, Flexibility, And
Precision When It Comes To Your Children
Before beginning home school
programs or any other alternative education program it is extremely important to ensure you are aware of
the home schooling requirements and regulations that pertain to your area. One of the best ways to learn about
local regulations is from other home schooling families. You should also check with the local school authorities
such as the school board or the local government entity that is charge of controlling schooling and
alternative schools in your area. Keep in mind; however, that it is a good idea to
verify anything you are told with other home school resources, in case you are mislead.
Be aware that in some areas home schooling is actually illegal. There may be people who home schoolunderground in these areas, but it is still illegal. In areas where homeschooling is
legal you will usuallyneed to advise the local school authorities that you
are home schooling your children. You may also needtocomplete documentation. The actual process can vary from one area to another.
An excellent sourcefor information is theHome School Legal Defense Association,www.hslda.org
The regulations regarding homeschooling vary from one state to
another. The types of requirements and regulations you may encounter include:
States that require no notice by parents
States with low regulations; such as parental notification
States with moderate regulation; such as having parents send
notification as well as test scores and/or professional evaluations of student progress
States with high regulations; in some states parents are
required to send notification of achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation along with other
requirements such as curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents and home visits by
In at least fifteen states, individual home school programs may operate under private school or church school
These states include:
In five states groups of homeschoolers instead of home schools qualify as church or private schools. Home schoolers
have the option of operating under either a private school law or home school law.
These states include:
Currently, there are only two states that require home schools
to be subject to discretionary approval of the local school district, state commissioner or school board. They are
Rhode Island and Massachusetts. South Carolina is the only state in which the legislature has specifically exempted home school
associations from compulsory attendance. In this state, any homeschooler who is enrolled in the South Carolina
Association of Independent Home Schools or an association of 50 or more homeschoolers is not required to meet the
home school law requirements.
In Oklahoma, there is a constitutional amendment that specifically guarantees the right to home
school. In Idaho, children must be ‘otherwise comparably instructed.’ There is no approval
required. In New Jersey, home schools fall under the category of ‘elsewhere than at school. In
South Dakota, home schools are ‘alternative instruction programs.’ Notification and testing is
41 states do not require home school parents to meet any specific teacher qualification. In 9 states, parents are
only required to have a high school diploma or GED.
These states include:
In the District of Columbia, parents are also required to either have a high school
diploma or GED. North Dakota does not require parents to have a high school diploma or GED as long
as the parent is monitored by a certified teacher for two years.
In 24 states, standardized testing or evaluation of the family is required under the home school law.
Standardized testing only is required in the following states:
13 of those 24 states provide an
alternative to testing.
Those states include: Colorado
Only two states allow homeschoolers to obtain a religious
exemption from compulsory attendance laws. Those states are Virginia and
Five states require instruction of amount of instruction time to be equivalent to that of the public school. These
High school graduation requirements for homeschoolers is
imposed by only three states; North Dakota, New York and
Guidelines and regulations for homeschooling are set by
every state and local government. It is very important that you know and comply with the exact and current
homeschooling requirements for your state. A good working relationship with the local government is for the benefit
for all - at the end of the day, they too want your child to get good education. Make sure you follow all of the
home schooling requirements set out by your state government pretaining to alternative education and alternative schools.