In Louisiana, there are two options under which you can legally homeschool. After choosing one of the following options, follow the listed steps.
Here are your options:
Option 1: Homeschooling as a home study program
You must apply to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval of the home study program within 15 days after beginning to homeschool. The application must be renewed annually thereafter by October 1 of the school year or 12 months after initial approval, whichever is later. Your program will be approved if you certify that it will offer a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that being taught in the public schools. You must include in your application a certified copy (not a photocopy!) of your child’s birth certificate. HSLDA members can use our forms for the application for a home study program and for renewal of a home study program, attached below.
1. Teach for the required number of days.
You must operate your home study program for 180 days each year.
2. Teach the required subjects.
You must teach using a curriculum of a quality that is equal to what is taught in the public schools, and subjects must be taught at the same grade level they are in the public schools. This includes teaching the Declaration of Independence in elementary school and The Federalist Papers in high school.
3. Provide evidence of immunization.
Evidence of immunization for meningococcal disease must be provided when your child is 11 years old to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, unless you have a waiver for religious, medical, or personal reasons.
4. Renew your application for approval.
Your annual application renewal will be approved if you submit satisfactory evidence that your program has in fact offered a sustained curriculum of quality that is equal to what is taught in the public schools at the same grade level. Along with the renewal, you must submit a packet of materials that can include a complete outline of each subject taught, a list of books and materials, copies of the student’s work, copies of standardized tests, and statements of third parties who have observed your child’s progress.
In lieu of submitting the materials mentioned above with your renewal application, you can instead provide:
- your child’s passing score on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test;
- your child’s score on a California Achievement Test (CAT) or other standardized test approved by the state board of education (the score must be at or above grade level or must show “progress at a rate equal to one grade level for each year in the home study program”); or
- a written statement by a teacher certified to teach at your child’s grade level verifying that the child is being taught in accordance with a sustained curriculum that is equal to that which is taught in the public schools or equal to that offered by public schools to a child of similar disabilities.
5. Apply for a TOPS scholarship, if desired.
Homeschool students who enroll in a home study program no later than the end of 10th grade may be eligible for a Louisiana Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award based on their ACT scores. HSLDA members may contact us for more information.
Option 2: Homeschooling as a home-based private school
If you choose this option all the way through high school, your student will not be eligible for a TOPS award. Please see item #6 above.
1. If your child has been attending public school, provide notification of enrollment.
When beginning to homeschool under this option, you must provide a written notification of enrollment to the public school your student attended within 10 days of enrollment in the home-based private school. The notice must include your child’s legal name, date of birth, gender, and race. You can include in the notification a request for your child’s transcript. If you are an HSLDA member and have any questions about the withdrawal procedure, please contact our Legal Department. HSLDA members may use our Notification of Enrollment in a Private School form for this notice, attached below.
2. Do not accept any federal or state funds.
Your school will not qualify under this statute if you accept any federal or state funding, whether directly or indirectly.
3. Provide annual notice of attendance.
You must annually report to the Louisiana Department of Education your home-based private school’s total attendance as of the 30th day of your school term. If you are an HSLDA member, you may use our Notification of Attendance in a Private School form, attached below.
4. Teach for the required number of days.
You must operate your home-based private school for 180 days each academic year
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.