How Do I Begin Homeschooling My Child (in Louisiana)?
Are you thinking about homeschooling or have already decided that homeschooling is right for you and your family? If so, you’re probably wondering what the process looks like for enrollment as well as the legal requirements. Here is a glimpse into the homeschooling enrollment process for residents of Louisiana.
If your child is between the ages of 5 and 18 years old and a resident of the state of Louisiana, they are required to be enrolled in some type of school or education program.
Are you eligible for homeschooling your child in Louisiana?
There are no listed education requirements (such as needing to have a high school diploma or GED) that apply to parents in Louisiana that wish to homeschool their children.
However, parents desiring to homeschool their children in this state will have to apply and receive approval for enrolling their child in a home study program. This approval will need to take place annually.
Has your child already been enrolled in a public or private school?
Children residing in Louisiana may be withdrawn from the public school system in which they are currently enrolled without the parent having any formal documentation regarding their home education status. These families are, however, subject to investigation related to non-enrollment when the child is still within the compulsory school age.
Parents may have a window of time in which they have withdrawn their child from the public school system within the state and have begun a home study program yet have not received approval from the state regarding homeschool enrollment.
What do I have to do when homeschooling my kid in Louisiana?
There are two options for homeschooling your child in Louisiana, one of which you'll need to choose to apply for to begin homeschooling:
Home study program
Home-based private school
When applying to homeschool your child via a home study program, you'll be required to seek approval for this type of program by contacting the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education within the first 15 days of providing home-based instruction. You'll also need to keep re-applying annually for the duration of the time in which you choose to homeschool your child while using this option.
Requirements for homeschooling via a home study program:
Provide instruction for at least 180 days per each school year
Use a curriculum equivalent to what your child would be taught in public school based on their grade level
Provide documentation (after age 11) that your child has been vaccinated against meningococcal disease—waivers are allowed for personal, medical, or religious purposes
Submit your annual renewal along with copies of outlines, tests, your child's work, and statements confirming your child's educational progress
For those desiring to homeschool their child as a home-based private school, they must first withdraw the child from public school and notify them in writing of the enrollment in the home-based private school within ten days of withdrawal and beginning homeschooling. When writing this notice, parents should include their child's personal information for the purposes of identification, and they may also request a transcript for the home-based private school records. Homeschooling parents should be sure to date and make copies of all communications with the public school.
Those who plan to homeschool as a home-based private school must report their child's attendance annually as well, and they must be sure to meet the legal requirements of having their child receive at least 180 days of educational instruction per school year.
As an additional note, parents or caregivers choosing to homeschool their child as a home-based private school are not allowed to accept any type of state or federal funding for any reason.
When mailing your annual application or renewal forms, it is strongly recommended that you send any correspondence along with 'Return Receipt Requested' or other such 'Certified Mail' options to ensure that you receive confirmation of delivery to avoid any delays or potential issues regarding the validity of your homeschooling program.
For more information regarding Louisiana laws associated with childhood education, please refer to the Louisiana State Legislature website.
You can visit the Louisiana Department of Education's website regarding home education here.
Homeschool Louisiana* is another great resource for parents and caregivers in the state that need assistance getting started. (*Note: This organization is Christian-based.)
Click here for the Louisiana State Codes and Statutes regarding school attendance.