In this article, different paths to homeschooling in Idaho will be shown to you. Homeschooling could be one of the best experiences for you and your family if that is your chosen primary education route.
You can start homeschooling in Idaho by creating a budget and trying to find the correct curriculum for your child or teenager. Before you start fully homeschooling, you need to review some homeschool options, suggestions, and tips.
Here, you will find some homeschooling options to help you pick the best choice. Going from there, you will see some details you will need to evaluate before you fully start homeschooling.
Many people might think Idaho has few options or flexibility regarding homeschooling. Yet, this is a widespread misconception. Idaho is incredibly and relatively open to the concept of homeschooling, and you can find some useful options.
Another important detail is that guardians or parents can choose any curriculum without issues in Idaho. This state does not require a specific curriculum that kids should follow. Here are some homeschooling options and curriculums that you could use in Idaho:
- Alpha Omega Publications
- School House Teachers
- Abeka Homeschool
- ABC Mouse
- Adventure Academy
- Calvert Homeschool
As you can see, Idaho homeschool students can vary and choose from many options. Also, there are no curriculums accredited exclusively to the state of Idaho.
Before You Begin Homeschooling
This section will include some questions that can make the decision process easier. Before you enter the world of homeschooling to the fullest, you should analyze these specific questions:
Do you have the time? Space?
If you want to start homeschooling with your kids, you must be available throughout the week. Whether you work full-time or part-time, this should not be an issue. Teaching one kid takes less time than a whole class, so you do not have to teach seven hours a day.
You only need organization. At the same time, you will need a stable internet connection and a quiet space at home. After analyzing this, you can determine if you have the basic requirements and time to teach your kids or teenagers at home.
What are the state laws?
In Idaho, there are only a few rules related to homeschooling. For instance, those are:
- Homeschoolers cannot graduate before they turn sixteen.
- Follow Idaho’s compulsory subjects of teaching.
- The mandatory age for homeschooling is seven to sixteen years.
- Required hours:
- Kindergarten: Four hundred and fifty hours
- First to third grades: Eight hundred and ten hours
- Fourth to eighth grades: Nine hundred hours
- Sixth to twelfth grades: Nine hundred and ninety hours
Aside from this, there are no other stern or strict rules. For example:
- You do not need established hours to teach your kids or teenagers.
- You do not need an established curriculum that has to be accepted.
- For homeschooling, you do not need to take systematized tests or a high school/college diploma.
- You do not need to follow or respond to the state’s questions.
What is the registration process?
In Idaho, homeschooling is not subject to a registration process. Yet, an excellent recommendation is to keep a log or documentation that demonstrates you are following the laws and rules of your state.
Costs of homeschooling in Idaho
Homeschooling in Idaho can go from $400 to $1,800 per year, depending on which curriculum and school supplies you buy. At the same time, expenses can increase or decrease as field trips or extracurricular activities are chosen for your kid or teenager. Of course, this is only an estimate. You could spend even less than what is established here.
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
As you already know, the state of Idaho does not require a specific curriculum, meaning you should not worry about choosing from a list of options. But it would help if you considered these things when choosing the right curriculum:
- Discuss it with your children/teenagers.
- Imagine how you want to teach your children and how they would like to receive the knowledge.
- Try to follow a homeschool style.
- Analyze your budget and your economic capacity.
- Read some reviews.
Record Keeping For Homeschooled Students
If your kids attend college in the future, record-keeping can help a lot. Having proof of their experience and journey will make everything easier. Here are some of the papers or documents that you can keep although they are not mandatory:
- Writing examples
- Written copies of homeschooling records
- Examples of their work
- Extracurricular work and achievements
- List of books that homeschoolers use
Homeschooling and Special Education Services
Special education services can help kids with disabilities to study. In this case, those services are related to homeschooling. In the state of Idaho, there are not any required rules that you should follow to homeschool a child or teenager with special needs.
In this state, you could search for some curriculums that could work for your kid’s needs and discuss it with their therapist. Yet, they could go to a public school to enroll in a specific program that works with homeschooling too.
Homeschooled Students And Public School Access
Homeschoolers in Idaho can attend public school for different after-school activities like sports, field trips, clubs, volunteer work, and more. Suppose you want to register your teenager or child in a public school for any of these. In that case, you have to contact the district or the public school specifically for more information.
Testing and Graduation Requirements
Here are the graduation requirements in Idaho:
- Homeschool students do not need to take different tests for graduation. They can take the same test as public school students but are given by their tutors. Yet, this is not mandatory.
- Tutors must do their transcripts, having the necessary information according to their kids’ future.
- Instructors (parents) can create their graduation diplomas and decide if their kids are ready to graduate.
Here are the testing requirements in Idaho:
- For GED eligibility, this will be the same as a public school.
- Homeschoolers in Idaho do not need to take the SAT or ACT.
- Tutors are in charge of everything related to testing. They can choose the method or testing system that they prefer.
Field Trips For Homeschooled Students
Due to COVID-19, you should investigate if you can visit these places and their open hours. Here are some field trip ideas and places to visit for homeschooled students in Idaho:
- Western area: Zoo Boise and The Discovery Center.
- Northern region: Kootenai refugee and Bonner History Museum.
- Eastern area: Potato Museum and Craters of the Moon.
- Central part: Nez Perce and Sacajawea Educational Center.
Homeschool Associations, Groups, and Co-Ops
Here are the associations, groups, and co-ops you can find in the state of Idaho.
- Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE)
- Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS)
- Boise Natural Parenting
- Homeschooling on the Palouse
- Inland Northwest Christian Homeschoolers
- Meridian Homeschoolers
- Port Cities Home Educators
- Potlatch Area Homeschoolers
- Secular Homeschoolers of the Treasure Valley
- Treasure Valley Stem Homeschoolers
- Revelations Homeschool Co-op
- Faith Hope and Love Homeschool Co-Op
It is not that hard to start homeschooling in Idaho because its options are highly flexible. There are very few laws or rules to follow. Remember, if you want to succeed with homeschooling, you will need dedication. You will also need the mandatory sources to teach correctly and ensure your children learn everything they would at a traditional school.