Homeschooling Requirements and Laws

Learn about homeschooling requirements and laws that may affect how you organize your home school in the United States.

Teacher qualifications, testing, record keeping, laws regarding age and attendance are all different for each state. The Federal government does not regulate homeschooling. (Or it is not supposed to!). Since it is not addressed in the constitution, it is left to the states, thus you will find differing requirements.

According to HSLDA (HomeSchool Legal Defense Association, homeschooling in states like California or Ohio is great with none to very low regulations. Colorado or Washington and others have moderate homeschooling requirements. Then there are the states like Pennsylvania or New York where high regulations can make homeschooling interesting.

Research and diligence will smooth the way for your home school to obey the homeschool laws... yet still enjoy the individuality that homeschooling offers

Here are a couple of other pages you might be interested in.

Possible State Legal Homeschooling Requirements:

  • Teacher Qualifications-Some states require degrees, most do not.
  • Attendance - This may be in the form of number of days per year, your homeschooling laws may regulate how many hours per day.
  • Record keeping- Does your state require records of curriculum or grades? Samples of school work? Portfolios?
  • Testing- Many states require some sort of mandatory testing. Some will require testing each year... some every other year.
  • Curriculum - Does your state require you to submit your curriculum for approval.
  • Age of compulsory school attendance - All states have ages of compulsory school attendance. The actual ages will vary from state to state. I'd suggest that if your student is not of compulsory school age... don't report as a homeschooler. Even if you are "doing school" only report your student when it is required by law. You are homeschooling for YOU and YOUR STUDENT... not the school district. Obey the laws but offer no more.

Homeschooling Requirements Information Sources

I've seen it recommended that you contact your local school district to find out about the homeschooling laws in your area. I'd beg to differ! Now it may be that you live in a homeschool friendly area and your school would pass on valid information However I also know that many areas are NOT homeschool friendly.

A more reliable source is a local homeschool group or better yet your state homeschool organization. If you do a search for "your state homeschool organization" you should come up with some options.

To find more details about states home school requirements and homeschooling laws in general, there are 2 websites that I'd recommend.

Homeschool Legal Advantage HLA is a division of the Christian Law Association specifically charged with protecting the rights of homeschoolers, and providing practical advice regarding home education and compliance with homeschool laws. I really like this group. Read my interview with them here at Legal Homeschooling

National Home Education Legal Defense llc NHELD is a national organization open to all who wish to join, that seeks to protect and defend the rights of families who wish to educate in freedom. Home School Legal Defense Association is a national membership organization of families who homeschool their children.

Homeschooling Requirements by State

States with little or no requirements - You are blessed if you live here! Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinios, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Missisippi, Alabama, Delaware, Conneticut, New Jersey  

States with some requirements - I find my self in this group. Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennesee, Arkansas, Louisianna, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Washington DC.

States with high levels of requirements. Don't worry if you are here... it can be done. Contact a homeschool group in your area for tips and help. Homeschoolers tend to love to help each other!  North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine

Disclaimer

This page should NOT be looked upon as legal advice. If you have legal questions regarding your homeschool, contact  one of the organizations listed above.

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