Delaware Education Code For Homeschooling
Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the Delaware Department of Education website for updates.
Are you ready to start homeschooling in Delaware? You may have many questions about topics like what you need to do to begin, what reporting and testing is required, and how you need to interact with your local school district. You will want to start by understanding Delaware homeschool law. You may feel overwhelmed as you start this process, but there are resources available and other homeschoolers who have already succeeded on this adventure!
Here is some information on Delaware homeschool requirements to get you started:
Delaware Homeschool Law
Based on Delaware Education Law, and according to the Delaware Department of Education, “If you live in Delaware and your child(ren) is/are between the ages of 5 (by August 31st of the school year) and 18 [unless over the age of 16 and withdrawn with parent consent and completion of an exit interview], your child(ren) must be enrolled in a public or nonpublic (private or homeschool) school. This is due to compulsory attendance laws in Delaware.” (Delaware law, 14 Del.C. § 2702).
In Delaware, there are two main types of homeschool:
- Single-family homeschool: “the education of one’s own child(ren) primarily by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of such child(ren) mainly in their own residence.”
- Multi-family homeschool: “the education of children, primarily by the parents(s) or legal guardian(s) of such children mainly in one or several residences, or other facilities, when such children are not all related to each other as brother or sister. A person shall act as a liaison to the Department of Education for reporting enrollment and attendance information for all families involved.”
Both are considered a nonpublic school and must be registered with the Department of Education. To remain open, a homeschool must report annual enrollment and attendance. You must either enroll your own children in your single-family homeschool or contact the liaison of a multi-family homeschool. Once your child is enrolled in a homeschool, you must withdraw your child from the public school or other nonpublic school.
According to the Delaware Department of Education, the Department of Education does not provide or recommend a curriculum, keep any student records, or ensure that post-secondary organizations will accept records or a diploma from your homeschool. You will be responsible for courses, coursework, materials, and supplies.
You may choose to enroll your child in an online school, program, or curriculum, but your homeschool must be registered as an open Delaware nonpublic school first.
Delaware Homeschool Requirements
Even though Delaware does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Delaware homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:
- Register your homeschool as a nonpublic school (after August 10th for the new school year) and enroll your children.
- Withdraw from any previously attended public or nonpublic school, particularly if you are registering for a nonpublic school during the current school year.
- “Submit annually, no later than October 5, a statement of pupil enrollment as of the last school day in September,” through the Nonpublic Schools System (Delaware law, 14 Del.C. § 2704).
- “Report end of the year attendance information to the Delaware Department of Education annually, on or before July 31,” through the Nonpublic Schools System (Delaware law, 14 Del.C. § 2704).
- Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.
Note that you are not required to open a homeschool with the Delaware Department of Education for a child over the age of 16, but you are welcome and encouraged to do so.
If I am homeschooling, do I need to assess my child annually?
According to the Delaware Department of Education, “The DOE does not administer or provide state assessments to nonpublic school students. For homeschools, there are private options available if you wish to pursue annual testing for your child(ren). Homeschool students are eligible for these private options to take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams. The DOE cannot recommend any specific private option and does not provide funding for assessment tests. Some private schools may offer to administer assessments. This is not a requirement.”
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
The Delaware Department of Education recommends that you keep an academic portfolio for your homeschooled child, which includes the following:
- Grades/report cards and records of promotion
- Test scores and state assessments
If your child is enrolled in a multi-family homeschool, request copies of all academic records.
We also recommend you do some additional recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to re-enter public school or prepare for post-secondary pathways. This includes:
- Curriculum or lists of texts and workbooks used
- Immunization records
- Student schoolwork samples and/or portfolios
- Correspondence with school officials
You may also be able to find more information on homeschooling in Delaware through your local school district.
Other Delaware Homeschool Policies
Once you make sure that you are following Delaware homeschool law and meeting Delaware homeschool requirements, here are some other things you need to know:
Can my homeschooled child participate in extracurricular activities offered by the public school?
The Delaware Department of Education Homeschools and Private Schools FAQ Page clarifies this issue: “Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) regulations 1008 and 1009 require that in order for a student to represent a school in interscholastic athletics they must be enrolled at that school as a full-time student and the school must be a member school of the DIAA.”
What if I want to re-enroll my child in the public school after being homeschooled?
According to the Delaware Department of Education, “if a student returns to public school in Delaware, it is the public school’s decision which grade level a student is placed when re-enrolled into a public school.” The Department of Education recommends that you call your district to ask about the requirements when transferring a homeschooled student into the district. Find out what type of documentation is needed and whether any testing is required.
What happens after high school?
The Delaware Department of Education suggests that “students and parents/guardians may wish to contact a college, university, training program, licensing entities, or employer to determine if they will accept the diploma from the nonpublic school under consideration.”
See the Delaware Homeschools and Private Schools Page on the Delaware Department of Education’s website for even more information on homeschooling in Delaware.
Connect With Local Homeschoolers
Remember, too, that you are not alone. You should connect with local homeschoolers from your state, who can help you with Delaware homeschool law and Delaware homeschool requirements and offer you all kinds of practical advice and suggestions. They can give you guidance on everything from curriculum to daily schedules to recordkeeping, and they may be able to share information about local resources, support groups, and field trips. Click the image below to find Delaware Homeschool Groups by county.