Now that you have decided to homeschool your child, the next step is to know of any state rules and regulations to which you and your child must abide. Actually, the rules and regulations vary across different states, which means knowing and understanding them is your first area of concern.
Rules and regulations include options available to parents seeking to enroll their child in a homeschooling program. Other requirements include notification, parent qualification, study schedule, instructions and subjects, record keeping, as well as assessment and evaluation. Some laws address homeschooling for children with special needs, or those considered as “at risk.” In some states, participating in public school athletics is also regulated or not allowed at all.
Notice of Homeschooling as May be Required by a State
The states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Texas, do not require notification or any form of communication with state education officials throughout the homeschooling period.
State authorities in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon and Utah require parents to file a one-time notification at the start of a homeschooling program. All other states not included among those stated above, require annual filing of a Homeschool Notification from the onset, until completion of a child’s home-based education.
Homeschooling Options per State
Options for homeschooling pertain to the type of organization that will oversee implementation of state requirements with regard to record keeping, assessment and evaluation, study schedule and curriculum pertaining to a child’s homeschool program.
New Jersey, Massachusetts, Idaho, Oklahoma and Connecticut do not have specific laws pertaining to homeschooling. Any home-based program offered within those states have no particular rules on alternative forms of education.
South Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee, have homeschool laws that make multiple options available; such as programs offered by a school district, or through an umbrella of private schools or associations. The states of Florida, Colorado, Alaska, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Washington also have statutes for homeschool options but are flexible. Parents are permitted to enroll their child in any legal home education program even outside the criteria of state statutes.
In Alabama, and in Tennessee,homeschooling are coursed through church schools only, while in Washington a home-based program must be an extension of a private school offering
States that Require Parents to Have Educational or Mentoring Qualifications
The states of California, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Washington, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, allow a child to be homeschooled only if parents possess educational qualifications. Washington, which allows homeschool as extension of a private school, requires parents to at least have college credits or have completed a home-based study course.