|Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
|Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp. All rights reserved.
|about the book
|The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Before You Begin --
Know your State or Provincial Homeschool
Regulations and your School District Policies!
by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006
Homeschooling is legal in the United States and Canada, and in
many other countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland,
France, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Some of these countries struggle with very restrictive laws and
policies... but at least they have the option. In many other countries,
such as Germany, potential homeschool parents are struggling to gain
the right to educate at home. My heart goes out to them!
I am not a lawyer, and cannot possibly keep up with the ever-changing
laws and policies for each school district, state, province, and country...
but the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has given it a
try! Visit the US HSLDA website to see summaries of the regulations for
each US state, and visit the HSLDA of Canada website for summaries
of provincial regulations. The HSLDA also has summaries of
homeschooling regulations for various countries worldwide. (Please
note that the HSLDA is a Christian-focused organization.) The National
Home Education Network (NHEN) also keeps a database of summaries,
which are (sometimes) easier to "follow" than the HSLDA summaries.
Don't take anyone else's word for it -- read it for yourself!
You need to personally read and become familiar with the actual laws
that apply to your homeschool family... Your state homeschool
organization probably has a link to the relevant statutes at their
website... if they don't, post a question to a local or state online
homeschool group, or find your US state education department at
ED.gov and search for statutes that apply to homeschooling, such
as ""compulsory attendance", "truancy", "home based programs", and
"private schools". (Each state has different wording and terms, so it is
often easier to begin by asking an established homeschooler from your
state where to look for the regulations.) Here is a place to start for
homeschooling laws in Canadian provinces.
Don't jump thru needless hoops -- ask homeschoolers in your
area what is actually expected in the way of reporting, and what
are the is the easiest ways to comply with the regulations!
You need to discuss the regulations with other homeschool parents in
your area to see how the laws are actually interpreted and
implemented... It's important to talk to established homeschoolers
about the requirements, because many times the legal wording is
vague, and could mean different things to different people. Also,
requirements that seem very "scary" when you read about them may
be, in real life, quite easy to manage. If you don't ask, you won't know.
Do you know your state's "Compulsory Age of Attendance"?
The school entrance age varies by state, so be sure to check your own
state regulations to find out when you need to begin meeting
homeschool requirements. In some states it is as late as age 8!
So... before you begin homeschooling:
National Home Education Legal Defense -- "believes in an informed,
empowered citizenry, who is able to fight for freedom effectively when
necessary, ... also acts with and on behalf of its members to resolve
conflicts with government officials"
Homeschool Legal Defense Association -- "a nonprofit advocacy
organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right
of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family
freedoms", Christian fosused
"Do We Need a Homeschool Legal "Insurance" Organization?"
from the Homeschooling is Legal website, in opposition of the HSLDA
AHSA-USA -- an online support group for homeschoolers to contact
homeschooling attorneys and experts about homeschooling legal and
litigation issues, also, an informal network of attorneys and legal experts
that are concerned with litigation pending and threatened against
homeschoolers, its primary purpose is to exchange legal information
within the profession, and to educate and support attorneys and experts
involved in homeschool litigation.
Homeschooling, Divorce and Custody Issues