Homeschooling is becoming more popular every year in the United States. In 2003, about 1.1 million children were homeschooled in the U.S. By 2010, that number climbed to 2.04 million. Reasons vary. Parents believe they can teach better than public schools. They dislike the regimentation of public schools. They feel public schools are teaching alien values. Whatever the reasons, if you are considering homeschooling, you need to remove your child from public school legally.
Find out what your state's laws are about removing a child from public school. While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, every state's legal requirements are unique to that state. Contact your state representative and ask for a reference to the pertinent laws. Some states allow no-notice removal. Some states require a short advance notice from parents. Other states demand more complex procedures. Do not take shortcuts. The Home Schooling Legal Defense Advocates have an online, interactive US map that links to each state's requirements.
Whatever your state's requirements, create a paper trail that proves you are following the rules. Write a letter to the school's principal and superintendent informing them of what you are about to do, and explaining how you plan to assess academic progress, administer mandatory tests, and ensure the proper credentials for your child to reintegrate with the public school if necessary or enter college. Make copies of that letter and retain one copy for your files.
Inventory your child's school supplies and equipment. Determine what belongs to the school, and prepare a list in duplicate of all items. When you return school supplies and equipment, ensure that whoever takes receipt of the items signs your copy of the inventory sheet affirming that the school has taken possession of them. Check with the school library to be sure there are no books checked out in your child's name; and if there are, return them. If anything is missing from the school, pay the school for those items and get a receipt for that payment.
Many states use the public school system to administer and track immunizations. Before you withdraw your child, get a notarized copy of her immunization record from the school. Make arrangements with your doctor or a clinic to continue immunizations on schedule; and write down when and where future immunizations will be administered. Provide a copy of that immunization schedule to the school as part of your paper trail; and be sure to follow up.
Things You Will Need
- Child's academic records
- Child's immunization records
- Word processor or computer
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images