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What's the difference STATE BY STATE!

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Question: Which level is the state you live in?


Strictness level 1 (Most Homeschool Friendly)

Strictness level 2

Strictness level 3

Strictness level 4 (Least Homeschool Friendly)

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 50

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There are four levels of homeschooling regulation around the country: states with essentially no regulations; states with low regulations; states with moderate regulations; and states with high regulations.

The states which have essentially no regulations are the most homeschooler-friendly. These states require no notification. That is, the parents of the children do not have to notify the district in any way of their intent to homeschool. There are no forms to fill out, no phone calls to make. Even if one decides to pull their child from public school in order to begin homeschooling, there is not even a form to sign. These states allow homeschoolers the most freedom and the most flexibility in their curriculums, as well as the amount of time they decide to spend on educational endeavors. Currently, there are 10 states that fall into this category: Idaho, Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

The next level up, are the states which have low regulations. Namely, they require only that the parent notifies the district in writing of their intent to homeschool a child of compulsory attendance age. These states are also highly homeschooler-friendly as they require no testing, no reporting, and no home visits. Currently there are 15 states which fall into this category: California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Delaware and Washington D.C.

The third level up, are the states which have moderate regulations. Not only do these states require written parental notification, but they also require state standardized test scores and professional evaluation of the homeschooling students' performance. Theoretically, if the district within which the homeschooling family resides felt, after this testing and evaluation, that the homeschool was not fulfilling its legal requirement to educate the student to the state's standards, they could revoke that family's right to homeschool. These states are not considered overly homeschooler-friendly. This is the most popular level of homeschooling regulation in our country, as there are currently 20 states which implement this program: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, and Hawaii.

The strictest level of homeschooling regulation exercised in our country, requires notification, mandatory state testing, professional evaluation, and may also include curriculum approval, reporting of hours and progress, teaching certification of the parent and/or home visits by state officials. Obviously, these states would not be considered the best for homeschoolers, at least in the eyes of homeschoolers themselves. They are not homeschooler-friendly, allow little to no flexibility, and may just be states that homeschoolers prefer to avoid all together. Fortunately for most homeschoolers, there are only 6 states which currently fall into this category: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

by on May. 19, 2013 at 5:44 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on May. 19, 2013 at 8:42 PM
Pretty much. Unless your highschooler wants to go to college and wants to apply for tops then you would have to do the first option to get it. Luckily I don't have to worry about any of that for a while.

Quoting HopeJoyPeace1:

Well Option 2 sounds like a no brainer.. lol!

Quoting Dawn07:

The first option we have to send in an application for the first time. Each year after we have to send in a portfolio and take a standerized test. The second option only requires us to send a letter of intent each year and that's it. No other paperwork.

You are free to choose whichever option works best for you.

by on May. 19, 2013 at 8:48 PM
I will check this out in am to see about validity
by on May. 19, 2013 at 8:57 PM

I am in NY also.  It is pretty strict.  I am still trying to understand the laws!  This is my first year homeschooling.  I just feel sorry for my local homeschooling groups that have to hear my many questions and fears, lol.

by on May. 20, 2013 at 12:47 AM
I live in Oklahoma. We have to do nothing but "school" for 180 days a year. And even then, we don't have to turn anything in to prove we did 180 days. I love living here :)
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by on May. 20, 2013 at 2:49 AM
I'm in Utah. We have to send a letter of intent and say we'll school the proper number of days and subjects, but we don't have to do anything to prove we've done it.
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by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM
by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM
I'm in NC which is listed as level 3 here but the article is wrong. We have to notify the state one time and we are required to test yearly and keep the test along with attendance records on file for one year. You don't have to have an evaluation or show anyone the test results. If their is a complaint you let them see that those two things are on file and you're good to go. They can't just decide that you can't homeschool anymore.
by on May. 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

 im in oregon where its strict level 3 according to what you wrote, but i have never followed the law at all

by Bronze Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I'm in NY, too.  It's strict but it's such a non-issue.  My paperwork takes less than an hour a year!  I'm actually glad to have our progress on record.  It was so helpful when dd wanted to go to the Fame school for high school.  She got right in.  Without the paperwork and help from the homeschool guidance counselor, she wouldn't have.   Plus they give the kids free Metrocards!   NYC is still the best place to homeschool!  :D

by on May. 20, 2013 at 10:06 AM
We're in Iowa. We have to write a letter of intent. Then we have 3 options. We can state test, do a portfolio that has to be assessed by a certified teacher, or have a supervised teacher. I think we're going with the portfolio option.
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