10 Answers You Need to Understand the Intent to Homeschool Form
Deciding to homeschool is the first step in an amazing journey. Now that you’ve taken this step, you are probably wondering what legal requirements you have to fulfill so you can start educating your child at home. The important thing to keep in mind as you work through the legal requirements is that you have the right to make decisions about your child’s education. All states recognize, in one way or another, the right of parents to homeschool their children. However, the laws regulating homeschooling vary between states, and it is important for homeschooling families to read and understand these laws, to know their rights, and to ensure they are complying with the relevant regulations.
One of the documents that parents most often have questions about is the intent to homeschool form. From a legal perspective, this form can be one of the most important requirements to homeschool your child, so you want to ensure you fill it out correctly. Unfortunately, there is no one rule regarding the intent to homeschool form that applies in all states. This post is intended to provide you with the answers that you need in order to continue with the process of homeschooling your child.
What is an Intent to Homeschool Form?
The Intent to Homeschool Form is a document or signed notice required by most states to start homeschooling. This legal document provides the department of education and your local school district with necessary information about your student and plans to educate at home. Since the regulations for education are controlled at the state level, not only do the rules vary from state to state but so does the terminology. Thus, in your state, the Intent to Homeschool Form may have a different name, such as “notice of intent”, “notice of enrollment”, “declaration of intent to homeschool”, or “letter of intent”. Some states require a signed affidavit or curriculum plan, and in some states, homeschools need to be registered as private schools.
Why is it Required?
The answer to this question is partly dependent on your state, but can usually be found by looking at the section of the law that names this requirement. For example, this may be a way for the state to ensure that your student is meeting the mandatory attendance policy. For other states, this is part of a process of supervision and ensuring that all students receive a good education.
Where Can You Find This Form?
This information should be available through your state’s department of education and is usually found on their website. Some states provide the opportunity for online submissions, while others require that the Intent to Homeschool Form be submitted to your local school superintendent. Information about these forms is also provided by homeschooling alliances. If you are having trouble finding this form, contact your local school district.
Enlightium provides families enrolled at Enlightium Academy guidance and resources for accessing and submitting this form, as well as a network of support from other Enlightium families who live in your state.
What Will be on The Form?
For some states, the parent simply submits a signed letter informing the school district of the intent to homeschool. In other states, the Intent to Homeschool Form will request information about:
- The student’s age
- Their school level
- The curriculum that will be used
- The teaching qualifications of the parent
Some school districts will provide forms that actually ask for more information than is required by law. In these cases, parents have the option not to provide all the information requested on the form.
What Else Do You Need?
On several department of education websites, information about homeschooling can be found under a “non-public school” heading. This is one of the areas that varies significantly between states. In some states, a homeschool is considered a private school and is treated as such by the state, including requirements for the parents to submit attendance and “enrollment” in the homeschool. In other states, homeschooling is not supervised closely, and there are far fewer requirements.
When Should The Form be Submitted?
In many cases, the intent to homeschool form must be submitted two to four weeks before you can start homeschooling, though in some states it may be submitted within a set time after you have started homeschooling. Other states have specific date regulations (such as August 15th). It is important to start this process as soon as possible, as you don’t want to miss a deadline.
Do You Have to Submit The Form Every Year That You Homeschool?
Each state has its own requirement. Some states will need a form to be submitted annually, while others require it to be submitted only the first year that a family begins homeschooling.
What Happens if You Fail to Comply With This Requirement?
You may be contacted by your local school district and asked to comply. In extreme cases, your child may be considered truant from school.
If you live in a state that requires the submission of an Intent to Homeschool Form and you realize that you failed to submit it on time, reach out to your department of education, explain the situation, and ask if you can submit the form late.
Where Does Enlightium Academy Fit in?
Enlightium Academy is a non-public school option. While it is an online, private school, in some states Enlightium would be viewed as a homeschool program. If, after reading the regulations and laws, it is unclear to you how to represent Enlightium Academy in the paperwork, we recommend contacting your state’s department of education or your school district superintendent.
How Can You Get Started?
- Look up “homeschooling in (your state)” on the Internet. This may be the fastest way to find the appropriate laws/regulations. You can also contact your state’s department of education for guidance.
- Read the laws and regulations governing homeschooling in your state, paying special attention to the following:
- Does your state require an Intent to Homeschool Form?
- Where can you find the form?
- When does the form need to be submitted?
- Who does the form need to be submitted to?
- Fill out and submit the form.
Even though the process of completing an Intent to Homeschool Form can feel a little bit overwhelming, the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Enlightium Academy has thousands of students in all 50 states and has compiled a library of resources for homeschooling in each state.
Enlightium Academy is a private Christian online school that serves homeschooling families by offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher-supported, and affordable education from the comfort of your home. For any other questions about Enlightium, please call (509) 319-2288, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com.