Each state creates their own homeschooling laws. However, most of the states are somewhat uniform in this regard. Therefore, you should know the following things might apply to you and your homeschooling family depending upon where you live. The first thing that you should know is that elementary school children are to be taught English, math, geography, science, civics, history, physiology, healthy, music, physical education and art. The area of English also requires that children be taught reading, spelling and writing. The second thing that you should know applies to high school children. These should be taught social studies, geography, economics, music, art, physiology, and health. They also must be taught English, including speech, language, literature and composition. They are to be taught science, including chemistry and biology. Plus they are to be taught the history of the United States and the world.
Most states will also allow school officials to require other subjects to be studied, as well as demand what the length of the school year should be. They can also set the number of hours that are needed for instruction in each subject area. Nevertheless, they are not permitted to tell a homeschooling family what method should be used to teach these subjects. This gives homeschooling parents permission to create their own way of teaching that does not have to imitate that of the public school. However, the homeschooling method should equal and match that which is provided by the public school in both efficiency and systematic approach.
Homeschooling allows the parent to determine what their child’s needs are. It also allows parents to decide which subjects require a specific amount of instructional hours. This is not to say that each subject does not require a specific amount of time allotted to it, because it does in order for the child to fully absorb what is being taught. What is meant here is that scheduling time for homeschooling is based upon a different type of using and understanding time. This is because school officials recognize and classify instructional materials only in order to determine the student’s grade level in a specific subject area. They cannot use this in order to demand homeschool parents teach their children in a specific way. They can only use this to demand that homeschool children have this specific knowledge at a specific age or grade level. This actually allows a lot of freedom for homeschooling parents since they can determine what subject areas their child is having difficulty in and then spend more time helping their child learn that specific subject. On the other hand, in those subjects that your child excels in, homeschool parents can actually shorten the time that is spent on this subject so that there is more time for those more difficult subjects. The benefit here is that homeschool children can spend time learning and exploring each subject at their own pace and capacity. These children are often enabled to learn through more creative and fun ways as well. Just some things that homeschool children have time for, that public and private school children often don’t have time for, include community service, traveling, and visiting such places as parks and museums. Simply put, homeschool children can gain a lot of skills and knowledge outside of the classroom and its books.
While school officials definitely have some say over homeschooling parents, it is not as far reaching as some may fear. Of course, each of these things will vary according to which state you live in. In fact, you may even find that some states are a lot less lax than others. In the end though, it is up to you as a homeschooling parent to work with your school district to find a system that you both can agree on in order to evaluate and assess your child. Some school officials’ will allow this to be through standardized testing, periodic reports, or dated work samples. Regardless of what method you decide is right for you and your family, hopefully you are now able to see just how much authority these school officials’ are really allowed to have according to the law.