Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the Indiana Department of Education website for updates.
Are you ready to start homeschooling in Indiana? You may have many questions about topics like what you need to do to begin, what recordkeeping and testing is required, and how you need to interact with your local school district. You will want to start by understanding Indiana 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 Indiana homeschool requirements to get you started:
Indiana Homeschool Law
According to Indiana Code 20-33-2-8, “A student is not bound by the requirements of this chapter [Chapter 2 of Education Code] until the student becomes seven (7) years of age, if, upon request of the superintendent of the school corporation, the parent of a student who would otherwise be subject to compulsory school attendance […] certifies to the superintendent that the parent intends to:
- enroll the student in a nonaccredited, nonpublic school; or
- begin providing the student with instruction equivalent to that given in the public schools […];
not later than the date on which the student becomes seven (7) years of age.”
A homeschool in Indiana is referred to as a nonpublic non-accredited school (IC 20-33-2-12). “Homebound instruction and virtual schools, based and accredited in Indiana, including virtual charter schools […] are not homeschools.”
What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?
There are no required qualifications for you to homeschool your child.
Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?
Although not required, you—as the parent or guardian—may choose to submit the Homeschool Enrollment Form to register your homeschool. This form would only be submitted once and remains active while you are homeschooling. The Indiana Department of Education insists, however, that you let the public school know that your child is being homeschooled (preferably in writing) so that your child is not considered truant. You can also request a copy of your child’s public school records at that time.
If your child is a high school student transferring to homeschool, a December 20, 2019 memorandum states, “The high school principal must provide to the student and parent the “Withdraw to Non-Accredited Nonpublic School” form adopted by the State Board of Education. This form must be signed and dated by the parent or guardian to acknowledge that the parent understands the requirements and expectations of homeschool, and is officially withdrawing the student to attend homeschool. A student signature is acceptable if the student is at least 18 years of age at the time of withdrawal.”
What educational options are available to my homeschooler?
You may be able to enroll your child in one or more classes at the local school corporation. However, this is a local decision, and you should inquire directly with your local school corporation.
The Indiana Department of Education “does not review or endorse any homeschool programs. It is up to parents and guardians to determine what type of program will meet their needs and to implement the program.”
Indiana Homeschool Requirements
Even though Indiana does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Indiana homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:
- Begin homeschooling by age 7. (Kindergarten is not mandatory in Indiana.)
- Notify the public school of your intent to homeschool (and file the “Withdraw to Non-Accredited Nonpublic School” form if your child is transferring to homeschool from high school).
- Provide 180 days of instruction per year (July 1-June 30) in a manner that is equivalent to that of the public schools. Although specific curriculum is not required, Indiana Standards and Resources are available for your review.
- Maintain attendance records (no specific form needed) and evidence of “continuing educational activity.” There are no curriculum or program requirements, or state-mandated or approved textbooks, for your homeschool.
- Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.
Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?
No! According to the Indiana Department of Education, “State law does not require ISTEP, or any other testing, for children in homeschools. However, home educated children may take ISTEP if they are enrolled in a particular educational program or initiative offered by a public or accredited nonpublic school [at least one class]. The Department of Education recommends periodic, standardized achievement testing for homeschooled children.”
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
In order to homeschool in Indiana, according to the Indiana Department of Education, you must maintain attendance records (IC 20-33-2-20). There is no specific form. These attendance records must be provided upon request of the public school superintendent or Secretary of Education. Maintaining evidence of educational activity is also suggested.
We also recommend you do some personal 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 prepare for re-entry into public school or post-secondary pathways. This includes the following:
- Attendance, required
- Immunization records
- Lists of texts and workbooks used
- Student schoolwork samples and/or portfolios
- Test and evaluation results
- Correspondence with school officials
You may also be able to find more information on Indiana homeschool requirements through your local school corporation.
Other Indiana Homeschool Policies
Once you make sure that you are following Indiana homeschool law and meeting Indiana homeschool requirements, here are some other things you need to know:
Can my homeschooled child participate in extracurricular activities offered by the public school?
Yes, your homeschooled child may participate in extracurricular sports and activities offered by the public school under certain conditions. This is a local decision, so you will need to contact your local school corporation.
“The IHSAA has established the following criteria for homeschoolers to participate in public school sports:
- The student, in conjunction with the school, provide proof to the IHSAA that the spirit of the eligibility rules will not be compromised including passing a physical examination and participating in the required number of practices in a given sport;
- The student must have been homeschooled for the previous three consecutive years;
- The student completes all state-wide examinations as authorized by the Indiana Department of Education;
- The student’s family must submit grade information to the school to affirm the student is passing all courses;
- The student must be enrolled in the school for which the student is participating for a minimum of one class per day.”
Dual enrollment for all extra-curricular, elementary, middle and high school sports is a local decision. For specifics, contact the IHSAA at (317) 846-6601.
Participation in public school extracurricular activities is also at the discretion of the public school.”
What if I want to re-enroll my child in public school after homeschooling?
According to the Indiana Department of Education, “The public school corporation in which you live must enroll students if you wish to return them to public school. If you choose to enroll in a public charter school, you may not be able to enroll right away, if the charter school is at its enrollment capacity. If you choose to enroll in an accredited nonpublic school, you will be subject to their admissions policies and procedures.”
“When students return to school, the school retains the right of placement for the student. This means that the school may place the student in the grade or class where they feel the student will be most successful. The school is not required to accept work completed as part of a homeschool education.”
What are my child’s postsecondary options after homeschooling?
According to the Indiana Department of Education, “Homeschooled children will not receive a diploma from the local public school or from the Indiana Department of Education. If you are concerned about the type of diploma your child will receive, the IDOE suggests you could use an accredited correspondence program which grants a diploma upon completion.
Students who are issued a diploma by the administrator (parent or legal guardian) of an Indiana homeschool possess a legally issued, non-accredited diploma according to the State of Indiana. Homeschools, like all other non-accredited, nonpublic schools, may legally issue a diploma to students that complete the graduation requirements of that school, as established by that school. Many homeschool parents find their non-accredited diploma, backed by the homeschool program’s transcripts of the high school instruction the student received, accepted by colleges and prospective employers.
Indiana law requires homeschools to give instruction equivalent to public schools but does not bind any requirements set forth with regard to curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the school. It is strongly recommended that homeschool programs keep good records of the courses taught through high school so that transcripts can be provided to colleges and prospective employers.
Sixteen-year-old home educated students may choose to take the general equivalency exam to earn a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma. The forms required for participation in HSE testing are available at local HSE testing sites, or from http://www.tasctest.com.”
According to the Indiana Department of Education, “Under Indiana law, students enrolled in non-accredited, private schools (including, but not limited to, homeschools) are not eligible for the Twenty-First Century Scholars Program.”
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 Indiana homeschool law and Indiana 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 Indiana Homeschool Groups by county.