Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Research Your State's Homeschool Laws

 Photo credit: creationc

One of the first steps any family should take in their homeschooling journey is to research their state's laws regarding homeschooling. This does two big things:
  • It ensures that you don't get into trouble -- who needs the hassle?
  • It gives you peace of mind going forward. You know exactly what is expected of you and your family, and you can plan accordingly.
Luckily, learning about your state's homeschool requirements is pretty straightforward. You can either go to your state government website and search "homeschool" (or just Google "state" + "homeschool laws.")

An even easier way is to go to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) site. At the bottom of the page, click "my state", then "laws." Click on your state on the map, and another page will come up. Each state has a very useful link named "A Legal Analysis." This explains, in plain English, what your state homeschool laws mean for you.

For example, here in Michigan, we have things pretty easy. We do not have to notify anyone about our intent to homeschool. We do not have to submit lesson plans, attendance records, or test scores to anyone. How we educate our children is entirely up to us. This gives us a wonderful amount of freedom in choosing a yearly school calendar and curriculum.

No matter which state you live in, though, learning how to comply with the homeschool laws is absolutely necessary. It's much easier to jump through any necessary hoops now than dig yourself out of possible trouble later on!

Links: HSLDA Michigan Homeschooling Page

This post is part of my 31 Days of Tips for New Homeschoolers series!

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