Are You Thinking About Homeschooling in Indiana?
In today’s world, many families find themselves unexpectedly considering homeschooling in Indiana.
School violence and bullying are on the rise. The political nature of public education has changed. And, now millions of children are at home in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
No matter what your reasons are for starting, we’re here to help!
Families may find themselves overwhelmed with where to begin. It is our goal is to encourage you along the way and provide you with valuable helps and resources that will help you make the best decision for your family.
My kids were sent home because of COVID-19. Did I become a homeschool parent overnight?
Children stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, were still doing school work provided by the school, and it was TEMPORARY. When your student is still working under the guidance and direction of your public school, they are still a public school student. In Indiana, homeschools are classified as nonpublic schools and do not operate under the authority of the public school. That means that your temporary “at home” school experience was NOT homeschooling.
But, what if?
- What if you like the idea of homeschooling and you want to explore your options?
- What if you don’t want to send them back?
- What if you explore home education?
We’re here to help!
The IAHE recommends and advocates for home education that is parent-directed, home-based, and privately-funded. While there are other “at home” options, homeschooling gives families the most freedom to create a customized education that focuses on the needs of the child. You can learn more about the differences between home education and school-at-home options here.
Should you homeschool this year?
The IAHE is a bit biased on this topic. We firmly believe that parents are the best people to raise and educate their children. We know that homeschooling is successful and we believe that home education changes lives for the better. It can seem overwhelming, but we also know you can do it. Below are four easy steps to getting started and we have a wealth of additional information to share with you.
But, only a parent can decide if homeschooling is the correct choice. In 2020, many families are looking for temporary, at-home education options. If you are unsure what is best for you, reach out to your IAHE Regional Rep and ask questions about homeschooling in your area.
Quick Start Guide to Homeschooling in Indiana
Know the State Law
We are not attorneys and we do not give legal advice. For more information, please read our legal disclaimer here.
INDIANA HOMESCHOOL LAW
We are blessed in Indiana to have laws that allow us to freely home educate our children.
Here’s what you need to know about the Homeschool Laws in Indiana:
- Indiana Code classifies a home school as a non-accredited, nonpublic school.
- Compulsory school age is 7-17 years of age or when the student graduates.
- Children must attend school for the number of days that the local school corporation is in session, which is generally 180 days each year.
- Keep attendance records.
- Provide an equivalent education.
- Instruction must be done in the English language.
Indiana offers multiple educational options for families with K-12 aged children. While some LOOK similar to home education, there are clear legal differences.
Indiana homeschool families are not required to register with the state and do not have to do any testing or reporting. Indiana law does include an option for families to report the enrollment of their students on the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) website. According to the Indiana Department of Education’s website:
Parents who choose to home educate their children may report their homeschool’s enrollment to the Indiana Department of Education (IC 20-33-2-21).
Withdraw Your Child From School
Is your child enrolled in a public or private school?
While homeschool families are not required to report to the state, families with children already in school do have to withdraw. It is expected the school will receive written notice from a parent when a student is transferred from public school to homeschool. Parents of high school students must also meet with school personnel and complete the state’s withdrawal form.
What About Virtual School Options?
K12, Connections Academy, and several other virtual schools are viable, school-at-home, public school options for many families. But by definition, they are public school options. Therefore they operate and are subject to different laws and guidelines as home schools (nonpublic, non-accredited).
Since 1983, the IAHE (Indiana Association of Home Educators) has been helping families new to homeschooling in Indiana. Our team is here to help answer your questions and help connect you with local resources.
Join the IAHE
Your IAHE membership, IAHE event attendance, and donations support the work of a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board of directors and team. Since 1983, the IAHE has worked to Encourage, Protect, and Serve Indiana homeschool families.
The IAHE hosts the largest discussion group for Indiana’s homeschool families on Facebook. We’re also on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Join the conversation!
The IAHE’s website is FULL of free content and articles to help you get started homeschooling in Indiana. Visit our Homeschool 101 Library to find more! Visit the IAHE Shop for resources to help you get started. Purchase a copy of our book Home Education in Indiana, now available in digital format as well as print! Also, be encouraged and equipped from home with sessions from past IAHE Conventions.
We are not attorneys, so the IAHE does NOT give legal advice. If there are extenuating circumstances, it may be advisable for a family to report with the IDOE. We recommend that you contact the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for legal advice.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
The IAHE highly recommends HSLDA membership. Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.
Registered users on our website are eligible for a discount when the join HSLDA.