Homeschooling might sound like a popular option for people living in Maryland. Around 5% of the K-12 population is currently receiving classes from their parents and not teachers. Does this mean that Maryland provides an easy path for homeschool?
To homeschool in Maryland, you must follow these steps:
- Choose one out of three approved options
- File a Maryland State Homeschool Notification, also known as Notice of Consent.
- Submit your form at least 15 days prior to start homeschooling
- Prepare a binder, accordion file organizer, or digital record.
In this article, we will give you more details about what options Maryland offers for homeschooling.
The state of Maryland offers homeschool under one out of three options for homeschool. These three options are a portfolio, church umbrella, or state-approved school.
The portfolio option requires the parents to be in charge of:
- Record keeping of all the projects completed by the student. Parents can use:
- A Binder
- An accordion
- Digital documents
- Teaching the minimum required subjects
- Meeting every quarter with the Maryland State Department of Education’s superintendent
Homeschooling under a church umbrella in Maryland means that ministries will oversee the progress of the student. Here are some of the church options you have:
- Conowingo – Rising Sun Christian School
- Mount Airy Christian Family Academy, also known as MACFA
- Salem Christian School
- Wellspring Christian Family Schools
- Many Paths Of Natural Learning
Homeschooling under state-approved schools is similar to homeschooling under the church umbrella. The main difference between them is that instead of a church, a school teacher will be assigned to help the parents.
Now that you understand the homeschooling options you have in Maryland, let’s look at more information essential to know before you start.
When it comes to the time, the state of Maryland doesn’t have any laws about it. However, your child should complete at least 20 minutes of class per subject. If your child is at the elementary level, you can increase this time according to its needs. Still, it shouldn’t exceed 180 minutes per instruction.
The time per lesson will reduce as the child moves through middle school and high school. In these levels, you will look for an average of 60 minutes. But, the time may vary based on the child’s needs.
When it comes to space, children should have a designated area for schooling. It would be best if you had a proper setup where they can concentrate. Although you don’t need to set up an actual classroom, your child needs at least a table and a chair.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in homeschooling increased outstandingly. The state of Maryland already has a large population of homeschools. If you are interested, you will find many support groups that can guide you through this process.
There are not a lot of regulations about homeschooling in Maryland. However, some of the laws Maryland has in place include the following list:
- The program should consist of the following subjects:
- Social studies
- Physical education
- Tests or assessments are not mandatory.
- Children between 5 years and 18 years old must receive an education.
- Parents who decide to homeschool must submit their forms to the superintendent at least 15 days before starting homeschool classes.
- Parents don’t need a certification to teach classes.
- Parents must keep records of their children’s work in a portfolio and present it for review before an allowed entity.
- Parents are responsible for informing the superintendent if they decide to switch to a public school instead.
- Parents are responsible for any absence during the school year.
Now that you understand the requirements for homeschooling in Maryland let’s review the registration process.
As of 2021, the form is available as an electronic form that you can fill out from any device (smartphone, tablet, or computer). Also, you can print the form and submit it via snail mail.
The cost of homeschooling in Maryland varies depending on the option you choose.
There is no charge for a homeschool portfolio option. The cost for a church umbrella program varies depending on the church. Some families pay as low as $250, while others spend as much as $1800.
State-approved schools can charge you around $700 per homeschooled child.
The state of Maryland doesn’t have a set curriculum for homeschoolers. Let’s see more information about the style and state standards in place.
As we mentioned, you don’t need a specific curriculum for homeschooling in Maryland. As long as the parent teaches the required subjects, they can freely choose the materials and textbooks to use for each one. Here is a list of frequently used home-based learning programs to get your curriculum search started:
Most parents creatively use this freedom and create their curriculum. But, other entities can help you get together a curriculum for your children if you want to. Some of these services are one google search away from you.
It is the parents’ responsibility to keep a record of all the work completed by their children. Most parents choose to use a binder where they can separate each subject. Others choose accordion file organizers. Other parents choose to keep all files digital for easy access.
While some parents may opt-in for assessments, testing is not mandatory in the state of Maryland.
Parents may seek assistance from school principals to find special education services for their disabled children. The law doesn’t forbid public schools to aid parents in this situation, nor encourages it. So, we might say it remains a grey area where the school and parents can agree to specific programs.
When it comes to access to public school extracurricular activities, the law doesn’t prohibit it. However, no legislation supports it either. If the school allows it, the student can participate.
Parents are also responsible for setting the graduation requirements of their homeschooled children. Most parents consult the criteria before applying for a specific university, course, or a particular job. Once the parent has determined their children are ready to submit their applications, they are deemed graduated.
Some of the field trips available for homeschooled students in Maryland include:
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
- College Park Aviation Museum
- The Fire Museum of Maryland
- Factory Tours in Maryland
- Hammond Harwood House
- River Valley Ranch
- Maryland Zoo
- Adkins Arboretum
- Maryland Education & Reference Sites
- National Library of Medicine
- Maryland Science Center
Associations, co-ops, and groups exist in Maryland to help parents connect with other people who can assist with the process. Here, we brought you a list of some of the groups you can find by county.
- Greater Baltimore Christian Homeschoolers, in Baltimore
- Baltimore Homeschool Community Center, in Owings Mills
- Black Homeschool Co-Op
- Branch Homeschool Co-Op at Fullerton Community Center, in Baltimore
- Maryland Homeschool Reviews, in Owings Mills
- Ascension Homeschool Co-op, in Bowie
- Cheverly STEM Education Center, in Cheverly
- Bridge Elementary Tutorial, in Bowie
- Silver Oaks Cooperative School, in Adelphi
- TGIF Homeschool Group, in Sykesville
- Howard County Homeschooling (HCHC), in Henrytown
- Christiana Homeschool Academy, in Westminster
- Carroll county homeschool community center, in Hampstead
- Severn Run Classical Christan Homeschool Academy, in Millersville
- Annapolis Classical Tutorial Service, in Annapolis
- Golden Mean Tutorial Cooperative, in Gambrills
- Frederick East Classical, in Walkersville
- MHEA, in Columbia
Homeschooling in Maryland is relatively easy. There are just a few regulations you need to follow. But as long as you are aware of the responsibility you will have in your children’s education, the rest will be easy to achieve.