by Christina Yeager
If you made the decision today to not enroll your child into the public school system and you live in Alabama, what would be your first steps? To ensure you're on the right path to securing a sufficient plan for educational needs, you need to know the rules for your state! This week we'll explore the state regulations for homeschooling in Alabama.
Alabama homeschool regulations: What you need to know.
Each state is the U.S. has a very specific set of regulations for homeschooling. If you are thinking about teaching your child at home, you'll need to know the ins and outs of what needs to be done beforehand and during. In this series, Homeschooling Regulations by State, we'll explore information to help with the decision, what to do to get started and what to do correctly to continue.
What Are Your Homeschooling Options?:
Alabama state law basically states, you have the right to choose whatever form of schooling you feel comfortable with for your child, public or non-public. No testing required!
Previously, before 2014, there were only two options when it came to homeschooling in the Roll Tide state.
That changed in 2014 when a third option was added to the list.
What does this mean? With these options, a solution to homeschooling needs can easily be met.
Let's explore each option…
Private Certified Tutoring
Hiring a certified tutor can become pricey. Private tutor in Alabama require you to be a certified teacher and that itself can be time-consuming and costly as well. For working families trying to make ends meet, this may not be the very best option. Why? The state still requires the 180 days of attendance that public schools abide by and a tutor for that many days will certainly add up to some bank. If you can afford to hire tutors you’ll be assured your child’s education will be strong since they will be taught by certified Alabama teachers!
Church/Cover School Enrollment
Church run homeschooling requires that you follow a certain curriculum and religious path to be enrolled. If you are wishing to go with more of a non-traditional approach instead of basic studies, then this isn't a good choice. Finding an organization that doesn't follow the same direction of public schools can be tricky. Anything else you or your child would like to learn about other than the “normal” subjects would just be added time with no credit. Church schools focus on religious based teachings along with very traditional studies.
The private schooling option has a lot of flexibility and if you're ready and willing, it can be a real winner. It also allows you to operate without all the state regulation hanging about. Matter of fact, you're not even required to register with the state for homeschooling and no cover school needed. A parent may establish a private school in their very own home, even if you only have one child or it can be an extension of another private school.
What you need to know
There have been a few regulations mentioned above, but let's flesh that out a bit. In the state of Alabama, the regulations you must follow to homeschool are:
1. Children ages 6 -17 are required to attend public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a private tutor.
If you feel the age of 6 is too young to start school, simply submit to the local Board of Education in writing that your child will not be attending school at age 6, but rather will start at the age of 7 years.
2. You must formally withdraw them from the public school system by notifying the local public school superintendent.
3.A daily attendance record is required of every homeschooling student.
Nonpublic schools - meaning private, church, parochial, and religious - offering instruction for grades K-12 are not subjected to regulation of the State Department of Education, Board of Education or Superintendent of Education.
It’s easy to get confused when you have information for three different choices of homeschooling in Alabama! I’ve organized the information in handy little tables below:
Are you a homeschooler (new or veteran) seeking to share insight? Read our guidelines and then reach out introducing yourself to obtain blogging credentials! And if you're a homeschool parent, be sure to follow the Homeschooling Heroes page on Facebook for tons of resources and insight, and join the Unschool Homeschool group to expand your horizons as to what homeschooling is/can be. And finally, if you're looking for activities to join, we have a group with New Orleans-based activities, which will be expanding to an area near you - so join our group! And be excited about that, because we offer tons of exceptional educational and extracurricular activities for homeschoolers and parents, and can't wait to include you.