Homeschooling might sound like a popular option for people living in Maryland. Around 5% of the K-12 population currently receives classes from their parents, not teachers. Does this mean that Maryland provides an easy path for homeschooling?
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 a Notice of Consent.
- Submit your form at least 15 days before starting homeschooling
- Prepare a binder, accordion file organizer, or digital record.
This article will give you more details about what options Maryland offers for homeschooling.
Homeschooling Options In Maryland
The state of Maryland offers homeschooling 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 the following:
- Record keeping of all the projects completed by the student. Parents can use the following:
- 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 ministries will oversee the student’s progress. 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.
Before You Begin Homeschooling In Maryland
Now that you understand the homeschooling options you have in Maryland, let’s look at more information essential to know before you start.
Do You Have The Time? Space? Interest?
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 their needs. Still, it shouldn’t exceed 180 minutes per instruction.
The time per lesson will reduce as the child moves through middle 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.
Regarding space, children should have a designated area for schooling. It would be best if you had a proper setup where they could concentrate. Although you don’t need to set up an actual classroom, your child needs 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 to guide you through this process.
Maryland Laws For Homeschooling
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.
Costs Of Homeschooling In Maryland
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.
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
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 Maryland homeschooling curriculum. As long as the parent teaches the required subjects, they can choose the materials and textbooks for each one. Here is a list of frequently used home-based learning programs to get your curriculum search started:
- Alpha Omega Publications
- School House Teachers
- Abeka Homeschool
- ABC Mouse
- Adventure Academy
- Calvert Homeschool
Most parents creatively use this freedom and create their curriculum. But other entities can help you create a curriculum for your children if you want to. Some of these services are one google search away from you.
Recordkeeping And Testing For Homeschooled Students
It is the parent’s responsibility to record 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 Maryland.
Homeschooling and Special Education Services
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 encourage it. So, we might say it remains a grey area where the school and parents can agree to specific programs.
Homeschooled Students And Public School Access
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 for their homeschooled children. Most parents consult the criteria before applying for a specific university, course, or job. Once the parent has determined their children are ready to submit their applications, they are deemed graduated.
Field Trips For Homeschooled Students
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
Homeschool Associations, Groups, and Co-Ops
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 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 your responsibility in your children’s education, the rest will be easy to achieve.