Maine, situated in the northeastern part of the United States, is known for its picturesque landscapes, rugged coastlines, and rich cultural heritage.
While Maine offers excellent educational opportunities, some families opt for alternative approaches to schooling, such as homeschooling.
In this era of technological advancements, online homeschooling has gained popularity among parents seeking flexibility and customized education for their children.
High School of America is a prominent online homeschool program catering to Maine families. With its comprehensive curriculum, qualified instructors, and interactive learning resources,
High School of America provides a robust educational platform that empowers homeschooling families to ensure their children receive a high-quality education tailored to their unique needs.
Here is what we should understand when homeschooling in the state of Maine.
Homeschooling Law in Maine
There are two options in which you can legally homeschool your students in Maine.
- Home instruction
- Private instruction
a) Homeschooling under Maine’s home instruction
The following are the requirements for those who opt to homeschool under this option:
- Filing of a one-time notice of intent.
You are required by law to send a one-time written of intent to the superintendent of your local school. You should send this notice within the first 10 days of starting to homeschool your learners.
You should include the following in your notice of intent:
- The parent or legal guardian’s name, signature, and address
- Learner’s age and name
- The date that home education started (or will start),
- A statement that you’ll educate your homeschooled children for at least 175 days annually,
- A statement that you’ll cover the mandated courses, and
- A statement that you’ll submit an annual assessment for your homeschooled learners.
Maine homeschooling law mandates that you maintain a notice of intent for your records. You must produce this notice once asked by the commissioner of education.
- Sending an annual letter.
You are required to send a letter to your local school’s superintendent annually by September. The following should be included in this letter:
- your learner’s year-end assessment, and
- a statement that you anticipate to continue homeschooling your students.
According to Main homeschooling law, you are required to retain a copy of every annual letter and year-end assessment for your own record keeping. If the commissioner of education requests to review either the letter or the year-end assessment, you must provide them with a copy.
- Offer the mandatory days of instruction and teach the required subjects.
Maine homeschooling law mandates you to instruct your student for 175 days per year. You are required to teach all the following high school courses:
- English and language arts,
- fine arts,
- library skills,
- physical and health education,
- social studies,
- Maine studies (in one grade between grades 6 and 12), and
- computer proficiency (in one grade between grades 7 and 12).
- Submit a year-end assessment to your local superintendent.
For your teen’s annual assessment, you can:
- Provide the official scores of a national standardized achievement test.
- Present the test results created by local school authorities (not typically used by homeschoolers).
- Furnish a letter confirming that your child’s progress has been evaluated and is satisfactory. This letter can be obtained from a certified teacher in Maine, a support group with a certified teacher involved in your child’s assessment, or an advisory board consisting of two homeschool teachers and one school official. The advisory board option is not commonly utilized.
This assessment is due by September 1st.
b) Homeschooling as a learner of a private school
In Maine, parents who homeschool their children can form a collective and operate as a private school officially recognized by the state. This recognition acknowledges that the education these homeschooling parents provide meets the equivalent standards the state sets for traditional schools.
For your homeschool to be recognized, you must teach your students the following courses:
- American history,
- English (grammar, spelling, writing, and reading),
- Maine history and geography,
- government (including the privilege and responsibility of citizenship),
- fine arts, and
- health education.
There are state mandated subjects for each homeschooling option are shown above.
High school students in Maine are required to complete the following credits prior to their graduation:
- College and Career Readiness (5 credit)
- Fine Arts (1 credit)
- Health (1 credit)
- Language arts (4 credits)
- Math (3 credits)
- Physical education (1 credit)
- Science (3 credits, including 1 Lab Science)
- Social studies (3 credits, including United States History, Government, and Economics)
- Electives (5.5 credits)
According to Maine law, students between the ages of 6 and 17 are required to attend school for a total of 175 days each year. If students begin homeschooling during the year, the days they attended a public or private school can be counted towards the total.
Unlike traditional schools, homeschooling allows for flexibility in completing the required number of days within the calendar year, and there is no specific designated “school year” for homeschoolers in Maine.
Annual Standardized Tests
Maine homeschoolers commonly choose to fulfill their year-end assessment requirements by participating in standardized assessments. There are various state-standardized tests available for this purpose. High school students who plan to apply to colleges should consider taking the SAT, as it is often required for college applications.
Homeschool parents in Maine are required to submit a year-end assessment. There are several options to fulfill this requirement.
One option is to submit the student’s test results from a nationally standardized assessment. Some homeschoolers may also choose to take local tests, although this is less common.
Alternatively, parents can submit a letter from a certified teacher or advisory board that reviews the student’s progress throughout the year.
In addition to year-end assessment, it is important for parents to keep other records on file, including attendance records, transcripts, progress reports, course materials, and samples of coursework. High School of America simplifies the record-keeping process by automatically generating these reports. Parents can easily download and print these documents for their own records.
Homeschoolers in Maine have the freedom to determine their own graduation standards and requirements. It is up to the parent to decide what is necessary for their child to graduate.
However, it is crucial to consider the admission requirements of any post-high school programs the student may be interested in when planning their high school homeschooling program.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Homeschooling in Maine
The following are FAQs about homeschooling in Maine:
How can I graduate as a homeschooler in Maine?
In Maine, there are no specific graduation or credit requirements for homeschooled students. As long as you comply with the homeschool statute until your 17th birthday, you have the freedom to determine your own course of study during your high school years.
What is the process for withdrawing my child from public school?
To withdraw your child from public school and begin homeschooling, you need to notify the school in writing about your intent to homeschool. It is important not to sign any withdrawal form the school provides for your own legal protection.
You must also file a formal Notice of Intent to Homeschool with your local school superintendent’s office as required by law. Once you have completed these steps, your child will be officially withdrawn from public school.
Is it feasible to homeschool while working full-time?
Yes, it is possible to homeschool while working full-time. Many parents in Maine have successfully balanced homeschooling and work by carefully planning, committing to the process, and making necessary sacrifices.
Homeschooling often requires less time than traditional schooling, and it offers flexibility since it is not limited to regular school days and hours. This flexibility allows families to find ample time to dedicate to homeschooling.
Where, when, and how should I file a notice of intent?
If you are starting homeschooling during the school year, you must file a notice of intent within ten days of withdrawing your child from school. It is advisable to file the notice immediately after withdrawal to avoid any confusion regarding school absence.
If you plan to start homeschooling at the beginning of the school year, you must file a notice of intent by September 1st. You can file the notice with either your local school superintendent or the Maine Department of Education, but it is highly recommended to file locally.
Sending the notice with a return receipt request is recommended as it provides proof of receipt.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Maine
Data released by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) reveals a significant decrease in the number of homeschooled students for the current academic year 2021-2022. The enrollment figures show a decline of approximately 33% compared to the previous year. However, despite the drop, homeschooling numbers remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
According to the Department of Education, Maine has slightly over 8,000 students being homeschooled in the current school year. This figure represents a decrease from the over 12,000 homeschooled students in the 2020-2021 academic year. Nevertheless, it still surpasses the approximately 6,700 students who were engaged in homeschooling in the 2019-2020 school year when the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged.
How to Do it: Online Homeschooling in Maine
If you’re considering online homeschooling in Maine and don’t know where to start, here’s a helpful guide to get you on the right track.
Begin by familiarizing yourself with the homeschool laws and requirements specific to Maine to ensure that homeschooling is suitable for your family.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary information, it’s important to complete the required paperwork for homeschooling. We also recommend officially withdrawing your child from their current school, even if it’s not mandatory.
After taking care of the legal aspects, you’ll need to develop a homeschool curriculum or choose from the available programs. High School of America offers an online curriculum designed for high school students in Maine, providing a wide range of courses.
Our curriculum includes engaging lecture videos and interactive coursework to make the learning experience enjoyable and effective.
Benefits of Maine Homeschooling Online
Homeschooling online offers numerous benefits for families in Maine. Here are five advantages of Maine homeschooling online:
- Flexibility: Online homeschooling allows families to create a customized schedule that suits their unique needs. Students can learn at their own pace, accommodating individual learning styles and interests.
- Personalized Education: With online homeschooling, parents can tailor the curriculum to their child’s specific strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This individualized approach promotes a deeper understanding of subjects and enhances academic performance.
- Enhanced Safety: Homeschooling online provides a safe learning environment, free from potential risks associated with traditional schooling, such as bullying, violence, or exposure to illnesses.
- Access to Quality Resources: Online homeschooling offers access to a wide range of high-quality educational resources, including interactive lessons, multimedia materials, and virtual field trips, enriching the learning experience.
- Family Bonding: Homeschooling online fosters stronger family relationships, as parents actively participate in their child’s education. It allows for meaningful discussions, shared experiences, and the opportunity to instill important values and beliefs.
When it comes to homeschooling in Maine, there are several laws and regulations that must be followed. From compulsory attendance ages to certain hours spent learning and required subjects, Maine is clear on how to homeschool legally. There can be no doubt that parents or guardians want the best for their children.
With High School of America’s online program, Maine families have a viable option for meeting all their legal regulations while providing an excellent educational experience. Various courses allow the family to customize a curriculum and meet any needs they may have when it comes to teaching in the home.
If you’re a Maine family looking for more information about homeschooling options, contact High School of America today!
With our experienced staff eager to help you every step of your journey towards success, take advantage of this opportunity and let us assist you on your way.