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How to Homeschool Part 2

The next step in homeschooling is to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state. Laws vary widely, and you need to know what the requirements for your area. The state I live in is very homeschool friendly and I am completely free to teach whatever and however I feel is best for my children. If your state puts more restrictions on you than you are comfortable with, this decision to homeschool might also require a decision to move to another state.

You can search for your state's laws or you can check out This is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, an organization that helps protect the rights of homeschooling families. Homeschooling in my state is very simple, but other states aren't so lucky and this a great organization that provides lawyers to families in need of it defense. It is a very trustworthy organization. They even share helpful homeschooling advice. There are lots of helpful things on the site, so poke around a bit.

If you are removing a student from public school, some states require that you submit a letter to the school informing them that you plan to homeschool your student. Some do not. I strongly feel it is important to always submit the letter, regardless of what is required. If you decide to homeschool over the summer, and your student will not be returning to public school the following fall, I especially feel it is important to inform them. The school will automatically enroll your child unless they hear otherwise from you. The teacher is required to take roll until you are eventually contacted for truancy. Some people are fearful of contacting schools because they don't want to be on the school's "radar", but to leave the school with an enrolled student and no knowledge that he shouldn't be enrolled is much more likely to leave a foul impression with them than a polite letter letting them know that their services are no longer needed.

In my state, I pay school taxes and have access to school related assistance, such as speech therapy, hearing tests, and guidance from the counselor. Nearly all of the administration is extremely homeschool friendly and I am glad that I've maintained a positive relationship with them. In fact, when some local families have notified them that they were going to homeschool, the school has even recommended they contact me for advice. I share that to say this: don't burn bridges. We should, most definitely, be wise as serpents. That does not mean that we should be rude as serpents.

The Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers has an excellent sample letter of intent to homeschool which you can copy of it fits your state's requirements. It shares much more than my state requires (nothing) and I would not recommend providing more information than is necessary.

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