Although each state has their own mandated home schooling requirements that you need to follow, you also have the freedom to add any other requirements for your own family's school.
When you choose to homeschool, there are definite requirements you need to follow to homeschool legally. The laws state the requirements that need to be followed.
Your state may require you to fulfill 180 days of instruction, teach certain subjects like mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies, as well as U.S. and state government.
However, as a homeschooling parent, you may require your children to learn other things that are important to your family - religion, computers, physical education, music, or learning a foreign language.
Although not required where we homeschool, we have our children learn Spanish; we also want them to study the bible. We think physical education is important, so our children either spend time outside playing and running around, or they participate in different organized sports. When we belonged to a co-op, my children always took P.E. classes.
Photo courtesy ABC's Schoolhouse Rock.
Some different home schooling requirements that states demand home educators to comply with are: teacher certification, number of days of instruction, yearly registration requirements, standardized testing, portfolio or evaluation submission, etc. To find the specific laws for your state, visit your state's Department of Education website.
You may choose to adopt some of the public education requirements for your home school, even though the law doesn't specifically state that you need to.
For example: You may not be required to follow any specific requirements for high school graduation. In this case, you can follow the requirements set forth for public school students, or you can use this as a guide and add or subtract any requirements.
Certain homeschool programs, or umbrella-type schools may have a set of homeschooling requirements for participation, or enrollment. You may need to fill out forms, complete and send your child's records in at certain times during the year, or complete courses in a certain time period.
Online homeschool academies and public virtual school also have their own set of requirements. If you enroll your child in a government online academy, your child's online activity may be monitored - some online schools require your child to be learning on the computer for a certain number of hours per day. Other programs like Abeka Academy requires that your children watch all the videos for each course.
Not all government-mandated laws must be followed. If you are concerned about some of your state's home schooling requirements, some rules are exempt if you have specific religious beliefs. I know Michigan's law specifically says that home educators are exempt from teacher certification requirements if they have religious objections. Take time to read through your home schooling laws to know and understand what is expected of you.
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