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Find Your Homeschool Laws by State: The Definitive Guide

The fact that state laws differ greatly makes it difficult to navigate the legal terrain surrounding homeschooling. This guide provides a detailed comparison of homeschool laws by state in Texas, North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, Alabama, California, and Colorado, focusing on curriculum requirements, record-keeping, and standardized testing.

StateCurriculum RequirementsRecord-Keeping RequirementsStandardized Testing Requirements
TexasNo specific requirementsNo specific requirementsNot required
North CarolinaMust include English, math, science, social studies, PEMust maintain attendance and immunization recordsAnnual standardized testing required
MissouriMust provide 1,000 hours of instructionMaintain a plan book, portfolio of work, etc.Not required
TennesseeMust provide equivalent instruction to public schoolsMaintain attendance recordsAssessment options vary by type of homeschooling
FloridaMust provide sequentially progressive instructionMaintain a portfolio of records and materialsAnnual evaluation or standardized test required
OhioMust include core subjects like language arts, geographyMaintain a portfolio of work and assessmentAnnual academic assessment
AlabamaNo specific requirementsDepends on the option chosen (church school, etc.)Depends on the option chosen
CaliforniaMust provide instruction in several branches of studyNo specific state-mandated requirementsNot required
ColoradoMust provide 172 days of instruction in several subjectsMaintain attendance, test results, immunizationTest or evaluation required in grades 3, 5, 7, 9
GeorgiaMust include reading, language arts, math, social studiesMaintain attendance recordsStandardized test every 3 years
IndianaMust provide equivalent instruction to public schoolsNo specific requirementsNo specific requirements
KentuckyMust provide instruction in core subjectsMaintain attendance recordsNot required
MichiganMust provide instruction in core subjectsNo specific requirements unless requestedAssessment is optional

What are Homeschool Laws?

Homeschool laws by state in the United States are designed to ensure that children receive an education equivalent to that provided in a public or private school, while also affording parents the flexibility to tailor instruction to their child’s unique needs.

According to these laws, parents have to do things like file a notice of intent to homeschool, follow state-mandated curriculum standards, keep track of their children’s academic progress, and take part in standardized testing.

Homeschool Laws by State

Families who homeschool must comprehend and abide by these rules in order for state authorities to accept and approve of their educational strategy.

Types of Homeschool Laws by State

Homeschool laws by state vary significantly from one state to another, generally falling into three main categories: no notice, low regulation, and high regulation states.

No Notice is required

In some states, parents are not required to notify the state or local school district when they choose to homeschool.


  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Low Regulation

These states require parents to provide notification to the state or local school district, usually in the form of a notice of intent to homeschool. There is minimal ongoing oversight.


  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Wyoming

Moderate Regulation

In addition to notifying the state or local school district, these states may require certain qualifications for parents (like a high school diploma) or achievement evaluations.


  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

High Regulation

These states have the most stringent requirements, which may include curriculum approval, home visits, and detailed record-keeping in addition to standardized testing and achievement evaluations.


  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

State’s homeschooling laws

1. Texas

In Texas, homeschooling is relatively flexible when it comes to curriculum requirements. There are no state-mandated subjects that must be taught, providing parents with considerable freedom to tailor education to their child’s needs and interests.

Texas homeschool laws

The Texas homeschool laws do not impose specific record-keeping requirements, meaning parents can maintain records in any format they find suitable or choose not to keep records at all. Additionally, Texas does not require homeschooled students to undergo standardized testing, further emphasizing the autonomy parents have in managing their child’s education.

2. North Carolina

In contrast, North Carolina homeschool laws require a structured approach. Parents must include English, math, science, social studies, and physical education in their curriculum. Furthermore, the state mandates that homeschoolers maintain attendance and immunization records.

Key features

  • Homeschools must include instruction in English, math, science, social studies, and physical education.
  • Parents must maintain attendance and immunization records and provide them upon request.

3. Missouri

Missouri provides a mix of flexibility and requirements for homeschoolers. Parents must ensure that 1,000 instructional hours are provided each school term, with emphasis on core subjects such as reading, mathematics, and language arts.

Missouri homeschool laws

To demonstrate compliance, homeschoolers should maintain a plan book, portfolio of the student’s work, or other written records. However, Missouri does not require standardized testing, allowing for individualized assessment methods in evaluating student progress.

Key features

  • Homeschools must provide at least 1,000 hours of instruction annually.
  • Parents must maintain a plan book, diary, portfolio of work, or other written records.

4. Tennessee

In Tennessee homeschool laws, the regulations depend on the type of homeschooling chosen—whether it is through a church-related school, an independent home school, or an umbrella school. Generally, parents are required to provide a curriculum that is equivalent to what is taught in public schools and to maintain attendance records.

Key features

  • Homeschools must provide instruction equivalent to that of public schools.
  • Parents must maintain attendance records.
  • The requirements vary depending on the type of homeschooling, including options such as independent home schools or church-related umbrella schools.

5. Florida

Florida mandates that parents provide sequentially progressive instruction in their curriculum, making sure that students build on their knowledge year-on-year. Record-keeping is a bit more stringent, requiring parents to maintain a portfolio of educational records and materials used, including samples of the student’s work.

Florida homeschool laws

Annual evaluations or standardized tests are required to assess the student’s progress, ensuring that homeschooling remains in line with statewide educational standards.

Key features

  • Parents must provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of instruction.
  • Parents must maintain a portfolio of records and materials, including a log of educational activities and samples of the student’s work.
  • An annual evaluation or standardized test is required.

6. Ohio

Ohio homeschool laws require that parents include teaching in core subjects such as language arts, geography, history, math, and science. Homeschooling parents must maintain a portfolio of the student’s work and assessment records to demonstrate educational progress and compliance with state standards.

Additionally, an annual academic assessment is required, which can be done through a standardized test, a written narrative by a certified teacher, or an alternative assessment agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.

Key features

  • Instruction must cover core subjects, including language arts, geography, history, and science.
  • Parents must keep a portfolio of work and an annual written assessment.
  • An annual academic assessment is required.

7. Alabama

In Alabama homeschooling laws, all the requirements depend on the option chosen. If parents choose to homeschool their children through a church school, the church typically sets the requirements. For those choosing to homeschool as private tutors, certification by the state is required.

Key features

  • There are no explicit curriculum requirements.
  • Record-keeping requirements focus on the chosen option, such as church school or a private tutor.
  • Requirements vary by homeschooling option.

8. California

California homeschool laws involve providing instruction in various branches of study, including English, math, social studies, and science. Despite these curriculum requirements, there are no particular state-mandated records that the homeschooling family must maintain.

Additionally, California does not require students to participate in testing, thereby offering considerable flexibility to parents in assessing their child’s progress.

Key features

  • Instruction must cover several branches of study, including English, math, social studies, and science.
  • There are no specific state-mandated record-keeping requirements for kids at all.
  • Standardized local school district testing is not required.

9. Colorado

Colorado has relatively structured homeschool laws. Parents must provide 172 days of instruction in subjects such as reading, writing, math, history, civics, literature, and science. In addition, they must maintain attendance records, immunization records, and test results.

Colorado also requires that students undergo testing or evaluations at certain grade levels (grades 3, 5, 7, and 9), ensuring that students’ educational progress aligns with state standards.

Key features

  • Instruction must cover at least 172 days and include subjects such as reading, writing, math, history, and science.
  • Parents must maintain records of attendance, test results, and immunization records.
  • Testing or evaluation is required in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9.

Faqs about Homeschool laws by state

Q1: What is the hardest state to homeschool in?

Here are some of the states reputed to have the most stringent homeschooling regulations:

New York

  • Annual notice of intent to homeschool.
  • Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) submission.
  • Quarterly reports detailing the child’s progress.
  • Annual assessment through standardized tests or professional evaluations.
  • Attendance records.

These comprehensive requirements ensure that homeschooled students’ education is closely monitored but can also create significant administrative work for parents.


  • Filing an affidavit with the local school district.
  • Maintenance of a portfolio of records and materials, including work samples and a log of instruction.
  • Annual evaluation by a certified teacher, licensed psychologist, or another qualified individual.
  • Standardized testing in grades 3, 5, and 8.

Pennsylvania’s detailed record-keeping and evaluation requirements can be time-consuming and demanding for homeschooling families.


  • Approval of the homeschooling curriculum by the local school district.
  • Regular progress assessments, which may include standardized tests, periodic reports, or other means defined by the district.
  • Potential home visits by school officials to ensure compliance with educational standards.

Massachusetts requires close cooperation with local education authorities, adding layers of oversight that some parents may find restrictive.

Q2: What are the pros and cons of homeschooling?


  1. Personalized Learning
  2. Flexible Schedule
  3. Safe Learning Environment
  4. Stronger Family Bonds


  1. Socialization Challenges
  2. Time and Financial Commitment
  3. Lack of Access to Resources
  4. Parental Preparedness

Q3: ls unschooling legal in Virginia?

Yes, unschooling is legal in Virginia. It is considered a method of homeschooling, and as long as you adhere to the state’s homeschooling laws and reporting requirements, you can legally unschool your children.

Q4: How do l set up homeschooling in VA?

To set up homeschooling in Virginia, follow these steps:

  1. Know the Law: Familiarize yourself with Virginia’s homeschooling laws. You need to meet certain educational standards, such as holding at least a high school diploma.
  2. Choose a Homeschooling Option: Virginia offers several options for homeschooling, including home instruction, religious exemption, certified tutor, and private school.
  3. File a Notice of Intent: Submit a notice of intent to homeschool to your local school division. This notice should include evidence that you meet the educational requirements.
  4. Provide Proof of Qualifications: Attach a copy of your high school diploma, transcript, or Virginia teacher certification with your notice of intent.
  5. Submit an Annual Evaluation: At the end of each school year, you must provide evidence of your child’s academic progress. This can be through standardized test scores or an evaluation by a qualified individual.
  6. Keep Records: Maintain records of your homeschooling activities, including curriculum, attendance, and progress reports.
  7. Stay Informed: Regularly check for updates to homeschooling laws and requirements in Virginia to ensure compliance.

Q5: How many hours a day is required for homeschooling in Texas?

In Texas, there is no specified minimum number of instructional hours required for homeschooling.

Q6: How much does it cost to homeschool in Texas?

On average, the annual cost ranges from $700 to $1,800 per child. This includes expenses for curriculum materials, educational resources, and any additional activities or programs.


Homeschooling can offer a diverse and flexible educational experience tailored to a child’s unique needs. Nonetheless, in order to guarantee compliance and optimize the advantages of homeschooling, it is essential to comprehend the particular legal homeschool requirements in your state.

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