1. Find Homeschool Laws for Your Area
In the United States, every state has different regulations. Some, like Pennsylvania, require notarized affidavits and educational objectives for each child. Others may only require that you notify the local school board of the fact you are homeschooling.
While you may get an idea of the local regulations from friends and neighbors, do NOT depend on hearsay. Get the actual written regulations. I was able to find the state regulations for several states in just a few minutes through the State Department of Education website.
Other resources for finding your state information are listed on this page below.
2. Do NOT Ask Your Local School or School District
There may be exceptions, but in general, public schools and school districts are not supportive of homeschooling. They lose state money for each child who is not enrolled in their program. Many families have reported getting misinformation or additional requirements when they spoke to their school district first.
In the United States, the citizens are bound by the laws of the state in regards to home education and not to the policies set by local school boards. In other countries, this may be different.
3. Concientous Objectors
There are some concientous objectors who believe the government does not have the right to regulate the practices inside homes that do not jeopardize others; and therefore elect NOT to submit forms according to their state requirements. Even in these situations, it is still wise to know
what the requirements are - particularly for those who object to them.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (www.HSLDA.com) has promoted home educators rights in the United States, Canada, and around the world. They have complete information on requirements in all US states and Canadian provinces. You can also join their organization for additional benefits.
Most states have an organization dedicated to home education, and some have more than one. The Teaching Home magazine has a resource to enable you to find your state organization, as does the HSLDA website. Check for the state organization of your home state at the Teaching Home website.
Local Support Groups
Local support groups are another source of information. These groups may point you in the direction of where
to get the necessary legal information. Other parents can also share what they have done to comply with local laws and help you get started. Again, make sure you are relying on correct, written
information, and not simply word of mouth. Even if they are giving you correct information, you may not understand all of it if it is not in writing.
Complying With Your Laws
Consider how long it will take you to comply with the laws, what the deadlines are, and include that in your planning and scheduling.
Waiting until the last minute to meet deadlines adds stress to you, and sets a bad example for your students. The opposite is also true. By scheduling and complying with local regulations in a timely manner, you get your homeschool program off to a smooth start.