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1. Is homeschooling legal? 

Yes. In July 1989, the Ohio State Board of Education adopted Rules for Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education. These rules are contained in Chapter 3301-34 of the Administrative Code and were distributed to all school superintendents.

2. Who may homeschool? 

The parent/guardian is primarily responsible for homeschooling the child, but may delegate teaching, or some portion the teaching, to a grandparent, tutor, friend, etc. The parent is fully responsible for the education of the child. To teach your children you  have to have a high school diploma or its equivalency. If you do not have this, there is a provision that allows you to home educate under someone else’s direction

3. When do I need to notify?

 If your child is 6 years old on or before the first day of school in your home district they are considered to be compulsory school age and you will need to notyfy the state.

4. How do I get permission to homeschool?

You don’t need to ask for permission. Home education is a legal excuse from compulsory attendance in Ohio. It is equal to other educational options. You therefore do not ask the superintendent for his/her permission or approval to home educate, but instead notify them of your intention to homeschool your children. This is an important differentiation, because the superintendent does not have authority, if you are compliant with the required notification information, to deny a parent’s intent to homeschool.

6. Can we start homeschooling midyear?

Currently there is no set start date for homeschooling. You may begin at any time during the school year; you don’t have to wait for the end of a quarter or semester, or for the beginning of the school year. Once you notify the superintendent of your intention to home educate, you do not need to wait for his/her excuse from compulsory attendance to begin homeschooling. The superintendent has 14 days to respond.

7. Can the superintendent refuse to allow me to home educate?

If you are compliant with the required notification information, the superintendent may not deny your notification. The superintendent has 14 calendar days in which to notify you in writing of either compliance or non-compliance with the regulations. The information you are required to provide may not be exceeded by the superintendent. If you receive notification of “non-compliance,” the superintendent may only ask for information which is incomplete or missing, not additional information. For instance, the superintendent may not ask for grade level or that you provide a copy of the textbooks’ table of contents, because these are not required in the regulations. If the 14 days has come and gone, and the school district then contacts you, you are under no obligation to provide any further information, and can request your excuse from compulsory attendance.

8. Who should I send my notification to and should I just mail it?

The law states that the notification of intention to homeschool be sent to the superintendent of your school district of residence. Mail your notification form via certified mail, return receipt requested. If hand-delivering, be sure to obtain date and signature of the person receiving your notification. Keep copies of all your notification paperwork because they are legal documents. A parent who elects to provide home education shall supply the notification to the superintendent no later than the first week of the start of the public school building the child would attend in the school district of residence or within one week of the date on which the child begins to reside in the district or within one week from the child’s withdrawal from a school.

9. Is there a certain form I should use?

There are forms avalible but they are not required. It is suggested that you not use the form provided by your school district because local school districts frequently require more information than is necessary per the regulations. You may devise your own form if you wish, or notify by a narrative document. Forms can be found at  https://www.cheohome.org/join-us/get-started/forms/

10. What information am I required to supply?

1. school year for which notification is being made;

2. name and address of parent;

3. name and address of person teaching the child, if other than the parent;

4. full name and birthdate of the child/ren;

5. assurance that the required topics will be included:

(a) language; reading, spelling, and writing;

(b) geography, history of the U.S. and Ohio; and national, state and local government;

c) mathematics;

(d) science;

(e) health;

(f) physical education;

(g) fine arts, including music; and

(h) first aid, safety, and fire prevention;

6. brief outline of intended curriculum (provided for informational purposes only);

7. a list of textbooks, courses, OR other basic teaching materials (provided for informational purposes only);

8. assurance that the parent will provide 900 hours of home education;

9. assurance of the teacher’s (parent’s/designated party’s) qualifications:

(a) high school diploma; or

(b) certificate of high school equivalence; or

c) standardized test scores that demonstrate high
school equivalence; or

(d) other equivalent credential found appropriate by
the superintendent; or

(e) lacking the above, the home teacher must work
under the direction of a person holding a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college until the child/ren’s test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency or until the home teacher obtains a high school diploma or certificate of high school equivalence.

10. the signature of the parent, which affirms the information provided.

11. Does my child have to take an achievement test?

When you first start homeschooling, you notify the superintendent and no testing needs to be submitted nor can it be requested by the superintendent. If you intend to continue homeschooling, the next year when you submit your notification you will also submit an end-of-year assessment. You are required to supply an assessment together with your notification; do not send them separately. The purpose of the assessment is to show whether your child needs remediation. The standard used is “reasonable proficiency”, which means an overall composite score of at least 25th percentile. The standard for the written narrative, or portfolio review, is “progress in accordance with the child’s abilities”.

There are three methods of assessment from which to choose:

(1) results of a nationally-normed standardized achievement testing, (Only the overall composite score from the achievement test needs to be supplied–not the detail.) OR

(2) written narrative prepared by:

(i) an Ohio-certified teacher, who has reviewed a portfolio of samples of the child’s work; OR

(ii) other person mutually agreed upon by the parent and superintendent; OR

(3) any alternate assessment mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.

 If you choose the written narrative, there is a form, “Academic Assessment Report”, that provides the necessary information

12. May superintendents require parents to meet with them in order to review their proposed educational programs? or to evaluate progress?

NO

13. Do I have to keep a log of time spent homeschooling? Do I have to maintain lesson plans?

900 hours of home education does not mean 900 hours of instruction. You are not required to track time or maintain lesson plans. You are only required to submit your intended curriculum for the year, for informational purposes only. If you make changes from your intention, you are not required to submit those changes.

14. Should I provide more information than is requested?

It is not recommended to provide the school with any more information other than required by law. Remember, you are notifying the district; not asking for permission.

For more information on Ohio law, contact https://www.cheohome.org/ and www.hslda.org

* Disclaimer: We are not legal experts. Please do your research. *