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Laws for Homeschoolers

Aug 4, 2008
Millions of children in the United States are homeschooled. It is projected by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that by 2015 this number will reach over 12 million. The United States Constitution does not have specific laws concerning education; each state has its own laws concerning homeschooling and governs its education. So, you will only have to learn the laws for your individual state if you've considered homeschooling your children.

Homeschooling laws vary from state to state. Each state has a mandate to provide an education for its students; many states delegate that authority to the state's Board of Education. The state Board of Education wants to ensure that every child receives an adequate education. Because of this mandate, one Federal law was passed, Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974. This law requires that no state can deny any child an education based on their race, color, sex, or national origin. In other words, every child within every state is guaranteed an education.

It is ultimately up to the parent to choose where their child will attend school - whether it be a public school, private school, or homeschool, since states cannot deny a child an education. Public schools are regulated by the state, as well as some private schools. However, there are often few regulations for homeschools, since a large percentage of homeschool families do so for religious reasons.

The requirement for children to attend school in some fashion during set compulsory ages is one state law that appears to be universal. However, these ages, may be different in each state. It just depends on the state's laws; some states require children to be in school from 5 to 17, others 7 to 16. You can search the internet, or contact HSLDA to determine what your state's compulsory ages are.

Home School Legal Defense Association, National Home Education Network, and other websites on the Internet, list the homeschool laws for each state. If you choose to homeschool, it would be advantageous to learn your state's laws. After you have begun to homeschool, if you move to another state, especially if you are a military family, you can go back to these sites to find the laws for the new state.

Military families often move several times throughout the length of a soldier's career. Many are choosing to homeschool because it is one way to guarantee continuity in their children's education. Rather than transferring a child from one school to another, often internationally, a military family that homeschools can continue their child's education without fear of negative impact.

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