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Homeschooling and State Approvals

Aug 17, 2007
Since the last few years, homeschooling has become the preferred way to educate children. It gives parents the ability to offer tailored and individualized education to their children, in the comfortable atmosphere of their homes.

The child is under no pressure and the parent is free to set the study schedule according to personal preference. However, every state has certain guidelines for homeschooling and it is essential for you to know of these legal requirements, before you start homeschooling your child. Homeschooling is legal in all the fifty states of the US, but the requirements of each state may be different. Hence, it is necessary for you to know the legal requirements of your state.

For example, in the state of California, there are three different options for home schooling. In the first option, a homeschooling student can be a part of any independent public home schooling program. The other option is that the student could undergo home schooling under the guidance of a certified home schooling tutor. The last option is to get the child admitted into a private school. In case there is a large home schooling community in your locality, it is possible for the community to form a private school for homeschoolers.

Most states in the U S require parents to notify the state about their intentions to homeschool their child. But there are some states like Alaska, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas that let you go ahead with home schooling, without prior intimation to the state.

When you start homeschooling your child, some states may require you to submit a periodical performance report, evaluation scores and test scores. Some states require the tests or evaluations for homeschoolers to be conducted by qualified teachers only. The state may require that these tests be taken once every year. However, generally these tests are not compulsory, but recommended and are aimed at maintaining the quality and standard of education provided via home schooling.

Some states may require attendance records, since they prescribe a minimum number of days for attending the home school. Some states require parents to file a letter of intent with their local community school, if they want to homeschool their child. Some states require parents to undergo a series of lessons organized by the school, before they can start with the home schooling.

Another reason for you to find out the legal requirements involved in home schooling in your state is to make sure that the education you provide your child with is recognized by the state. If there is no state approval, the home schooling of your child may be officially disregarded and he may face serious set backs while planning on a university or a college, later on.

Many states provide the forms and guidebooks, designed to aid in home schooling your child. In order to qualify for a university, a homeschooler is probably required to perform differently than a regular student. A visit to the local education authority will help you to find out more and also give to you detailed information about the state and local government scholarships for which your child may or may not be entitled.

As the home schooling requirements for each state are different, it would be best to get in touch with your local school authorities, before proceeding. You can also become a part of a home school support group in your locality.
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