Homeschool in Massachusetts – Massachusetts Homeschool Laws

By Dr. Jon

State laws change from time to time and though we try to keep the laws up-to-date at all times please check with the department of education for any changes that may have occurred.

If you think homeschooling is the best educational option for you and your children – and it probably is – then you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to show you how to homeschool in Massachusetts. We’ve pooled together information related to the educational potential of The Bay State, looked over the homeschool laws in Massachusetts and selected the best online resources that will keep you and your children happily and successfully learning at home.

Without further ado, let’s see what Massachusetts has to offer in terms of educational material. Also, use the infographic and video below to create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschool in Massachusetts

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The Bay State

On what is now the state of Massachusetts, the founding fathers created the first colony in New England. Massachusetts remained a pioneer in the promotion of human rights, with a sharp anti-slavery stance in the XIX century and a pro-LGBT view in the XIX.

The Bay State is also the place where two of America’s most famous sports were invented: basketball (in Springfield) and volleyball (in Holyoke).

Higher education is well represented here, too. Two of America’s most prestigious academic institutions – Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – are both located here, with Harvard being the first US higher-education institution.

A pioneer in so many fields, Massachusetts offers plenty of educational possibilities for you and your children. The geographic diversity is impressive for such a small state, ranging from coastal plains in the East to the Berkshire Mountains in the West. State parks such as Wells State, World’s End or Purgatory Chasm offer great chances for a walk in the woods, and there are plenty of whale-watching tours near Boston.

The fine arts are well represented here, too. You can visit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Clark Art Institute – you and your children won’t be disappointed.

From history to geography to art, Massachusetts has it all, so there’s really no reason to spend too much time at home if you plan to go homeschooling.

Homeschooling in Massachusetts - Requirements

Massachusetts home schooling requirements allow a large portion of the decisions to be made by the local school district.

While there is not notification required, you do need to go through a process of approval with the local school district. The district will ask for your educational policy and will deliberate on whether or not that seems adequate, but the specific factors that are taken into consideration are decided at local level. A district is not allowed to ask any questions related to the rationale for homeschooling, children’s socialization or your employment schedule.

Once you get the approval, you may need to provide a minimum number of instruction hours or days. This is, again, decided by the local school district, and it will generally not exceed 900 hours for elementary students and 990 hours for high-school students.

As regards the subjects, the Massachusetts homeschool laws require you to provide instruction “equivalent to” that of the public school, but the local districts will not impose textbooks or a certain pedagogical approach.

The assessment is also to be decided by the local school district, and it may take the form of standardized tests or portfolios. Bookkeeping is also regulated locally.

During the approval process you may be asked about your qualifications, but there are no state imposed certifications that you need to have. Again, it’s all up to the local school district. If they decide to refuse your approval, they will have to prove that your educational program is not suitable.

Massachusetts Homeschooling Friendliness Grade

Since it’s one of the few states that require you to go through an approval process before starting to homeschool, Massachusetts is not exactly the friendliest state when it comes to homeschooling. We’ve given it a D in light of the above, but that doesn’t mean homeschooling is too difficult to give it a shot. In fact, the Massachusetts homeschool laws shouldn’t be a problem if you’re determined to offer the best education to your children – and if you aren’t why bother homeschooling, anyway?

Conclusion

Though the Massachusetts homeschool laws may be a bit demanding, educating your children at home may turn out to be a great experience. With such a diversity of educational opportunities, you and your children will never be out of ideas, and the local homeschooling community will always provide useful tips and materials. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us – we’re always ready to help!

Resources

http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/policy-issues/current-policy/

http://www.mhla.org/ - the official website of the Massachusetts Home Learning Association, it offers plenty of information related to local homeschooling

http://www.wholefamilylearning.com/ - a great blog on homeschooling in Massachusetts, with plenty of interesting articles and useful ideas

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