Homeschooling Laws

This is the fourth in my Getting Started Homeschooling Series. Check out the rest of the articles in this series:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Why Should I Homeschool?
  3. What Do I Do First?
  4. Homeschooling Laws
  5. The Different Homeschooling Methods
  6. What is Deschooling?
  7. What is Unschooling?
  8. What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
  9. Homeschool Distance Learning
  10. Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
  11. Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
  12. Abeka Homeschool Curriculum
  13. Creating Your Own Curriculum
  14. Homeschool Planning
  15. Homeschool Support
  16. Homeschool Socialization

Now you will need to learn the homeschooling laws in your state. Many states have reporting requirements, and if you don't follow the homeschooling laws, you will end up in truancy court or worse. Therefore, learning the homeschooling laws in your state is a very important step!

Homeschooling Laws

Homeschooling is legal in all states. However, each state has its own set of homeschooling laws that homeschooling families have to follow. I, personally, have homeschooled in 3 states: South Carolina, New York and Texas. Texas is the easiest: home schools in Texas are considered private schools. As such, the government is not allowed to "approve" curriculum, verify "attendance", or anything. Other states are not so lenient.

So where do you find the homeschooling laws in your state? There are several different ways; you can call the local school district and ask for information, you can research online, or (of course) check out this blog. The BEST resource for homeschooling laws information is the HSLDA.

Home Schooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

The HSLDA is a resource for homeschooling parents. They have information on laws that affect homeschooling. They have a lawyer on call 24/7 for their members; they have cases on their website describing situations in which the HSLDA has stepped in for its members. In addition to the homeschooling laws for each state described on the site, the other services the HSLDA offers are invaluable, especially to new home schoolers.

State homeschooling laws are easy to find on the HSLDA website; simply click "In Your State" on the right hand side of the page, under "Need Help?". This will bring up a US map; click on your state, and on the right side of the page you will find a link for "Laws - How to Legally Homeschool in [your state]".

If your state's homeschooling laws require reporting, or record keeping, talk to other homeschooling families to see what software or record-keeping methods they use. If you don't know any other homeschooling families in your state, the HSLDA has a section with resources as well! They list associations and groups in each state. Start by contacting these homeschooling groups, most homeschoolers are more than willing to help newbies.

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