Which States Are Hardest to Homeschool in the United States?

If you are considering homeschooling your child, you may wonder which states are the hardest to homeschool in the United States. While there is no one easy answer to this question, there are a few things to consider before making your decision.

Each state has its own homeschool laws and regulations, so it is important to research what those are in your state before getting started.

Parents who opt to homeschool must follow the laws of their states so that their children’s education can be legally recognized. Additionally, ease of bureaucracy and availability of resources can vary from state to state.

This blog post will look at which states are the hardest to homeschool in the United States.

Top 8 States that are Hardest to Homeschool in the U.S.

The states that are the hardest to homeschool in are typically those with the most restrictive homeschool laws. Some states require parents who wish to homeschool their children to register with the state, submit educational plans, or take tests to ensure their children are meeting academic standards.

Other states have more relaxed homeschooling requirements, making it easier for parents to provide their children with a quality education at home.
So, which states are the hardest to homeschool in? Here is a list of the 8 states that are the hardest to homeschool in, based on their homeschooling laws and regulations:

1. Ohio

In Ohio, homeschoolers find it hard to homeschool because of school districts that have overreaching policies. There are reasonable laws set forth by Ohio that aren’t more restrictive compared to other states. However, most school districts have guidelines that go beyond the law.

Homeschooling families in Ohio are usually asked to utilize forms developed by school districts asking them for information that is not needed by the laws, which can be problematic for some parents.

School superintendents can assess submitted homeschool plans for compliance, and if they decline the homeschool curriculum, homeschools have to appeal faster and avoid juvenile court.

Additionally, Ohio necessitates parents to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent education or educate their teens under the direction of an individual with a bachelor’s degree.

Homeschooled learners in the state are required to submit a standardized test or have a certified or licensed instructor write a description explaining that the teen’s portfolio shows his progress for the academic year.

2. North Dakota

North Dakota is regarded as one of the hardest states to homeschool in the United States, and most residents believe that their regulations are illegal. Most of the state’s regulations are similar to those of other states, but a few kick things up a notch into the realm of the ridiculous.

Many states don’t query parents’ qualifications as educators, but in North Dakota, parents are required by law to have a high school diploma or GED failure to which they will be monitored for two years, which can be extended if the learner doesn’t have reasonable standardized test scores.

Standardized tests for all homeschooled students must be administered in grades 4,6,8 and 10. The homeschooled child is subjected to professional assessment and evaluation if his or her scores fall low enough after evaluation.

There is oversight for homeschooling families with struggling learners in North Dakota. Nevertheless, North Dakota has relaxed one crucial law for homeschoolers: instruction can occur outside the home enabling families to learn at the aquarium, zoo, or study groups.

3. Vermont

Vermont is the other state that is hard to homeschool in the U.S. Even though homeschooled learners in the state must be taught more than 12 different subjects, these cover common subjects that many homeschooling parents would be introducing in their classes.

Homeschool regulations in Vermont are tricky since the state dictates parents submit a comprehensive outline of what they intend to cover in those subjects. The state also necessitates the curriculum be accepted, making some parents feel it’s pretty restrictive.

In addition, homeschoolers in Vermont must do an annual evaluation on their teens by either having a certified educator fill out a designated form, preparing a portfolio and report showing progress, or paying a commissioner-approved testing organization to administer a standardized achievement test.

4. New York

Like Vermont, New York homeschool families have many subjects to learn to meet requirements, and they must submit a very detailed teaching plan, including textbooks and curriculum materials.

The law requires parents to maintain comprehensive attendance records that indicate learners are instructed for the equivalent of 180 days each year: 900 hours for grades 1-6 and 990 hours for grades 7-12.

Parents are also required to file quarterly reports that include the number of tuition hours and comprehensive descriptions of material covered in every subject.

With the quarterly report, homeschooling families submit a yearly assessment, either a written narrative evaluation or a norm-referenced achievement test administered by certified teachers or another “qualified person” that must be chosen with the consent of the supervisor.

In New York, standardized tests are administered annually from fourth through eighth grade and all high school years. Home visits are illegal and unenforceable, so parents aren’t subject to drop-in inspections that might interrupt teaching and family life.

5. Rhode Island

Homeschooling is hard in Rhode Island because the regulation and approval process is administered locally and differs from district to district; hence you do not really know what you are going to get.

Parents are required to send a letter of intent to homeschool each year. The local school committee is required to approve the homeschooler’s course instruction, whereby parents must demonstrate that they will cover all required courses.

In addition, some schools will ask for testing and portfolios. Depending on the school committee, homeschooled learners might be requested to submit standardized settings, share vaccination or medical information, and give biannual or quarterly reports.

These items are beyond the requirements of the law, but some homeschoolers feel stressed about submitting them, which makes Rhode Island a frustrating and confusing state to homeschool.

6.  Massachusetts

Massachusetts is among the states that are hardest to homeschool in the country. In this state, school committees or superintendents approve homeschooling instruction. Also, homeschooling instruction needs detailed approval areas.

Parents must submit their preferred homeschooling curriculum and the total number of hours of teaching each subject, including learning aids such as workbooks and textbooks, for approval before the start of each academic year.

Additionally, school committees or superintendents will judge parents’ competency in teaching their teens and need time-to-time evaluations and standardized testing.

In addition to homeschooling laws and regulations, most school districts have additional homeschooling policies that some families have found unreasonable and restrictive. Usually, they lead to confusion and intimidation of new homeschoolers.

Similar to Rhode Island, Massachusetts can be a strange place to homeschool, as some towns have a minimalist approach, largely leaving homeschoolers alone, while others vary widely and may have policies that homeschoolers do not wish to follow. Legally, only Massachusetts law must be followed, but working outside of established policies can be challenging for some homeschool families.

7. Georgia

Homeschool laws in Georgia are not strict like other states, but they are pretty limiting. Parents can homeschool their children any time of the year, unlike other states that require them to stick to a particular nine-month calendar.

However, homeschooling families in Georgia might find themselves buried under a mountain of paperwork. Parents must submit a letter of intent to homeschool to the local school district 30 days before the start of homeschooling. They need to maintain documents to show obedience to the law if school superintendents demand to see them.

Basic education programs must be developed and documented, homeschool lessons must be held for at least four and a half hours each day, five days a week, and attendance records must be submitted monthly.

The law requires parents to produce a progress report for all children annually and have them on file for a period of three years. Moreover, learners are required to take standardized tests after three years from grade three upwards. Regrettably, group settings are restricted because parents only educate only their own teenagers at home in Georgia.

8. Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, parents are only required to submit an annual notice of intent to homeschool their kids. They do not have to go through the process of registering for their homeschools like in other states such as New York and Illinois.

The state gives parents a great deal of freedom when designing and administering their homeschooling programs. Parents can choose any curriculum they desire, and there is no time limit on how long each lesson should last.

Parental qualifications are not mandated by law; however, experts recommend that at least one parent has a high school diploma or equivalent. The state requires that each teen receive yearly progress reports, but the law is silent on how these should be conducted or what type of information should be included.

Pennsylvania has very relaxed homeschooling laws, giving parents a great deal of freedom to design and implement their own homeschooling programs. However, this lack of regulation can be confusing for some families, and it is important to make sure that you are familiar with the state’s homeschooling requirements before beginning your homeschool journey.

Final Thoughts!

There you have it! A complete guide to homeschooling laws in the United States. Ohio, North Dakota, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Pennsylvania all have stringent home education laws.

Homeschooling laws vary significantly from state to state, so it is crucial to be familiar with the requirements in your state before beginning your homeschool journey.

If you’re looking for a state with more relaxed homeschooling regulations, consider Arizona or Texas. No matter where you choose to live in the United States, be sure to contact High School of America for help getting started with your homeschooling journey.

With our experienced staff and wealth of resources at your disposal, you’ll be ready to tackle any obstacle that comes your way!