Homeschooling used to be pretty uncommon in the U.S., but it has seen a rise in popularity recently, especially since the beginning of the pandemic.
More parents and guardians are considering homeschooling to be a more viable option for their kids, but how does one go about homeschooling their kids the right way?
If you are considering homeschooling your children, but you don’t know how to get certified, then you have come to the right place.
We have put together a complete guide for you to follow so you can start homeschooling your kids as soon as possible.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting certified to homeschool children.
How To Get Certified To Homeschool Children
When it comes to homeschooling your kids, you might think that you will need to go through lots of channels in order to get certified. But the whole process is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
In most cases, you don’t actually need any certification to homeschool your children. You just need your high school diploma.
Below, you will find a more detailed breakdown of the things you need to consider and what to do when you want to homeschool your children.
Further reading: Do you have to be certified to homeschool?
Laws On Homeschooling
Homeschooling is completely legal in all 50 states, but the laws do vary depending on which state you are in.
In some states, for example, you will need to submit full education plans and even assessments of your students, but in other states, it’s as simple as declaring to the school district that you are going to homeschool your children.
Regardless of which state you are in, you will need to contact your school district in order to legally withdraw your children from public education.
You cannot simply take them out of school without notifying the correct authorities.
As every state has different laws, it is important to look up your own state’s requirements before you pull your children out of public schooling.
Organizations such as the HSLDA have interactive maps and information for each state that you can look at for guidance.
Distance Learning & Virtual Schools
If you are going to homeschool your children, then it is important to know about some of the different types of educational avenues you can go down and what you need to do in order to use them.
First, let’s talk about Distance Learning. This type of homeschooling is usually provided by your school district and follows the same curriculum your child would be learning if they were still in public education.
When it comes to Distance Learning, you will need to contact your school district to get the right instructions. They will provide you with everything you need for your homeschooling curriculum.
Virtual Schools are basically online schools, and they are completely separate from your school district.
They are very similar to private schools, but it is required that you contact your school district in order to get the right instructions in order to proceed.
Once you have contacted your school district and gotten everything you need, you will be able to proceed with homeschooling your children.
Qualifications For Parents Or Tutors
While there is no official certification for homeschooling your children, there are still requirements you will need to meet.
Again, the right qualifications and requirements will vary depending on the state you live in, but most states do not have any qualification requirements.
The only real qualification most states ask for is a high school diploma for the parents.
Most states will allow parents to homeschool their children regardless of their own educational background and experience. This is because, in most cases, you can enroll your children in virtual classes set up by other organizations, or you will be following a curriculum distributed by your school district.
Remember, the variation of qualification requirements from state to state is quite vast, so it’s always best to contact your school district and ask them for any advice or qualification needs when you can.
Examples Of Specific State Laws
To give you a better example of how some states tackle homeschooling, here’s a brief outline of what you will need in these states.
In most cases, all you will need is your high school diploma, but these states require a few extra steps.
If you do not have teaching qualifications or certifications, as a homeschool parent, you will need to be supervised by someone who is certified.
You will also need to complete a course in home-based study. College credits are also required in this state.
In West Virginia, you will need your high school diploma or a GED, but you also need to be deemed qualified by your county’s superintendent.
You will also need to homeschool under direct supervision.
In this state, you need a high school diploma or teaching certificate, but you will also have to homeschool through a correspondence program.
You will also need to provide evidence that you can provide your children with adequate education.
You are required to have your high school diploma or GED in North Dakota.
However, if you don’t have either of these, you will be required to homeschool under supervision for the first two years.
What You Need For Homeschooling
Once you have sorted out what you need in terms of requirements, laws, regulations, and qualifications, you can then start planning out how you are going to homeschool.
If you choose to use virtual classes, those lessons will already be planned out by the tutor, but if you are going for a more traditional approach, you will need to organize a few things.
Read on to find out more about what you will need for homeschooling.
It can be overwhelming working out what you need in terms of supplies, but most of what you need can be easily sourced.
You will need most of the same supplies that a child in public education would use, and most of those supplies can be found in stores and online.
It is important to accommodate for the grade level your child is at. Kindergarten children will need slightly different supplies than High School students, so keep that in mind!
Things like writing utensils, a calendar for planning, a whiteboard, notebooks, and textbooks are all basic things you will need to get started with homeschooling.
It is incredibly important to set up a curriculum as early as possible when it comes to homeschooling. This will guide you and help you know what your children need to study and when.
There are lots of different curriculums for you to follow, and finding the ideal one for your children can be a bit overwhelming. But take into consideration your children’s abilities, interests, and how they learn best. This can help you work out the right curriculum for your children.
If you are doing Distance Learning, you can follow the school district’s curriculum.
It will be pretty much the same as what kids in public schools are learning, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right one, and your children stay on track with public schools.
Just like public schools, routine is incredibly important for homeschooled kids. Keeping a strict schedule will help you and your children get into the learning zone, and it will keep them on track to hit their targets.
Virtual Schools will have schedules already laid out, but if you are doing Distance Learning or following a different curriculum, you will have to plan the schedule yourself.
It’s recommended to keep regular school hours, so model your schedule around public school hours for the best results.
Some children perform better on irregular schedules, but talk to your children and see what is best for them.
In most cases, all you need is a high school diploma to homeschool, but as you can see, it varies from state to state.
Check-in with your local school district to see what you need in order to be a certified homeschool teacher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Homeschool My Children If I’m Not A Teacher?
It might surprise you, but the answer to this question is yes! It is not required for you to have any educational background in order to homeschool your children.
This means you do not need to be a certified teacher in order to homeschool.
As long as you are following a curriculum or have your children enrolled in virtual classes, they will still get a formal education that is valid and will help them get into college or get a job in the future.
Do I Need A Degree In Order To Homeschool?
Again, the answer is no! All you really need in most cases when it comes to homeschooling in the U.S. is a high school diploma or even a GED.
Laws and rules do vary depending on the state you live in, but in most cases, the answer to this question is no.