Frequently Asked Questions About Home Schooling

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Schooling

 

What education do I need to home school my child or children?

 

To provide home school instruction, you or the person providing instruction must have one of the following qualifications:

  • A high school diploma; or
  • The certificate of high school equivalence (GED); or
  • Standardized test scores that demonstrate high school equivalence; or
  • Another equivalent credential found appropriate by the district superintendent.

If you do not have one of the above qualifications, someone who has a college degree from a recognized college must supervise your instruction. This is until you obtain a high school diploma or GED.

 

What do I do to start home schooling my child or children?

As the parent or guardian, you must notify the superintendent of the public school district where your family resides about your intention to home school your school-age child or children. This notification must happen within one week of the start of the school year in your school district, or as soon as the student is no longer enrolled in a school.

The notification includes:

  1. Your qualifications to home school (see previous question);
  2. Confirmation that you will provide a minimum of 900 hours of instruction that must include the following subjects:
  1. Language, reading, spelling and writing;
  2. Geography; history of the United States and Ohio; and national, state and local government;
  3. Mathematics;
  4. Science;
  5. Health;
  6. Physical education;
  7. Fine arts, including music; and
  8. First aid, safety and fire prevention;
  1. A brief outline of the curriculum for the current school year;
  2. A list of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula or other basic teaching materials that you plan to use; and
  3. Your signature.

 

Do I need approval to home school my child or children?

In Ohio, parents who want to educate a child at home may do so.  First, you must notify the superintendent of the public school district where your family resides of your intention to home school your school-age child or children. This notification must happen within one week of the start of the school year in the district.  Here is a sample notification form.

Within 14 days of receiving the notification, the district superintendent reviews it and, if all requirements are met, formally excuses your child or children from attendance laws for traditional schools. This means that they are not required to attend school per state law in order for you to home school them.

 

Do I need to renew my status to home school my child or children?

Yes. Each school year, the superintendent of the district in which your family resides must approve you or the person providing instruction to home school your child or children. In addition to submitting the information required in the notification, you must have an annual assessment done before the superintendent accepts the notification and show that your child or children are making progress in learning from the previous year.

The annual assessment can be:

  1. Results from a certified standardized test that shows reasonable proficiency; or
  2. A written narrative from a certified teacher or other person mutually selected by you (the parent) and superintendent, who has reviewed a portfolio of your child’s work and demonstrates progress in learning according to the child’s abilities; or
  3. An alternative assessment mutually agreed upon by you (the parent) and superintendent.

 

Must I use a certain curriculum to home school?

As a parent or guardian of an excused child, you decide how to teach the required subjects.  You select the curriculum and educational materials and take full responsibility for the education of your child or children. There is no state financial assistance for families who choose this option.

You are not required to include any concept, topic or practice that conflicts with sincerely held religious belief of you or your family.

 

Will my child earn an Ohio High School diploma?

Home-schooled students do not receive an Ohio high school diploma recognized by the State Board of Education. When pursuing employment or advanced education, these students may need to complete the GED to show equivalence to a state-recognized high school diploma.

 

Can my child take a course in the district if he or she wants?

Your child who is being home schooled may be a part-time student in the district. The option for part-time enrollment and related policies is the decision of the local public school district.

 

Can my child participate in sports and other activities in my school district?

Yes. Recent legislation allows home-school students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. An “extracurricular activity” is a pupil activity program that is run by a school or school district and is not included in a graded course of study. Activities include any offered at the school that your child would attend if enrolled in the public school district the family resides. If the school district does not offer a particular activity, then your child may request to participate in another district’s program. The superintendent of the other school district may choose to allow your child to participate as an out-of-district student.

Home-educated students must meet the same nonacademic and financial requirements as any other student participating in the activity. Fees and ability in sports, where there are cuts, apply.

 

Are Ohio eSchools considered home schooling?

Ohio public eSchools are online community schools and are not the same as home schooling. Even though students participate in eSchools from home, the online schools are responsible for providing curriculum and educational resources.

 

What if I want to enroll  my child into public school?

If you are home schooling and decide to enroll your child or children into the public school, the superintendent of the district in which your family lives will determine the appropriate grade level placement of each child. For high school students, the superintendent will evaluate which credits MAY be applied toward the district's requirements for graduation.

 

Can my family participate in EdChoice Scholarships?

Yes.  EdChoice Scholarships are available to eligible home-schooled students who wish to enroll in a participating nonpublic school.  Eligibility is based upon the performance of the public school building to which the student would be assigned or the income level of the family. More information here.