The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

By: National School Choice Week Team

Last Upated: August 10, 2020

Homeschooling is on the rise.

Because of COVID-19, nearly all families found themselves educating from home this year. For some families, learning from home isn’t the long-term plan. But, others have discovered that homeschooling is a great match for their needs. In fact, according to one national poll, 30% of parents say they are very likely to choose schooling at home for the 2020-2021 school year.  

So, what is homeschooling?  It’s the process of parents educating children in the home. Many families choose to collaborate via tutorials, co-operatives, and extracurricular leagues to enhance the home education experience.

 

While COVID-19 has sparked increased interest in homeschooling, educating at home has been happening for centuries. You may hear a lot of terms like online school, remote learning, and homeschooling thrown around interchangeably right now, but they’re actually quite different school choices! Read our explainer on the differences here.

Importantly, all types of families homeschool for all sorts of reasons. Some may feel unsafe in a traditional learning environment, some may simply desire to learn together as a family, and others may be looking for a unique, personalized curriculum. 

Homeschooled students have become actors, artists, inventors, civic leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, and more

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but rules and regulations surrounding homeschooling differ by state. If you’re wondering whether homeschooling would be a good fit for you, you may have questions about how to switch to homeschooling and what resources are available. We created this guide to answer those questions. 

If you're wondering whether homeschooling would be a good fit for you, you may have questions about how to switch to homeschooling and what resources are available. @SchoolChoiceWk created this guide to answer those questions. Click To Tweet

 

Like what you see? Enter your email for more free education resources!

Homeschool: Starting Out

If you’re just getting started, here are the steps you can take to switch to homeschooling: 

1. Review state guidelines

First, review your state’s guidelines for homeschooling. While families can homeschool in all 50 states, each state has different legal options under which you can homeschool. In Texas, for instance, there is just one legal option: All homeschooling families are considered private schools. Meanwhile, in Virginia, there are four different legal options parents can choose from: homeschooling can take place under the home instruction option, with a religious exemption, with a certified tutor, or through a private school option.

You can look to your state’s Department of Education website, or find your state on the Home School Legal Defense Association’s map to read about your legal options for homeschooling. 

 

2. Withdraw and inform

Second, if you are already enrolled in a public or private school, it is recommended that you send a withdrawal letter to your school district. You can find sample withdrawal letters here and here. It is a good idea to keep a copy of the withdrawal letter you send, in case any questions arise. Also, you may want to ask for transcripts from your child’s school when you withdraw. 

Many states also require that you submit a notice of your intent to homeschool to the state and/or your school district. You can find detailed information on who should receive your notice of intent here

 

3. Choose how you’ll learn

Next, develop your plans for what learning will look like in your home. What time will you start in the morning? How often will you learn through outings during the week? There are many curriculums you can choose from if you’d rather not start from scratch. Make sure you’re familiar with what subjects are required learning in your state

One of the joys of homeschooling is getting to know more about your child’s uniqueness and how they learn. There is freedom in this. You may find your child responding better to an approach or curriculum or teaching method that is different from their usual school setting and that’s okay. – Kemi Ingram, homeschool parent

 

4. Keep track

As you start to homeschool, do your best to keep track. Use a planner or syllabus to record what you work on each week with your child. Don’t forget to follow your state guidelines for testing and assessments!

 

Homeschool Resources by State

In addition, remember that homeschooling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. With Facebook, co-ops, and online resources, you never have to feel alone in your homeschooling journey. Scroll to your state in the list below to find homeschool resources near you.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Washington, D.C.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alabama:

In Alabama, the state requires a notice of your intent to homeschool within 5 days of your start date.  It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.  

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, the school you are enrolling in may require records and placement testing.

You may also be interested in checking out Homeschool Alabama, Home School Legal Defense Association – Alabama, the Alabama Department of Education’s Nonpublic Schools section, and Home Education and Responsible Teaching (HEART) Homeschool Support Group.

 

Alaska:

In Alaska, the state only requires notice of your intent to homeschool if you are homeschooling as a religious private school. If so, you will need to provide notice by the first day of school. Of course, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, a portfolio of work or assessments will be used for placement.

Alaska has a funding assistance program called the Alaska Homeschool Allotment to help make homeschooling more affordable for families.

You may also be interested in checking out Home School Legal Defense Association – Alaska and the Alaska Private and Home Educators Association.

 

Arizona:

In Arizona, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool your child within 30 days. It is also recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your students is not marked truant.

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, you must file a letter of termination with the state.

Arizona has a funding assistance program called the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to help make homeschooling more affordable for families.

You may also be interested in checking out Arizona Families for Home Education and Home School Legal Defense Association – Arizona.

 

Arkansas:

In Arkansas, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool your child by August 15 of each school year. If you are making the decision to homeschool mid-year, you must provide notice 14 days prior to withdrawing. In the case that you move, you must file your notice to homeschool within 30 days of establishing residency at your new location. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, the school will require a transcript with courses taken and grades, as well as a portfolio, for placement into classes. The school may deem it necessary to administer assessments for placement.

You may also want to check out The Education Alliance, the Arkansas Department of Education’s homeschool page, and Cabot Area Home Education (CAHE).

 

California:

In California, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool if you are homeschooling as a home-based private school between October 1 -October 15 of each year. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, your school may require records and placement testing. Some public schools may not accept the credits you have received while homeschooling.

California may have funding assistance available if you homeschool through a charter homeschool program.

For more, you can check out the California Homeschool Network, the CA Department of Education: Schooling at Home, Home School Legal Defense Association – California, the Christian Home Educators Association of California, and the Sacramento Christian Organization of Parent Educators (SCOPE).

 

Colorado:

In Colorado, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool, if you are homeschooling under Colorado’s homeschool statue, 14 days prior to homeschooling annually. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you want to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, assessments will be administered and used for placement into the appropriate grade for your student.

You can also check out the  Home School Legal Defense Association – Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education’s  Homeschooling page, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC), the Colorado Heritage Education School System (CHESS), and the Western Colorado Homeschool Connections (SPICE).

 

Connecticut:

In Connecticut, families should file a notice of intent to homeschool within 10 days of beginning homeschooling. Notice is required annually. It is also recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, requirements will vary depending on your school. The schools may require a portfolio of work or assessments.

To learn more, check out the CT Homeschool Network, Home School Legal Defense Association – Connecticut, The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers, and the CT Department of Education – Homeschooling.

 

Delaware:

In Delaware, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool before establishing yourself as a homeschool and annually before October 5th. You should also notify your public school of your intent to withdraw.

In the case that you decide to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, you should be aware that the classes your students have been working in may not be accepted by the school. It is up to the school to decide what grade to place your child in.

You can also check out the Delaware Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Delaware, and Tri-State Homeschool, Inc. (DE, MD, PA, and NJ areas).

 

Florida:

In Florida, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool, if you are homeschooling under Florida’s homeschool statue, within 30 days of beginning. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, you must file a notice of termination of your homeschool with the state.

Florida has some funding assistance options available to parents who are homeschooling their children. The Step Up Scholarship offers five scholarships, four of which are available to any student in Florida. If your student has special needs, Step Up for Students offers the Gardiner Scholarship to help you with your students’ education. The state of Florida also offers the McKay Scholarship also is offered to students with special needs to help them attend the school that best fits their needs.

You can also check out the Florida Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, the Florida Parent Educators Association, Home School Legal Defense Association – Florida, the Alliance for the Pursuit of Knowledge, Inc. (Homeschool Learning Co-op: Brandon & Gardenville), and the West Florida Home Education Support League.

 

Georgia:

In Georgia, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool by September 1st of the school year or within 30 days of the start of homeschooling. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, you will need to create a withdrawal from homeschool and have your enrolling school validate your homeschool work.

You may also want to check out the Georgia Home Education Association, the Georgia Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Georgia, and Eagle’s Nest Christian Home Educators Association (ENCHEA).

 

Hawaii:

In Hawaii, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool prior to beginning to homeschool. It is required that you withdraw from your current school through the notice of intent to homeschool that is given to your principal.

In the case that you decide to switch back to public school in the middle of the school year, you must submit notification to the principal of your zoned public school.

Hawaii may have funding assistance available to you if you decide to homeschool through a charter homeschool program.

You can also check out the Hawaii Homeschool Association, Home School Legal Defense Association – Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, and Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii.

 

Idaho:

In Idaho, the state does not require you to submit notice of your intent to homeschool. However, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so that your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, districts will assess your student for placement into the appropriate class. In Idaho, districts are not required to accept the homeschool work that you completed.

Idaho may have funding assistance available if you go through a charter homeschool program.

You can also check out Homeschool Idaho, the Idaho Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Idaho, and the North Idaho Home Educator’s Association.

 

Illinois: 

In Illinois, the state does not require you to register your homeschool program or file a notice of your intent to homeschool. However, if you are withdrawing your child from another school, it is recommended that you inform the school of your decision so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, schools will assess placement based on test scores, samples of work, and/or curriculum. The school may require additional testing before making this decision.

Illinois offers a tax credit up to $500 for families that decide to homeschool.

You can learn more at Homeschool Legal Defense Association – Illinois, the Illinois Home School Information, the Illinois Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, and the Illinois Christian Home Educators.

 

Indiana:

In Indiana, the state does not require notice of your intent to homeschool. However, it is recommended that you formally withdraw your child from their current school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, schools may make placement decisions based on what grade the parent feels is appropriate. Other schools will require proof of achievement and/or have the students complete assessments to determine the appropriate placement.

Indiana offers a tax dedication of up to $1,000 per child for homeschooling. Find out more at the Indiana Department of Education, the Home School Legal Defense Association – Indiana, the Indiana Home Educators’ Network, and the Indiana Association of Home Educators.

 

Iowa:

In Iowa, notice of your intent to homeschool is required by September 1 or within 14 days of starting unless you are homeschooling via private instruction (IPI or PI). It is recommended that you formally withdraw your student from their current school so they are not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your local district can choose if they will accept the work that was completed or not.

Iowa offers a funding assistance program called HSAP (Homeschool Assistance Program). Your local public school district may offer to resident or open-enrolled homeschooled students; however, your district is not required to provide this funding to you.

You can learn more at the Iowa Department of Education, Homeschool Iowa, and the Home School Legal Defense Association – Iowa.

 

Kansas:

In Kansas, notice of your intent to homeschool is required. You must register as a private school before starting to homeschool. It is also recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, the school will test students to deem the appropriate placement and decide what, if any, credits will be accepted.

You can learn more at the Home School Legal Defense Association – Kansas, the Christian Home Educators Confederation of Kansas (CHECK), and the Midwest Parent Educators.

 

Kentucky:

In Kentucky, notice of your intent to homeschool is required annually within two weeks of the school year beginning or ten days prior to starting if you are starting mid-year. Also, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

Homeschool parents are required to report basic information such as names and ages of students, but local school districts are never allowed to demand information that is not legally required

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, check with your school to see what their protocols are for assessment and placement as they vary by school.

You may also want to check out the Home School Legal Defense Association – Kentucky and the Christian Home Educators of Kentucky 

 

Louisiana:

In Louisiana, notice of your intent to homeschool is required within 15 days of starting and annually by October 1. If you initially begin to homeschool in the middle of the year, it is required that you file notice 12 months after your initial approval. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, check with your school to see what their protocols are. Each school has unique guidelines for placement.

Louisiana offers funding assistance for homeschool such as the Louisiana Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) and the Louisiana homeschool tax deduction.

You can learn more at the Louisiana Department of Education, Home School Legal Defense Association – Louisiana, and Homeschool Louisiana.

 

Maine:

In Maine, notice of your intent to homeschool is required within 10 days of starting and annually by September 1. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, grade level placement is a decision that the local school makes; however, you can appeal this decision.

Find out more at Home School Legal Defense Association – Maine, the Maine Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Homeschoolers of Maine, and Seacrest Christian Home Educators Association.

 

Maryland:

In Maryland, notice of your intent to homeschool is required immediately upon making this decision or your student will be considered truant. It is also required that you formally withdraw from your public school. In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, placement decisions will vary by county. Contact your local school to find out their procedures.

Note that Maryland homeschool families are never required to enroll their children in public school. If you receive information to the contrary, you may want to ask for legal assistance.

You can learn more at Home School Legal Defense Association – Maryland, the Maryland State Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, the Maryland Homeschool Association, the Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators, and Severn Run Classical Christian Homeschool Academy.

 

Massachusetts:

In Massachusetts, notice of your intent to homeschool is required in most districts; however, it does vary depending on your zoned district so check into their guidance. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your school requires notification within 30 days of your intent to switch. Public high schools will not accept homeschool credits.

Find out more at the Home School Legal Defense Association – Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Home Learning Association, and the Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators (MassHOPE).

 

Michigan:

You are not required to notify government or education authorities if you are homeschooling under Michigan’s homeschooling statute. However, submitting a notice of your intent to homeschool at the beginning of each school year is required if you are homeschooling as a nonpublic school. It is also recommended that you formally withdrawing from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their placement guidelines are as each school has their own unique guidelines.

Learn more at Metro Parent: How to Homeschool in Michigan, Home School Legal Defense Association – Michigan, and the Michigan Christian Homeschool Network.

 

Minnesota:

In Minnesota, notice of your intent to homeschool is required by October 1 or within 15 days of withdrawing. It is required that you formally withdraw from your public school.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, the school will place your student based on evaluation of their records.

Minnesota offers some funding assistance through a tax deduction program.

You may also be interested in checking out the Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance, Home School Legal Defense Association – Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, and Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators.

 

Mississippi:

In Mississippi, notice of your intent to homeschool is required by September 15 or immediately upon your decision to homeschool if starting mid-year. It is recommended that you formally withdraw your student so they are not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their placement guidelines are as they each have their own process.

You can learn more at Home School Legal Defense Association – Mississippi, the Mississippi Homeschool Support Group, and the Mississippi Home Educators Association.

 

Missouri:

In Missouri, the state does not require notice of your intent to homeschool; however, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their placement guidelines are as they each have their own process.

You can also check out Home School Legal Defense Association – Missouri, the Missouri Families for Home Education, and the Missouri Association of Teaching Christian Homes, Inc. (MATCH).

 

Montana:

In Montana, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool annually by the start of the year. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their placement guidelines are as they each have their own process.

You may also want to check out Home School Legal Defense Association – Montana and the Montana Coalition of Home Education.

 

Nebraska:

In Nebraska, the state requires notice of your intent to homeschool by July 15 or promptly upon choosing to homeschool. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, you must notify the Nebraska Department of Education in writing.

You can learn more at Home School Legal Defense Association – Nebraska, Nebraska Homeschool, and the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association.

 

Nevada:

In Nevada, the state requires notice of intent to homeschool before you start and no later than 10 days after withdrawing. It is required that you formally withdraw from your public school.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your student’s placement is subject to placement tests and may require a review of student work.

You may also want to check out the Nevada Department of Education – Homeschooling, Home School Legal Defense Association – Nevada, Nevada Homeschool Network, and RISE Education Resource Center.

 

New Hampshire:

In New Hampshire, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool within 5 days of starting and/or if you move to a new school district. It is recommended that you formally withdraw so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your student’s placement will be determined based on the documentation you provide.

You can learn more at Home School Legal Defense Association – New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, and Seacrest Christian Home Educators Association.

 

New Jersey:

In New Jersey, it is not required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool; however, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your student’s placement will be based on standardized testing assessment.

You can also check out the New Jersey Department of Education and Home School Legal Defense Association – New Jersey.

 

New Mexico:

In New Mexico, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool within 30 days of starting and annually by August 1. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, you must notify the Secretary of Education. Your student’s placement will be determined by age or their score on state achievement tests – credits may not be accepted.

You can learn more at the New Mexico Public Education Department, Home School Legal Defense Association – New Mexico, and the Christian Association of Parent Educators – New Mexico (CAPE NM).

 

New York:

In New York, notice of your intent to homeschool is required within 14 days of starting and annually by July 1. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, the school will determine your student’s placement based on records, potential assessments, and the principal’s decision.

You can also check out Home School Legal Defense Association – New York and Loving Education at Home (LEAH).

 

North Carolina:

In North Carolina, notice of your intent to homeschool is required prior to starting. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, you must notify the DNPE and contact your local principal for the enrollment process.

North Carolina offers funding assistance through Personal Education Savings Accounts. There are also Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities.

For more info, check out the North Carolina Department of Education’s Homeschool page, Home School Legal Defense Association – North Carolina, North Carolinians for Home Education, Alamance County Christian Home Educators, Central Carolina Home Educators, Inc., High Point Home Educators.

 

North Dakota:

In North Dakota, notice of your intent to homeschool is required at least 14 days prior to starting or within 14 days of moving and annually. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, you must submit record-keeping documentation to the superintendent of your school.

You can also check out the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction – Homeschooling, Home School Legal Defense Association – North Dakota, and the North Dakota Home School Association.

 

Ohio:

In Ohio, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool no later than the first week of school or within one week of withdrawal. You must also provide notice annually and if you move. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to determine their process.

Ohio offers funding assistance if a student has an IEP. These students may qualify for the Peterson Scholarship.

You can also check out the Ohio Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Ohio Homeschooling Parents, Home School Legal Defense Association – Ohio, and the Christian Home Educators of Ohio.

 

Oklahoma:

In Oklahoma, it is not required to send notice of your intent to homeschool to the state or your local school. However, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so your student is not marked truant. 

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your student will be required to complete a standardized test for placement.

Oklahoma offers limited funding assistance for homeschool families if you are enrolled via a charter.

You can also check out the Oklahoma Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Oklahoma, Homeschool Oklahoma, and the Christian Home Educators Fellowship.

 

Oregon:

In Oregon, notice of your intent to homeschool is required within 10 days of starting. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to determine the process.

Oregon offers limited funding assistance for homeschooling if you are enrolled via a charter.

You may also want to check out the Oregon Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, the Oregon Home Education Network, Home School Legal Defense Association – Oregon, and the Oregon Christian Home Education Association Network.

 

Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notarized affidavit at the time of choosing homeschool and annually by August 1. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to determine the process.

You can also check out the Home School Legal Defense Association – Pennsylvania and the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania.

 

Rhode Island:

In Rhode Island, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool prior to starting. Formally withdrawing from public school is required in some districts and recommended in all.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, notify your district committee. Your student’s grade assignment is up to the discretion of each individual school.

For more, check out the Rhode Island Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Home Education Community, and the Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers.

 

South Carolina:

In South Carolina, if you are homeschooling under a homeschool statue, an application must be submitted to the board of trustees prior to starting. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, assessment of grade placement will vary by school district so contact your local school to find out their process.

You can learn more at the South Carolina Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – South Carolina, the South Carolina Home Educators Association, the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools, and the  Grow & Learn on Weekdays (GLOW).

 

South Dakota:

In South Dakota, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool through an official notarized Public School Exemption Certificate prior to the start of homeschooling and annually thereafter. It is required that you formally withdraw from your public school.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, South Dakota uses a credit-by-exam program for placement.

For more, check out Home School Legal Defense Association – South Dakota and the South Dakota Christian Home Educators.

 

Tennessee:

In Tennessee, if you are an independent homeschool, it is required that you provide notice of intent to homeschool before the school year or upon choosing homeschool and annually thereafter. Formally withdrawing from public school is required in some districts and recommended for all districts.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your school principal will assess to determine grade level placement.

Tennessee offers funding assistance for students with special needs through the Special Needs Individualized Education Account Program.

You can learn more at the Tennessee Department of Education’s Homeschooling page, Home School Legal Defense Association – Tennessee, and the Tennessee Home Education Association.

 

Texas:

In Texas, it is not required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool; however, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their process is. They may require testing.

You may also want to check out the Texas Education Agency’s Homeschooling page, the Texas Homeschool Coalition, the Home School Legal Defense Association – Texas, and the  Arlington Association of Home Educators.

 

Utah:

In Utah, it is required that you provide a notarized Utah homeschool affidavit prior to starting homeschool. It is also recommended that you formally withdraw your student from their public school so they are not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school to find out what their process is. They may require testing.

You can learn more at the Utah State Board of Education’s Homeschooling page, the Utah Home Education Association, Home School Legal Defense Association – Utah, and Utah Christian Home School Association.

 

Vermont:

In Vermont, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool by submitting the Home Study Enrollment Form between March 1 and August 1 annually. It is recommended that you formally withdraw your student from their public school so they are not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, notify the Secretary of Education within 7 days and take an End of Year Assessment to finalize your student’s record.

You can also check out the Vermont Home Education Network and Home School Legal Defense Association – Vermont.

 

Virginia:

In Virginia, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool by August 15 or immediately upon choosing homeschool. A unanimous Virginia Supreme Court decision in June 2020 emphasized that this step is a simple notification rather than a request to the school board. This court decision also ruled that school boards cannot establish their own demands for homeschooling families. 

It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant. In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your school will review your homeschool records for placement. Testing may be required to determine your student’s placement.

You may also wish to check out the Home Educator’s Association of Virginia and Home School Legal Defense Association – Virginia.

 

Washington:

In Washington, notice of your intent to homeschool is required by September 15 or within two weeks of any quarter, trimester, or semester. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, your homeschool records will be reviewed for placement. Testing may be required to determine your student’s placement.

Washington offers limited funding assistance if you are homeschooling through a Parent Partnership Program.

You can learn more at Washington Home School Organization, the Christian Family Home Educators (CFHE), Homeschool Legal Defense Association – Washington, and the Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington.

 

West Virginia:

In West Virginia, notice of your intent to homeschool if required either by seeking school board approval or by submitting a notice of intent prior to starting homeschooling. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

While misinformation about homeschooling has recently spread in a couple of West Virginia counties, the truth is that homeschool students in West Virginia receive credit, diplomas, and transcripts recognized by state law. 

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, the process varies by school district. Contact your local school to find out their process, testing may be required.

You may also want to check out WV Home Educators Association, Home School Legal Defense Association – West Virginia, and Christian Home Educators of West Virginia.

 

Wisconsin:

In Wisconsin, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool by October 15, annually. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, you must notify the school via form PI-1206 or by contacting the School Management Services Team at WPI. Placement is determined by each district individually.

You can learn more at the Wisconsin Parents Association, Home School Legal Defense Association – Wisconsin, and Green Bay Area Christian Homeschoolers.

 

Wyoming:

In Wyoming, it is required that you provide notice of your intent to homeschool annually with curriculum prior to the school year beginning or prior to starting to homeschool. It is recommended that you formally withdraw from your public school so your student is not marked truant.

In the case that you decide to return to public school in the middle of the school year, contact your local school district to find out what their enrollment procedures are.

You can also check out Home School Legal Defense Association – Wyoming and Homeschoolers of Wyoming.

 

Washington, D.C.

All parents in D.C. have the freedom to homeschool their children, provided they meet certain requirements. Parents must provide an annual notification to the district of their intent to homeschool. D.C. requires homeschooling parents to teach specific subjects and also requires that they have a high school diploma or its equivalent to homeschool. 

Check here to learn more about homeschool laws and how to homeschool in D.C. You may also be interested in checking out the DC Homeschooling Program and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Home Educators.

 

Shareable Facts about Homeschooling

Homeschooling Infographic Red&Yellow
Sources: The School Choice Roadmap, by Andrew Campanella; “Research Facts on Homeschooling,” by the National Home Education Research Institute; “Reasons Parents Homeschool,” by the Coalition for Responsible Home Education

Click here to download and share the graphic.

 

Homeschool Hacks & Tips

As you seek out your own homeschool community, here are some tips and hacks from experienced homeschoolers to get you started: 

Homeschool Stories

Check out these homeschool stories from our archives: 

homeschooling-sisters-smile-in-front-of-white-house

 

One family used homeschooling’s flexibility to roadtrip around the country and learn everywhere.

 

 

Cox-sisters-form-hearts-with-their-hands

 

This mom found that homeschooling was the best fit for one of her three children.

 

 

homeschool-student-sits-behind-huge-stack-of-books

 

They never expected to homeschool. Find out what they discovered after a medical emergency forced them to try.

 

 

The information in this guide is designed to help families who are considering homeschooling in their decision-making process. Our mission is to provide families with the information they need about all the school options available – traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and at home – so they can choose the right fit for their child. For more guides about choosing other types of schools, click here.

Sign-Up for email Updates

"Shining a spotlight on effective educational options for every child"