Homeschooling laws and requirements vary across the world but the good news is that home school is legal in all 50 US States and many other countries too, including the UK.
In fact in many countries home school is growing in popularity - which, given all the advantages to teaching your child at home, hardly comes as a surprise!
It's worth holding onto the fact that no one can stop you from homeschooling so long as you follow the laws of your state or country.
That doesn't mean you won't face some opposition (in fact, reasoning with the relatives is such a common issue I've put it as one of the homeschooling negatives!)
Nonetheless, even if you have to argue sometimes, ultimately you are responsible for your child's education.
I've said this before, but it's worth repeating:
Choosing to home school our children is the best decision we ever made!
There is a great Wikipedia article which shows you where homeschooling is legal.
It also gives estimates on the number of children homeschooled round the world.
There are lots more details about the homeschooling laws, including some top tips on how to steer your way through them, in my page on the legal requirements of homeschooling.
Before we start, there's one very important point that's worth emphasizing:
Find out for yourself what the laws are BEFORE you ask state officials.
You can find out what you need to know from local home school organizations and the reference library.
If you ask you local school district or state department of education for information before informing yourself about the laws you may well find that local officials and even state officials will not fully understand the laws relating to home school.
So they may ask for far more information than the law requires.
I have to say this is true in the UK too.
Your local Education Authority is probably not the best place to find out what you need to do.
In fact, you may end up explaining the laws to them!
This is just one of the tips that fellow homeschoolers have shared on my Facebook page.
And here is one of the questions Jennifer asked about what to do if someone reports your child is neglected:
If you'd like to see real life answers from fellow homeschoolers who have faced the same problem themselves, have a look at my page on homeschooling legal problems.
It's obviously essential that you make enquiries yourself about the legal situation as it affects you.
Here's a brief overview of the homeschooling laws as they affect the US as a whole.
I've taken from Wikipedia the three main categories of laws that apply to the US:
Whatever laws apply to your state, it's interesting that overall the numbers of homeschool students in the US is increasing.
It's also good to know that statistics prove the academic benefit of home school.
You can see in full section 7 of the 1996 Education Act, which is the law relating to home educators in England and Wales, as well as any obligations you have, in my page on homeschooling requirements.
In April 2019 the government published a new guidance for home educators here which at first sight looks pretty daunting. It's clearly not written by someone who has been a home educator themselves and understands that actually things fall into place very naturally.
The important thing you need to remember is that significantly this guidance:
What I'd like to clarify now is what the law means in real life.
The good news is that one look at the homeschooling laws shows that most of the requirements other people think you have to do are completely wrong.
The best way to think about home education laws in the UK is to realize that:
Education is compulsory, schooling is not.
Fiona Nicholson runs a very useful website resource for home educators in the UK which covers the law and all FAQs new home educators have.
She also helps with thorny problems like the legal answers you can give if you run into problems with LEAs or claiming Benefits.
The really important thing about homeschooling laws is that they generally still leave you with a lot of freedom compared to public education.
I am certain that, whatever homeschooling laws and requirements you have to follow, you'll find home school well worth the effort.
Click on the pic to go to the page:
Homeschooling › Start › Laws
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