State Homeschool Requirements

Each state in the U.S. varies in their individual requirements for homeschooling. There are currently four separate categories of state homeschool requirements. They are:

1. States requiring no notice
2. States with low regulation
3. States with moderate regulation
4. States with high regulation

States that require no notice do not require parents to initiate any contact. The states with no notice requirements are: Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.

States that have low general requirements only require that parents notify the school district that they are homeschooling. These states are: California, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Delaware, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

Moderately regulated states require parents to provide the school district with notification of intent to homeschool, test scores and provide a professional evaluation of the student’s progress. These states are: Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Maryland and American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.

The high-regulated states require all of the previously listed information and the states provide the parents with the required curriculum or the parents are required to provide a curriculum for approval. These states also require the parent to allow visits by state officials to check the student’s progress. These states are: Washington, Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Students in these states that do not meet requirements after two quarters (90 days each) will be sent back to their local public school or the parents will have to enroll them in a private school. Highly regulated states may also require an annual assessment at the end of the school year.

What qualifies a parent to teach their children at home? A parent is considered competent if they follow the state’s regulations. The parent does not need to have a college degree. All you need is a strong desire to work with your children on a daily basis and the ability to efficiently organize your classroom. Parents should check with their local school district for their state homeschool requirements prior to teaching at home.

Parents who choose to homeschool should also familiarize themselves with their state’s regulations regarding homeschooled child playing in public school sports and the use of a public school’s library. In both of these situations, state law varies.

Parents that choose to homeschool their children will have a lot of hard work ahead of them but supporters will agree, the effort is well worth it. The best advice for homeschooling is to be sure that you fill out all of the required forms and meet all of the stated deadlines in order to conform to your state’s homeschool requirements. This will keep your school year on track and often will put off any school board that is wary of your efforts.

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