How to Homeschool in the USA - Resources for 12 States

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Last Update Date: 15 April 2021

Homeschooling has quickly become a part of the mainstream, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, technological developments and changes in the public school system in the US had already prepared the infrastructure for the transition to online homeschool education.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are approximately 2.5 million homeschooled students in K-12 classes in the United States.

Today, homeschooling has become a legal process in 50 states in the US. Also, more and more states are applying for legalizing their homeschooling programs.

Online Homeschooling Programs

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Resources for Homeschooling in the US for 12 States

Each state is free to create its own legal structure for homeschooling, so one state's homeschool laws may look very different from another.

Here is a summary of homeschooling tips in each state:

Homeschooling in Texas

House instruction regulations for homeschooling in the state of Texas have a very flexible and easy approach and this includes the online component as well.

How to Homeschool in Texas?

Below are two simple steps that families who want to switch to homeschooling in Texas should follow.

Online Homeschooling in Texas
  1. If your student has formal enrollment at any school, withdraw their enrollment.
  2. Choose your homeschooling curriculum based on your child's needs or preferences.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Texas

The choice of homeschooling curriculum in Texas depends on parents. However, the curriculum you choose should cover at least the following topics: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and good citizenship and should be visible in nature with textbooks, workbooks, and the features of an online homeschooling program.

In Texas, you are not alone when you need support regarding your child's online homeschooling. There are two state-owned school associations to help parents with information and even legal representation. Be sure to learn about these two organizations and their terms of participation: Texas Homeschool Coalition and Texas Home Educators.

Homeschooling parents can also contact the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission and the International Student-Focused Schools Association for information about accredited private schools. Parents interested in government compulsory curriculum standards can visit the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) page on the TEA website.

Homeschooling in California

There are several ways to homeschool your kids in California:

  • through an existing private school
  • through a public charter
  • through an independent study program by opening your own private homeschool

The choice of many families in California is to enroll their children in a public school that has online homeschooling available. The reason why families who start online homeschooling choose this method is that it is free and even parents are supported by a generous fee annually.

How to Homeschool in California?

There are five simple steps to take to start homeschooling in California:

Online Homeschooling in california
  1. Create a contract that states you will function as a private school.
  2. Sign up for a private school homeschooling program.
  3. Become an authorized teacher or hire a certified private teacher.
  4. Use the option to set a homeschooling program independent from the public school.
  5. Enroll in a public school for people homeschooling like you.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in California

The California Department of Education (CDE) does not provide information and guidance on any homeschooling program or any curriculum. Parents who file the private school affidavit also approve that they will provide all curricula, teaching and other materials required for online homeschooling.

A lot of information about all aspects of homeschooling is available online to assist educators at home. Even in public charter schools, online homeschooling curriculum choices usually depend on the parents in California.

Not only one but three organizations in California provide information about homeschooling families for home education laws, types of online homeschooling programs, scholarships, newsletters, discounts, and more: California Homeschool Network(CHN), Christian Home Educators Association(CHEA), and HomeSchool Association of California.

Homeschooling in Florida

There are two types of methods parents can choose to provide homeschooling education to children in Florida:

  • education under the homeschooling statute
  • enrolling in an umbrella school

How to Homeschool in Florida?

To switch their kids’ education to homeschooling in Florida, it is enough for parents to follow the steps below:

Online Homeschooling in florida
  1. File a notice of intent with the local superintendent’s office.
  2. Choose a curriculum that suits your child.
  3. Keep a portfolio of training records and keep them for two years.
  4. Provide annual student evaluations to the superintendent.
  5. Supply an annual evaluation file after the completion of the home education program.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Florida

Choice of the homeschooling curriculum in Florida depends on parents. However, if you are homeschooling your children individually or at home using an umbrella school method, they will need to introduce standardized tests as part of annual assessment.

You will also need to keep training records for homeschooling in Florida, as we mentioned above. So when choosing your online homeschooling curriculum, it's important to consider whether it helps you meet these requirements.

State associations that support online homeschooling usually start when a group of families that support this method come together and set up a support system for other families who want to homeschool too. Florida has several homeschooling associations that work this way to provide all kinds of support and information about homeschooling: Florida Parent-Educators Association, Florida Homeschooling, and Christian Victory Academy of Central Florida, Inc..

Homeschooling in NC

According to the laws that cover homeschooling in NC (North Carolina), a declaration of intent is required by the NC People's North Carolina Department of Administration (DNPE) when children are seven years old. Parents, who will provide homeschooling education must have a high school diploma.

How to Homeschool in NC?

The process of starting homeschooling in NC is quite simple. To start educating any seven-year-old child at home, what parents need to do is:

Online Homeschooling in nc
  1. Provide declaration of intent to homeschool with the NC Department of Public Education (NCDNPE).
  2. Prove that you have a high school diploma or an equivalent document that certifies you as an instructor.
  3. Name your school.
  4. Choose the curriculum tailored to your child's needs.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in NC

NC families are completely free to choose the curriculum and resources that best suit their children's learning needs when determining their homeschooling program, including an online online homeschooling version as well.

In North Carolina, homeschool law requires each student to take a test according to national norms annually. Although these records are not required to be submitted to NCDNPE, they should be kept for one year.

There is a growing population of home schools in North Carolina. There is an association that was established to support these homeschooling families and you can find answers to your questions on the following links: North Carolina Homeschooling Associations, Blueridge Homeschool Alliance, and Annual Homeschool Test in NC.

Homeschooling in Michigan

Families living in Michigan who want to legally educate their children at home have two options:

  • Work as a non-public school: this requires all curriculum requirements to be met by a state-certified teacher.
  • Establish a homeschooling program: this option has almost no regulations. The system only except that homeschooling program includes education on reading, writing, mathematics, science, history, citizenship, literature, writing and English grammar.

How to Homeschool in Michigan?

The regulations for homeschooling in Michigan are minimal, so parents should only follow these two simple steps below:

Online Homeschooling in michigan
  1. Decide under which option you will homeschool; home education or non-public school.
  2. Choose the suitable homeschool curricula and materials you want to use for your child.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Michigan

If you want to homeschool in Michigan, the choice of homeschooling curriculum is entirely up to you and your child's needs. Knowing your children's needs and the learning style they will need helps you choose the most efficient online homeschooling programs for them.

There were families in Michigan who had to face legal opposition to have the right to homeschooling. In these legal processes, a state-wide association was founded to support a family's right to educate their children when they deem appropriate. To learn about the home education association in the state of Michigan check the following links: Michigan Christian Homeschool Network, Michigan Gifted Homeschool Group.

Homeschooling in NY

The first thing parents should be conscious of is that in New York homeschooling is not cheap. Everything has to be paid for out of the family’s own pocket. Let's have a look at the major things you should know about homeschooling in NY.

How to Homeschool in NY?

In three steps you can start to enjoy homeschooling in NY:

Online Homeschooling in ny
  1. Inform your local education institution 14 days before withdrawing your child from their current school that you will switch to the homeschooling program.
  2. After receiving your consent and your Individualized Home Education Plan form, you have four weeks to fill in and submit your application
  3. Choose the curriculum suitable for your child.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in NY

Although there are regulations in New York for the topics you need to cover in the homeschooling program, they do not have guidelines for which curriculum to use. The choice of homeschooling curriculum, online included, in New York depends on the parents’ preferences.

The important thing to know here is:

NY law requires families to keep a record of their homeschool educational activities. You will also need to take part in annual evaluations in certain grades. Therefore, you should make sure that your online homeschool curriculum choices will adequately prepare you for these requirements.

There are two main organizations in New York state designed to support homeschooling parents and educators. While homeschool associations in each state have different structures, their common goal is to provide support, guidance and information to homeschoolers. More information can be found at: New York Home Educators Network, Loving Education at Home.

Homeschooling in Ohio

There are some basic requirements to be complied with in regulations for home education in Ohio:

  • Parents must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Each student must have at least 900 hours of education in a school year.
  • The choice of a home education curriculum depends on families, but there are some compulsory courses.

How to Homeschool in Ohio?

It is very easy to start online homeschooling in Ohio. It is sufficient for families who want to give their children online homeschool education by following these steps:

Online Homeschooling in ohio
  1. Notify the local school principal about your homeschooling program
  2. Learn and go with the required regulations for homeschooling in Ohio
  3. Choose the best homeschool education curriculum combination for your children

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Ohio

The choice of homeschooling curriculum in Ohio is completely dependent on each family and the needs of their children.

After choosing the best mix of online homeschooling programs, parents can fulfil their end-of-year evaluation requirements by conducting a standardized test that complies with national norms, and by submitting the test scores. Remember that the process must be managed by a certified teacher or by another person duly authorized as a test provider.

Giving your children online homeschool education takes a lot of responsibility, and this can turn into a daunting task when you feel alone. But keep in mind that there are many groups and organizatiLons in Ohio to help you: Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO), Hearts of Home Educators, Home Educator's Cooperative Learning Community, Inc, Home Educator's Cooperative Learning Community, Inc, Home Educators Network (OHEN), and Statewide Ohio Homeschool Organization (SOHO).

Homeschooling in GA

There are four main regulations parents must comply with in order to give homeschooling in Georgia:

  • Parents must have at least a high school diploma or the GED.
  • Compulsory schooling for any six-year-old child by 1 September.
  • Every July 1, they must submit the "Declaration of Intent to Homeschool".

How to Homeschool in GA?

There are some standards that families must have and some rules to follow for homeschooling in Georgia. To start homeschooling education, it will be enough to follow the rules below.

Online Homeschooling in ga
  1. Submit a declaration of intent to homeschool to the Georgia Department of Education every year by September 1 or within 30 days of starting your homeschool.
  2. Choose a curriculum that suits your child.
  3. Homeschooling program's school year must include 180 days with at least 4½ hours of instruction per day.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in GA

Homeschooling programs are shaped according to the families' own choice. However, a basic academic education program should include mathematics, science, English language arts, social studies and reading.

This is because every Georgia student, including the online homeschooled students, are required to take a nationally standardized achievement test every three years starting from grade 3. Although the test results do not need to be submitted, they should be kept by parents.

Even if you are still in the research phase, a homeschooling organization or association in your state will help you a lot. By contacting organizations in Georgia, you can get the opinions of many families who think like you and have gone through the same experience , and you can easily ask for help in administrative situations: Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA), Central Georgia Christian Home Educators (CGCHE), Southwest Georgia Homeschool Association.

Homeschooling in Missouri

Homeschooling is a fairly easy and legal option for families in Missouri. There is no obligatory registration process. Parents can decide on homeschooling and start their homeschooling program the day they make this decision!

How to Homeschool in Missouri?

Families wishing to do homeschooling in Missouri will go through an easy process. You can see what needs to be done below:

Online Homeschooling in missouri
  1. Withdraw your child formally from any registered school.
  2. Keep an accurate record of teaching hours, student work samples, and periodic assessments.
  3. Choose the home education curriculum that best fits your child's learning needs.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Missouri

The home education curriculum choice in Missouri is fully up to each family. One of the legal requirements for homeschooling in Missouri is that parents should keep track of periodic assessments. The most popular type of assessment for online homeschooling students is a standardized achievement test created according to national standards.

Families that are homeschooling in Missouri have lots of freedom because of the efforts of the public homeschool association. Check out the organizations where you can get support, learn about legal processes, and exchange ideas: Family Covenant Ministries of Missouri, Families for Home Education (FHE), Clay-Patte Home Educators (CPHE).

Homeschooling in Oregon

Parents willing to start homeschooling in Oregon must legally do three things:

  • Submit a one-time Notice of Intent (NOI) to homeschool form to your local Education Service District (ESD).
  • Have your child take the test in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.

How to Homeschool in Oregon?

To start homeschooling in Oregon, you must complete the following four steps:

Online Homeschooling in Oregon
  1. Submit a one-time Notice of Intent (NOI) to homeschool.
  2. Have your child tested in the 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grades.
  3. If your child has a disability, have it evaluated.
  4. Choose your home school curriculum.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Oregon

If you are homeschooling in Oregon, you are free to use any teaching materials and resources, any curriculum or combination.

As we mentioned above, you should have homeschooled children take a standardized test approved by the Oregon Board of Education to assess their homeschooling progress in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10. Results are not presented to ESD unless requested by the inspector. If homeschooled students score below the 15th percentile, they must be tested again within that year.

With two homeschooling associations, families that prefer online homeschooling in Oregon can find all the guidance and support they need. These associations not only follow advocacy for homeschooling and changes in legislation but also provide a lot of opportunities for families to share information with each other: Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN), Oregon Christian Home Education Association Network (FHE).

Homeschooling in Illinois

Illinois does not have a specific regulation on homeschooling, so your homeschool will be considered as a private school.

How to Homeschool in Illinois?

There are very few arrangements for homeschooling in Illinois, which means you have the freedom to homeschool in the most convenient way for your child. In fact, there are only three simple steps that parents should follow:

Online Homeschooling in Illinois
  1. If your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, you should officially withdraw them.
  2. Select the curriculum you want to use. Remember that you are free to mix and match different homeschooling programs for different topics, and tailor a program to your child's individual needs.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Illinois

After starting homeschooling in Illinois, there is no obligation to perform attendance or end-of-year testing. It is enough for your homeschool to teach language arts, mathematics, biology and physics, social sciences, fine arts, physical development/health, and all these subjects appear in all grades.

Many families choose online homeschooling in IL. That's why local, regional and even state-wide support networks have been created to help families. When you have any questions about homeschooling in Illinois, your state homeschool is often the best place to find an answer. Check out school associations in the state of Illinois: Illinois Christian Home Educators, Illinois HOUSE, East Central Illinois Home Educator Network, Splendor of Truth Catholic Home Educators (SOTCHE).

Homeschooling in Arizona

Below are a couple of rules about homeschooling in Arizona:

  • All children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school in accordance with compulsory education laws.
  • You must send a notarized confirmation of your homeschooling intent to the school district office of the student's hometown.

How to Homeschool in Arizona?

In Arizona, it is popular among parents to homeschool their kids. One reason for that is the amount of freedom offered by the state. The other reason is the resources offered for homeschooling in Arizona. Here are the simple steps parents should follow in order to start homeschooling:

Online Homeschooling in arizona
  1. Submit a notarized affidavit of intent to homeschool to the county school superintendent within 30 days of starting to homeschool.
  2. Choose the best curriculum and homeschool program combination for your kid.

Tips, Tricks and Resources for Homeschooling in Arizona

Parents can mix and match different online homeschooling programs and curricula. The only thing that families need to pay attention to while doing this is that the homeschooling program they created should cover reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science.

With the conveniences Arizona state offers, it has a large and growing online homeschooling population. Having this trend is directly related to having a state-wide organization to provide information, resources and activities to families who choose to homeschool. Check out the organizations where you can get information and support: Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE), Desert Hills Christian Homeschoolers (DHCH), Arizona Homeschool Adventures.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling

If you are researching about switching to homeschooling education in the USA, we have tried to provide you with any information you may need. Now let's take a look at the questions you may have in mind.

1- How does homeschooling work in the USA?

As the requirements for homeschooling may vary from family to family and from child to child, regulations also vary greatly from state to state. You can select the state you want to homeschool from the list to see the detailed information:

2- What is homeschooling?

In short, homeschooling can be defined as the education of children at home conducted by their parents rather than a private or governmental institution.

You can find detailed information about the definition of online homeschooling, how parents should homeschool their child, and tips to excel in homeschooling in our “Online Homeschooling - Learn How to Excel in Homeschooling with 15 Tips” article.

3- How to start homeschooling?

In the USA, there are some procedures that each state has set up to enable homeschooling education. Basically, the common features can be summarized as follows:

  • Registration of children if they are enrolled in a particular school,
  • Establishing the necessary applications and registrations regarding homeschooling,
  • Determining a suitable online homeschooling program and a curriculum suitable for both the child and the family,
  • Ensuring that any subjects prescribed by that state are covered in the curriculum,
  • Getting involved in the information exchange and support circle by contacting the associations and organizations in each state.

4- How much does homeschooling cost?

On average, a child's annual homeschooling education will approximately cost:

  • Materials: $150-$300
  • Field Trips: $100-$250
  • Curriculum: $350-$750
  • Extracurriculars: $100-$500
  • Total cost per year per student: $700-$1800

5- Is homeschooling good?

Homeschooling is one of the best ways to educate children. According to the U.S. government and education researchers, the number of students who are homeschooling has doubled in the last years. Here are some basic reasons why homeschooling including its online form is good for kids and the entire family:

  • Children are away from the negative school environment
  • Families can spend money on relevant education materials and events to support their kids individually regarding their special needs and conditions
  • Families can protect their kids from bullying and improve their social interactions

6- Is homeschooling free?

Homeschooling is free. However, homeschooling parents can always use the tools for online homeschool education in exchange for fulfilling certain conditions according to the rules of their state. In the homeschooling system, parents are responsible for their child’s education, and the necessary materials and expenses for education are covered by the parents.

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