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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

View Results

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 (21-30):
by on May. 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Strictness level 1. I'm in Illinois :)

by Silver Member on May. 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this

I would recommend hslda for accurate homeschool laws, state by state, over Yahoo Voice, lol.

As I said, this article definitely misrepresents my state; I've been homeschooling for several years and am very familiar with our laws.

Quoting HopeJoyPeace1:

This is the site I quoted!

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

by on May. 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM

in Wisconsin it is only an attendance law. they can not test my kids on how much they know. they can only see how much they have been at school. and check curriculum to make sure it is progressivly harder.

by Group Admin on May. 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

 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

California does not have to report to the district, you send in a form to the state and start a private school.  The local school district has nothing to do with it.

by Bronze Member on May. 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

 Hit the wrong one! lol I said it was level 2 when it should have been level 3.

by Group Admin on May. 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

 I'm in PA, so level 4 here.  No wonder I was so nervous my first year.  At this point, it's not so bad.

by on May. 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Indiana--yay for me!

by on May. 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

This is inaccurate. 

In Louisiana, there are two statutes you can homeschool under, one of which requires no testing, only notifications.

If you want "approved home study" then that's another story.

by on May. 21, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I grew up in a Level 2, and am raising my children in a different state that also happens to be Level 2.

We have talked of moving up north, which would be a Level 3.  I've known homeschoolers up north that homeschool w/o any frustration or difficulty from the system, so I don't know if the laws are as bad as they're made out to be or if those that I know have just been really lucky.

by on May. 21, 2013 at 11:19 PM
We live in Louisiana too, so very good to know. Thank u! Ds is only 4 so know I have a while before we have to notify but we might move to TX to be closer to family by then :)

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.

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