Maine has two options you can use to homeschool your children: home instruction and private schooling.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under Maine’s home instruction option
If you choose to provide your child with home instruction, you’ll need to follow these requirements:
1. File a one-time notice of intent.
You must send a one-time written notice of intent to your local school superintendent and to the state commissioner of education. This notice needs to be sent within 10 days of you starting to homeschool your student. It is not necessary to use any particular form, but HSLDA members may wish to use our specially designed Maine Notice of Intent Form located below.
Your notice of intent must include the following information:
- name, address, and signature of the parent or guardian,
- student’s name and age,
- the date that home instruction began (or will begin),
- a statement that you will provide instruction to your student for at least 175 days a year,
- a statement that you will cover the required subjects, and a statement that you will submit a year-end assessment for your student.
Maine law says that you must keep a copy of this notice of intent for your records. If the commissioner of education asks to see the notice, you must provide it to him or her.
2. Send an annual letter.
Each year thereafter, by September 1, you need to send a letter to the local school superintendent and to the state commissioner of education. It is not necessary to use any particular form, but we provide HSLDA members with a specially designed Statement of Intent to Continue Home Education Form, located below.
This letter needs to include the following:
- your student’s year-end assessment, and
- a statement that you intend to continue your student’s home education.
Maine law says that you must keep a copy of each annual letter, and a copy of each year-end assessment, for your records. If the commissioner of education asks to see the letter or the year-end assessment, you must provide it.
3. Teach the required subjects.
You must teach all of the following subjects:
- English and language arts,
- social studies,
- physical and health education,
- library skills,
- fine arts,
- Maine studies (in one grade between grades 6 and 12), and
- computer proficiency (in one grade between grades 7 and 12).
4. Submit a year-end assessment.
For your child’s year-end assessment, you can:
- Submit the official results of a national standardized achievement test.
- Submit the results of a test developed by local school officials (homeschoolers do not commonly use this type of assessment).
- Submit a letter stating that your child’s progress has been reviewed and is acceptable. This letter can be from a Maine certified teacher, a support group that has a Maine certified teacher helping to conduct your child’s review, or an advisory board that includes two homeschool teachers and one school official and that you arrange with your school district before the school year begins. The advisory board option is not commonly used.
Keep a copy of the assessment you submit for your records.
Option 2: Homeschooling as a student of a private school
Maine law allows homeschooling parents to join together and function as a private school the state recognizes as providing equivalent instruction. The requirements a private school must follow to be recognized are listed in HSLDA’s legal analysis of Maine state law. [Link to Post 8 (Legal Analysis) in this series.] You can satisfy Maine’s school attendance laws by enrolling your child in one of these schools.
One of the requirements for obtaining recognition is that the school must provide instruction in these subjects:
- English (reading, writing, spelling, and grammar),
- American history,
- Maine history and geography,
- government (including the privilege and responsibility of citizenship),
- health education, and
- fine arts.
HSLDA members using Maine’s Option 2 may wish to use the following templates for submitting required paperwork, all of which are attached below:
- Notice to Commissioner of Establishment of Recognized as Equivalent Private School (REPS)
- Annual Letter to School District for Recognized as Equivalent Private School (REPS)
- Annual Letter to Parents for Recognized as Equivalent Private School (REPS)
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.