Homeschooling is a teaching method that stands out for its flexibility and its controlled security environment. Homeschooling is a permitted method of study throughout the United States. Here we will answer the question of how to homeschool in Massachusetts.
To begin homeschooling in Massachusetts, parents must submit an annual notice of intent and educational plan to the school district. Then, parents must teach the subjects outlined in the Massachusetts regulations. Also, parents must keep a complete record of their child’s education.
In the following sections of this article, we will review the most relevant aspects you should know before deciding to begin homeschooling your child in Massachusetts.
Before You Begin Homeschooling
Parents should thoroughly evaluate all aspects of homeschooling before making a decision. Parents must take the time to thoroughly investigate all the requirements, resources, and commitments that homeschooling requires.
With homeschooling, the home becomes the school. But this does not mean that the study area must be the same as a classroom. Here are some tips on making the study space the most appropriate for the child’s learning.
- Set up a space in the house just for the student’s classes. Experts recommend that it be a large area.
- Although this space has an academic purpose, it should be comfortable.
- It should have all the materials, resources, and learning tools necessary close at hand.
- Keeping the study room completely tidy and free of distracting elements is essential.
- In addition to making this space comfortable, you should also make it pleasing to the student’s eye.
- Keep the study room clean at all times.
- If you have a garden or yard nearby, use it as part of the learning environment.
Time Required For Homeschooling
The state of Massachusetts requires a minimum of 180 school days, completed as follows:
- Nine hundred hours of instruction for the elementary student
- Nine hundred ninety hours of instruction for the secondary education student
What Are The Massachusetts Laws?
Massachusetts law requires parents to comply with the following requirements:
- Parents must submit an annual notice of intent to the school district
- The parent’s proposed curriculum and the number of hours of instruction
- Parental competence, although parents are not required to have college degrees
- The textbooks and support materials that parents will use
- The method of assessment the parents will use
- Teaching the subjects required by Massachusetts
- Keep a record of your studies
What Is The Registration Process?
The process parents must follow when applying for homeschooling for the first time are:
- Submit the annual notice of intent and educational plan to the school district.
- Wait for approval of the application by the school district.
- Teach the subjects required by the state of Massachusetts.
- Keep records of all evaluations.
At the end of the first year of homeschooling, parents must notify the district superintendent of their desire to continue homeschooling annually.
Homeschooling Cost In Massachusetts
The average cost of homeschooling in Massachusetts can range from $300 to $1800 per student per year. The range is vast as it will depend on additional expenses for tutoring or support groups parents are willing to make.
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
A successful homeschooling curriculum helps parents make school days interesting, motivating and fun. The only way to achieve this formula is by combining diverse activities such as lessons, field trips, and interactive projects.
- The curriculum should have many activities to keep the child’s attention and get bored.
- Combine traditional pencil and paper activities with interactive computer activities or art projects.
- Activities that involve movement are crucial to achieving high levels of motivation.
- Understand which learning style works best for each child.
To start your curriculum search, here is a list of well-known programs that offer a variety of educational opportunities:
- Alpha Omega Publications
- School House Teachers
- Abeka Homeschool
- ABC Mouse
- Adventure Academy
- Calvert Homeschool
Curriculum Standards In Massachusetts
In the state of Massachusetts, most curriculums should cover the following aspects:
- Subjects: spelling, reading, writing, English and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, the history and constitution of the United States, the duties of citizenship, health education, physical education, and good conduct.
- Elective subjects.
- Practical Activities.
Record Keeping & Testing Requirements For Homeschooling
One area that always generates stress and concern for parents is record-keeping and testing requirements for homeschooling.
The state of Massachusetts is quite flexible on both of these issues. However, education experts recommend record-keeping and testing requirements.
Massachusetts parents are not required to keep and submit records. However, the state may require the submission of educational plans and processes. The school district will be the entity that determines what parents must submit.
For this reason, although not required in theory, it is best to keep records up to date. It is the best way to keep track of the curriculum and simultaneously prepare for any requests from the state.
Students are not required to take tests, but the superintendent, or school board, may require it. It is their way of evaluating a child’s educational progress. Parents and the school superintendent will choose tests or other assessments to measure the success of homeschooling.
Homeschooling And Special Education Services
In Massachusetts, there are no additional requirements for homeschooling children with special needs. But no law or regulation expressly states that children with special needs must receive special education.
Massachusetts law requires school districts to provide exceptional education services if the parents can demonstrate the child’s unique condition.
Homeschooled Students And Public School Access
In Massachusetts, the participation of homeschooled students in public school activities such as classes, athletic programs, or any other type of extracurricular activity is entirely at the discretion of each school.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), a private, non-profit organization, states that homeschooled students may participate in MIAA-sponsored interscholastic sports if they meet the physical fitness requirements.
When your son is ready to graduate from homeschooling, Massachusetts has no specific requirements. Parents are the ones who can set these requirements. Parents can create a homeschooling transcript and deliver a diploma.
For the child to attend college, parents must create a transcript. Colleges in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States accept the detailed transcript above the homeschooling high school diploma.
If the child wishes to have a valid high school diploma, he must take a high school equivalency exam.
Field Trips For Homeschooled Students
Massachusetts is a place full of American history and beautiful scenery. It is an ideal location for homeschooling excursions. When parents find it necessary to include recreational and educational activities, Massachusetts offers many places of interest.
- iRobot (Bedford). If the child has a passion for technology, a tour of this company will be exciting.
- Alden House Historic Site (Duxbury). The Alden House belonged to two pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower and is now a National Historic Landmark.
- The Paul Revere House (Boston). In this house, the student can learn much about the history of the United States.
- Animal Adventure (Bolton). This zoo is a family center and an exotic animal rescue center.
- EcoTarium (Worcester). This exciting museum features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and large outdoor areas.
- The Botanic Garden of Smith College (Northampton). This beautiful botanic garden is on the Smith College campus.
- Red Gate Farm Education Center (Ashfield). Students will learn about agriculture, seed growing, and sugar production at this educational farm.
Homeschool Associations, Groups, And Co-ops
Parents in Massachusetts will find extensive support for homeschooling in associations, support groups, and co-ops. All of these groups offer benefits and contribute to improving homeschooling. Some of the most important are:
- Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators.
- Massachusetts Home Learning Association.
- Attleboro Area Homeschoolers.
- Berkshire Mountains Homeschool Co-op.
- Friends of Grace Chelmsford.
A Final Thought On Homeschooling In Massachusetts
The state of Massachusetts is very open to homeschooling. It is a state that, in most cases, will approve a parent’s request to begin homeschooling. In addition, the school district superintendent will closely monitor the student’s progress.
However, it is up to the parents to ensure that the child receives the quality education he deserves and needs.