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Millions of parents are homeschooling their children. If you're one of them, you might be wondering about whether you can turn homeschooling your own kids into a school in your home for other kids as well.
And the answer to that question may depend on where you live. So, here's a look at some state homeschool regulations and what they have to say about teaching other people's children.
States like Alabama and Alaska don't require you to file any paperwork to homeschool your own kids. However, Alabama does require private tutors to be certified, teach for at least three hours a day for 140 days each calendar year, and file a report with the proper authorities describing subjects taught and periods of instruction .
California has quite a few options for homeschooling, but you must first qualify as a private school and prove you are "capable of teaching." Delaware also offers three homeschooling options: single-family homeschool, multiple family homeschool, and single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district.
Florida and Pennsylvania do not require parents to be certified teachers, but tutors must be. Florida also allows multiple homeschools to be operated as a private school and requires students to be tested or evaluated annually if the homeschool is operated by the parent or guardian. Iowa, on the other hand, requires supervision of a certified teacher for children eight years old and above, or yearly assessments if not.
Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas, and others allow for home-based private schools. So does Maine, where teacher competence is subject to state approval. And Virginia allows groups of homeschooling families to band together to become a private school.
Michigan and Tennessee limit homeschooling to parents or legal guardians, unless the instructor is certified. Minnesota has very strict homeschool laws, limiting teaching to parents who are either certified or have a bachelor's degree, or are working under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Similarly, North Carolina, South Carolina, and North Dakota require homeschooling parents to either be certified or possess a high school diploma or GED, and South Carolina allows parents to become members of home school associations.
All in all, most states don't regulate homeschooling children other than your own. Many states allow it, although some of those may have minimum registration, reporting, certification, or testing requirements. Before you begin teaching others' kids in your home, check with a local education attorney to make sure you're complying with the law.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.