Best States To Homeschool 2021

Homeschooling is the education of children at home or another place that is not a school. Homeschooling is typically conducted by a parent, home tutor, or online teacher.

  Homeschooling and education by family members at home was a common practice for many years and in many cultures in the past. It declined in the 19th and 20th centuries as mandatory attendance laws began for schools. In the 1960s and 1970s, homeschooling became popular again as some people became dissatisfied with industrialized education.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be finding yourself considering the homeschool route for your kids. With schools reopening in the fall, many parents consider it safer for their kids and their families to homeschool. It’s important to make the distinction that homeschooling is not the same as public schools moving online. Homeschooling requires you to turn in a notice of intent with your child’s school district and that you’ll no longer be taking part in the public school system. You will be taking charge of your child’s education. You can find some tips for transition to homeschooling here.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Each state has its own regulations and laws surrounding homeschooling. Typically these include how to enroll your child in homeschooling, instructor qualifications, required days of instructions, required subjects to be taught, homeschool record-keeping, and testing. Given this, some states are more relaxed about homeschooling than other states.

Whether you’re already homeschooling and moving out-of-state or trying homeschooling for the first time, it’s important to know what your state’s regulations are and which states are the best for homeschooling.

Alaska

Alaska is one of the best states for homeschooling. Children between seven and 16 must be in school or comply with homeschool laws. Alaska’s homeschool laws are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you do need to send a withdrawal form if your child already attends an Alaska public school.
  • The instructor does not need to meet specific qualifications except for private tutors, who must be Alaska-certified teachers.
  • No required number of hours per day, days per year, or specific educational subjects that must be taught.
  • You do not need to keep records for your child
  • Independent homeschoolers are not required to have their child participate in testing

Idaho

Idaho requires children starting at age seven to attend school until their 16th birthday. Idaho’s homeschool laws are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you should contact your school to see if you need to send a withdrawal form
  • The instructor does not need to meet specific qualifications
  • There are no minimum hours per day, days per year, or testing requirements
  • Seven subjects must be taught: language arts and communication, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health, and physical education
  • You do not need to keep records for your child

Illinois

Children who have had their sixth birthday in Illinois are required to attend school until 17 or high school graduation. Illinois’s home school laws are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter and send in a students records request for your child within 10 days of sending the letter
  • The instructor does not need to meet specific qualifications
  • There are no minimum hours per day, days per week, or testing requirements
  • Six subjects must be taught: language arts, mathematics, biological and physical sciences, social sciences, fine art, physical development, and health
  • You do not need to keep records for your child

Indiana

Children in Indiana must attend school in which they will be seven years old until they turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever comes first. Indiana’s homeschool laws are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter
  • The instructor does not need to meet specific qualifications
  • Students must be taught for a minimum of 180 days per year
  • Students must receive “equivalent instruction” to public schools, but the part is left to determine what “equivalent instruction” is
  • You must keep a record of attendance for each homeschooled child
  • Students are not required to participate in testing
  • You do not need to keep records for your child

Michigan

Any Michigan child who will be six years old before 12/01 must be enrolled in school until age 18. Compliance for homeschooling is as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter
  • Instructors must be a certified teacher, have a teaching permit, or hold a Bachelor’s degree
  • There are no minimum hours per day, days per year, or testing requirements
  • Eight subjects must be taught: reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar
  • You do not need to keep records for your child

Missouri

Missouri students must be enrolled from seven to 17. Missouri homeschool laws are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter to your superintendent
  • There are no specific qualifications for home school instructors
  • Homeschool students must receive 1000 hours of instruction per year and at 600 of those hours must be taught testing the required subjects. 400 of those areas must be at the regular homeschool location.
  • You must keep records for all homeschooled children under 16 years old of subjects taught, samples of students’ work, and evaluations (test results)

New Jersey

In New Jersey, students must be in school from six until 16. New Jersey homeschool compliance is as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter to your superintendent
  • There are no specific qualifications for home school instructors
  • There are no required education subjects but you should offer “equivalent instruction”
  • You are not required to keep any specific records
  • Homeschool students are not required to participate in testing

Oklahoma

Oklahoma children between five and 18 years old must be enrolled in school. Homeschool laws in Oklahoma are as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may want to notify them that your child will be kept home
  • There are no specific qualifications for home school instructors
  • There are no minimum hours per day, days per year, required educational subjects, or required testing
  • You do not need to keep records for your child

Texas

Children between the ages of six and 19 must be enrolled in some type of school until graduation or obtaining a GED. Texas compliance for homeschooling is as follows:

  • You are not required to notify the school district that you are homeschooling, but you may need to send a withdrawal letter to your superintendent
  • There are no minimum hours per day, days per year, or required testing
  • There are five required educational subjects: math, spelling, grammar, reading, and good citizenship
  • You do not need to keep records your child’s homeschooling but it is encouraged

Best States To Homeschool 2021