Have you been wondering what are the qualifications to homeschool my child and what do I need for home school teaching?
If so, you’re not alone. But, homeschooling requirements for parents vary based on the state (or country) where you are homeschooling.
Common questions that new homeschooling parents may have are:
“What are the parent qualifications to homeschool?”
AND . . .
“I don’t have a college degree. Can I still homeschool?”
(“Can you homeschool without a degree?”)
OR . . .
“Do you have to be a certified teacher to homeschool?”
Researching homeschool programs and trying to figure it all out at the beginning can be completely overwhelming.
(Trust me, I remember it well!)
But, no worries!
We’re going to walk you through the parent qualifications to homeschool your child and get you started homeschooling ASAP!
So . . .
How do you become a homeschool parent?
What Are the Parent Qualifications to Homeschool My Child?
If you’re thinking of homeschooling, but are confused about the qualifications and requirements to homeschool, here are six things you MUST do when first starting homeschooling successfully. To become a homeschool parent:
- Check your homeschooling requirements and current homeschool laws for your state.
- Review the parental qualifications to homeschool for your area.
- File necessary to paperwork (if transferring from public school or other school).
- Understand your “teaching” method.
- Understand your child’s learning style.
How Do I Know if I’m Qualified to Homeschool?
Now that we’ve gone over a quick overview of parental homeschool qualifications and given you some guidelines for homeschooling, I have a little secret I want to share with you:
You’re already teaching your kids . . .
. . . even if you aren’t a homeschool parent yet!
As soon as our kids are born, they start learning!
As parents, we start teaching our kids at first contact with them.
You’ve already been teaching your child even if you aren’t a homeschooling parent.
However, for some reason, as soon as we put a title on it (“homeschooling parent”), we get nervous and start thinking we’re not good enough (not smart enough, not educated enough, whatever) to lead our kids in learning.
When, in reality, that’s what we’re doing every day anyway, no matter where a child goes to school.
Don’t let your fear trick you into thinking, “How do I know if I’m qualified to homeschool?”!
I’m here to tell you that you ARE qualified and that you just need more information on how to get started.
Here we go . . .
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THIS IS PART 5 IN OUR SERIES FOR NEW HOMESCHOOLERS.
What qualifications do you need to homeschool your child?
Understand Homeschooling Without a Degree
You can homeschool and you do not need to be a former teacher or have a formal college degree to do so.
With that said, if you are in the U.S., there are some states that do require homeschooling parents to have some level of education in order to homeschool — generally a high school diploma or GED.
There are also some states that have legal requirements like parents must be “competent,” “qualified,” or “capable of teaching,” but often do not define those conditions further.
(So, good luck with that . . .)
In the United States, there is no standard “certified homeschool teacher” homeschool program for a parent.
(So, you can let go wondering how to become a certified homeschool teacher.)
However, one state — Washington — requires:
- High school diploma or GED, and
- Some college credit OR completion of a parent qualification course in home education, and
- Certified teacher must meet with the homeschooled child regularly
Although Washington state has some pretty stringent parental qualifications, in general for most other states, you don’t need a college education, a degree, to pass a special examination, or need a teacher certification to homeschool.
Review State Homeschool Requirements
To be safe, you should always check with your state laws and requirements prior to homeschooling (and also regularly keep up on any changes for your state or country).
However, the majority of states have no educational qualifications for homeschool parents beyond a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
For example, my Indiana homeschool requirements state:
- A homeschool year should include 180 days of instruction for homeschool hour requirements.
- Homeschool instruction should be in the English language.
- Parents must keep attendance records.
As you can see, this state doesn’t list any specific parental requirements (as of the writing of this homeschool blog post).
The state requirements to homeschool will drive how you approach homeschooling, so be sure you review them as your very first step in homeschooling.
It lists any parent qualifications to homeschool, as well as everything else you need to meet for homeschooling in your area.
REMEMBER: Every state has different homeschooling requirements. Homeschool requirements in Florida will differ from homeschool requirements in California, and they may both be really different (or even similar) from homeschool requirements in Texas. It is your job to understand the laws and requirements for the area where you will homeschool (especially if its in a different country, even temporarily).
Can Parents Avoid Homeschool Qualification Requirements?
In some states that have parental qualification requirements (like a GED or high school diploma), parents may not have to meet the requirements if they:
- Have a religious exemption
- Homeschool through an umbrella school
- Homeschool under a dedicated supervisor (like a certified teacher or someone with a college degree)
- Live in a school district where the school supervisor waives the homeschool requirements
There are five states where parents MUST meet the state homeschooling requirements (and they won’t allow exceptions):
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
So, thoroughly review those states to ensure that you understand the exact requirements for parents and homeschooling.
Qualifications to Homeschool: One Last Thing
This is one of the biggest homeschooling tips for getting started:
When you are homeschooling, you have to throw all of your knowledge about traditional education (like public school) out the window.
Homeschooling is non-traditional and unconventional, so it doesn’t work the same way that traditional schooling works.
(Let that sink in for a moment . . . )
If you attended a traditional school, you and your child will want to go through a period of deschooling.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP!
Deschooling helps “reset” what you know about learning and has absolutely nothing to do with your qualifications to homeschool!