Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the New Hampshire Department of Education website for updates.
Are you ready to start homeschooling in New Hampshire? 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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire homeschool requirements to get you started:
New Hampshire Homeschool Law
According to New Hampshire Revised Statute 193:1:
“I. A parent of any child at least 6 years of age and under 18 years of age shall cause such child to attend the public school to which the child is assigned in the child’s resident district. Such child shall attend full time when such school is in session unless:
- The child is attending a New Hampshire public school outside the district to which the child is assigned or an approved New Hampshire private school for the same time;
- The child is receiving home education pursuant to RSA 193-A and is therefore exempt from this requirement;
- The relevant school district superintendent has excused a child from attendance because the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school, or has been temporarily excused upon the request of the parent for purposes agreed upon by the school authorities and the parent. […];
- The child is attending a public or private school located in another state which has been approved by the state education agency of the state in which the school is located, or is attending a nonsectarian private school located in New Hampshire that is approved as a school tuition program by the school board pursuant to RSA 193:3, VII;
- The pupil has been exempted from attendance pursuant to RSA 193:5;
- The pupil has successfully completed all requirements for graduation and the school district is prepared to issue a diploma or the pupil has successfully achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma by either:
- (1) Obtaining a high school equivalency certificate; or
- (2) Documenting the completion of a home school program at the high school level by submitting a certificate or letter to the department of education;
- The pupil has been accepted into an accredited postsecondary education program; or
- The pupil obtains a waiver from the superintendent, which shall only be granted upon proof that the pupil is 16 years of age or older and has an alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- A child who reaches the sixth birthday after September 30 shall not be required to attend school under the provisions of this section until the following school year.”
“Home education is an alternative to attendance at a public or private school and is an individualized form of instruction” (Ed315). “Dates and hours of instruction shall not be required to coincide with the resident district calendar. The academic term of a home education program shall not be required to coincide with the resident district academic year” (Ed315). Note that “no superintendent, school board, school principal, or other school district official shall propose, adopt, or enforce any policy or procedure governing home educated pupils that is inconsistent with or more restrictive than the provisions of this chapter [RSA 193-A] and any rules adopted pursuant to RSA 193-A:3” (RSA 193-A:11).
What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?
There are no required minimum qualifications for you to homeschool your child. In accordance with RSA 193-A:4, “Home education shall be provided by a parent for his own child, unless the provider is as otherwise agreed upon by the appropriate parties” (Department of Education, resident district superintendent, or nonpublic school working with the parents). “A parent shall select, as a participating agency for home education program notification and support, one of the following: (1) The commissioner; (2) The resident district superintendent; or (3) The head of a nonpublic school. A parent may select a new participating agency at any time. […] The selected participating agency shall work with parents upon request in meeting the requirements of RSA 193-A:4, I” (Ed315).
Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?
Yes. You must notify a “participating agency that you intend to enroll your child in a home education program. The participating agency may be the Commissioner of Education, the Superintendent of your local school district, or the Head of a nonpublic school” (New Hampshire Department of Education). This must be done within five days of commencing the home education program” (RSA 93-A:5). You may use the Notification of Home Education Program form or provide a notice that includes “the names, addresses, and birth dates of all children who are participating in the home education program” (RSA 193-A:5).
If your child is currently enrolled in public school, you must also inform the school that your child is withdrawing from public school and is beginning a home education program “before the date the home instruction shall begin” (Ed315).
What educational options are available to my homeschooler?
You do have options for the home education of your child, including participation in some school district programs and services. According to RSA 193:1-c, “Nonpublic, public chartered school, or home educated pupils shall have access to curricular courses […] offered by the school district in which the pupil resides. The local school board may adopt a policy regulating participation in curricular courses […], provided that such policy shall not be more restrictive for non-public, public chartered school, or home educated pupils than the policy governing the school district’s resident pupils. […] For purposes of allowing access as described in this section, a “home educated pupil” shall not include any pupil who has graduated from a high school level program of home education, or its equivalent, or has attained the age of 21.”
New Hampshire Homeschool Requirements
Even though New Hampshire does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some New Hampshire homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:
- Begin homeschooling by age 6.
- File the required Notification of Home Education Program form prior to beginning homeschooling.
- Teach the required subjects of “science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, the history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States, and an exposure to and appreciation of art and music” (RSA 193-A:4).
- Complete annual educational evaluations to document progress (with the support of the participating agency).
- File the Notice of Completion of a Home Education Program if your child under the age of 18 has completed the home education program at the high school level.
- Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.
Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?
Yes. According to RSA 193-A:6, “The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the child’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with the child’s age and ability. The child shall be deemed to have successfully completed his annual evaluation upon meeting the requirements of any one of the following:
- A certified teacher or a teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school who is selected by the parent shall evaluate the child’s educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the parent or child;
- The child shall take any national student achievement test, administered by a person who meets the qualifications established by the provider or publisher of the test. Composite results at or above the fortieth percentile on such tests shall be deemed reasonable academic proficiency;
- The child shall take a state student assessment test used by the resident district. Composite results at or above the fortieth percentile on such state test shall be deemed reasonable academic proficiency; or
- The child shall be evaluated using any other valid measurement tool mutually agreed upon by the parent and the commissioner of education, resident district superintendent, or nonpublic school principal.” These may include (but are not limited to) any of the following: “a. Interview; b. Educational progress in a particular curriculum as measured by the parent; c. Educational progress in a particular curriculum as measured by the provider; d. Review of the child’s portfolio by a participating agency; e. Evaluation by a teacher in a program recognized by any state department of education; or f. Specially prepared tests or evaluations measuring educational progress in a particular subject or curriculum” (Ed315).
If a review of the child’s portfolio is being used for evaluation, ““The contents of the portfolio shall […] include the following:
- The name and address of the teacher, including state recognized documentation of certification or the name and address of the nonpublic school in which the teacher is currently teaching;
- The date(s) on which the evaluation(s) took place;
- A description of the work reviewed;
- A summary of the child’s educational progress in the home education program concluding with a statement that the child has or has not made educational progress; and
- The signatures of the teacher and the parent” (Ed315).
What happens to my child’s annual evaluation results?
“The results of the evaluation:
- May be used to demonstrate the child’s academic proficiency in order to participate in public school programs, and co-curricular activities which are defined as school district-sponsored and directed athletics, fine arts, and academic activities. Home educated students shall be subject to the same participation policy and eligibility conditions as apply to public school students.
- Shall not be used as a basis for termination of a home education program.
- Provides a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator, both working together in the best interest of the child” (RSA 193-A:4).
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
According to RSA 193-A:6, “The parent shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials relative to the home education program. The portfolio shall consist of a log which designates by title the reading materials used, and also samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the child. Such portfolio shall be preserved by the parent for 2 years from the date of the ending of the instruction.” Parents are also required to maintain copies of the annual educational evaluations.
In addition to the required portfolio and evaluation documents, 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 postsecondary pathways. This includes the following:
- Immunization records
- Other test and evaluation results
- Correspondence with school officials
You may also be able to find more information on New Hampshire homeschool requirements through your local school district.
Other New Hampshire Homeschool Policies
Once you make sure that you are following New Hampshire homeschool law and meeting New Hampshire 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. Based on RSA 193:1-c, “Nonpublic, public chartered school, or home educated pupils shall have access to […] cocurricular programs offered by the school district in which the pupil resides. The local school board may adopt a policy regulating participation in […] cocurricular programs, provided that such policy shall not be more restrictive for non-public, public chartered school, or home educated pupils than the policy governing the school district’s resident pupils. In this section, “cocurricular” shall include those activities which are designed to supplement and enrich regular academic programs of study, provide opportunities for social development, and encourage participation in clubs, athletics, performing groups, and service to school and community. For purposes of allowing access as described in this section, a “home educated pupil” shall not include any pupil who has graduated from a high school level program of home education, or its equivalent, or has attained the age of 21.”
What if I want to re-enroll my child in public school after homeschooling?
If you decide to terminate the home education program and return to the public school, you must file a written notice of termination “with the commissioner of education, and, in addition, the resident district superintendent or nonpublic school principal within 15 days of said termination” (RSA 193-A:5).
What are my child’s postsecondary options after homeschooling?
According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, “New Hampshire homeschooling law neither requires nor provides a secondary school completion credential for resident homeschooled students. New Hampshire homeschooled students satisfy academic and eligibility requirements set forth in the Higher Education Act and the Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 1, by providing self-certification of secondary school completion through home education as defined by New Hampshire law, RSA-193-A.” This certification also makes New Hampshire homeschooled students eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds.
Make sure you contact postsecondary colleges and universities, organizations, or the military to inquire about admissions requirements.
See the Home Education, Home Education Rules and Regulations, and Home Education Advisory Council pages on the New Hampshire Department of Education’s website for even more information on homeschooling in New Hampshire. Remember that the Home Education Advisory Council was created to “work with home educators and representatives of private and public education to encourage an understanding of home education” (Ed315). This includes “developing and maintaining effective communications between home educators and those public, and nonpublic schools and state and local agencies involved in home education” (Ed315).
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 New Hampshire homeschool law and New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire Homeschool Groups by county.