What Is Homeschooling?Each fall when school begins, a growing number of school-aged children do not head off to a classroom. Instead, they learn at home with their families or with other children in their communities. Homeschooling takes many forms, from a daily routine following a scheduled curriculum to child-led learning in which parents supervise and help.
Do Families Have a Right to School Their Children at Home?
All states allow homeschooling. Typically, a state's statutes, through a court ruling, an attorney general opinion, or a regulation that interprets a school attendance law to include homeschooling, consider homeschooling a legitimate option for meeting compulsory education requirements. Because each state regulates homeschooling differently, parents should examine local laws and consult with other homeschoolers before proceeding.
In every state, parents must, at a minimum, notify a state or local education agency of their intent to educate their children at home and identify the children involved. Several states require the submission of proposed curricula and tests or have educational requirements for parents. A few even test parents. Only Michigan requires certified teachers to be involved in homeschooling programs, but the state allows parents to choose a program's teacher and does not specify a minimum level of teacher supervision. (Michigan courts have excused parents from the certification requirement if they have religious objections.)