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Indiana Homeschool Laws

Instructor: Jessie Hemmons

Jessie has a master's degree in clinical psychology.

Some parents in Indiana find homeschooling to be an effective alternative to sending children to public or private schools. To ensure that homeschooled children receive a suitable education, Indiana has specific laws regarding the learning standards and expectations for students in these learning environments.

Homeschooling Laws in Indiana

Indiana allows students to learn outside of non-accredited, non-public schools (a.k.a. homeschools), but the state has specific laws and policies that educators in these learning environments must follow. For example, students must begin their formal education by the age of seven (kindergarten is not a requirement in Indiana). Additionally, a parent or legal guardian of the child in question must complete a 'HomeSchool Enrollment Form' to be submitted to the state. Lastly, students must complete 180 days of instruction throughout the calendar year. However, these 180 days can be completed any time during the year and do not have to follow the public school academic schedule.

Transferring from Public or Accredited Schools to Homeschool

Some parents may decide they would like to remove their child from public school or an accredited private school and transition him or her into a homeschool or non-accredited learning environment. Indiana has specific procedures for this. If the child was in public school, the parent or legal guardian must contact the child's public school and notify them in writing of the decision to homeschool. Otherwise, the child may become 'truant' in the eyes of the school. The school must provide written information to the parent regarding the legal requirements for homeschooling, and the parent or legal guardian must sign stating they understand the requirements. If this form is not signed, the student will be considered a 'dropout'.

The parent or guardian of a student transitioning from public school has the right to obtain the child's educational records as part of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Education and Attendance Requirements

Indiana has no specific educational requirements for students obtaining their education outside of public or accredited schools. The state provides educators with the flexibility to create a curriculum that fits the student. Essentially, homeschooled students are exempt from following the curriculum, program, and testing requirements of Indiana public schools. However, if educational neglect is suspected, the state is allowed to review homeschool records, so it's essential to keep track of educational activities.

In regards to attendance, there is no specific form the state requires for recording attendance, but the superintendent of the district's public school is allowed to request copies of the child's attendance records, so it's imperative to keep an attendance record of some kind.

Educational Resources for Homeschooling

Indiana's Department of Education provides several educational resources for students learning outside of public or accredited schools. Their website lists several correspondence programs that some parents or guardians of homeschooled children use to educate their children.

Study.com also offers a variety of resources for parents or legal guardians of homeschooled children, including engaging courses that help children to learn. Parents or legal guardians can find developmentally appropriate courses across a variety of subjects, including math, science, humanities, English, computer science, and more. The courses are self-paced and provide students with quizzes and exams to help them gauge their progress through each topic. Below are just a few of the many courses offered for homeschooled students through Study.com.

Science Homeschooling Courses

Math Homeschooling Courses

History Homeschooling Courses

English Homeschooling Courses

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