Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the U.S. The Supreme Court appears to favor educational choice, under the circumstance in which the individual states set standards and regulations for curriculum and educational accomplishments. Laws exist that dictate the procedures for starting a homeschool program. Plus, the amount of class time, subjects studies, educational resources, testing and assessment, and recognition of completion may all be governed by state laws that protect the rights of the children to gain a proper education. However, homeschooling laws vary greatly from state to state.
While some states take a relaxed approach to homeschooling, others require that parents educate their children as part of a public homeschooling system. In the state of Texas, there is little authority over homeschooling children. No requirements exist for a minimum number of days/hours of class time, achievement tests, or the teacher’s credentials. For curriculum, the law simply states that reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and a study of good citizenship must be covered.
On the other hand, the state of California has very strict laws with regards to homeschooling. They require that all homeschooled students participate in a public homeschooling program through independent study or a charter school, enroll their children in a private school that dictates curriculum for independent study, or use an in-home tutor who has appropriate credentials.
Graduation requirements also vary from state to state. While some states have no requirements for graduation, others have many. However, regardless of which side your state leans towards, many of them do not provide official recognition that certifies that a formal graduation has taken place.
Additionally, some states fully intertwine their public education systems with homeschooling, requiring state schools to provide homeschooled students access to all of their resources. These may include libraries, computer labs, athletic organizations, and other extracurricular activities. On the other hand, other states have laws that restrict homeschooled students from these resources.
Overall, it is important to understand the specific laws of your individual state. Before beginning any homeschool program, check your state’s requirements and make sure to follow all laws and regulations that have been established.