Homeschooling in Delaware – Delaware 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.

Deciding to homeschool your kid was not probably a decision you came upon lightly - and rightfully so. There are important considerations to digest, both in terms of your child’s personal traits and characteristics, as well as your own availability. Least of all is the legal framework that governs homeschooling in your state of Delaware. When homeschooling, Delaware is one of the more burdensome states, but the hurdles can be overcome. That’s where we come in. We will lay out the legal landscape and look at some resources that will come in handy, all of which will make your decision a little easier to execute. When it comes to deciding on public or homeschool there are three things one should consider. The first is the legal environment, the second is the curriculum and, the third is the resources that need to be allocated to this endeavor. Also use the infographic and video below to create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschooling in Delaware

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Delaware Homeschool Laws

While Delaware homeschool laws are by no means onerous, you still need to know them so that you can take the necessary steps for your child. You can find the details in Title 14, specifically in Chapter 27.

To begin, laws to homeschool in Delaware make it mandatory for children between the ages of 5 and 16 to attend school. The reference date to determine age is August 31st. Meaning, if your child turns five on September 1st 2016, they are not considered five years old until the 2017 school year. It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to enrol a child in public school between these ages.

The key here is how the state defines the term homeschool. Delaware splits their definition of homeschooling into three depending on the composition of the classroom. Section 2703A forms the relevant body of laws to homeschool in Delaware, three three types of homeschoolers are: the Multi-family homeschool, where the classroom contains the children from more than one family; the second is the single family homeschool, where the class is filled with only the child/children of one family; and finally the single family homeschool that is coordinated with the local school district, where the parents will follow the curriculum of same age or same level of advancement.

Since homeschools are considered non public schools, it is required by local state law that all attendance records be submitted once a year by July 31st, to the state’s Department of Education.

As far as attendance goes, there are some exemptions that the state allows. These exemptions are specifically related to medical situations, either physical or mental. Those with contagious diseases are also easily exempted.

Curriculum

Homeschooling in Delaware is a function of one’s ability to provide an optimal learning experience to the child. In cases where the child is developmentally superior or a little slow, where they’re too far on either side or the norm, homeschooling becomes a viable option. It is also an option for parents who are concerned with habits and thought processes that are prevalent in the public schools yet vary to your beliefs and principles. In Delaware you are given the freedom to homeschool but you must do so in a manner that puts the child’s welfare first. Which is why attendance and reporting of that attendance is an important aspect of the homeschool legal environment in Delaware.

The real benefit also comes from your increased exposure to your child where you get to focus on just him or her, and they just get to focus on learning. Of course the big question among homeschool advocates and detractors alike is about the social development of children who are homeschooled. That is something that needs to be weighed in a separate discussion as Delaware laws and guidelines do not consider this and it is up to the parent to construct a solution for this.

In Delaware you have the option of providing the child with the same curriculum as the public school, or you have the ability to design your own program as long as it is appropriate to the child’s developmental stage. The benefit of staying away from a rigid curriculum is that it allows the child to absorb the material in a more meaningful way.

Homeschool DE Grade

Homeschooling in Delaware scores a B on the State Homeschool Friendliness measure mainly because of the confusing definitions and the strict requirements on attendance. There is also the compulsory requirement to submit attendance records at the end of the school year and all these add to the burden of homeschooling in Delaware.

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong if you decide to homeschool and Delaware makes it very easy. Simply put it is a great state to homeschool in and there are plenty of communities to help you along the journey. That said, we’re here to help you, too – just get in touch if you’ve got any questions.

Resources

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

http://delcode.delaware.gov/title14/c027/sc01/ here you will find Delaware state law in regards to education

http://www.doe.k12.de.us/domain/191 Resources for Non Public Schools in Delaware

http://layeredsoul.com/ great resource to educate you child based on their learning style

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