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What is Required in My State?

ORGANIZED UNDER: Definition // Goals // Quick Start

When walking through the ASPIRE method and creating goals for the year, it can sometimes be helpful to have a little bit of guidance or starting point. A great way to start is by getting to know your state’s homeschool regulations!

While homeschooling is legal in all US states, the laws and regulations governing homeschoolers vary widely depending upon your state of residence. Some states have almost no regulation at all, while in others homeschooling is highly regulated. Most states have paperwork that you must file. Many require that parents file a notice of intent to homeschool, and some ask for a plan of education, a school calendar, and/or a scope and sequence. Still others require students to complete standardized exams or provide a portfolio of work samples.

By researching the homeschooling laws of your state, you’ll have a foundational grasp on what has to be included in your homeschool year. Then you can begin to build on that foundation!

Points to Ponder

Here are a few things to consider as you evaluate what is required in your state.

Paperwork

In some states, all paperwork and homeschooling procedures are handled through the state, generally through the state department of education. In other states, filing or notice of intent may be handled by the local school district.

Moving?

Due to the enormous variety in homeschooling procedures by state, should you move while homeschooling, be sure to find out what the laws are for your new state. Ideally, research the laws before your move.

Qualifying Activities

Many states require a minimum number of hours of homeschooling each year. If your state is one of them, find out which activities can qualify for these hours. In some states, activities such as music or sports practice are acceptable.

US Military

Members of the US Military are subject to the compulsory attendance laws of the state they currently reside in. If you are transferred, be sure to follow the laws in your new state.

A Few More Thoughts

It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to understand what is required of you the first time you research state regulations or file your paperwork. If you find yourself in need of assistance, veteran homeschoolers are often more than willing to help. You can find them by contacting your state or local homeschooling organization or the library.

But, as you progress forward, you’ll begin to see how these regulations can help serve as a springboard for setting goals for your year.

At age eight, Stephenie McBride developed a life-long interest in teaching others. She taught English as a Second Language and Kindergarten in a public school for six years. Stephenie and her husband, Ben, adopted their two children from Kolkata, India, in 2000 and 2004. She has been an at-home parent and home educator since 2001. They use an eclectic mix of materials and approaches, with a strong emphasis on Charlotte Mason. Stephenie is the Assistant Editor of Publications for Home Educating Family Magazine. She also created and writes for Crestview Heights Academy Homeschool Curriculum. You can read more about Stephenie and her eclectic homeschooling adventures at crestviewheights.wordpress.com.

  • Tina Hollenbeck

    Thanks for doing this. I would highly recommend, though, that you not link to the DPI website as you do for Wisconsin, as it is loaded with misinformation that will confuse and confound new homeschoolers. Instead, it would be much better to send folks to our state homeschool advocacy group – https://homeschooling-wpa.org/getting-started/ and https://homeschooling-wpa.org/how-to-file-form-pi-1206/. This will give homeschoolers the accurate background information (which DPI fails to provide) and also connect them with the advocacy group for future reference.

    September 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm Reply
    • Anne Campbell

      Thanks for providing this information , Tina!

      September 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm Reply

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