Did you know that each state’s Attendance Law has a requirement for how many days your child should be in school during the year? Some homeschool laws also include a regulation on how many days of the year, or hours of the day, your child should be schooling.
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 school will expect the child to attend summer school.
Does A Homeschool Schedule Have To Follow The Public School Schedule?
Most state homeschool laws will require that you follow a homeschool schedule that teaches the same amount of days/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.
How Many Days/Hours Per Year Should I Homeschool?
The homeschool law requirement for days of instruction varies from state to state. Some states require you to teach a specific amount of hours per day. A few states require you to keep attendance records for the days that you homeschool and submit an attendance report. There are also states that 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 teach per year.
Find out how many days/year of schooling your state requires! Use the menu at the top of this page to find your state’s homeschool law and read all about it.