The first thing any prospective homeschool parent should know is that homeschooling is legal in the United States. There is not a state in the union which can deny a parent this constitutional right to decide which academic approach is best for their children. However, there are certain procedures which vary within each state and homeschoolers can get into trouble if they are not sure what those procedures are.
Different states, and different communities within those states, can have different ordinances when it comes to homeschooling and truancy. Although it is legal to homeschool, individuals need to seek the rules and regulations about homeschooling in their particular community. If the community requires them to identify themselves as homeschoolers to avoid truancy consequences, then it becomes the responsibility of the homeschool parent to follow this ordinance. If the local school district requires portfolio submissions or attendance records, a homeschool parent needs to submit them in a timely manner.
Seek out the rules, get them in writing, and follow them. Homeschooling is legal. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is not legal – just make them tell you what the rules are.
If you are not happy with the homeschool regulations in your state, county, or community – you have two legal choices. Work with legislators and homeschool liaisons to change the laws, or move to a state which fits your needs.
Most states now have all of their required forms online. Google your school superintendent website, county superintendent website, or state homeschool laws for your specific state.
If you are a HECOA member, head over to our community forums area – The Commons – and jump in the discussion about legalities of homeschooling.
Some discussions already started: