Need a helpful place to get your questions answered as you begin your homeschool journey?
For over 35 years, CHEO has been working for home educating families across Ohio and we are thrilled to continue that work today! How can we help you?
Home Education in Ohio…
We are thankful that home education is legal in all parts of our country, but it may look very different from state to state. According to HSLDA, Ohio is considered a “moderately regulated” homeschool state and therefore has specific homeschool requirements for parents to follow each year.
From the Ohio Revised Code 3321.01
A child between six and eighteen years of age is “of compulsory school age”… thus all kids, in that age range, must be enrolled in a traditional school, private school, homeschool, etc. in order to be in compliance with the law.
Families who wish to homeschool must send in a notification form each year to the office of the superintendent of the district in which they reside. This notification must be submitted by the first week of school in that district. CHEO has always recommended that families submit this notification 2 weeks prior to school starting in order to avoid problems with truancy laws.
If you are new to home education, please follow our “Step-by-Step Guide” below to get you started on your journey!
A Step-by-Step Guide for your Homeschool Journey!
Step # 1
Read the Regs…
It is always helpful to read through the Ohio Homeschool Regulations that govern home education in our state. Familiarize yourself with this document to better understand your rights as an educator.
If you have any questions regarding the content of the regulations, feel free to contact our Legislative Liaison, Melanie Elsey and she will be happy to explain the background of the Ohio Homeschool Regs.
For any necessary legal counsel, please contact HSLDA!
Step # 2
Complete a Notification…
Annual notification must be completed for your family and submitted to the district superintendent by the first week of school. The district superintendent has a 14-day window to determine if the information provided is compliant with OAC 3301-34-03(A) and must notify the parents in writing that the student is excused from attendance for the remainder of the school year or the parent needs to provide more information.
You can find the notification form that CHEO has used for 35 years by clicking the button below; but you are not obligated to use a specific form.
Step # 3
Complete an Outline…
Along with your notification form for your family, you will submit a brief outline of intended curriculum and list of intended resources for each student.
The OAC states that this outline and list is “for informational purposes only”. The district will not be deciding if they agree with your curriculum choices…only that all subjects are covered. You are free to make material changes throughout the year as needed for your students.
There is not a specific form/format for this outline, but we do have suggestions for making this part of the process go smoothly.
Step # 4
If this is your first year homeschooling, you DO NOT need to submit an assessment report.
For the 2020-2021 notification season, all assessment reports have been waived due to legislation related to Covid-19 issues in Ohio. For a summary of this waiver: Assessment Waiver
For more in-depth information on the assessment process in Ohio, click the link below.
Step # 5
Don’t forget…Make copies!
Make sure to copy all forms to be sent to the District Superintendent and maintain for your own files.
This is also a good time to consider how you wish to maintain all paperwork, workbooks, projects, etc for your school year. There are many different approaches that may be used, but we suggest that you keep it simple and don’t create additional stress for you or your family.
Step # 6
Send it in…with a little insurance. 🙂
Send by certified mail (with a return receipt) to the superintendent of your local school district. It may cost a little bit more to send it this way, but it provides added “insurance” that your documents were received within the superintendents office since someone will need to sign and date the receipt.
Step # 7
Begin your homeschool…
The district has 14 business days to review your paperwork and send your excusal letter for the school year…or request more information. But you don’t have to wait for the letter to start homeschooling!
You can begin your journey since you have completed all necessary paperwork!
Step # 8
Have a plan…
State regs require 900 hours of home education (roughly 180 days/5 hrs per day). You are not required to submit daily attendance or hour log, but it is helpful to come up with a plan for your year. You may find lesson plans/calendars helpful, but they are not required.
Record keeping materials such as grade books and lesson plan books are available through homeschool suppliers, various office supply retailers, or you can make your own. Need ideas or suggestions?
Why not join CHEO’s interactive Facebook group and chat with other parents regarding this and lots of other topics?
Step # 9
We strongly encourage all home educators to join Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Membership is $130/yr. and provides legal counsel for your family in the event of a homeschool related issue. Your membership also helps to fight legal battles for other home educators across the country.
If you become a CHEO member first, then you are eligible for a $15 discount on your HSLDA membership fees.
If withdrawing from a traditional public, private or online school…
It is legal in the state of Ohio to remove your child from traditional public, private or online education at any time during the school year in order to home educate.
If withdrawing from a traditional public or private school, CHEO recommends that you notify the principal, in writing, that you are withdrawing your child from school for the purposes of home education. Then simply follow the steps above within one week of withdrawing from school.
If withdrawing from an online public school, CHEO recommends that you first notify your child’s teacher and then take the steps suggested for withdrawing from traditional school. Your child is not required to take an assessment before withdrawing. You will be required to return computers and learning materials provided by the state.
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