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Required Attendance Age
The state of Alabama requires your child to attend school from the age of 6 to 17 years old. Legal schooling options include:
- public school
- private school
- church school
- parochial school
- religious school
- private tutor
NOTE: Prior to the law change in 2014 you had two options for homeschooling your child; 1) hire a certified tutor (or become certified yourself), or 2) homeschool under the supervision of a church school (i.e. cover school). In 2014 you were given a third option, 3) homeschool your child under the private school law. This third option allows you to homeschool with less regulation from the state.
(see legal reference #1)
The following information is a summary of the law for homeschooling under the private school at home option.
Notify The School District
The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to send an attendance report to your local education authority by the 5th day of the beginning of the public school year. This report must be sent every year that you choose to homeschool. It must include the names of all the children you will be homeschooling and their address. HSLDA provides an attendance report form (page 1 of the PDF file) for you to use. This form also has you include birth dates for all your children although the law does not require that information. HSLDA also suggests that you use a cover letter (only available to members of HSLDA) when sending in your attendance report form, to explain why you are sending it in.
(see legal reference #2)
If You Need To Withdraw Your Child
If your child already attends an Alabama public school then you must officially withdraw them in order to homeschool. First send in an attendance report to your local school authority to notify them that you will be homeschooling (see above). Then, contact your child’s school and ask if they have a specific withdrawal form for you to fill out, or you can use this withdrawal letter.
NOTE: A withdrawal form is also provided in the Alabama State Department of Education’s Attendance Manual (pg. 21). Simply print it off, fill it out, and send it in using certified mail.
Qualifications To Homeschool
The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require you to meet specific qualifications in order to homeschool.
The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require you to teach a specific list of educational subjects.
Hours of Instruction
The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to teach the same amount of days as a public school; 180 days/year.
The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to keep record of your child’s attendance throughout the year. HSLDA provides an attendance register (pg.2 of this PDF) for you to keep track of your child’s attendance. The state of Alabama does not require you to report your child’s attendance weekly. This is just for your records.
It is also a good idea to keep records of your child’s immunizations or exemption and any legal correspondence you have with the school. HSLDA also suggests that you keep enough evidence to show that your child is in fact receiving an education, about 2-3 years worth of sample work for each child (not a full portfolio but relevant samples).
(see legal reference #1)
The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require homeschool students to participate in testing.
NOTE: Senate Bill 38 also states that 2 or 4 year colleges in Alabama cannot deny admittance to homeschoolers simply because they were homeschooled. Students no longer need a GED in order to apply to college. However it is advised that students have evidence of their schooling when applying.
Immunization Laws for Alabama Homeschoolers
The state of Alabama requires all children who attend public or private schools to receive vaccinations or file an exemption.
(see legal reference #3)
Helpful Websites For Alabama Homeschoolers
For local support and information visit these Alabama homeschool websites:
Alabama State Department of Education (FAQ page)
- Required Attendance Age: AL Code § 16-28-3.
- Reporting Enrollment: AL Code § 16-28-7, Alabama Senate Bill 38 Section 1 (3).
- Immunizations: Rules of The State Board of Health 420-6-1.
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.