Home Schooling – Part II – Federal and State Requirements

What are the federal requirements when it comes to homeschooling?  Well, there are none. There are no federal requirements for homeschooling.

With so many federal regulations governing the education of students in public and private schools throughout this country, it’s shocking that there isn’t a single requirement for parents who wish to educate their children at home.

However, there are state requirements. Depending on which state you live in, your homeschooling requirements will vary state by state.

The only way to wade through all the very different regulations by state is the categorize them by the number of regulations that each state has.

There are currently:

  • 11 states that require no notice and low regulations to homeschool
  • 21 states with very few regulations to homeschool
  • 12 states with moderate regulations to homeschool
  • 6 states with high regulations to homeschool

And while none of the states have an identical plan, making an article covering each state’s regulations tedious and nearly impossible, you can glean some information by comparing the statute options for two states in this way. For the  From Michigan with the no notice and low regulations category to Pennsylvania with a high regulations category, each state varies significantly.

CategoryNo notice, low regulationHigh regulation
Options for Homeschooling24
Assessment RequirementsNoOnly for option 1

Families in Michigan can choose to homeschool under the Michigan statute.  The following subjects are mandated:

  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Math
  • Science
  • History
  • Civics
  • Literature
  • Writing
  • English grammar

However, parents are not required to notify the local government or any educational authorities that they’re choosing to homeschool, nor are the children required to take any assessments to demonstrate proficiency in these subject areas.

Families in Pennsylvania can also choose to homeschool under the Pennsylvania statute.  The following subjects are mandated:

  • Spelling
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Civics
  • US history and Pennsylvania history
  • Health
  • PE
  • Music
  • Art
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Safety education
  • Language
  • Literature
  • Speech
  • Composition

However, homeschoolers in Pennsylvania have the added requirements of 180 days or 900 hours of instructional time for elementary and 180 days or 990 hours for secondary along with affidavits, portfolios, assessments, and evaluations.

An interesting scenario given we have over 3 million kids being homeschooled.  The best part of this story is 67% of all homeschooled students graduate college.  That means parent regulation and support is successful.