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A2Z Homeschool - THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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Homeschool Laws & Legalities

Know Your Homeschool Law!

It is important to home school legally!

Laws for Homeschooling by State, Province, or Country
Mobile-accessible list to find homeschool laws easily by political region. It is important to read the actual laws for homeschooling in your political region. Each is different from any other region, though there may some overlap in requirements.


How to Know Which Laws to Follow

If you have been in a state long enough to be legally required to have that state’s license plate on your vehicle, or are required to have that state’s driver’s license, then you should also follow that state’s homeschool law. If your primary residence is in a state where you vote and pay taxes, consider that your home state. There is no statutory definition for principal residence in the Tax Code. What if you move around a whole lot, living in an RV or boat? Either of those would have some state’s registration.

When traveling out of state for extended periods, carry along copies of any homeschool legal proof your home state provides. What if a child spends considerable time being educated at a relative’s residence in another state? Determine where a child spends most of each area’s school hours. If not in their home state, then file in the state where they are being educated. The other place could be considered a satellite school of the primary home school.

Think what a police officer or truant officer would first try to match up. That is what needs to all be in agreement. School districts these days tend not to have enough in their budgets to send truant officers to chase down homeschoolers who have left the district.

If you are very confused about where your legal residence is, it does no harm to file in two states, providing each with all they want. You would not get to chose to follow only the easier state’s laws. There are also many home school programs available to help with homeschooling your children.

My Disclaimer

I am not a lawyer, so it is up to you to verify and interpret the homeschool laws.

I provide them for your information only, and rely on the help of homeschoolers in the geographic areas to assist me in keeping these laws as correct as possible.

Although I do my best to make sure these are complete, they may not cover every circumstance of your homeschooling situation. The Regional and World Wide Homeschooling pages usually have links to support group pages to help you understand how the laws are put into practice and what you need to do to comply. Only an interpretation of the law by a state-certified  barrister should be considered legal advice.


Legal Homeschooling

Declaration of Educational Independence
By Linda Dobson, reprinted with permission. WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for Families to dissolve the Educational Bands which have connected them to a faltering Society…

Drivers Ed
Home-based driving instruction for your homeschooling teen.

Educational Neglect
These laws could make homeschooling “educational neglect.” Information about educational neglect.

Educationese for Homeschool Reports
Educationese — or Teacherese — is the name sometimes given to the jargon too frequently employed by some of those who train our schoolteachers.

For Teachers Who Want to Tutor
You want to break out of public schools. How do you enter the homeschool market?

Home School Laws & Legalities Glossary
The purpose of this page is to help you understand what a legal term in a state’s home school law means you need to do, may do…or not do.

Homeschool Stationery
Directions for creating matching calling card, letterhead, and a brochure for your homeschool.

HSLDA and HSLDA/F Consumer Information
There are many different opinions about HSLDA. If you want to join, by all means join, just know what you are joining. It is not a pre-paid legal insurance company.

Is Homeshooling Suddenly Illegal In California? No!
Here is a statement that has been prepared by one of the attorneys on the HSC legal team. September 8, 2002.

It’s so much fun, it can’t be legal
But homeschooling is legal and fun for the whole family.

May a Grandmother Homeschool?
Yes, a grandmother may homeschool her grandchildren. And so may a grandfather, aunt, uncle, or older sibling, once the parents or legal guardians have set up a legal homeschool according to the laws of their state.

May I homeschool someone else’s children?
There are two scenarios. The person asking can a relative, such as a grandparent, older sibling, or other relative educate my homeschool children? They will be educating their relative at no charge. The second is asking if someone unrelated to the family, and who will be receiving compensation, may homeschool their children.

Naming Your Homeschool
Consider naming your homeschool so you can appear professional.

Other Countries
How to advise families who want to homeschool in a non-English speaking country.

Records and Reports
An Excel spreadsheet from your guide and other resources to help you plan, record and report. Links for other reports and planners, and organizational software.

Sample Form to Request School Records
These records concern your child’s past grades, test results, and other items kept in your child’s cumulative folder.

State Homeschool Policies: A patchwork of provisions
An overview of homeschooling guidelines and laws by Micah Ann Wixon. “Although homeschooling occurs largely outside of the public education system, as states provide more online education options and allow homeschooled students to participate, the lines between public education and homeschooling are blurring.”

A Tax Write-off?
Can I write off any homeschooling expenses on my taxes?

Testing Homeschoolers
Should you test? Must you test? How to find tests. Alternative ways to prove your children are learning.

Things to know before citing Case Law
Did you know? When a phrase from a court case is quoted, it makes a big difference where the phrase was taken from the decision of that case? by Attorney Deborah Stevenson, Executive Director of the National Home Education Legal Defense.

FAQ

Do You Know What Law Enables You To Homeschool?
If you don’t know, you should. How else can you tell whether the next government official who tells you that you have to do what he says is lying or misunderstanding the law? By Deborah Stevenson, atty.

Grading States on Their Education Freedom
I am often asked which states are the “best” for homeschooling. This list of the top 10 and worse 10 for academic freedoms is probably pretty close. The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2000.

The Informed Parent
Mary Nix is not a lawyer, nor an expert, but a parent just like you. “My family and I chose home education as our educational choice. It is a hands on process that opens up many opportunities for learning and exploring. Because it is outside of the educational norm, we also felt the need to learn about the rules that govern this choice.” Home school programs can be helpful, read lots of reviews about homeschooling programs before choosing one.

Legal Assistance

Lawyers – Directory By State From AHSA
List of Attorneys willing to consult with and/or represent homeschoolers: These attorneys have indicated that they are willing to provide legal information, consult with or represent homeschoolers on homeschooling or other legal issues they may have in their states. Most of these attorneys homeschool or have homeschooled their own children.

Legislation

Homeschool Watch
A place where articles, incidents and current legislation impacting homeschoolers can be posted and practically discussed. The list purpose isto efficiently inform, network and support the efforts of homeschoolers across the nation to keep homeschooling free. This is intended to be a list for homeschoolers actively working on legislative issues and not a theoretical debate society.

Recent State Policies/Activities – Homeschooling
The following summary includes policies enacted since 1999. Summaries are collected fromStateNet, Lexis-Nexis, state Web sites and state newsletters. StateNet and Lexis- Nexisdescriptions reflect the content of bills as introduced and may not reflect changes made during the legislative process. [I’ve been told the Oregon update here is incorrect.]

Taking Charge
Larry and Susan Kaseman have regular columns in Home Education Magazine that usually concern some controversial topic about the homeschool movement.

The Wild and Free Pigs of Okefenokee Swamp
The parable of the pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people.

Links

Complying With Regulations
How to unschool and meet state record keeping requirements.

Content Standards
If your state requires something like “instruction equivalent to the public schools,” then check these state content standards to see just what they are.

Legal Cases
Reports of legal cases and precedents set involving homeschool families.

Legal Resources
Know your rights! Should you have a legal question, check this page.

Portfolios
Creating portfolios for personal use, jobs or for getting into college.

Regional and World Wide
Associations and local support groups can provide you with their interpretations of homeschooling laws regarding compulsory attendance, and how you can best comply.

Special Needs Legal Advocacy
Homeschooling children with special needs sometimes requires special advocacy in some states.

Support Groups
Where do you find and make homeschooling friends? How do support groups work? Tips for organizing support group activities.

Transcripts
Help interpreting your high school-level work to make into transcripts for college applications.


Mail Lists

AHSA-USA_Homeschooling_and_Custody
This list is an opportunity for homeschoolers involved in custody issues to contact other homeschoolers for information about homeschooling attorneys and experts, as well as exchange ideas and information about handling custody disputes as a result of homeschooling.

Social Security

Social Security Benefits when Homeschooling
For social Security a home school must comply with State law for the child to be entitled as a student even if he/she is beyond the State’s compulsory education age.

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