How Do I Homeschool In Indiana?


Homeschooling in Indiana is an overall easy process. Here, you will find all the necessary information you need to take the next step on homeschooling.

To start homeschooling in Indiana, you need to decide if you will register with the Department of Education and which curriculum you will use as the state mandates neither. Lastly, decide on a distraction-free space to designate for lessons in your home.

Below, you will encounter some homeschooling choices that can support you when deciding the best option. At the same time, you can see some aspects you will require to evaluate before you begin entirely homeschooling.

Homeschooling Options

The state of Indiana does not require a specific program or curriculum. You can decide on your own which program you want to pursue with your kids or teenagers. Indiana is not strict with homeschooling which means that you can be very versatile and open when it comes to this type of teaching. Your options will depend on the goals and target you are aiming towards. This will be done with the help of the curriculum and your job as a tutor. Right below, you can find some options and teaching methods or systems that you can apply:

  1. Charlotte Mason
  2. Classical
  3. Eclectic education methods
  4. Montessori
  5. School-at-Home
  6. Unit studies
  7. Unschooling

Studying these methods can help you out when selecting which curriculum is the best for your child. You should know that this state does not provide a specific system or particular curriculums for homeschooling. The tutor will decide this directly with the help of their children or teenagers.

Before You Begin Homeschooling

These are some of the things that you should know and follow before you begin homeschooling to the fullest:

Do you have the time? Space?

If you want to start homeschooling in this state, you need to make time. Sometimes, parents or tutors think they need to invest the same hours a student would spend in a traditional public school. But homeschooling does not work like this. You only need a few hours through the day. For example, if you work full-time, you can teach a couple of hours at night. If you work part-time, this should not be an issue, and you might have more time for teaching.

You need a quiet and organized space. As you know, you need concentration if you want to learn, so teaching your children in a noisy place will not work. At the same time, you will need a strong internet connection because homeschooling relies significantly on online activities and researching.

What are the State Laws?

Here are the main rules that you should follow in Indiana for homeschooling:

  1. Kids and teenagers need to learn similar content to what public schools offer. If you do not follow those instructions, homeschooling will not be valid.
  2. Homeschooling should be in English. This means that if you homeschool in another language, it will not be valid to the state either.
  3. Tutors or parents have to keep an attendance report of their children. If you do not keep track of this, you will be unable to provide it if a superintendent demands it.
  4. Homeschooling in Indiana requires one hundred and eight days of teaching.
  5. Your teenager cannot graduate until they are sixteen years old.

Unlike other states, in Indiana, you do not need any of this:

  • To take planned tests or a high school/college diploma.
  • An approved or accepted curriculum. You can choose one by yourself.
  • Some instituted hours to practice and educate your kids or teenagers.
  • To serve or reply to a set of interrogatories given by the state of Indiana.

What is the Registration Process?

In Indiana, registration is not legally compulsory. However, it is possible to register your kid or teenager in the Department of Education.

Costs of Homeschooling in Indiana

As mentioned before, Indiana is highly flexible with homeschooling. This truly means that you do not need to spend drastic amounts of money compared to bigger states like California. An estimate is $50 to $600 per year. In Indiana, you do not need a connection with a public school. These expenses will be related to field trips, school supplies, curriculums, and extracurricular activities. It is possible to spend much less or much more than this.

Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum

If you want to choose the right curriculum, follow these instructions:

  1. Read reviews and the description of the curriculum.
  2. Determine your budget.
  3. Ask your kids or teenagers about which curriculum they might prefer.
  4. Pick a homeschooling style or method.

Here is a shortlist of curriculums available to home-based learners to help you start your search:

Record Keeping For Homeschooled Students

This is what you will need for record-keeping in Indiana:

  1. The tutor or parent monitors report cards.
  2. The tutor or parent gives scores and grades.
  3. Transcripts. This applies to students from 9th to 12th grade.
  4. Topics are incorporated every school year.

There are multiple ways to practice and manage student record keeping. You can choose pen and paper, student and school year specific notebooks, or have an all-in-one program for scheduling, attendance, grading, reports, and transcripts through an online service such as Homeschool Panda, Applecore, Homeschool Tracker, or any other online tracker you find would work best for you.   

Homeschooling and Special Education Services

In Indiana, homeschools work as non-public schools. This means that you can teach just like a special education service. In Indiana, you can qualify for IEP if you have a cognitive disability, autism, or developmental delay. Indiana does not require specific teaching for kids with special needs, so you should choose a curriculum designed for the kid’s necessities.

Homeschooled Students And Public School Access

As mentioned before, connecting with a public school is not compulsory in this state. But your kid or teenager can still attend a public school for different matters like field trips and sports. If you (or your children/teenager) are interested or have drawn some attention to this topic, you can contact a public school or the district. They can notify you if your child is capable of this partial incorporation into the school.

Although practicing a sport or going on field excursions is not a requirement for homeschoolers, this can be highly beneficial. Even if you are not going to enroll your child or teenager in a public school, you can teach these things to them or let them know that they are relevant. You can offer them the option of attending a public school or another Academy in which they can learn sports or other extracurricular activities.

Testing and Graduation Requirements

Indiana shares many similarities to other states when it comes to testing and graduation requirements for homeschooling. Here are the graduation requirements:

  1. Instructors have to do their transcripts, having the essential information according to the future of their kids.
  2. Teachers (parents or tutors) can formulate their graduation diplomas and determine if their kids are ready to graduate. The teacher can define this with some personal tests or any other method that can work for them.
  3. Home-based learners do not need to take distinct or unique exams for graduation.

These are the testing regulations relates to homeschooling in this state:

  1. The teachers (parents or tutors) can formulate tests or any other evaluation method.
  2. National tests like the ACT or SAT are optional but not mandatory.
  3. Tests like the A-level exam are not required, but homeschoolers can take them under the same conditions as public school students.

Field Trips For Homeschooled Students

These are the field trips designed for the Indiana state:

  1. Southern region: Cataract falls, Grouseland, WonderLab Museum, Indiana Caverns.
  2. Northern area: Fair Oaks Farms, Grissom Air Museum, Albanese Candy Factory, Foellinger-Freeman Botanical Conservatory.
  3. Central region: Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Hayes Arboretum, Muncie Children’s Museum, Indiana Medical History Museum.

Homeschool Associations, Groups, and Co-Ops

Associations:

  1. Indiana Foundation for Homeschooling (IFHS)
  2. Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE)

Groups:

  1. Anderson Indiana Area Homeschoolers
  2. Bloomington Homeschool Bulletin Board
  3. DASH Homeschool (DeKalb, Indiana)
  4. Evansville Christian Homeschoolers
  5. Lake County Indiana Homeschoolers
  6. Fort Wayne Homeschoolers
  7. NE Indy Homeschool Connection

Co-Ops:

  1. Greenwood Home Educators

Conclusion

Homeschooling in Indiana is not that complicated. When homeschooling in Indiana, the only things you need to consider are following the state rules and choosing the most accommodating curriculum for your child or teenager. On the other hand, learning and teaching is a process that takes time and a lot of patience, and you should never forget this if you want to succeed with homeschooling.

Sources:

https://www.time4learning.com/blog/tips-worksheets/homeschool-field-trips-in-indiana/

https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling/indiana/

https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling/indiana/local-groups-co-ops.html

https://iahe.net/homeschooling-in-indiana/

Heather Hanrahan

Thought creator. Idea harvester. Builder of things. Nature and natural beauty admirer. I enjoy traveling (constant wanderlust), photography, hot springs, mountains, beaches, hiking, books, music for the mood, sci-fi, water, wine, and coffee. I speak fluent sarcasm and laugh at my own jokes. I spend most of my time working on my websites, learning and trying new things, finding myself on hiking trails, and discovering my next favorite song.

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