Saturday, November 24, 2012

10 Freest States For Homeschooling

Wiki image
Eric Blair
Activist Post

What could be more natural than educating our own children? Everyone can agree on that. Where people differ is who has the responsibility to educate our children?

Unfortunately, because of mis-education many believe the State is responsible for educating our children. This is not the same thing as the State being responsible for providing an option for education. Rather many presume that the State has the authority to force their version of education on parents and their children.

If your answer is that parents have the responsibility to provide education, then we can safely assume that we have the right to homeschool our own children, yes? Several industrialized nations where homeschooling is outlawed say no.  And although most Americans would say we should have that right, they overwhelmingly demand oversight by the State to ensure this right is not abused.

Now we're back to the question of responsibility. Is it the government's role to make sure every child is learning the same things even if they aren't in the public system? According to the Constitution, the government's role is to protect our rights and liberties above all else.

But what if parents keep their kids home and don't teach them anything that is taught in schools?  I say who cares -- if it's the right and responsibility of the parents. It's not as if the public system has proven to be perfect either. Far from it.


Isn't that child abuse to unschool?  Well, it goes both ways. Isn't locking up children all day in a room, child abuse? Isn't forcing them to learn an obsolete curriculum, child abuse? Isn't forcing them to wear RFID tracking devices, abuse? And so on.

As we can see, it's all a matter of perception. Fortunately, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Yet, since education is regulated by the states, requirements vary dramatically from state to state for homeschoolers. The difference ranges from complete freedom with no requirements to forced curriculum and achievement tests.
  • States requiring no notice: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact.
  • States with low regulation: State requires parental notification only.
  • States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.
  • State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials). (Source: HSLDA).
Here is a map of which states fall into each category:

HSLDA Image
ACTION States requiring no notice
WATCH States with low regulation
UPDATE States with moderate regulation
UPDATE State with high regulation

The 10 freest states for homeschooling are in green and listed below:
  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Idaho
  4. Illinois
  5. Indiana
  6. Michigan
  7. Missouri
  8. New Jersey
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas
People homeschool their children for many different reasons and they should have the right to opt out of any standardized curriculum. Unfortunately this is not the case in most states. But for those who are interested in homeschooling with the ultimate freedom to unschool if they choose, the ten states above are your best locations.

Where do you homeschool and what has your experience been?

Read more articles by Eric Blair here




BE THE CHANGE! PLEASE SHARE THIS USING THE TOOLS BELOW


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.

66 comments:

DL. said...

Texas. One child graduated from Texas A & M and works for NOAA. Makes more than me and my husband combined! The other is now in college working to become a teacher--overseas. There is only one shortcoming for homeschooling in Texas: if your kids want to participate in HS sports, they can't. UIL won't allow it. Texas HSLDA tried to reverse this, but couldn't. I suspect that if homeschoolers could participate in, say, football, that might empty the public high schools really quick, and they wouldn't allow that, now would they?

Anonymous said...

We have homeschooled in SC for 5 yrs, and it has been totally easy. There are several options. We use what's known as "3rd option" homeschooling, where we sign up yearly with an accountability group, pay a nominal fee and attest that we will have 180 days instruction (doesn't have to follow public school schedule) in reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. Grades 7-12 also include composition and lit. We are supposed to keep a planbook/portfolio, but that is for our records only. Our group sends us a semi-annual checklist, and an end-of-year list-I check the appropriate boxes, and that's it. We are left alone.
We do not have to take any state tests, and we choose our own materials and methods of teaching. Unschoolers are pretty common here. I would say SC is a low regulation state, very easy to homeschool your own way in. We have no complaints.
The state law regarding 3rd option:
9-65-47 Third Option Law Explanations

In lieu of the requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for homeschools which has no fewer than fifty members and meets the requirements of this section. Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of the associations exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45.
The State Department of Education shall conduct annually a review of the association standards to insure that requirements of the association, at a minimum, include:

(a) a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate;

(b) the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days;

(c) the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and

(d) educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:

NOTE: 59-65-47 is the only option which mandates parental maintenance of student records.

(1) a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage.

(2) a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work; and

(3) a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student's academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (c) above.


By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through the association to the children's respective school districts.

Anonymous said...

The commenter from TX (awesome comment, by the way-way to go!) made me remember one more plus here:SC homeschooled students can , as of this past year,participate in PS sports teams.

Franz said...

Montana - piece of cake here too!

Anonymous said...

Florida is not bad either. You have to notify the school superintendent for your school district and have an evaluation done once a year by a teacher (there are a couple of other options for the evaluation too). Evaluation is only required to show that the child has made some improvement over the year but there is no requirement to follow curriculum. We've been home schooling for 4 years now with no other interference so I think it's pretty reasonable here.

ScottyK said...

Oklahoma here, and our state goes one step further than the other 9 listed. Homeschooling is GUARANTEED in our state constitution. Our local school district is not involved at all.

ScottyK said...

Oklahoma here. I think we're the best state to live in when it comes to homeschooling. Not only is homeschooling guaranteed in our state constitution, but the local school districts are not involved at all. We've been homeschooling for four years now, and love it.

sharalyns said...

WA state here. Homeschooling for 4 years now. We have to notify the school superintendent for your district and we have to have an assessment each year to show progress (either standardized testing or an individual assessment from a qualified person--almost all teachers are included there, so we used a friend for the first 2 years). That's really it. No counting days or hours or specific curriculum (I keep all the work he's done throughout each year to prove we're actually working).

Tina Hollenbeck said...

I am in Wisconsin and it is really almost a no-reg state, thankfully. We must fill out a simple form once a year, but it doesn't even contain identifying info about our kids and we needn't indicate "grade level" either. The law says we must provide 875 hours a year of instruction in reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, and health, but it doesn't proscribe anything beyond that general statement and I have never heard of anyone here being harassed to "prove" anything. I have told my husband that I will not move to any state with higher regs than here - and just kill me before I even consider PA, NY, or ND...the worst of the worst.

Tina Hollenbeck said...

After reading the other comments, I have to say that any law that requires me to have my child "evaluated" according to the state's standards is too much. I would not stand for that, nor for any requirement where I had to "prove" anything to government bureaucrats. My children are my responsibility, not the state's.

The Andersons said...

Nevada, all we had to do was write an "official" letter of intent, and sign it. We have to add to that letter, an intended curriculum for that year (simply stating "I intend to teach math, english, geography, etc at grade level, but not necessarily every year" and turn it in. They send us the official notice that they received notice and are no longer responsible for the childrens education. Thats it. There is no testing or annual follow up AND our kids could participate in PS clubs, sports and extra curricular classes (like band or orchestra). The downside is there is no official transcript or diploma...but we have found our way around that anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually NH changed their homeschooling regulations in August 2012. Parents only have to notify the school district that they are homeschooling. There are no more annual evaluations or any other hoops to jump through anymore.

Many NH homeschoolers make sure to stay politically active and are constantly working to make NH a freer state in as many ways as possible. This year we made great strides and got the regulations/restrictions downsized. The next goal is to get rid of all government interference/influence in education.

Anonymous said...

What happens if you don't tell the state ? None of there business if you ask me.

LuckyFindFabrics said...

I disagree with Missouri being on this list. Yes, there is no notification required, but we have to keep a log documenting 1,000 hours of instruction each year, 600 of those is certain "core" subjects, 400 of those physically in my home. It's horrid! Give me Kansas' notify-and-done laws any day!

Anonymous said...

Alaska is pretty easy on homeschooling families. We are only required to have them enrolled as if they were in public school and turn in sample work each semester. Other than those things we are free to educate our children our way. We have even established the ability to do team sports through the public schools. It is just all amazing here seeing how many families do homeschool compared to public schooled children.

Anonymous said...

We are in Ohio. At the beginning of the year we fill out a form stating the person teaching has at least a GED, that the children will have 900 hours of instruction, and they will be taught the standard subjects. We also have to give evidence of their improvement from the previous year and a general curriculum. It's pretty simple, and the longer we homeschool, the more I realize how much freedom we have to teach how we want as long as there is proof that they're learning. It would be nice, though, to have a system like Oklahoma where I don't even have to tell the school system that we are homeschooling! ;)

Anonymous said...

I think KS is unfairly categorized in this list. It really is a no reg state. You notify the state that you're operating a non-accredited private school and your done. I guess there is a 180 days requirement, but, I know of families who have home-educated in KS for DECADES and NO ONE from the state has ever checked in.

okey dokey said...

All of this reminds me of how in 1993 Bill and Hilliry Clinton came out and said publicly that, "While we have perfect faith in the Washington,D.C. public school system-we will be sending Chelsea to a private school." What a couple of hypocrites!

Wendy said...

This map of "high regulation" states was my first experience with HSLDA & did a great job of helping me learn to not trust the organization. I live in MA and I have to say, it's really not a high regulation state. The only reason MA is red on their little map is because we're required to notify, because our ed plan must be approved by our district, and because we must provide some sort of periodic assessment upon request. Some districts never request it.

MA has no specific laws regarding homeschooling -- any requirements we do have to meet were set forth by case law. (Several homeschooling families had it out against their districts in the courts, and all the rest of us are bound by those same decisions.) There are two cases that we refer to when we need to: Charles and Brunelle.

Even though we have to notify and we have to have our ed plan approved, the burden of proof actually falls to the district. If they don't approve an ed plan, they have to prove that they would do a better job than the parents. Plus, an ed plan is often simply the list of books you anticipate using. Districts have the right to request seeing the materials, but often parents in those districts send in a copy of the tables of contents and that's enough. The more a district requests, the more likely they are to have to prove that their request is for something deemed essential according to case law. Most of the time, they can't meet that burden of proof.

Even though we need to provide some sort of periodic assessment (upon request), we cannot be required to use any specific form of assessment. According to case law, the assessment form is mutually agreed upon. In practice, the parents decide what they're going to use as a form of assessment, state it in their ed plan, and when the district approves the ed plan, they are also agreeing to the parents' chosen form of assessment. If a district tries to require anything other than what the parent wants, the district has a hard time because there is no precedent stating that "standardized tests" or "quarterly progress reports" or "home visits" or "portfolios" are essential. More often than not, if a district tries to push for something not deemed essential by case law, a strongly worded letter (usually written by the parent) quoting the pertinent sections of the applicable case will lead a district to back down.

There *are* bully districts in MA, and our local hsing email lists periodically have active threads helping out hsers in those districts. I personally only know of one district where families had to band together and hire a lawyer to send a threatening letter to the district, and that was over four years ago.

I'd rather homeschool in MA than in some of the orange or yellow states. I know some of them require standardized testing, counting hours, umbrella schools, and a lot more busywork that I think is designed to make homeschooling seem like "more effort than it's worth" to the families. I personally communicate with my district only once a year, when I send them any assessments they've requested and a letter outlining my ed plan for the upcoming year. The rest of the time, I can focus on actually homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

Alaska is a great State to Homeschool. You have freedom if you want and there are lots of options to get support. The state is use to home school and sees it as a valuable option due to the reality of life here.

Tyler said...

I find it difficult to post this because ONE: We've home schooled all four of out children with great results. Two are married and living very well on good single incomes, a third is into six digits but still single while our fourth is doing independent study to finish H.S. early via home study through the University of TX.

That said, a recent friend of ours is a twenty year old welder's helper from LA who cannot read or write. He was dodged around the school system as a "home school kid" who never got off daddy's shrimp boat.

As much as I support a parent's right to educate their children AND a believer that the State oversteps its bounds in most instances, there needs to be some means to assure that children are being educated.

We are helping this young man learn to read and write so that he can support his family with something better than a minimum wage job. It's too bad that the State of Louisiana allowed him to fall through the cracks.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Scotland! And you'll never believe this, but we have total freedom to homeschool our kids without informing *anybody*.... How's that for freedom!

However, I am not confident this situation will last - our parliament (UK parliament) has begun 'looking at the issue' (aka sticking their noses in), so it's a concern that our situation will change in the foreseeable future.

We pray not.

Are We Crazy, Or What? said...

We're in Texas and I have had no official problems. I live in a suburb that has a high homeschooling population so I think I'm lucky in that regard However, I do feel nervous about going out to the grocery store during schooling hours with my kids in tow. I get unmistakable looks of disapproval. I also get nervous when my boys and I go out for runs. We all run for exercises and train for various races. My teenage son runs a lot faster than I do, but if we go in the morning I always warn him that he has to stay where he can a least see me because of truancy laws. Unfortunately, it seems that the attitude in this country is that the police will have a zero tolerance policy and let the courts figure it out. Even though I'm all for taking a stand, I don't have the finances or time for a court battle. It's just irritating that if you do something that goes against the heard (homeschooling) you have to explain yourself to everyone or be ready to do so a moments notice. I do this because it's important to me to homeschool my children but I don't accept that this should be the norm in a free country.

Anonymous said...

Washington State here: I have been homeschooling for over 10 years and find that it is very easy to Homeschool here. You are required to fill out a very simple "Declaration of Intent to Homeschool" form listing your childrens names and grade level. You are required to do annual testing (your choosing) and keep records, but are not required to show it to anyone. You are free to play any sports or take any classes that are offered through the school. There are other parent/partnership programs that offer money to pay for curriculum, tutoring, lessons, etc. if you are willing to join a state program. But the choice is yours. Check out the "WHO" Washington Homeschool Organization site for more information.

SkipRob said...

Interestingly, my Nieces and Nephew have and are being home schooled and a college enrollment councilor told my two nieces and sister-in-law that their college preferred home schooled students over those publicly schooled. They’ve home schooled their six kids in Florida and So. Carolina.

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

Missouri here! Its easy stuff.. Yes you are to keep either a record OR sample of work.. They suggest 600 core and 400 other but that is easy compared to what others have to do.. There is no one checking on you to make sure you got everything done a certain way. You have the ability to school your kids how they work best. Been homeschooling for 9 years and never been asked once for anything. I pulled them from public school and gave them the letter of intent as a courtesy only to remove the kids from their roster. We are blessed to live in a state with so much freedom I think.. We can also join public school for sports and band if we push the issue but I would rather them not and there are plenty of other options for that anyway.

Mark Are said...

OMG!! I stay in the place most folks call Arkansas and never told anyone anything during the 20+ years we homeschooled FOUR boys! Gosh, I'm glad they didn't show up to enforce something...

Megan Russell said...

I homeschool in Louisiana. I notify the state with a letter that I'm running a private school with 3 students, and that's it! No testing, no checking in. I live in a very rural area.

Qadoshyah Fish said...

I was homeschooled from K-12 in California and I would not call it a "low regulation" state. We had to file a school affidavit every year, state who the school "principle" was, how many students were in the school, etc. We also had to keep monthly records and do a certain amount of work/hours for certain subjects. My mom is amazing and she worked in that regulated system well.

But, when we had to move 4 years ago, the first thing we did was study which state was THE best on homeschooling. That's Oklahoma. Oklahoma has homeschooling in their state constitution and there are absolutely NO regulations. It's great and my mom has been able to peacefully graduate 3 more of my siblings and has 7 more in "school" :).

Tim said...

I'm in Idaho and as of a couple years ago when we made a change to our already free homeschool laws, we've probably got the best homeschool laws in the country. No notice required, compulsory attendance is only ages 7-16, homeschooling is specifically recognized as instruction "by, or at the direction of, the parent or guardian," and the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators maintains a great relationship with our legislature to maintain our homeschool freedoms.

Lori said...

And.... in Idaho the home schooled student is welcomed to dual enroll or participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities in any public school within the student's district. We've graduated three homeschoolers and working on finishing the last kid and all of them benefited from Idaho's fabulous laws regarding home education. I do thank God for the freedom.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:53 AM "It's too bad that the State of Louisiana allowed him to fall through the cracks."

WRONG!!!! It's too bad that this young man's PARENTS allowed him to not be educated properly. The only thing this man can do is try to make up for lost time.

If parents say they want to homeschool then it's their burden to carry, not the state or feds.

vborelli said...

my husband and I think we want to homeschool as well.. but what if children were being abused and to hide them from the school system, parents just decided to 'homeschool' them? no one would even notice? which is why I think its good to check up..

Anonymous said...

We homeschool in Massachusetts, and the requirements of evaluation are easily bypassed by using the traditional method of messing with bureaucrats. I request to have my child tested and evaluated by an outside professional. This will cost the school system money which they need to pay useless administrators, so I haven't been taken up on it yet.

truthman2010 said...

I have long believed that home schooling may be the best way to save the Republic. As Bible believing Christians we re-claimed our children from the New York state indoctrination system in third and fifth grades. That was about 20 years ago. There was no "teacher certification" requirement back then. We are both high school graduates. Both children did fine without the "socialization" that some claim can only happen in the public cesspool.Both graduated with honors from a prestigious Christian college.Neither were involved with drugs, premarital sex or peer pressure, praise God.Both have kept their faith and are married to Christian men. HSLDA helped us to know and stand up for our rights. No one should come to the decision lightly. Pray and place the Lord as the "principal" of your school and you will reap many blessings.

Anonymous said...

Oregon here and it is pretty easy to homeschool, we just have to notify the state and CAT 6 or other state approved test at end of 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grade (children have to pass with a 19%, if they don't they require retesting in 6 months or something like that but every homeschool kid should be able to pass). We also get to enroll our kids in PS sports but they have to test every year and score above 23%. No other records are required.

Anonymous said...

Can Anybody tell me top 5 countries containing the most home based students and the most virtual/schools/colleges and universities who allows students to get enrolled and study from their home? Can i get to know the figures as well please I really need it. Please Help ???

Anonymous said...

Previously NJ, now WV. NJ is so easy to homeschool. You don't even have to notify the school that you are pulling your child out to homeschool. We did but it was only to avoid any problems with truancy. All I did was tell the principal that it was his last day & we were homeschooling from that point on, nothing else and no problems.
We now live in WV, cheaper to live here but the rules for homeschooling drive me crazy. It's not exactly difficult but when you go from 1 state with no regulations to a state that has numerous one's it can be very confusing. This is our 1st full year here so I'm not looking forward to handing in a portfolio to be evaluated. We don't do a lot of wksheets or things for me to keep so I'm getting kind of worried. If I could've afforded to stay in NJ I never would've left because of homeschooling laws.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Can Anybody tell me top 5 countries containing the most home based students and the most virtual/schools/colleges and universities who allows students to get enrolled and study from their home?


The U.S. has the most homeschooled children, then there's Canada. But this might get you started.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_international_status_and_statistics

Anonymous said...

RE: Tyler -- A homeschool family in our area has taken in an 18-yr-old public school child who "fell-through-the-cracks" and can't read beyond a 3rd Grade level. Kids who go through their whole education in homeschool or public school are the exception rather than the rule. Should an unnecessary burden be put on everyone just to prevent rare exceptions?

Anonymous said...


Texas here - My contract was terminated from VA in Austin TX not long after discovered homeschoolers (conservatives) ....

http://webvalley.com/index.php/texas-family-reveal-homeschool/

Anonymous said...

Pa..district assistant superintendent recently sent certified to tell me she feela my 5 children aren't receiving proper education.. without even looking at our paperwork.. portfolios etc..she also stated that for 12 months..i shall have to put them in public school and not home educate them..! Well..let me say yes she jumped her guns legally in her desire to order my kids into her tank..ok..here's my point..moving to a free state.. will she be able to haunt us? Incidentally..not only is their education appropriate.. but also superior to her options..

Anonymous said...

We have been homeschooling in Fl. for 2 years. I feel like it is a piece of cake...You feel out 1 letter of intent that will last the whole time you homeschool and then have your child's portfolio evaluated by a certified teacher! It just has to show improvement. Turn in a letter stating the so and so evaluated him and he is moving on in his education. I do not have to keep a log of hours, or what we teach.

Elizabeth Clay said...

In PA and just getting started. I'm terrified. The laws here are awful and I am not sure how to go about doing what needs to be done. My 1st will be starting out 1st grade equivalent in January when she turns 6 and I am freaking out because we plan on doing a year-round schooling with a VERY short summer break and will not be following the districts timetable. They require us to submit our entire curriculum for the year for approval before August 30th and we will already be over half of the way through it at that point. This state sucks. I want to move to southern Idaho.

Anonymous said...

Florida only requires notice of homeschooling and homeschoolers have their own boards and recommended standards. Saying they have moderate regulation is incorrect.

For info see: http://www.PinellasHomeSchoolHelp.webs.com

Shelly said...

I also homeschool in PA, and while it's not great, I just wanted to let you know that you don't have to register with the school district until the child is either in 3rd grade or 8 years old unless your child has already been enrolled in a public school for first grade on up. You also don't need to submit your curriculum- just your objectives, and these can be very general. I've homeschooled here for 5 years, and while I don't enjoy the bureaucracy of it, the school district is pretty hands-off.

Anonymous said...

I homeschool in Virginia. There is standard homeschooling and homeschooling under the "Religious Exemption Clause." Under the "Religious Exemption Clause." All that is necessary is that you inform the school board that you are homeschooling. The clause is quite vague as to the specifics and does not specify at what particular time in your homeschooling career that you must notify the school board. There is no testing involved under that clause but my friends who do not take the religious exemption do some standardized testing. I am not sure if it needs to be done every year or not.

Anonymous said...

We are in Florida and use an umbrella school instead of going through the county. It makes it really easy to homeschool here.

Pamela and Pristeenmama said...

I'm not sure any are truly free. The measurement for free means no one measures what my child is learning. However, as missionaries, we go everywhere so I'm not sure where I want to list as a home state. Our goal was to teach on the road. This all came about after a bad first semester in kindergarten in knoxville, tn. Are there areas of a same state which are easier? I can't afford to enroll in a "gateway religious school" which gives you freedom to travel. Lastly, we all have a past, why should a family members prior criminal past have any bearing on me homeschooling? Could someone help me make the connection? We prefer an international approach so our child learns multiple languages and cultures while also keeping much of the world at a far distance (body art, sex ed, and emphasis on things). TN flat out scares me. We only have 3 months left in this country but my 5 year old is already being bullied and I don't want her to learn being a lesbian is ok but fat people are fair game. Where did common sense go? Please, I never thought I would home school. I had too much to do in my day, ha, so please be gentle with me. I'm desperate. God is first but my daughter is important, too, because without showing her what God tells us to do, I'm failing them both. I hope that made sense. Thank you.

Pamela
www.pristeen.blogspot.com

Cassie said...

I just read the laws for WV and I'm as mad as hell. I'm ready to move to Kentucky or Texas. This state is crap, and I should know, I've lived here all my life. I cannot believe the laws are so ridiculous. I'm beyond sick of the democrats controlling this state because too many voters are fat, lazy, welfare loving democrats. My children are still small so I haven't had to deal with it yet, but I only have 2 years before I would. The only thing good about WV is the mountains, and theyre removing the tops of them.

Anonymous said...

hey anonymous does SC stand for southern California your talking about or south Carolina where kids can be homeschooled and participate in public school sports.

mscheapskate said...

Find logging tedious but not horrid. Plus, I don't know any MO HSers who have had to show this log. We find it quite flexibl

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I are going to homeschool, although we do have time to explore our options.that being said, anyone homeschool in Kentucky? My family is from NY, his is in VA...we know we don't want to live in either location. Furthermore, we would like to stay somewhat close where we drive to visit, but are also looking at states that are affordable to live in. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling in IN is fantastic. We don't have to tell anybody anything or keep track of anything at all. We unschool and it has worked well for our 10 year old daughter. The only downside is that some counties don't have large (or any!) homeschooling communities, so it can get a bit lonely. That is why we are moving counties. We talked about moving to state that has a warmer climate, but I want to be sure homeschooling is as free as possible.

Anonymous said...

Here in Maryland ( Frederick county ) to be exact is very easy to homeschool, you can un-school or use a curriculum and they check the child's work 2 times per year. They can get into the community college at 16 yrs old if they pass the entry exam later after 2 yrs of college they can transfer to any college in the country.
In montgomery county Maryland on the other hand the county goverment is moreintrusiv

Tammie said...

Arizona is great! We send in an affidavit with intent to homeschool to the count superintendent and we are good to go. I know some don't even do that. Kids are allowed to take any classes, play on sports teams, orchestra all of that at their local schools. It's been pretty great I would love to not even send in the affidavit, but I really love that my kids have the options to participate at the schools also, so we win some we lose some I guess.

Anonymous said...

We're thinking of relocating, but I read somewhere that parents need to take some kind of test before you can homeschool. Is this true?

Amanda said...

No, parents do not have to take any tests to homeschool their children

Anonymous said...

We moved to Idaho a few years ago and the homeschooling law here was part of the deciding factor of what state to move to. Homeschool;ing is AWESOME here!

Valerie Chambers said...

Can the state interfere if they feel your children are not in the grade level's they feel they should be in? I am in Ma and one year we could not afford curriculum and did other things instead of just book learning. Husband was on Unemployment and financially we were hurting. Redoing grade levels to make sure they do get a full education now that we have the kits.

Anonymous said...

I live in Tennessee . I have HSLDA (not required) and they keep the states in line as far as the laws. Sounds like someone is telling you something untrue.... to the person living in Knoxville. I live about an hour and a half from the above stated Knoxville. There are no criminal checks in the state of TN. It sounds like Knoxville is trying to get you to report things that you actually do not have to. You need to get the statutes. I was able to go to the board of education in Morristown and get a free list of the laws and state requirements, as well as my options and the forms I may need. I suggest you go to another county and get that list. You need to know your statutes. I actually contacted the state when the people here gave me trouble. A lot of counties in a lot of states try to ask for extra information. That is not lawful.
To those who intend to try TN.
Your options are: option 1. If you go through state homeschooling program up to grade 8 is a parents highschool or GED is enough. It requires college education for highschoolers. You do have to notify what you are teaching as far as subject and 4 hours a day for 180 days... Really easy form. Really No big deal at all. There is also the testing. I did not like the restrictions.
option 2. I chose the options to use a satellite school.... "What is that?" you may ask. It is a school that lets you teach at home with your own books and hours, no testing required. You have a headmaster to keep your transcripts for any college. It is up to you to choose your books, programs, or whatever. Your choose what to do with your child's education. The college they go to still has the right to accept or deny you unless you get a GED, but that choice is up to the college. Some satellite schools like testing, but most do not. They have recommendations... not rules. Most require a highschool education or GED.
option 3. There is church related school homeschooling. You go through a church related school that may or may not require testing and you follow their books and guidelines ( which may or may not be strict). You pay a pretty penny also. It varies according to school.
------------
I choose to go through the state, until I moved to another county at about 5th grade. I had trouble with the county superintendent in Hawkins county and went through HSLDA. All it took was a letter from them to fix the situation.
I then switched to a satellite school that choose to have 2 forms. I know the satellite school I chose is available in multiple states. First I notified the state I was pulling my kids out of there. Then I have the satellite's two forms. One was the intent to homeschool with them and the other was a form, to them, with grades at the end of the year. They satellite school is not a hard. I do not test. That depends on the satellite school you choose. I send nothing to the state after my intent to pull them out. No one checks my books or anything else.
Do not loose hope you Tennesseans. The satellite school option is probably a good choice for those whom want something less restrictive. The diploma thing is nice also.
To everyone in every state, Find out you state laws. A lot of them have options that are less restrictive. Most can find out the laws from the board of education....make sure you see the actual statutes and not the county requirements. Do not let them pull the wool over your eyes.

Stella Wilson said...

How do you find a satellite school?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Are you going to the FPEA? They are having a Ministry Room this year, and are looking for some "prayer warriors" to volunteer in it. www.BiblicalHealth.tv/fpea

Anonymous said...

I know a man in his 40's who went threw public school and college and didn't and still doesn't know how to read or write. He can't even take a phone message.

Why did the state let him slip threw the cracks?

Gabrielle Amyx said...

While we are on the topic of rights and responsibilities, I'd like to point out a few things this post doesn't mention. Children are people too. They also have rights. In fact, they have many of the same rights adults do: right to life, pursuit of happiness, etc. With this comes the right to an adequate education, because without one, living a full, free, and productive life in our society is almost impossible. As this article mentioned, parents have both rights and responsibilities when it come to their children. But the author seems to think that the government's only responsibility was to protect the right of a parent to school their children as they please, but not to make sure that said parents actually fulfill their responsibility to their children. It needs to go both ways. The government is responsible to protect the rights of the children as well by making sure that homeschooling parents are providing an adequate education.

I am not against the idea of homeschooling in itself, but when parents ask for total control over their children's education and a complete lack of accountability for how well they are educating them (or whether they are educating them at all), I become suspicious. And I am not an outsider to homeschooling either. I was homeschooled k-12, as were all of my siblings. My parents neglected our education in a very real way. There were months at a time when we did very little or no school work at all and spent our days cleaning house or even working for pay (that we often didn't get to keep). When we did have school to do, it was not presented in an effective or meaningful way at all. We were often given workbooks and the answer keys and expected to do school totally independently, without an adult even making sure we were doing it daily, let alone that we were actually learning. We lived in these so-called "Freest" states. We didn't "slip through the cracks" because there was nothing to slip through -- the system was designed to allow this. It was like no one cared if we grew up learning to be a fully functioning member of society.

I know that public schools have their issues, but homeschooling with a total lack of accountability is not the answer. Sure, you may think, "well, I won't do that to my kids -- I'll be a good home school parent and provide them with an education even better than public schools." Ok, maybe you will. But in that case, what are you afraid of? Why are you so against being held accountable to this? I would challenge anyone who is homeschooling or thinking about it to consider this. And think about what can happen to kids (maybe not your kids, but others') when we are allowed to take children out of school, keep them at home all day and literally teach them nothing if we so choose. Because this is what these states with lax laws allow.

Post a Comment