How to Teach at Home
by Christina Yeager
As I’ve said in previous posts, every state is different. Whether you are currently homeschooling your children or are looking to make the change, depending on what state you are in will influence what needs to be done in order to homeschool your child or children. This even holds true if you move from one state to another and were already homeschooling. In the same way if you kids were in public school their placement would be determined based on the new states guidelines, you would be responsible for researching what may change or stay the same as far as homeschooling guidelines go between states if you were to move.
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.
Compulsory School Age
For instance, while the compulsory age in Maryland is 5 to 18, Massachusetts only has a compulsory attendance age of 6 to 16.
The state of Massachusetts has it’s own rules and regulations as it pertains to homeschooling. As we have just learned, the compulsory attendance age can vary from state to state, but even in Massachusetts depending on circumstances, education may need to continue outside of the scope of the age regulations.
Formal withdrawal from public school
There also must be a formal withdrawal within the school system whether you decide to homeschool in the middle of a school year, or at the end of a school year. This is necessary that your child not be considered absent or truant whenever school resumes.
Massachusetts also requires annual notification if you continually have the intent to homeschool. Formal withdrawals can be done via email or letter to the principal, counselor, or attendance clerk.
To enroll students in public school after homeschooling, there must be a 30-day notice of intent to terminate homeschooling efforts.
Also in the State of Massachusetts, periodic evaluations must occur. Parents or guardians have the option to allow evaluation by standardized testing, or some other means of evaluating a student’s progress.
Among the required topics that must be taught in this state are: Reading, Writing, English, Orthography, Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, Physical Education, Drawing, History, Good Citizenship, Good Behavior, and Health.
Homeschooling applications must be approved and include a list of topics that will be taught, educational credentials of parents, teaching materials that will be used, as well as the choice evaluation method. Record keeping is not required in this state, but there must be proof of educational process provided.
As you can tell if you have read any of my other articles on state homeschooling regulations, there can be significant differences between state requirements. When choosing to homeschool, this is something that should be taken in to consideration, especially if there is a foreseen move in the future time frame in which you would still be homeschooling your children. Ensure you are familiar with, and prepared for the potential requirements that your current state has for homeschooling. Also make sure you have done the research before moving states.
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.