123079612Deciding to homeschool your child is a major decision, a decision that you want to make with confidence and as much information as you can find. The requirements for homeschooling vary greatly depending on which state you live in. If you are considering homeschooling, you will need to become familiar with your specific state’s requirements. We’ve compiled a broad overview of state requirements for you.

Teaching Certification

Most states do not require that the parent or guardian possess a teaching certification—Arkansas is the only exception in this case. However, most states do require that the parent possess a certain level of education. Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico and Pennsylvania require a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. Other states require that the parent or guardian be declared competent to provide a level of education that is comparable to that provided by the local public school.

Notice of Intent

In many states, parents are required to notify the state of their intent to homeschool their children. This includes Hawaii, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Some of these states only require initial notification while others require annual notification.

Reporting and Evaluation

Many states require that parents report their child’s progress annually, although how that progress is reported varies by state. Some states also require that an annual evaluation of the student’s progress be performed by a certified teacher. Reporting and evaluation are required in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Standardized Testing

Many homeschool students are required to undergo regular standardized testing. The states that require testing are as follows: Colorado, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Some of these states require that the students achieve a specific percentile of performance.

Subject Requirements

Many states require that specific subjects be taught, often designating specific subjects to specific grades. Subject requirements are enforced in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Attendance

Attendance record requirements vary by state, with some states requiring annual submission of a record and others providing homeschool students with exemption from compulsory attendance. Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island require regular attendance records, while Alaska, Idaho and Massachusetts provide homeschool students with exemption.

While some states do not have any specific homeschool statutes, other states have very specific laws. There are many states that provide a variety of options for how a homeschool environment can be established in relation to public and private schools and even religious organizations. Before you decide which schooling option is right for your child, make sure you become an expert in your state’s laws as they will essentially determine the operation of your child’s education.

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