Do Homeschoolers Have To Follow A Public School Schedule?

Homeschool schedule - Homeschool State Laws

NOPE. Homeschoolers DO NOT have to follow the same schedule that public schools keep. Even the homeschoolers that are required by their state law to report attendance information DO NOT have to follow the same yearly/monthly/daily schedule that public schools do.

Attendance Law: Days Of Instruction

Most states require children to attend school for an average of 180 days each year. This breaks down into 900-1000 hours/year of instruction time (depending on grade level). An academic school year typically begins in late summer (August-September) and ends in late spring (May-June). If a child is absent from school for 10 days or more within the school year then the school can enforce consequences; a child can be held back, a parent can be charged for truancy, or the child will need to enroll in summer school.

Some state laws will require that you homeschool the same amount of days per year as a public school. However, they do not require that you follow the same calendar year of days (5 days/week; September-June). Your homeschool schedule could run 3 days a week for a full year, or 5 days a week every two months with a month break in between. It doesn’t matter what days you homeschool as long as your schedule includes the full amount of days that your state’s homeschool law requires. For example in Kentucky the law requires homeschoolers to teach 185 days in the year. These 185 days can happen anytime within the calendar year.

Does My State Require Attendance Records?

The homeschool law requirement for days of instruction varies from state to state. Some states require you to homeschool a specific amount of hours per day. Others require you to keep a record of the days that you homeschool. There are only 3 states that require submission of an attendance report (see the table below). 50% of the U.S. states have no requirement or regulation for how many days you homeschool.

For example, in South Carolina the law requires homeschoolers to teach at least 4.5 hours/day for 180 days in the year and submit a semi annual progress report to the school district that includes an attendance report.

Conversely, in Idaho there is no regulation on how many hours or days homeschoolers need to school per year.

Use the table below to find out if your state requires Days of Instruction or Reporting of Attendance:

States That Require Specific Days of Instruction Only; No ReportingStates That Require Specific Days Of Instruction and Keeping Records Of Attendance; No ReportingStates That Require Specific Days of Instruction and Reporting of Attendance
North Dakota
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina

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