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Friday April 18th 2014

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Weirdest Homeschooling Laws

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Weirdest Homeschooling Laws

homeschooling laws

Do you have any new, weird homeschooling laws?

Throwing a little bit of fun at you on a Monday, here are the “weirdest homeschooling laws” as compiled by Kathleen Iuzzolino, co-host of Kaleidoscapes discussion board for home educators and used with her kind permission in The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start in 2001. I can’t help but wonder how many may still be sitting on dusty books somewhere!

Is There a Weird Homeschooling Law In Your State?

Here, in no particular order of weirdness, are some odd rules and regulations about homeschooling:

  • Tennessee’s kindergarten law. Compulsory-attendance ages are from six to seventeen, yet if you have entered your five-year-old into any public, private or parochial school for more than six weeks, he or she, to, is subject to the compulsory-attendance laws.
  • New York requires the subjects substance abuse and traffic safety.
  • Mississippi wants the social security numbers of all homeschooling children (a violation of the Federal Privacy Act of 1974).
  • Colorado has the lowest “acceptable” standardized testing scores: 13th percentile. (Statistically you would score 23rd percentile by drawing pretty pictures with the fill-in-the-dots.)
  • In Iowa, parents of special-education students must attend a lecture about the hazards of withdrawing their children from a special-education program.
  • The only people in Nebraska who may legally homeschool are those for whom schooling violates a sincerely held religious belief or those who can’t abide the degree to which schooling interferes with theh decisions of the parents in directing their child’s education.
  • Colorado has mandatory standardized testing for eleventh graders, who are usually beyond the compulsory attendance age of 16.
  • In Pennsylvania, parents must submit a notarized statement certifying that no adult in the home has been convicted of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraining, rape, statutory rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, indecent exposure, concealing the death of a child born out of wedlock, endangering the welfare of children, dealing in infant children, prostitution and related offenses, a felony offense related to obscene and other sexual materials, corruption of minors, or sexual abuse of children – within the past five years.
  • Pennsylvania medical requirements are unique to the state:
  1. All grades – annual height, weight, and vision screening
  2. Kindergarten – dental exam, medical exam, and TB test
  3. First grade – hearing test
  4. Second grade – hearing test
  5. Third grade – hearing test and dental exam
  6. Sixth grade – medical exam (includes gynecological exam for girls) and scoliosis testing
  7. Seventh grade – hearing test, scoliosis testing, and dental exam
  8. Ninth grade – TB test
  9. Eleventh grade – medical exam (gynecological exam for girls) and hearing test
  • In South Dakota you may homeschool no more than twenty-two children.
  • Compulsory attendance in Montana ends with eighth-grade graduation.
  • Those who join certain homeschool support groups in South Carolina are exempt from state homeschool regulations.
  • Only those homeschooling under a religious organization may homeschool in Alabama.
  • In Massachusetts, “good behavior” is a required subject.

Do You Live In a State with a Weird Homeschooling Law?

If you live in one of these states, I’d love for you to share with all of us if these laws are still on the books in your state, and if so, are they ignored? If they’re no longer law, do you know when they got wiped off the homeschooling law/regulation? Do you have any new, weird homeschooling laws?

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Reader Feedback

5 Responses to “Weirdest Homeschooling Laws”

  1. Nan McVicker says:

    The “fact” about New Jersey is NOT TRUE. This comes from the HSLDA “interpretation”, and is not codified anywhere. This is a requirement only in public schools – not in private or parochial schools, not in home education.

    It was placed on the HSLDA website to frighten parents. It no longer appears there. Please correct this.

  2. Cristina says:

    Yep. New York wants you to cover substance abuse and traffic safety. Also fire and bike safety. We always cover the safety issues through community programs. Drug and alcohol abuse discussions are covered as the issues come up on TV shows, in movies or on the news. It’s not that big a deal since we would have talked about these things anyway. A lot of our learning happens through discussion. :o)

    Peace and Laughter!

    • Thank you for sharing, Cristina…I’d forgotten about those but you’re right – every year! I think I did too good a job with fire safety – my son’s been a fireman for half his life at this point.

  3. New York also requires arson prevention, from K- 12. Most parents think that this is just good parenting done at an early age (telling your kids not to play with matches and when they should dial 911, or showing them how to put out a small kitchen fire). This is never viewed as part of a core curriculum, or something that middle or high school student remain unaware of. Yet arson prevention must appear in all paperwork, along with bicycle safety and alcohol & drug abuse.

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