Staying Legal – Know your Homeschool Laws

It is not unusual for parents, if they can arrange it, to want to homeschool their children. If the family includes children on the autism spectrum, looking into homeschooling could be an option. However, it is important to remain within the legal requirements of where you live.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states of the United States and in many countries in the world. Each state, however, has its own laws regarding homeschooling and what requirements a parent must comply with. If you want to begin homeschooling you want to ensure you’re staying legal. Know your homeschool laws and homeschooling will go much smoother for you.

As stated above, homeschooling is legal in each state. There are some states which are considered homeschool “friendly” by placing fewer requirements on the parents and students. Other states require approval of curriculum, required achievement tests, and more.

What most people don’t remember is that for many years in this country children were home educated. Communities were spread far and wide which made centralized schools impossible. To ensure their children learned the basic skills – reading, writing, and arithmetic – mothers would teach their children. This trend continued until one-room schoolhouses became more popular. Even then many children were taught at home during planting and harvest time because they had to be at home helping with the family farm.

In recent years, beginning in the 1970s, homeschooling has had a revival. Millions of children are taught in their own homes by one or both parents. Many do so for religious reasons, but that is not the sole reason parents choose to homeschool.

If you are considering homeschooling but are unsure of your state’s laws regarding it, you can check online to find the information. One organization which works year-round to ensure parents maintain the right to homeschool is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This is a group of homeschooling advocate lawyers, many of whom are also homeschooling their own children.

Their website, HSLDA.org, lists the homeschooling laws for every state. You can also find out more about your state’s homeschool laws by typing in “homeschool laws (your state).” This will normally provide you with numerous websites which will spell out the laws and requirements your state specifies. Another website you might want to check for homeschool laws for your state is A to Z Home’s Cool (homeschooling.gomilpitas.com).

Some states require homeschooling families to provide a form to the superintendent of their intent to homeschool. They may also require you to provide a list of curriculums you will use, keep attendance records, or maintain a portfolio with your child’s work in it. Any of the websites which explain the homeschool laws will also be able to tell you how those requirements are “played out” in your homeschool.

Finding other homeschooling families in your community or state is also helpful to ensure you stay legal while homeschooling. Besides helping you stay legal, other homeschooling families can help encourage you as you begin homeschooling and provide friends for you and your children.

Many families homeschool across the country and each year more are added. It’s important to learn what the legal requirements are for where you live before you take your child out of public school. By knowing your state’s homeschool laws, you can ensure you stay legal as you educate your child at home.

Be sure to check out online resources and group via Facebook.