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Homeschooling Requirements by State

By: Katelyn Fahrenbruck Weston

So you’re considering homeschool for yourself or a student in your life! Nontraditional schooling, like homeschool or online school, may be the best option for learners of many types. However, it can also feel daunting to start a high school journey outside the school system. You may have many questions, concerns, or considerations.

What is homeschooling? There are many definitions of homeschool, but the simplest way to describe it is: School that happens outside of a classroom and without the use of an additional program. It means that parents, other family members, and the student themselves are responsible for their academic success. It differs from online school in that online school programs are already approved or accredited by a governing body. Both can happen at home, on the road, or anywhere you choose!

Homeschooling can feel intimidating, since regulations and requirements for high school students vary by state! Some states, like New York and Vermont, have strict guidelines for homeschool students. Others, like Connecticut and Idaho, have very little regulation.

We’ve put together a list of regulations by state so as a resource for you. However, this list cannot be exhaustive! Please see your state’s Department of Education for the complete list of requirements before you start homeschooling.

Homeschooling Requirements by State

New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are the states with the highest level of regulation for homeschooling. These states all require you to give notice to the state that you intend to homeschool your child or student. They also have required subjects you must teach and require homeschool students to take standardized assessments to ensure they are on pace with other students in the school system.

  • Rhode Island: additionally requires you to take attendance for your homeschooled students and it must be available for the district to review at the end of each year.
  • Pennsylvania: has a number of homeschool options, but the most traditional option requires a detailed list of subjects to be taught and that you have your student evaluated by a state approved evaluator.
  • New York: requires that you must file reports for your student’s progress quarterly.
  • Vermont: calls for a “Student Narrative” to be submitted for the first two years of homeschool instruction. This includes a detailed plan of instruction.
  • Massachusetts: homeschooling plans must be reviewed and approved by homeschooing committee

12 more states are considered to have a ‘moderate’ level of regulation for homeschool students. That means they may not require as much documentation as the previous five states, but they will have some regulation. These states are Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Minnesota, North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Hawaii, and Ohio. While each one of these states has specific guidelines, they all tend to follow a certain set of rules, including:

  • You must notify or receive approval from the school board or district to homeschool
  • The homeschooling teacher must have a High School or equivalent (or sometimes greater) level of education.
  • You must keep a record of following an approved curriculum or subject list.
  • You must test your child or student at intervals to ensure they are keeping up with other students.

Among other considerations, West Virginia, Hawaii, and Oregon require you to send standardized testing results to the district for assessment during your student’s 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 11th grade rules.

  • North Dakota: requires the same assessments, but asks for them to be reported on during a student’s 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th grade years.
  • Minnesota: has a longer-than-average list of subjects and subject areas your student will need to master as part of their homeschooling.
  • Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio: all have similar regulations about what subjects are compulsory, how records are kept, and that annual assessments must be completed for each student.
  • North Carolina: requires your homeschool to have an official name and an adult to hold the title of Chief Administrator.
  • Virginia and South Carolina:both have a number of options available to homeschool students and teachers, so there’s no need to squeeze into a one-size-fits all program.
  • Washington: must submit the declaration of intent each year

There are 11 states with little to no regulation for homeschooling. They are: Idaho, Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Connecticut. These have no official regulation that you must give notice that you intend to homeschool.

  • Connecticut May ask that you file a letter of intent, plus keep a copy for yourself
  • Illinois, Texas, Michigan, and Idaho: all require that certain subjects, like mathematics, reading, science, and social studies be taught to students who are being homeschooled.
  • Oklahoma and Indiana: both require that students be taught for at least 180 days per year, plus that a record is kept of the student’s progress.
  • Missouri and Alaska both have no statewide regulations. However, there may be resources and requirements based on your county or student needs.
  • New Jersey and Iowa: are the remaining two states with little oversight. They both have a number of options for students who would like to homeschool.

  • The remaining 22 states all require notice of intent to homeschool, but may or may not have any additional requirements for subjects, attendance, or contact hours. Those states are Arkansas, Tennessee, Colorado, Mississippi, Utah, Louisiana, Georgia, South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Delaware, and Maryland.

  • Arkansas, Mississippi, and Utah: all require a notice of intent or an affidavit to homeschool, but have no other statewide regulation.
  • Tennessee, Louisiana, and Georgia: all require a notice of intent or an application of “Home Study,” teaching for 180 days, and testing every few years. Georgia requires testing every three years, and Tennessee requires testing at 5th, 7th, and 9th grades.
  • Colorado: is the only state that requires standardized testing starting at third grade and continuing every other year through 11th grade.
  • South Dakota: an individual can only homeschool 22 kids at a time.
  • Kansas and Kentucky: both require that you notify the state and that you maintain a certain number of teaching days per year - 186 in Kansas, and 185 in Kentucky.
  • Wisconsin and Nebraska are unique in that you will only be approved to homeschool if the primary purpose of the program is to provide private or religious-based education. Nebraska also requires that a copy of the student’s birth certificate be kept on file.
  • California: is the only state that requires your homeschool subjects be taught in English.
  • Wyoming: requires you to submit not a notice of intent, but rather, a proposed curriculum.
  • Florida and Arizona: are both unique in that not only must you file an affidavit to start homeschooling, you must also file termination paperwork if your student graduates or you move out of the state.
  • Nevada, New Mexico, and Montana requires that a notice of intent be filed annually, plus they require a list of subjects to be taught.
  • Maryland: There are four main options for homeschooling, depending on your circumstances. They include homeschooling under a religious exemption, homeschooling with a portfolio option, and homeschooling under a state-approved program.
  • Alabama: the required list of subjects is just Physical Education.
  • Delaware: has requirements for filing a notice of intent and a notice of attendance during the school year.

  • Source: *Gathered November 2022

    Figures are current as of November 2022, be sure to check with your state's regulations.

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