Homeschool law varies by state. Some states have statutes that mandate things like annual notification, required subjects, and academic assessments. Other states have few to no requirements. In fact, some states do not have homeschool statutes; in these states, parents typically homeschool under statutes designed to govern private schools. Click on your state to learn more about its requirements, or go inside homeschool policy to learn more.
Alabama law allows parents to educate their children at home through enrollment in a church school or private school, or under the state’s private tutor law. Most parents choose the church school option. Many church schools exist solely for the purpose of enrolling homeschooled students.
Compulsory attendance applies to children “between the ages of six and 17 years.” A parent may postpone enrolling a child in school until he or she is seven by notifying the local school board in writing. See Alabama Code § 16-28-3.
Alaska law offers four homeschool options:
The first two options, the homeschool statute and the correspondence program, are used by the majority of homeschoolers in Alaska. The remaining two options, the private tutor statute and operating as a private school, are not used by many homeschoolers in Alaska today. They were used by many early Alaska homeschoolers, though, and are still on the books.
Arizona has one homeschool option:
California has four homeschool options.
Most homeschoolers have traditionally used the first two options, operating their homeschools as private schools or enrolling in an umbrella school. However, an increasing number of children are being homeschooled through independent study programs.
Colorado law offers three homeschool options:
Connecticut has one homeschool option.
Early on, the Connecticut Board of Education created guidelines for determining whether a homeschooled child is receiving equivalent instruction. While these guidelines include both annual notification and annual portfolio reviews, they are administrative suggestions rather than legal mandates and do not appear to be widely followed or enforced. Learn more.
Delaware’s homeschool statute states that “a ‘homeschool’ is considered a nonpublic school” and offers three options for homeschooling:
Summary: The District Code of Municipal Regulations governs homeschooling. Parents must provide annual notice to the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE). Parents providing instruction must have a high school diploma or its equivalent (or obtain a waiver based on evidence of competency), provide “thorough, regular instruction of sufficient duration,” maintain a portfolio of their children’s work, and make that portfolio available should the OSSE request to review it. While there is a remediation process should the OSSE determine upon review of a student’s portfolio that “thorough, regular instruction” is not being provided, the OSSE is not required to conduct regular reviews of all portfolios. Learn more.
Florida law offers three homeschool options:
Most Florida homeschool parents use one of the first two options.
Iowa’s homeschool statute offers three homeschool options.
Maryland’s homeschool statute offers two options:
South Carolina’s homeschool statute offers three options:
West Virginia’s homeschool statute offers two options:
Homeschool statute: Parents must file annually with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and provide 875 hours of instruction in “a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, math, social studies, science and health.” There are no parent qualification, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements. Learn more.
Learn more about homeschooling requirements in Canadian provinces here.