Following State Homeschooling Laws

by Marcie
girl at desk at home doing end of grade state testing

I started in Texas which is the easiest

Most people are scared to start homeschooling because they’re not sure how to follow their state homeschooling laws. I was lucky in that when I first started homeschooling we lived in Texas which is a “do nothing” state. Meaning they didn’t have any regulations and I didn’t have to do anything before starting to homeschool. I didn’t have to file with the state or county or tell them what subjects we’re studying. Nor did we have to have state testing at the end of the year. Nothing is required. That helped me feel good about homeschooling because I was scared to have the state in charge of me. I was only 26 with 4 little kids, just wanting to do play doh, dig in the sandbox, and write letters to grandparents and call it school. I wanted complete freedom of my children’s education.

Then went to North Carolina which is harder

So Texas was a great place to live to start homeschooling. From there we moved to NC which had moderate regulation. I was scared so I planned to put them in school but they didn’t want to go. (Read more about that story here.) Turns out the regulations weren’t bad at all. Just file with the county and have yearly end of grade exams. So now I’m really not scared of homeschooling laws and you shouldn’t be either.

Finding your state laws

Best source of information is the HSLDA website where it lists the homeschool laws by state:

You can see at a glance which states have no, low, medium and high regulation. And you can click on your state to find out more details about what they require. Here in Virginia I have to file with the county each year (fill out a piece of paper with the children’s grades and mail it in), tell them what subjects we’re studying, and then either have them tested at the end of the year (I love doing but can’t afford right now) or have a teacher certify that they are at grade level. My sister is a teacher so she writes me a letter and I email it in.

You can homeschool!

I hope whichever state you live in you decide to homeschool. You can do it! States are making it easier and easier for parents to teach their own children. Some states like Utah have programs that use public school funding (taxes) for homeschoolers so that they can buy educational resources. We did that one year in Utah and it was so nice. I didn’t know anyone in Texas who homeschooled and information online was hard to find so I was going it alone, but today there are facebook groups for virtual and local communities who homeschool. They offer lots of support and answer questions. It’s even easier than when I started. So if I can at 26 with 4 little kids, you can too!

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