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Homeschool has been recognized in Maine as a legal schooling option since 1989. Prior to 1989 families in Maine educated their children at home under the private school law. Today families can homeschool under the homeschool statute or as a recognized private school.
Age of Required Attendance
The state of Maine requires your child(ren) to attend school from the age of 7 to 17 years old. Legal schooling options include the following:
- public school
- approved private school
- recognized private school
NOTE: Parents who want to educate their children at home can choose to operate either as a recognized private school or as homeschool.
(See legal reference 1: 1 & 3)
The Recognized Private School Regulations are different from the homeschool regulations below.
Notify The School District
The Maine Homeschool Law requires you to send a Notice of Intent to your local school and to the commissioner within 10 calendar days of beginning to homeschool. This Notice of Intent must include the following information:
- Your name, signature, and address
- The name and age of your child(ren)
- The date you intend to begin homeschooling
- A written statement that you will follow the regulations for hours of instruction, required subjects, and testing
NOTE: The Notice of Intent in the link above is for your first year only.
Every following year that you choose to homeschool you must file a Notice of Intent by September 1st. The subsequent year form is different than the first year form; in the Subsequent Year Form you are required to submit an assessment of your child’s progress from the previous year.
NOTE: Acceptable options for the assessment submission are covered in the section “Testing” below.
(See legal reference 1: 3 (A-4))
If You Need To Withdraw Your Child
If your child is already attending a Maine public school then you need to officially withdraw them in order to begin homeschooling. You must notify the school of your decision to homeschool so that they don’t mistakenly mark your child absent and charge you for truancy. To officially withdraw your child fill out and send in this Withdrawal Letter to your child’s school. Remember to also fill out and send in a Notice of Intent to the Department of Education (as mentioned above).
The Maine Homeschool Law does not require you to meet any specific qualifications in order to homeschool.
Hours Of Instruction
The Maine Homeschool Law requires you to teach 175 days/year.
(See legal reference 1: 3 (A-4(a-iv))
The Maine Homeschool Law requires you to teach the following 11 subjects:
- Language arts
- Social studies
- Physical education
- Health education
- Library skills
- Fine arts
- Maine studies (in at least one grade from grade 6 to 12)
- Proficiency in the use of computers (At one grade level from grade 7 to 12)
(See legal reference 1: 3 (A-4(a-iv))
The Maine Homeschool Law requires you to keep copies of your original Notice of Intent and each year-end assessment for as long as you homeschool.
(See legal reference 1: 3 (A-4(c))
The Maine Homeschool Law requires students to participate in yearly testing or assessments. This requirement can be met in 1 of 3 ways:
- A standardized achievement test.
- A test developed by local school officials (must be arranged with school system before school year starts).
- Review and acceptance of progress by a Maine-certified teacher.
NOTE: The results of your child’s test or assessment must be submitted to the Department of Education along with your yearly Notice of Intent.
(See legal reference 1: 3 (A-4(b))
Immunization Law For Maine Homeschoolers
The state of Maine requires all children to receive vaccinations.
However, you are not required to keep a record of vaccinations.
(See legal reference 2)
Helpful Websites For Maine Homeschoolers
For local support and information visit these Maine homeschool websites:
- Age of Required Attendance; Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 5001-A.
- Immunizations; Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 6354.
This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.