Understanding the Homeschooling Laws and Legalities in Your State

Understanding the homeschooling laws and legalities in your state will prove to be a little confusing at first since no state is the same on how they treat homeschooling in terms of legitimacy.

In historical accounts, the right to teach your own children in the privacy of your home has long been debated in the United States. Several lawmakers, advocates, educators and parents; both pros and antis, have widely deliberated this issue ever since the onset of the compulsory education in Massachusetts on 1852.

Nowadays, the focal point of the homeschool discussion has already shifted from the question of its legality to the issues of less significant stature, such as the access to a state’s school funds, facilities, and other resources; the control for quality; college admissions; and standardized testing among others.

As mentioned, understanding the homeschooling law and legalities in your state may seem to be complicated but with enough research and patience, you will begin to comprehend the stand of your state in regards to homeschooling.

First, it must be said that homeschool is legal in all 50 states of the United States. In connection to the ruling handed by the US Supreme Court, it stated that the Amish have the right to keep their children out of public schools because of their religious beliefs. It was also stated that the parents have the fundamental right to educate their children in a way that is acceptable to their religious faith; as long as these teachings will not contradict any laws or it will not disrespect the fundamental rights of any person.

With this ruling, it was already implied that the right to educate their children in the privacy of their homes is their fundamental right as a parent.

After this, many other court rulings in favor of the parents’ wish to educate their children in home school were handed

Now every state has their own judgment in regards to this issue and each of these states have created laws and regulations to somehow manage this so ruled fundamental right. Understanding homeschool laws and legalities in your state can actually be summarized into three categories:

a. Regulations and homeschool laws in other states are based on their treatment of such as a private school. Examples of these states are California, Texas, and Indiana. In these places, homeschool laws are the same as those laws that govern the other non-accredited schools.

b. Another category, the laws are based on the unique ruling of the state in regards to the state’s compulsory attendance with a specific mention to “homeschool” requirements. States that have this treatment are New Jersey and Maryland among others

c. Last category, other states like New Hampshire, Maine, and Iowa have a specific ruling for homeschooling. These states often have different terms applied for homeschool like “home instruction” in Virginia; “alternative instruction” in South Dakota; and “competent private instruction” in Iowa.

It is known that apart from these categories, all the 50 states have a different way of treating homeschool and its students. Some may require less than the others and some have very stringent qualifications in order to be considered as a passable home school attendee.

These are generalized state laws that tackle private education. Try to find your specific state law regarding homeschooling in order to maximize the benefits that you can get from the state; not to mention the requirements being asked by your state from you.