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Getting Started: Do You Have To Be Certified To Homeschool?

Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular. In most cases, it’s actually beneficial to children and gives them the chance to study subjects that actually interest them.

It takes away the distractions associated with public classrooms and focuses more on your children’s needs.

Do You Have To Be Certified To Homeschool?

But it’s not always as simple as pulling your kids out of school and homeschooling. Lots of parents want to homeschool their children but don’t know if they need to be certified in order to do it legally.

If you are considering homeschooling your children but you don’t know if you need to be certified, then you have come to the right place.

We have put together a guide going over everything you need to know about being certified to homeschool your kids. So read on to find out more.

Do You Have To Be Certified To Homeschool?

The answer to this question isn’t quite as simple as you would think. It is both yes and no- and it depends heavily on the state that you live in and want to homeschool in.

In most cases, you do not have to be certified to homeschool your children. Homeschooling is quite different from public schooling because you are only teaching your own children, and you don’t have to deal with a whole classroom.

Almost every state requires homeschooling parents to have their high school diploma or GED, but aside from that, you don’t really need college credits, certifications, or any degrees in order to do it.

That being said, there are some states that do require these things.

You can find out your own state’s laws regarding this with ease online, but we have included a few states here to give you a better understanding of these requirements.

Further reading: How to get certified to homeschool.

States That Require Certification

While most states don’t require much certification for parents who wish to homeschool their children, some states are a lot more strict.

Some states require college credits, and others require a few years of direct supervision.

Below, you will find a list of states that do require specific certifications and steps before you can homeschool your children legally. You will be able to get a better idea of just how different each state is in regard to homeschooling from this list.

You may also like: The best states for homeschooling.

North Dakota

North Dakota is largely regarded as one of the strictest states to homeschool in.

Parents who plan on homeschooling their children in this state are required by law to have their high school diploma or GED, and if they do not have these qualifications, they must be monitored for two years.

Testing is compulsory in North Dakota for children who are being homeschooled, and these tests are taken in grades grades 4, 6, 8, and 10. If your kids do not pass with satisfactory standardized test scores, then the monitoring is extended.


In Georgia, parents are required to have their high school diploma or GED in order to homeschool their children.

On top of this, parents must also teach reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science in their curriculum, and they must write an annual progress report.

Homeschooled children in Georgia must also submit to a national standardized achievement test every three years, which begins in third grade.

West Virginia

West Virginia is another state that requires the parents to have their high school diploma or GED equivalent.

You will also be tutoring under direct supervision from a qualified supervisor, and you will also need to be deemed legally qualified by your county’s superintendent.


Washington is quite strict in comparison to other states and their certifications. Not only will you need your high school diploma or GED, but you will also need teaching qualifications and certifications at the college level.

On top of this, it is required by state law for you to be supervised directly when tutoring, and you will need to complete a course on home-based study before you can legally homeschool your children.

Do You Have To Be Certified To Homeschool?

General Laws About Homeschooling

If you don’t live in any of the states we have listed, then all you need is your high school diploma or GED in order to teach at home.

However, there are a few laws and requirements that will apply to you, regardless of what state you live in.

The biggest commonality between all states is that you will need to notify your school district when you are pulling your children out of school.

In most cases, this is all you need to do, but in some states, you will need to write and submit a letter of withdrawal. Again, this varies from state to state.

The laws about homeschooling in the USA are pretty relaxed overall, but it is crucial that you learn more about your specific state laws and comply with them before you pull your children out of school.

Homeschooling Requirements For Parents

While most states are quite relaxed in their laws and approach to homeschooling, there are some requirements that all parents (in all states) need in order to comply with the homeschooling laws.

The main requirements are as follows:

  • Parents are required to have completed their high school diploma or GED.
  • Parents must notify the school district of the removal of their children from public school.
  • In most states, parents are required to teach their children at least 180 days of the year.
  • Also, in most states, parents will need to put together a written curriculum that covers all the core subjects required in the state.
  • Parents will have to make sure that the annual standardized test requirements are met for their children.

As long as you meet these requirements when homeschooling your children, you shouldn’t have any other issues.

This is just general for all states, but always make sure to check your own individual state for any other homeschooling requirements that are needed.

It is also heavily advised that you sort all of the finer details out before you start homeschooling.

If you have everything ready and in place (both from an organizational and legal point of view), then you can focus on homeschooling your children sooner and without extra stress.

Which States Do Not Allow Homeschooling?

In the USA, there are no states that do not allow homeschooling. Homeschooling is completely legal in all 50 states, but the laws in each state vary.

Some states have very strict laws and regulations, while others are very relaxed. Regardless of where in the USA you are situated, homeschooling is considered completely legal.

Do You Need To Be A Certified Teacher In Order To Homeschool?

While Washington does require that you have college credits and some form of teaching qualification, this does not apply in the other states.

Lots of parents who already homeschool their children have no formal teaching qualifications, nor are they certified to teach. Like everything else, it does vary from state to state, but in most cases, you do not need to be a certified teacher in order to homeschool your children.

Lots of parents opt to put their children in virtual or online courses, where they are usually taught by certified tutors or teachers.

If you are concerned that your lack of teaching experience and qualifications will hinder your child’s progress, this is a great way to keep them homeschooled but taught by professionals.

Why You Don’t Need To Be Certified To Homeschool Your Children

It might seem a bit strange that you do not need to be certified to homeschool your children, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

As a homeschooling parent, you are just teaching your own children, who are under your direct supervision at any other time besides school.

You will not be teaching publicly, and therefore, you do not need certifications or qualifications.

It’s also a bit easier in this day and age because you can enroll your children in online/virtual courses, where qualified professionals can teach them things you don’t feel comfortable teaching yourself.


So overall, no- you don’t have to be certified to homeschool your children. Homeschooling laws do vary from state to state, but in most situations, all you need to do is alert your school district of the change and have your high school diploma.

Remember, it is always important to look into the individual laws depending on what state you live in. Some states are very relaxed in their homeschooling laws, but other states are more strict and have more requirements.

Further reading: Why was homeschooling illegal?

Frequently Asked Questions

Which States Are Hardest To Homeschool In?

Some of the hardest and strictest states to homeschool in include Washington, North Dakota, Ohio, and Vermont.

Which States Are Easiest To Homeschool In?

The easiest and most relaxed states to homeschool in are Indiana and Idaho.

Do I Need Permission In Order To Homeschool?

In the vast majority of cases, you do not need permission to homeschool. However, you do need to notify the school district and proper authorities so they know your children are no longer in formal education.

You may also like: Why is homeschooling better for many children?

Simon Lewis

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