Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ohio Homeschool Laws

Making the decision to homeschool is a big deal.  It can be very overwhelming.  I have noticed a massive influx of people starting their homeschool journeys through the various groups I belong to in Ohio.  So I thought I would gather some information and put it all together for those families who are taking the big steps forward.....

Under the current code, homeschooling in Ohio is actually incredibly easy.  This is from the Ohio Department of Education website:


Parents should start by notifying the superintendent of the school district where they reside about their intent to home school their child/or children. 
Parents agree to:
  1. Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
  2. Notify the superintendent every year; and
  3. Provide an assessment of the students work.
Many parents think that online schools such as OHVA, fall into the category of home schooling, but this is NOT true. In Ohio, some online schools are considered community/chartered public schools.  If the online school is out of state and you have to pay tuition, or for the curriculum, you must register as being home schooled with your resident district superintendent, this is still considered home schooling.
Now 900 hours seems like a lot.  But have you thought about it?  That's really not that much time when you look at all the educational opportunities that homeschool families take part in.  I know our family exceeds that 900 hours each year!!  So do not let that large number scare you. Over a 52 week period, that is really only 17 hours a week!!  That is definitely an attainable goal!
Ohio does require that you send a Notification of Intent to homeschool annually.  This starts when your child is the age of 6 by September 30 of the school year through the age of 18.  (Remember that the Notification of Intent is not a request to homeschool.  It is simply a notification that your family will be homeschooling.  You are not asking permission!!)  This Notification of Intent should contain a basic outline of curriculum/materials that you will be using.  
Attached with your subsequent Notification of Intent forms (so when you send in your forms following your first homeschooling year), you also need to provide an assessment of your student's work.  This can be done either through an assessment by a certified teacher or through scores from a standardized test.  I have never used a standardized test with our kids.  We have also taken a portfolio of the kids work, field trips, etc to a certified teacher for assessment.  You do not need to send your children's work into the district.  There is a form that the teacher who sees their portfolio signs, and that is what you send into the district.
As you can see from the law send your Notification of Intent to the Superintendent's Office for the district that you live in.  Make sure that you have proof of receipt from their office.  If you are mailing it in, send it returned certified so that you have proof of receipt and the signature of who received it.  Some do drop their Notification off in person, if you do this, bring an extra copy of your notification form and have the person who accepts the form sign and date your copy that it was received.  This is a protection for you, proof that the district received your letter.
I want to emphasize again..... Ohio is a very easy state to homeschool in.  The laws do not require tracking of hours.  It is currently a homeschool friendly state.  There are some districts that have tried to cause parents trouble lately, but the HSLDA has been handling that situation.

Here are some links to the appropriate forms you can print and use:

Letter of Withdrawal from School to Homeschool

Academic Assessment Report - Certified Teacher

Academic Assessment Report - Standardized Testing

Home Education Notification Form (Letter of Intent)

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me...  I'll be more than happy to help you out or point you in the right direction.  Also if you are on Facebook, I highly recommend you find some local homeschool moms in the groups on there!
Happy Homeschooling!!!

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