New Hampshire law states: “The general court recognizes . . . that it is the primary right and obligation of a parent to choose the appropriate educational alternative for a child under his care and supervision, as provided by law. . . . The general court further recognizes that home education is more individualized than instruction normally provided in the classroom setting” (N.H. Rev. State. Ann. § 193-A).
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has reaffirmed the fundamental right to homeschool: “Thus while the State may adopt a policy requiring children to be educated, it does not have the unlimited power to require they be educated in a certain way or place. . . . Home education is an enduring American tradition and right. . . . Thus approval requirements for non-public school education may not unnecessarily interfere with traditional parental rights” (Appeal of Pierce, 451 A.2d 363 ).
The following guidelines will help you to homeschool in compliance with state law.
HSLDA members with additional questions are welcome to consult our New Hampshire homeschool law FAQ sheet attached below or contact us.
1. Provide appropriate notification to the authorities.
Parents are required to file an initial notice with a “participating agency” in the following situations:
- within five days of commencing a homeschool program, or
- upon moving into a new school district and changing participating agencies.
The notice must include the names, addresses, and birth dates of the children being homeschooled. A sample notice of intent is available for members below.
A “participating agency” may be the commissioner of education, public school district superintendent, or principal of a nonpublic school. HSLDA does not recommend that homeschooling families choose the commissioner of education as their participating agency. We encourage families to choose the principal of a nonpublic school instead; a list of private schools that serve as participating agencies for homeschoolers is available here.
If you terminate a home education program you must provide a written notice of termination and file it with the commissioner of education and (in addition) the resident district superintendent or nonpublic school principal, whichever serves as the participating agency, within 15 days.
If you notify a resident district superintendent of your home education program and then move school districts, you are required to notify the original district superintendent that your child has moved out of the district and will provide a new notification to a new participating agency.
2. Teach the required subjects.
The law requires that homeschool programs teach these subjects:
- The history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States, and
- An exposure to and appreciation of art and music.
3. Keep good records.
A homeschooling parent is required by law to maintain a portfolio of records and materials relative to the home education program, consisting of a log of reading materials used and samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or produced by the child. The parent is expected to retain the portfolio for two years.
4. Evaluate your child annually.
Parents are required by law to annually evaluate students in their home education program. The evaluation must demonstrate progress commensurate with the child’s age, ability, and/or disability. Parents can satisfy the evaluation requirement with:
- A written evaluation of educational progress by a certified teacher or current nonpublic school teacher selected by the parent, prepared after reviewing the student’s portfolio and discussing with the parent or child; or
- The results of any national student achievement test administered by a person meeting the provider’s or publisher’s qualifications; or
- The results of the state student assessment test used by the resident district; or
- An evaluation using any other valid measurement tool mutually agreed upon by the parent and the participating agency.
To learn more about different types of testing and evaluation, click here.
Here is what to do with the evaluation results:
The evaluation results are kept by the parent and not sent to the participating agency. The law states that the results of the evaluation may be used to demonstrate a child’s academic proficiency in order to participate in public school programs but shall not be used as a basis for terminating a home education program and should provide a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator.
5. Notify the department of education if you graduate your student before the age of 18.
The law recognizes the parents may exempt a child who is under age 18 from compulsory attendance if he or she has completed a homeschool program at the high school level. The law allows parents to “document the completion of a home school program at the high school level by submitting a certificate or a letter to the department of education.” HSLDA members may use the model letter provided below.
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.