Enrolling kids in a homeschool program could be the best option for parents who want to keep control of their kids’ learning and teach them the necessary values for their growth. You may wonder how you get started with homeschooling and what information is needed to have handy if you reside in Ohio.
If you want to start homeschooling in Ohio, first, you need to choose the best homeschooling option that will suit your and your kid’s needs. Then it will be necessary to file a notice of intent, teach the required subjects, and comply with other requirements.
But as you may know, this information is not everything you need to start homeschooling your children. This article will get into all the essential topics regarding homeschooling in Ohio.
Homeschooling Options In Ohio
Homeschooling under Ohio’s homeschool statute
If their parents follow the state’s homeschool laws, children may be exempted from obligatory attendance to be homeschooled. To homeschool under this option, here is what to do:
For your kid to be exempted from mandatory attendance, you must notify the school district every year.
The parents or guardians of any home-based learner must provide the school district superintendent with annual notification to obtain an excused attendance. The notice must be no later than the first week of classes, one week after moving into a new district, or within a week from removing the child from a public school.
Check that you have the necessary qualifications.
Parents who home-educate their children must have a high school diploma, GED, or scores from a standardized exam proving high school equivalency.
A parent who lacks these credentials may still homeschool their children under the supervision of someone with a bachelor’s degree. Such supervision is necessary until the children’s test scores show adequate competency.
Teach the mandatory subjects.
Language, reading, spelling, writing, geography, history of the United States and Ohio, government, mathematics, science, health, physical education, fine arts (including music), first aid, safety, and fire prevention are mandatory subjects in home education programs.
Teach the required amount of hours.
Every school year, parents who conduct a home education program must give at least 900 hours of home education. This commitment should be assured to the superintendent.
Every year, you should evaluate your student.
Under Ohio’s homeschool legislation, parents who home-educate their children must assess their children’s academic competency once a year.
Transferring School Districts
You can request that your old school district provide a copy of your records to your new school district if you transfer school districts within Ohio during the school year.
Homeschooling as a non-chartered, non-tax-supported school (“-08 school”)
Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35 08 allows a school that is not authorized by the state board of education and is not pursuing a charter to operate if it fulfills specific essential criteria.
Before You Begin Homeschooling
What Are The State Laws?
These are some of the homeschool state laws:
- Ohio Revised Code § 3313.5312
- Ohio Revised Code § 3365.022
- Ohio Revised Code § 3365.07
- Ohio Administrative Code § 3301-35 08
What Is The Registration Process?
The parents, or guardians, of the student must provide the school district superintendent with annual notification and obtain approval of excused absence no later than the first week of classes, one week after moving to a new district, or within a week from the removal of the child from a school.
The following information must be included in the notification:
- The school year for which notification is made
- Parent’s name and address, as well as the child’s complete name and birth date
- If it’s not the parent, the name and address of the person(s) who will be instructing the kid
- Confirmation that the homeschool will cover the mandatory subjects (“except that home, education shall not be compelled to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in contradiction with the parent’s firmly held religious beliefs”)
- An overview of the proposed curriculum
- A list of textbooks and other fundamental teaching resources will be used.
- Hours and qualifications assurance
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
Whether you want to include some career, artistic or technical subjects, you must comply with the required subjects established by law in Ohio. These mandatory subjects are:
- Language arts
- Ohio State history and US history
- Physical education
- Fine arts
- Health and Safety
Finding a curriculum does not have to be challenging but can feel overwhelming since there are so many options. Whether it is preschool, elementary years, junior high, or high school, there are multiple programs readily available that offer a wide variety of learning objectives.
ABC Mouse and Adventure Academy are from the same parent company and offer an interactive learning experience for preschoolers through sixth grade. K12 uses a platform that allows public schools to be completed online following a typical school schedule.
Khan Academy is free to use and helps students excel in math, science, language arts, reading, test prep, and more. Duolingo is popular for foreign languages.
AOP, also known as Alpha Omega Publications, is a Christian-based company that offers home-based learning programs entirely online, digital, or printed materials. School House Teachers is an excellent resource for parents who prefer to plan the lesson themselves and teach the subjects just as a school teacher does. There are hundreds of classes available for all ages and learning levels when you sign up for School House Teachers.
It is vital not to forget other free resources such as your local library, community centers, homeschool co-ops and groups, and field trips. Finding discounts available to homeschooling families and keeping an eye out for free activities throughout your town that offer a learning and social experience will save you money and help make learning fun.
Record Keeping & Testing Requirements For Homeschooled Student
Even though no state laws are mandating you to keep certain records in Ohio, we recommend that you maintain the following essential records for your homeschool:
- Records of attendance
- Information about your student’s textbooks and workbooks
- Some examples of your student’s coursework
- Correspondence with authorities at the school and school district
- Test results and portfolios
- Any additional documentation demonstrating that your kid is getting a proper education under the law
The records mentioned above should be kept for at least two years.
Under Ohio’s homeschool legislation, parents who home-educate their children must assess their children’s academic competency once a year. To comply with the evaluation, you might choose one of three ways:
- You can administer any nationally normed standardized achievement exam to your child. The exam may be given by an Ohio licensed or qualified teacher, another person agreed upon by you and the superintendent, or anybody allowed by the test’s producer. The superintendent must receive the composite result, demonstrating that the kid scored in the 25th percentile or higher.
- You can submit a written declaration demonstrating that a qualified person has reviewed a portfolio of samples of your child’s work and that your child’s academic growth for the year is acceptable for the child’s abilities. The declaration must be prepared by an Ohio-licensed, certified teacher or another individual agreed upon by you and the superintendent.
- If you and the superintendent agree, you may use a different type of evaluation than those indicated above.
If your kid does not demonstrate acceptable proficiency, the following will happen:
If your kid fails to demonstrate acceptable proficiency on the exam, the superintendent must tell you in writing and give you 30 days to submit a recovery plan. You will be expected to provide quarterly reports during the recovery process.
When your kid displays adequate competency, the superintendent may discontinue remediation. If remediation fails, a kid may be forced to attend public school.
Homeschooling And Special Education Services
You must obey your state’s homeschool rules if you homeschool a kid with special needs. There are no additional criteria for children with special needs who are homeschooled.
Students who are homeschooled or enrolled in 08 schools do not have the right to obtain special education services paid for by the school system.
Homeschooled Students And Public School Access
Superintendents are obligated to provide extracurricular activities at the public school to which homeschooled students would be assigned.
The College Credit Plus program is available to homeschooled students in grades 7–12. Payment for homeschooled kids is based on available funds given to the program by the General Assembly, and each student must request financing separately.
Parents in Ohio who homeschool their children establish their graduation criteria and decide when a high school student has met them. They even issue their diplomas to homeschooled students. Even though parents should be aware of the state’s equivalent graduation criteria for public school students and the academic standards of any institutions, their child may desire to apply to.
Field Trips For Homeschooled Students
Homeschooled kids have a more flexible schedule when compared with regular school students, which gives them space to include more field trips. Here you have a few ideas on where you can take your kids for a field trip:
- Airstream Factory Tour, Jackson Center
- Back to the Wild, Castalia
- Bicycle Museum of America, New Bremen
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont
- Seneca Caverns, Bellvue
- Amish Country Ohio, Millersburg
- Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland
- National First Ladies’ Library, Canton
- William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, Canton
- Center of Science & Industry (COSI), Columbus
- Gorman Heritage Farm, Evendale
- National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton
- Tecumseh Outdoor Drama, Chillicothe
- Blue Rock Station, Philo
- Buckeye Furnace, Wellston
- Campus Martius Museum, Marietta
- Hocking Hills State Park, Logan
- The Marietta Castle, Marietta
Homeschool Associations, Groups, and Co-Ops
To make things a little easier and get some resources and some support, a few organizations could help you out.
- Christian Home Educators of Ohio
- Allen County Christian Homeschoolers Enrichment Day
- Ashland Richland Christian Home Educators
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Homeschool Group
- Athens Homeschool Community
- Canton Bridges Homeschool Organization
- Chagrin Valley Homeschool Connections
- Christian Home Educators of Cincinnati
- Clermont Homeschool CO-NNECTIONS
- West Branch Learning Tree Co-op
- Holy Family Catholic Home Educators
- Holy Family Catholic Homeschoolers
- Linworth Homeschool Ministry
- Christ The Divine Teacher Catholic Home Educators
- Dayton Catholic Homeschool Network
- John Paul the Great Home Educators
- Christian Home Educators Enjoying Fellowship – CHEEF.
- Findlay Area Catholic Homeschoolers
- PEACH (Parents Educating at Christian Homes)
- POLE Homeschool Support Group & Resource Center
- Licking County Homeschoolers
- ACC Homeschoolers
- Homeschooling In Marysville (HIM)
- ARCHERS Homeschool Group
- Licking County Homeschoolers
- North Dayton Christian Home Educators
- Christ The Divine Teacher Catholic Home Educators
- Gateway Christian Homeschoolers
- Sunbury Home Educators
- The Learning Tree Homeschool Group
- Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators (OVCHE)
- Future Leaders of Ohio
- Akron Roman Catholic Home Educators
- Akron Roman Catholic Home Educators (ARCHE)
- Parents Advocating Teaching @ Home (PATH)
- Homeschooling with Grace
- TEACH Homeschool Group
- Parents Educating At Christian Homes
Homeschooling in Ohio can be reasonably straightforward, and it is an excellent option for parents who want to participate in their kids’ education actively. Choosing a curriculum is essential, but keep in mind to comply with the state’s requirements.