Homeschooling is legal in every state, but each state has its own set of requirements. Some states require homeschools to operate similar to private schools. Some ask to see an outline of your educational goals, and others require that a form be filled out and submitted to your superintendent's office. A few states require that a certified teacher observe your child's progress periodically, some require you to keep a portfolio of schoolwork and projects, and others require standardized testing.
Most states offer one or two options, so that you can abide by the law that will work best for your family. For instance, in some states, you may have the option of establishing a home school, operating as a private school, or using a private tutor. You may opt to have your child's progress evaluated by a certified teacher, have your child take a national standardized test, or participate in testing on a local level. Some states are more lenient and do not require testing, evaluating, or record keeping, while others are more stringent in varying degrees.
If state regulations seem too confusing or unfathomable, don't be intimidated. If there's language you don't understand, such as “operate a home school as a public school,” “be supervised by a certified teacher,” or “file a notarized affidavit,” don't let the legalese deter you! The wording of the laws is usually more confusing than the actual regulation.
Your State's Homeschool Laws
To find homeschool laws and regulations for your state, visit the Home School Legal Defense Association's (HSLDA) website,
The Home School Legal Defense Association
If you have any concerns, questions, or problems regarding legal aspects of home education, contact the HSLDA. This nonprofit organization defends parental rights to homeschool, represents families who may experience legal conflicts over homeschooling, lobbies Congress on homeschool issues, and monitors laws and conducts research on home education.
The website for the HSLDA,
The HSLDA also encourages homeschoolers and homeschool groups to work together to better educate the public and legislators on the benefits of home education, to participate in homeschool legislative issues at local and state levels, and to involve state representatives and senators in homeschool organizations and conferences. Through sharing personal successes with legislators and the public, families can continue to communicate the educational benefits and moral outcomes of home education. This, in turn, helps to promote public awareness of every family's right to educational freedom and the right to a quality education for their children.