Wisconsin law allows for “home-based private educational programs” (which is the term used to officially describe a homeschool program). To homeschool, you’ll need to follow these requirements:
1. File an annual report
Every year on or before October 15, you must file a statement of enrollment (PI-1206 form) with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This can be done online via the DPI’s website.
Your statement must state how many students in the elementary and high school grades were enrolled in your homeschool as of the third Friday in September. It must also certify that:
- your homeschool’s main purpose is to provide private or religious-based education (and not to circumvent the compulsory school attendance laws);
- your homeschool is privately controlled;
- your homeschool will provide at least 875 hours of instruction during the school year; and
- your homeschool will provide a sequentially progressive curriculum in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health.
Be sure to save copies of all your completed PI-1206 forms. If you cannot prove you filed the statement of enrollment during the years your child was in high school, some employers and government agencies may not recognize your student’s high school education as legitimate.
2. Have the main purpose of providing private or religious-based education
Under Wisconsin law, the main purpose of your homeschool must be to provide private or religious-based education—not to circumvent compulsory school attendance laws.
3. Be privately controlled
Your homeschool must be privately controlled. (In other words, a public school or other government agency cannot operate a homeschool program.)
4. Provide the required period of instruction
Your homeschool program must provide at least 875 hours of instruction each school year (July 1 to June 30). Keep track of your hours well enough that you could document 875 hours of instruction per year. HSLDA recommends permanently maintaining records showing that your student received 875 hours of instruction for each of his or her four years of high school.
5. Teach the required subjects
You must provide instruction in the following subjects:
- language arts,
- social studies,
- science and health.
Your records showing your student received instruction in these subjects during all four years of high school should be maintained in your permanent records.
6. Move your curriculum from simple to complex concepts
The curriculum must be “sequentially progressive”—in other words, as you teach, you move from simpler to more challenging concepts or skills.
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.