Homeschool Subjects

The most important thing to know about homeschool subjects is that they are among the elements of homeschooling that are determined by the state in which you live, along with requirements for how you establish a homeschool and what constitutes a school year of work. Different states have different requirements. This article provides an overview of some basic information about homeschool subjects.

Some States Have Minimal Requirements

In Texas, homeschools are authorized as private schools. They are required to have a written curriculum, and the subjects that must be covered are:

  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Good Citizenship

Requirements such as these leave the homeschooler a great deal of leeway in shaping their child’s course of study, but it does have to be well-planned in advance.

Some States Have Slightly More Detailed Requirements

In Illinois, the requirements, while a bit more detailed than those in Texas, are quite simple and straightforward. Subjects include:

  • Language arts
  • Math
  • History and social sciences (including the national and state constitutions)
  • Biological and physical science
  • Fine arts
  • Health
  • Physical Development

In California, too, one finds pretty standard school subject requirements:

Aside from the difference in names of subjects, California and Illinois are nearly identical.

Some States Are Even More Detailed

States like Vermont and New York have more to say about the content of what is taught in homeschools. In Vermont, we find pretty much the same subjects as in California and Illinois, but with more parameters for what’s included.

  • Basic communication skills (reading, writing, use of numbers) and English, American, and other literature
  • Citizenship, history, and government in Vermont and the US
  • Natural Sciences
  • Fine arts
  • Health, including the effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Physical Education

New York breaks its requirements down into 1-6, 7-8, and 9-12, with other requirements applying K-12. The sum total of the picture looks like this:

All years K-12 1-6 7-8 9-12
Patriotism and citizenship Reading, English, writing, and spelling English English (4 credits)
substance abuse Arithmetic Mathematics Math (2 credits)
traffic and fire safety Geography and US history History and geography Social studies (4 credits, including American History, participation in government, and economics)
Science Science Science (2 credits)
Visual arts and music Art and Music Art or Music (1 credit)
Health Health Health (.5 credits)
Physical education Physical education Physical education (2 credits)
Practical arts Practical arts Electives (3 credits)
Library skills
US and NY history and constitutions (once in 1-8)


It is important for you to know that while these subject requirements will allow your child to graduate from high school in your state, they will not give him or her a good chance of being accepted to college like Savannah Universities. Even the most detailed requirements from New York don’t meet the minimum expected high school courses suggested for application to college. The minimum requirements are generally accepted as:

  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of Math: Algebra I and II, Geometry, and Trigonometry, Calculus, or Statistics
  • 3 years of Science, including a year of biology a year of Chemistry and/or Physics, and a year of Earth Science (or substitute advanced Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)
  • 3 years of Social studies, including a year of US History and one semester each of US Government, Economics, World History or Geography, and a social studies elective
  • 2 years of study in the same Foreign Language
  • Electives in the Arts
  • Advanced Placement courses

For more information, visit the College Board website and the websites of some colleges that you might be interested in, so that you can plan your homeschool subjects for the long term as well as the short term.