How Do I Handle State Regulations?
While homeschooling is legal in all US states, the laws and regulations governing homeschoolers vary widely depending upon your state of residence. Some states have almost no regulation at all, while in others homeschooling is highly regulated. Most states have paperwork that you must file. Many require that parents file a notice of intent to homeschool, and some ask for a plan of education, a school calendar, and/or a scope and sequence. Still others require students to complete standardized exams or provide a portfolio of work samples. It is very important that you research and follow the homeschooling laws of your state.
State laws can often be found online by running a search for your state board of education’s website, homeschool-focused legal organizations such as HSLDA, or state homeschool associations.
Points to Ponder
Here are a few things to consider as you evaluate what is required in your state.
In some states, all paperwork and homeschooling procedures are handled through the state, generally through the state department of education. In other states, filing or notice of intent may be handled by the local school district.
Due to the enormous variety in homeschooling procedures by state, should you move while homeschooling, be sure to find out what the laws are for your new state. Ideally, research the laws before your move.
Many states require a minimum number of hours of homeschooling each year. If your state is one of them, find out which activities can qualify for these hours. In some states, activities such as music or sports practice are acceptable.
Members of the US Military are subject to the compulsory attendance laws of the state they currently reside in. If you are transferred, be sure to follow the laws in your new state.
A Few More Thoughts
While it is very important to follow your states’ homeschooling laws, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand what is required of you the first time you file. If you find yourself in need of assistance, veteran homeschoolers are often more than willing to help. You can find them by contacting your state or local homeschooling organization or the library.