How To Start Homeschooling In Indiana

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Homeschool is an educational choice parents make when they decide not to send their kids to regular public schools.

Parents often ask

  • What are the requirements to homeschool in Indiana?
  • Is unschooling legal in Indiana?
  • How many days do you have to homeschool in Indiana?
  • Is Indiana a homeschool-friendly state?

The answers to these questions depend on what type of homeschool you want to pursue; traditional school, unstructured learning, or a combination of both!

To start homeschooling in Indiana, follow these steps:

  1. Research and familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Indiana.
  2. Notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notice of intent.
  3. Keep records of your child’s homeschooling progress and provide them to the Indiana Department of Education upon request.
  4. Provide instruction in specific subjects as required by Indiana state law.
  5. Meet the attendance requirements as set by Indiana state law.
  6. Register with a homeschooling organization or program if desired.
  7. Follow any additional regulations or laws set by your local school district or state.
  8. Start homeschooling and keep records of your child’s progress.
  9. Indiana requires annual standardized testing for homeschooled students in specific grades.
  10. Remember that Indiana allows different homeschooling options; checking with your local school district for specific guidelines is essential.

It’s important to note that parents are not required to file any notification with the state in Indiana. Still, they need to file an annual evaluation with the local school district, which can be done through a standardized test, portfolio evaluations, or evaluation by a certified teacher.

Why Home School In Indiana?

Indiana has some of the most lenient homeschool laws in the nation. As long as you meet the basic requirements set forth by the legislature, there are few restrictions on how to homeschool your child(ren). For example, if you live in a rural area with limited access to resources, you will likely be able to rely more heavily on online resources than someone living closer to town.

Additionally, because Indiana does not require standardized testing, you don’t need to worry about taking them every year like so many other states.

Finally, unlike many counties where homeschooled families often face discrimination from teachers and administrators at local schools, homeschoolers in Indiana enjoy much respect from those in the community.

What Are The Requirements To Homeschool In Indiana?

Although it varies depending on which county you live in, here are the basics:

  1. You must register your homeschool with the Indiana Department of Education within 30 days of enrolling your first student.
  2. Your homeschool must include all subjects required under Indiana Code 20-20-6-1 – 3.
  3. You must submit proof of financial responsibility to cover the costs of educating your child(ren). This includes paying property taxes, health insurance premiums, and tuition payments.
  4. All homeschools must comply with federal regulations regarding data collection and reporting.
  5. You cannot teach religion until your child reaches age 16.

For detailed information about each requirement, visit the Indiana Department of Education website.

Is Unschooling Legal In Indiana?

Yes, unschooling is perfectly legal in Indiana. However, it should be noted that while the state doesn’t mandate specific curricula or materials, you should keep plenty of things in mind before starting.

For instance, although you won’t find any textbooks or curriculum requirements listed on the Indiana Department of Education website, you still need to know the standards expected of your child(ren). Suppose you plan to use a particular textbook or curriculum.

In that case, you might consider contacting the publisher directly to inquire about its compliance with the Indiana Department of Education standards.

Similarly, you will need to ensure that your child(ren) gets enough sleep every night, eats healthy meals, and spends adequate time outside playing and exercising. Since no mandatory rules govern how much time students spend doing homework, you can structure your schedule however best for your family.

How Many Days Do You Have To Homeschool In Indiana?

As mentioned above, there is no minimum or maximum number of hours you must devote to teaching your child(ren). However, providing them at least 180 days per year would be best.

Also, remember that you only have to register your homeschool once per year, regardless of whether you have one or ten students enrolled.

To determine how many days you need to homeschool in Indiana, divide 360 by the number of days in your academic calendar. So, if you have 12 months in your academic year, you must homeschool for approximately 270 days.

Of course, you should adjust this number based on your child(ren) ‘s needs. Younger children typically need less instruction time than older ones, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to give them the same amount of time you would go to a teenager.

Is Indiana A Homeschool-Friendly State?

In short, yes. Although there are certain areas where homeschoolers may encounter resistance, overall, Indiana supports homeschooling.

The state offers several support groups to help new homeschoolers connect with other homeschool families. The Indiana Department of Education provides numerous valuable resources to assist homeschoolers statewide.

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