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Homeschooling- Legal Questions answered.

Is this Legal?

I get asked this question a lot. What do I have to do to satisfy the government? Can I get in trouble for taking my kid out of school?

First and foremost, you need to make sure you are following the law. Children in this country fall under compulsory education laws. This means that they have the right to an education and they are required by law to receive one. Each state has different requirements for homeschoolers. But, homeschooling is legal in every state.

Compulsory age:

Most states require children to be enrolled by six years old and they must continue until at least sixteen years old. But, other states are slightly different.

Withdrawl:

There is usually a form that needs to be filled out to legally withdraw your child from public school.

Curriculum Requirements:

You don’t need a law degree to understand your stipulations. There are websites that make the process a lot easier. The first site I suggest visiting is https://hslda.org/. This website is run by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and is excellent at explaining each state’s homeschool laws in a very straight-forward easy to understand way. There is information on every state and territory. Each state has different requirements. So, just because your sister-in-law in Ohio doesn’t do testing, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it in Pennsylvania. Some states require different requirements for teachers. States can also dictate which subjects have to be taught. Finally, there’s often a requirement to show proof that they are receiving an education. For example, a certified teacher looks through a portfolio of the child’s work or the child takes a standardized test and the scores are turned in to the local Board of Education. The other websites I find useful are “Christian Home Educators.” Type that into your search bar and add the name of your own state. Ohio, California, West Virginia, Colorado, and many other states have their own version of this organization that caters to Christian and non-Christian families to explain homeschool requirements and provide resources. In my home state of West Virginia, chewv.org is the where you can find information on state scholarships, homeschool conferences, legislative issues, etc. These are very useful sites. Don’t rely on your local BOE (Board of Education) to explain the rules for homeschooling. They often give unreliable information. They are experts on public education requirements not home education requirements. Many are also biased. So, stick with HSLDA. They are attorneys who specialize in homeschool law.

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