Every state has its own homeschooling requirements. Some require a licensed educator to monitor the home schooling, while others may not. Some require 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 state in which you live.
Here are some of the requirements which should be considered when starting homeschooling.
Some schools require grades to be kept each semester or 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 tracked for college.
Rules and regulations can 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.
Many states require inspections of home schools. This is to ensure everything meets the state’s legal requirements. You will need to have filed “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 required, make sure to keep a portfolio. This should contain all examples of your child’s work through the year. This reassures the inspector you are meeting the requirements in your state.
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.
Some states have strict guidelines on what needs to be taught while others 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 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 have links that outline the homeschool requirements and laws in your area.
Remember each state and area has unique 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.