Every parent wants the best for their kids, but sometimes there are things that make that a little…complex. Be in the know. Here are some states with more stringent homeschool restrictions to take note of.
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Requires a lot of paperwork to get started. Portfolios and records need to be maintained by the parents. Basic curricula must be developed and documented. Homeschool classes need to be held five days a week, with at least four and a half hours of learning per day.
Parents need to submit a letter of intent to home school to be able to submit the annual assessments results to both the superintendent’s office and the Maine Department of Education at the end of each school year by a deadline. Parents should keep a detailed portfolio in case of their child’s transition to or from a school. Homeschooled students can request access to public school activities (includes extracurriculars), facilities and special education services. This is governed by legislation and requires appropriate documentation and is subject to regulations.
Homeschool programs need to be approved by superintendents or school committees with a parent proposal for the chosen curriculum, hours of instruction per subject, and book list. Parental competency is tested and judged with periodic assessments and standardized tests. This is dependent on towns. Working outside of these policies can be difficult in some locations.
Minnesotan homeschool parents must notify their district by submitting the letter of intent to homeschool (or to continue it) before the deadline or within 15 days of withdrawing their child from school. Their child must take standardized tests each year and must be included in the letter of intent. Portfolio documentation must include proof of attendance, all required subjects that were taught, textbooks, and student work samples. Changes in status must be included like parent qualifications, testing plans, etc.
Curriculum materials, textbooks, and home instruction plan must be clearly outlined and submitted to the state, alongside attendance records and reports. Certified teachers or administrators oversee the parent teaching assessments. Homeschool families have a silver lining: home visits are unconstitutional in New York, so families can expect to experience minimal disturbance and not worry about homeschool-relevant home inspections.
Parents must have HS diploma or GED. Consequences including two-year long monitoring by the state, and can take student test scores into account for monitoring. Standardized tests are required to be taken and need to be administered by a certified teacher. Instruction was once restricted to the home, but a new law now allows for instruction outside the home to take place, which opens up zoos, aquariums, and group study to take place.
Pennsylvania has high homeschool regulation. Parents must submit paperwork and maintain a detailed portfolio for annual review. Notification is required as a letter of intent for one of four options: the homeschool statute (the parents teach their kids but need qualifications), private tutor, religious day school or an accredited day or boarding school. Students need immunization records and must take state mandated subjects and assessments.
Getting approved to homeschool here is tough due to wide variations from district to district. Letters of intent to homeschool are common as in other states with restrictions. Some schools require portfolios, record-keeping, and testing. Progress reports and other paperwork must be submitted to the proper administrators as deemed necessary.
Homeschools need to provide instruction on a minimum of 12 subjects, which include the typical subjects students learn in public school. Vermont requires documentation of each subject outlining what the parents plan to teach their kids. The curriculum needs approval by the state, which some parents may find too restrictive. Vermont homeschoolers also need to provide assessment to their kids which involves a certified teacher filling out paperwork, reports, and developing portfolios.
Washington state has moderate regulation. Parents must meet homeschool teacher qualifications. Some of these options require college credit from a post-secondary institution. Parents can also homeschool their kids with a private or denominational school. School is required for ages 8-17. Once that is taken care of, parents must annually submit a letter of intent. Teaching for a the required number of days is necessary, along with the required subjects. Standardized tests approved by the state must be administered to homeschooled kids by a qualified test official (e.g. teacher or administrator).
Letter of intent is required along with teacher qualifications and state-mandated subjects (180 day teaching requirement). There are two options for homeschooling: parents must seek school board approval or by sending notification to the school board or superintendent. Anyone approved for home instruction needs to be qualified. Annual assessments must be administered to the students, with copies and test scores kept in records for three years. Assessment results from Grade 3, 5, 8, and 11 need to be submitted to the county superintendent by the deadline for those years (and its records kept alongside regular annual tests).