Before diving into homeschooling, it is very important to know and understand your state’s guidelines for homeschooling to ensure your child receives credit and learns the appropriate subjects/topics for their age group and level. Every state has slightly different laws that you’ll have to comply with. Here are some examples of guidelines in different states:
- Different states have different degrees of regulation. If you live in Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma or Texas, you are not even required to notify the state that you’ll be homeschooling your child. On the flip side, if you live in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, or Vermont, your curriculum may have to be state approved.
- Let’s take one of those high-regulation states for an example. Rhode Island requires that every child between the age of 6 and 16 attend school (within reason) every day that public schools are in session and a record of attendance must be kept. They require a specific set of subjects be taught, including the history of Rhode Island. However, no tests are mandated and there are no teacheing qualifications required for parents.
- Stepping down a level, Virginia is a state with moderate regulation of homeschooling. They require that the parents notify the state each year that they are choosing to homeschool, a fairly simple task. Children between 5 and 17 must attend school regularly and must be able to pass a nationally standardized achievement test or local assessment. So, essentially there are a few more rules but nothing too confining.
- Finally, Alaska is a low-regulation state. They require that children between 7 and 16 have regular schooling. And that’s it! Which means you have total control of what and how your children learn.
If you’re not sure about your state’s guidelines, check out this website for a state-by-state breakdown of homeschooling laws.
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