Homeschooling For Academic Reasons - Legal Issues & Concerns
"Legal Issues & Concerns" highlights how you determine what the laws are in your state.
"Getting Started" gives ideas about how the important issue you may want to consider before you take the plunge.
"Curriculum" describes how to determine the "method" you'll use in your homeschool.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 of the United States and many countries abroad. When reviewing any law, remember that amendments can be made and wording can be altered to affect the homeschooling community. As a home educator, it is essential that you remain vigilant and knowledgeable about the regional laws that affect homeschooling in your area.

DISCLAIMER: As of 2017, many of these contacts may be inaacurate. Verify the content of the links at your own risk. They have been left here for reference and as a starting point for you.

Disclaimer: The ideas contained on this page are not intended to be used as legal advice, but as an informative starting point. It is essential that you verify any information that is pertinent to decisions you make for yourself or your family. Consult an attorney if you have unanswered questions.


Administrative Rules and Laws
Most states in the United States have laws regulating the attendance of school aged children at the public schools. Typically the laws that dictate the rules for homeschooling are found nearby or around these rules in your state codified laws. The other place to check is in the "Administrative Rules" for your state. Typically codified law is written by state agencies. Statements written by state agencies which have the effect of law are called administrative rules. By their very nature, administrative rules have a direct effect on YOUR life and homeschool. A third place to read about how government officials may view your homeschooling activities is at the Department of Children and Family Services Services for your area.

Discuss the laws and regulations with other homeschoolers who live in your state. Your best resource are those already homeschooling, they will be knowledgeable about homeschooling in your community.Two sources to preview state laws:

 


Legal Help - The Organizations That Can Help You
The following organizations can provide you with some help. These are offered in an attempt to help you be an informed consumer. You are encouraged to gather accurate information, assess your individual needs and suits your family's situation.

Association of Home School Attorneys - USA AHA (description from their website)
a network of attorneys and legal experts that are concerned with litigation pending and threatened against homeschoolers. Its primary purpose is to exchange legal information within the profession, and to educate and support attorneys and experts involved in homeschool litigation. This is an email list with restricted membership. You will be required to introduce yourself. Introduce yourself! If you have trouble and need to submit a question to this group immediately, the owner of this website is a member, so you may contact us and we can relay your question.

National Home Education Legal Defense - NHELD (description from their website)
National Home Education Legal Defense, or NHELD, grew out of a statewide organization that began in Connecticut as Connecticut's Citizens to Uphold the Right to Educate, or CT's C.U.R.E. CT's C.U.R.E. was founded in 1989 and has been instrumental in maintaining the rights of parents to homeschool without government interference since that time. On more than one occasion, we helped unite other statewide homeschool groups in coordinated efforts and successfully defeated proposed state legislation designed to "regulate" homeschooling. In 2002, CT's C.U.R.E. became Home Education Legal Defense of Connecticut offering information, consultation, mediation and legal assistance to those who joined. Now, Home Education Legal Defense of Connecticut has become National Home Education Legal Defense offering these same services to parents nationwide.

Pacific Justice Institute (description from their website)
"Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Pacific Justice Institute works diligently, without charge, to provide their clients with all the legal support they need. "Through our dedicated attorneys and supporters, we defend the rights of countless individuals, families and churches...without charge." Pacific Justice Institute's strategy is to coordinate and oversee large numbers of concurrent court actions through a network of over 1,000 affiliate attorneys nationwide. And, according to former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, “The Institute fills a critical need on the West Coast for those whose civil liberties are threatened.”"

Rutherford Institute (description from their website)
"Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated. The Rutherford Institute has emerged as one of the nation's leading advocates of civil liberties and human rights, litigating in the courts and educating the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States and around the world. The Institute’s mission is twofold: to provide legal services in the defense of religious and civil liberties and to educate the public on important issues affecting their constitutional freedoms. Whether our attorneys are protecting the rights of parents whose children are strip-searched at school, standing up for a teacher fired for speaking about religion or defending the rights of individuals against illegal search and seizure, The Rutherford Institute offers assistance—and hope—to thousands."



Custody and Homeschooling
Sadly, this too is an aspect of homeschooling. If you are the parent promoting homeschooling for your gifted student, arm yourself with information, facts and the laws in your state. Remember that what happens in your case can effect other homeschooling families especially if you agree to requirements from the ex and the courts that are over and above what the local laws require. In my opinion, if you were successfully homeschooling before you considered divorce, chances are good that you’ll more than likely be able to continue after the divorce; the courts generally do not like to disrupt the lives of the children. It is a good idea to keep excellent records if you are involved in a divorce, keep a journal, photograph projects and trips. Make both of these priorities as they may play into a court’s decision in the homeschooling issues.


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