Every state has its own homeschooling requirements. Some require that there is a licensed educator to monitor the home schooling, while others may not. Some require that a third party examiner provide end of the year assessment and placement tests. Some have little to no requirements at all.
This is why it is important to know the rules of the particular are you are living in.
Here are some of the requirements which may need to be considered when looking into home schooling.
Grading – Some schools are going to require that grades be kept every semester or every year. If they are required you may have to supply these to the state education department. Though they are not always required it is a good idea to keep them especially in high school situations. This is to allow GPA requirements and transcripts to be established for college.
Homeschool Laws – There are number of various rules and regulations which may change yearly. They can also be confusing. If you are looking into home schooling you may want to talk to an attorney that has experience in educational law or visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website for up-to-date information.
Inspections – Many states require inspections of home school situations. This is to ensure that everything meets the legal requirements for the state. You will need to have “an intent” to home school. This is usually supplied to the appropriate department of education.
You may also need medical records, what lessons are being covered and a record of work. If this is required, make sure to keep a portfolio. This should maintain all examples of your child’s work through the year. This reassures the inspector that you are meeting the requirements in your state.
Placement Tests – Most states do not require placement tests, but some still do. They can provide a great deal of information for parents on where your children may have areas of weakness in their education. This can also tell you what level your child is on learning.
Study Guidelines – There are some states that are going to have strict guidelines on what needs to be taught and others which may allow for more flexibility when it comes to educational content.
Detailed Records and Attendance – If this is a homeschooling requirement in your state, make sure to keep detailed records of exactly what happens when you are teaching your child and when it is taught. Don’t forget to count “field trips” to museums, zoos or anywhere that you consider a learning opportunity…these activities count too!
Where to Learn More
There are a number of different ways that you can determine the legal homeschool requirements in your area.
The best place to check is to check online for any home schooling organizations, the department of education or the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
These sources will normally have links that outline the homeschool laws and requirements in your area.
Remember that different states and areas will have different homeschooling requirements and regulations. If you are already home schooling and are moving from one area to another check the new area requirements early enough along to allow you to gather any necessary documentation for when you move into the new area.