Homeschooling in Massachusetts

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Read this article to learn about the requirements to homeschool in different school districts in Massachusetts. Find out what your child needs to learn, get information about assessments and find some helpful educational tools.

Homeschool Regulations in Massachusetts

You will need to be approved by your local school district before you begin homeschooling your child in Massachusetts. Individual districts have different requirements for going about this, so you should check with your local school before you make plans to instruct your child at home. In some districts, this simply involves submitting a notice of intent to homeschool. However, most districts will require you to provide additional information related to your education plan, including:

  • Your curriculum
  • Your competency as a teacher
  • The instructional books and tools you plan to use
  • Plans for assessing your child's progress

Because school districts have various requirements, it's a good idea to submit your notice of intent as soon as possible. You should supply as much of the above information as you can with the notice to make the transition to homeschooling easier. Keep in mind that you must submit this information every year that you homeschool your child.

Teaching Requirements

The state of Massachusetts requires you to provide your child with instruction in:

  • Language arts (this includes reading, writing and grammar)
  • Arithmetic
  • Geography
  • United States history and government
  • Health and physical education
  • Art and music
  • Good behavior

You can access these online homeschool courses to supplement your child's education. These courses cover core educational subjects as well as topics that can serve as electives, such as business, foreign language and psychology. Middle and high school students can check out courses designed for their grade level, allowing them to get the most out of these lessons.

Younger children can take advantage of these math, science, social studies and language arts courses for kids. These courses break complicated subjects down so elementary school students can easily understand them.

Access to Public School Resources

Policies vary from one district to the next, but in many cases homeschool students are eligible to take public school classes and participate in such activities as field trips, assemblies or even varsity sports. Your child could also have access to such resources as libraries and language labs.

Assessment of Student Progress

Massachusetts requires some proof of your child's academic achievement, such as acceptable scores on standardized tests. You may also choose to work with your local superintendent to set up an alternate form of assessment, including examples of your child's academic work or progress reports. This form of assessment typically takes place once a year.

Homeschool Graduation

Your child will not receive a high school diploma from the state if he or she is homeschooled. You can create a diploma of your own if you wish, though it will not be considered an equivalent document.

Students can also complete the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) to earn a Massachusetts High School Equivalency Credential. These HiSET Prep Courses can help your child prepare for these assessments. Students can watch short video lessons that go over the subject matter appearing on the exam and take interactive quizzes to gauge their readiness. Additionally, subject matter experts are available to answer any questions your child has while working on these courses.

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