You don’t need to be a lawyer, paralegal, or legal scholar to understand your legal rights as a family to choose to homeschool your kids in your state of residence. While laws vary in each state, a search of your state’s department of education website should yield homeschooling laws, rules and other requirements.
We encourage you to be aware of your specific state’s laws that authorize homeschooling. One basic principle that applies in all legal matters is documentation, documentation, and documentation. Laws, like life, are changing.
Some Basic Legal Homeschool Requirements
Your state’s homeschooling laws may require:
- a required number of classroom hours per grade level per child per academic year
- parental responsibilities to avoid child truancy problems
- recording and maintaining attendance records
- recording and maintaining records showing classes completed and grade recorded by each child each year at each grade level
- homeschool curriculum (subject) requirements
- required standardized testing and/or timely assessment requirements
- homeschool graduation requirements
- diploma awarded and dates to record
- if applicable – how to register each child and your homeschool with a local public school district.
These basic requirements are not the same in every state, but you as the parent need to be aware of them so as not to run into any legal problems with local and/or state governing authorities.
One common problem many families in the homeschool community encounter is with their state’s child protective service (CPS) agency. If your family has a legal problem with a state CPS agency, do not minimize this issue.
Keep calm and make sure to collect and record the information of the CPS encounter. Next, call a homeschool legal defense group or your state homeschool association CPS attorney option, explain your CPS encounter, and seek legal advice about what to do and how to persevere to a legal solution.
The importance and effort of recording, organizing legibly, and keeping up-to-date records for each homeschooled child may prove helpful if your family encounters any CPS or legal problem. Keeping current, detailed records is a must for any homeschool family.
Homeschool Legal Defense Groups
Homeschool requirements in your state are based on laws which are turned into rules and policy. Legal requirements often change and it pays in effort, time, and money to stay informed.
Sometimes legal problems arise in your state that interfere with your family’s choice to homeschool. One of the most common homeschool legal problems is with your state’s CPS agency which can be serious issues.
Knowing where to find help addressing your specific legal situation is key. Using the words “homeschool legal organization” (in quotation marks) in most web search engines yields results listing these kinds groups.
Paid membership in a homeschool legal defense group and/or your state homeschool association should include a CPS legal/attorney option where you should be able to make a phone call for very timely legal advice and help.
The legal information provided is not one size fits all when each state has different homeschool laws and rules. The key is to be keenly aware of the basic homeschool laws in your state of residence.
Be confident that your family has made the best decision to homeschool, and be humble to learn from any mistakes you might make on this journey. Be encouraged that you are not alone should you encounter CPS issues, and do not hesitate to seek the legal help you need to defend your freedom to homeschool in your state.