Ohio parents may choose to homeschool under the state’s homeschool statute or as a non-chartered, non-tax-supported school.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under Ohio’s homeschool statute
Children may be excused from compulsory attendance in order to be home educated if their parents comply with the state’s homeschool regulations. Follow these steps to homeschool under this option:
1. Submit annual notification to the school district in order for your child to be excused from compulsory attendance.
In order to receive an excuse, parents or guardians must submit annual notification to the resident school district superintendent either (a) no later than the first week of the start of the public school building the child would attend in the school district of residence, (b) within one week of the date on which the child begins to reside in the district, or (c) within one week from the child’s withdrawal from a school.
The notification must provide the following:
- School year for which notification is made
- Name and address of the parent, and full name and birth date of child
- Name and address of person(s) who will be teaching the child, if other than the parent
- Assurance that the homeschool will include the required subjects listed below (“except that home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent”)
- A brief outline of intended curriculum (see a sample outline for members only below)
- List of textbooks or other basic teaching materials
- Assurance of hours and qualifications (see below)
An Ohio notice of intent form is available for HSLDA members below. HSLDA strongly recommends that you maintain copies of your notification as well as any and all correspondence with the school district. We recommend that all correspondence with the school district be done in such a way as to assure receipt by the school of your correspondence. We strongly recommend using some form of mail with certification and return receipt.
The law places specific time frames and requirements on superintendents to respond to homeschool notification. HSLDA members who have not received their letter of excuse within 14 days of submitting their notification should contact us.
2. Make sure you have the required qualifications.
Parents who teach their own children at home are required to have a high school diploma or GED, or scores from a standardized test demonstrating high school equivalence. A parent who lacks any of these qualifications may still homeschool under the direction of a person who holds a baccalaureate degree. Such oversight is required until the children’s test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency.
3. Teach the required subjects.
Home education programs are required to teach language, reading, spelling, writing, geography, history of the United States and Ohio, government, math, science, health, physical education, fine arts (including music), first aid, safety, and fire prevention.
4. Teach the required number of hours.
Parents providing a home education program must assure the superintendent that they will provide at least 900 hours of home education per school year.
5. Assess your student annually.
Parents home educating their children under Ohio’s homeschool statute are required to annually assess their children’s academic proficiency. You may select one of three options to comply with the assessment regulation.
One, you may choose to test your child with any nationally normed standardized achievement test. The test may be administered by an Ohio licensed or certified teacher, or by another person that you and the superintendent agree upon, or by any person authorized by the publisher of the test. The composite score must be sent to the superintendent and must show that the child scored at least in the 25th percentile. HSLDA has developed a form that our members may use to submit their test results, to ensure that they are in compliance with the law. Members can download the form below.
Two, you may choose to submit a written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of your child’s work has been reviewed by a qualified person and that your child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities. The narrative must be prepared by an Ohio licensed or certified teacher or by someone else whom you and the superintendent have agreed upon.
Three, you may choose another form of assessment than those listed above if you and the superintendent have agreed upon it. HSLDA members intending to submit a written narrative can use our sample form, found below. To learn more about types of
testing and evaluation, click here.
Here is what will happen if your child does not demonstrate reasonable proficiency:
If your child fails to demonstrate reasonable proficiency on the assessment, the superintendent is obligated to notify you in writing that you must submit a plan of remediation within 30 days. During the remediation, you will be required to submit quarterly reports. The superintendent may terminate remediation when your child demonstrates reasonable proficiency. It is possible that a child may be ordered into public school if remediation is unsuccessful. HSLDA members who receive notification of remediation from their superintendent should contact us immediately. To become a member of HSLDA, click here.
6. Transferring School Districts:
If you move school districts within Ohio during the school year, you can request your previous school district to forward a copy of your records to your new school district. This request satisfies the regulation’s notice requirements. HSLDA members can use the below sample letter to send to their districts.
Option 2: Homeschooling as a non-chartered, non-tax-supported school (“-08 school”)
Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-08 permits a school which is not chartered by the state board of education, nor seeking a charter, because of truly held religious beliefs to operate if it meets certain minimum standards. HSLDA has successfully litigated to defend this section of the code as a means for parents to homeschool, and there are a variety of reasons why parents may find this approach appropriate for their family. There are specific requirements and qualifications for forming an -08 school. HSLDA members should read our -08 schools article before choosing this approach.
HSLDA will assist member families who, because of truly held religious beliefs, organize single-family -08 schools to educate their own children. If you are an HSLDA member who is considering privately educating your children under this regulation, please contact us for more information.
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.