How to Home School: Home Schooling Requirements and Information

How to teach your children at home.

| January/February 1984

More and more parents have decided, for many reasons, that they would rather educate their children at home than send them to established schools. They're then faced with a tough question: "What do I have to do to be able to teach my children at home?"

Since I've helped a lot of people work out successful answers to the home schooling question, I will briefly share what I've learned with you.

How to Home School

Find out what your state laws say about school attendance, the legal alternatives to it, the possibilities of home instruction or tutoring, and the requirements for setting up a private school. There are several ways to get this information, all of them good.

One method is to look up the laws yourself. It's easier than you think. Most good-sized public libraries, or law libraries, or lawyers will have a set of all the laws of your state. Look under "Education" in the index of one such collection . . . most or all of what you want will be in this section. Read carefully and copy, if possible, everything dealing with attendance, home schooling, private schools, etc. Also, read and copy everything in your state constitution concerning education and the rights of parents and families.

Looking up the law yourself is a good exercise. It will help cure you of thinking that the law is a mystery known only to lawyers. Also, since you'll know the regulations yourself, you can speak to school officials with the authority of an expert and can correct them if (as often happens) their incorrect or incomplete version of the law fails to mention some of your important rights.

Don't try to find out what the law is by asking your local schools. They may know the statutes on school attendance, but neither they nor their lawyers are likely to know what the courts have said about the rights of parents to teach their own children.

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