Homeschool Rights believes that every parent has the right to direct the education of their children. In the United States homeschooling is lawful in all 50 states, however each state sets it’s own laws in regards to homeschooling which can cause confusion and frustration for parents that are considering homeschooling their children. It’s our goal to help alleviate this confusion and frustration as much as possible by providing the following information.
In general the home schooling laws in the states can be divided into three categories:
- In some states, homeschooling requirements are based on its treatment as a type of private school (California, Indiana, Texas, for example) In those states, homeschools are generally required to comply with the same laws that apply to other (usually non-accredited) schools.
- In other states, homeschool requirements are based on the unique wording of the state’s compulsory attendance statute without any specific reference to “homeschooling” (New Jersey, Maryland, for example). In those states, the requirements for homeschooling are set by the particular parameters of the compulsory attendance statute.
- In other states (Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, for example) homeschool requirements are based on a statute or group of statutes that specifically applies to homeschooling, although statutes often refer to homeschooling using other nomenclature (in Virginia, for example, the statutory nomenclature is “home instruction”; in South Dakota, it is “alternative instruction”; in Iowa, it is “competent private instruction”). In these states, the requirements for homeschooling are set out in the relevant statutes.
While every state has some requirements, there is great diversity in the type, number, and level of burden imposed. No two states treat homeschooling in exactly the same way. Generally, the burden is less in states in category 1, above. Furthermore, many states offer more than one option for homeschooling, with different requirements applying to each option.
More specific information on the homeschooling laws in each state can be found at the Home School Legal Defense Association “My State” page found HERE. On this page you’ll find:
- A summary of the legal options for homeschooling in every state
- Federal and state legislation relating to homeschooling
- Home school organizations in your neighborhood or across the world
- The latest headlines on legal contacts and other issues that affect homeschoolers
- And much more