Did you know that some states require you to meet specific qualifications in order to homeschool? Most homeschool laws require at least a High School Diploma or it’s equivalent (i.e. a General Education Diploma or GED).
The Government’s Perspective On Education
The government has taken upon itself the responsibility to educate our children since the 1800’s. Government run education in the U.S. initially began as a way to assimilate immigrant children, improve literacy, and discourage child labor. Today public education is a responsibility that the local, state, and federal governments take very seriously. In the U.S. we highly value an educated workforce; it is what makes our country the great nation that it is.
However, more and more parents are seeing the potential of a home based education to have greater positive results than a government based education. Homeschool is becoming a widespread and popular education alternative but some state governments still consider it a risk to allow parents to educate their children. In a public school system teachers are trained and licensed to teach educational subjects, while the majority of homeschool parents are not. In order to make sure that you are competent and capable of educating your child your state may want to see proof that you are qualified to homeschool.
Am I Qualified To Homeschool?
When your child is born, and you become it’s parent, you are instantly responsible for it’s education. No one else is accountable for your child other than you. You are it’s sole provider, protector, and teacher. By your rights as a parent, you are inherently qualified to educate your child based on two things;
- Your own ability to learn and pass on knowledge.
- A love for your child that leads you to desire the best for him/her.
Some states consider parents to be qualified to homeschool based on these two inherent qualifications alone. Over fifty percent of our US states do not require you to meet any specific qualifications in order to homeschool your child. If you are simply the legal parent or guardian of the child you wish to homeschool then that is enough for them.
However, not all states share this perspective. Of the states that want to see qualification, most will require you to have a High School Diploma. For example in New Mexico, which is considered a low regulation state, the law requires parents to have at least a High School Diploma (or G.E.D.). However, some states that require qualification will give you multiple options to show that you are qualified to homeschool. For example, in Washington the law requires parents to have at least one of the following 4 qualifications:
- 45 college level quarter credit hours, or
- Completed a parent qualifying course in home based instruction, or
- Allow a certified person to oversee their homeschooling and evaluate their child’s progress, or
- Get approval from their local superintendent that they are qualified to homeschool
Find out if your state has qualification requirements, and what they might be! Use the menu at the top of this page to find your state’s homeschool law and read all about it.