South Dakota Homeschool Law


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Required Attendance Age

The state of South Dakota requires your child to attend school from the age of 5 to 18 years old. Legal schooling options include;

  • public school
  • non-public school
  • homeschool (i.e. alternative instruction)

(see legal reference #1 & #2)

Notify The School District

The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to notify your local school district of your choice to homeschool. You must send a Notification For Public School Exemption Certificate to your local school district office each year that you homeschool. The annual Notification Certificate is different than the initial Notification Certificate; if this is your first year, make sure you fill out the initial Notification Certificate not the annual one!

Initial Notification Certificate

Annual Notification Certificate

(see legal references #1, #2, & #3)

If You Need To Withdraw Your Child

If your child is already attending a South Dakota public school you will need to officially withdraw them before beginning to homeschool. You will need to fill out an Initial Notification For Public School Exemption Certificate and send it to your local school district’s office. Also contact your child’s school and ask if they have a withdrawal form for you to fill out. Otherwise, fill out and send in this withdrawal letter.

(see legal reference #4)


The South Dakota Homeschool Law does not require you to meet specific qualifications in order to homeschool.

Days Of Instruction

The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to homeschool for an “equivalent period of time, as in the public schools”. This is equal to a minimum of 437 hours/year for Kindergarten students, 875 hours/year for students in grades 1-5, and 962 hours/year for students in grades 6-12.

(see legal reference #5)

Required Subjects

The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to teach the following 2 educational subjects:

  1. Language Arts
  2. Mathematics

NOTE: These are the only subjects required by the state. You can of course teach other subjects as long as you are teaching these two as a minimum.

(see legal reference #2)

Keep Records

The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to keep your child’s birth certificate in your records.

HSLDA also suggests that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program and samples of your child’s work in case you might ever need proof of your child’s education.

(see legal reference #6)


The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires your child to take a Nationally Standardized Achievement Test in grades 4, 8, and 11. This test can be taken at your local school or at another location. If you choose to have your child tested at a different location than your local school you will be responsible for the cost of the test.

The South Dakota Homeschool Law also requires you to submit your child’s test results to the local school district office.

NOTE: HSLDA suggests you also keep a copy of your child’s test scores in your records.

(see legal references #2 & #3)

Immunization Law For South Dakota Homeschoolers

The state of South Dakota requires children who are enrolling in a public school to receive immunizations or submit a waiver. Homeschool is an alternative instruction method and homeschools are not considered schools. Therefore, homeschoolers are not required to vaccinate their children in South Dakota.

(see legal reference #7)

Helpful Websites For South Dakota Homeschoolers 

For local support and information visit these South Dakota homeschool websites:

South Dakota Department of Education

South Dakota Christian Home Educators (SDCHE)

Legal References

This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.

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