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Sept. 11, 2006

Family Receives Unannounced Home Visit

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family was taken by surprise on September 5, when a school official from Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District came to the family’s home and demanded to see their curriculum.

The school official gave no reason why, after seven years of homeschooling, the family was suddenly being visited by the school district. However, the school official did hand the family an official letter, which seemed to support the demand to review their curriculum and cited the compulsory attendance law.

The mother, feeling very intimidated by the visit and the letter citing the compulsory attendance law, showed the school official her curriculum.

After seeing the curriculum, the school official seemed to be satisfied. He did remark, however, that “homeschooling is kind of expensive.” The mother simply laughed and said that homeschooling was much cheaper than the $7,000 per child that the public schools charge taxpayers!

Homeschool families in Michigan need to be on alert. These kind of unannounced visits happen from time to time in school districts throughout Michigan. If you are ever visited by a school official demanding to see your curriculum, simply say “no,” and quickly give HSLDA a call. We would be more than happy to talk to the school official at your door on the phone, and explain to them your rights under Michigan law.

The homeschool law states, “The child is being educated in the child’s home by his or her parent or legal guardian in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.” That is all the law says. There is no requirement that a family have their curriculum reviewed in any way by the public school. The legislation was specifically written so that families would not have to have their curriculum arbitrarily approved or disapproved by the school district like they used to under the old law.

HSLDA routinely sends letters on behalf of member families contacted by the school district with such illegal requests. In virtually every one of these situations, the homeschooler is then left alone without having their curriculum reviewed by the school district. Once again, school district officials are reminded of their limits under the law.

 Other Resources

An Analysis of Homeschooling Law in Michigan