Over the last decade; Louisiana as well as most other States, have seen a rise in homeschooling. There are a variety of reasons parents have been unsatisfied with the school systems and thousands of families call school and home one and the same.
More than 26,000 families are homeschooling in Lousiana, and several thousand more are doing online homeschooling in various Charter school programs. The increase in homeschooling in the state seems to be due to the rise of curriculum changes, testing, less time for recess for younger students, bullying, environmental issues, religious and more instruction issues, and other concerns.
If you’re a parent in Louisiana and are thinking you’d like to homeschool your children, there are rules and regulations to follow. Here are the steps to homeschool legally in the state of Louisiana. Also, check out our general how to homeschool guide for more information.
Louisiana Homeschool Laws
Louisiana State Statute for Homeschooling
In section 17:4011-17:4025 the state allows homeschooling for purposes of compulsory attendance in a nonpublic school and to be in a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Any Louisiana parent can decide to establish a homeschool. They are responsible for choosing a curriculum that similar content of a public school system in the state.
The parent can choose to operate a homeschool:
- Establish a home study program approved by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (SBESE), or
- Operate as a home-based private school and follow one of these programs
For more information, you can see the SBESE requirements here.
Louisiana School Attendance Age
If you are complying with Louisiana laws for homeschooling know that your children must attend grade school from age 7 to 18.
When your child has completed their secondary education, a parent-issued transcript and diploma is enough to show your child has met state requirements. You should always keep records for attendance or file a home education notice, as these items may be needed for obtaining a driver license or enlisting in the military or social security benefits.
First Step: Withdrawing Child from Current School
If your child is already in a public or private school setting, you must formally withdraw them. It is recommended that you do so by submitting a letter to the Superintendent of Schools in your county as well as notify the current public or private school your child is attending. The notice or letter should always include your child’s legal name, birth date, gender, and race. You also should include in your letter that you would like a copy of your child’s transcript.
Always try and withdraw several months before the new school year. Mid-year may pose problems as your child could have to repeat the entire year; make sure you notify the school in addition to sending a letter via certified mail.
If your child has never attended public or private schooling then this does not apply. You will only need to let your county know your intentions of homeschooling when they are of age to begin schooling.
For any more information on this issue contact HSLDA.com.
Complying with Louisiana’s Homeschool Requirements
In Louisiana to homeschool your child or children, there are laws and requirements you must adhere to.
- Apply for approval from your county school system
- Teach the required amount of days
- Teach all required subjects
- Provide immunization records
- Renew your application
- Apply for TOPs scholarships
The laws are fairly simple in the state. In order to apply for approval you must do so through the Louisiana Board of Elementary and secondary education within 15 days after beginning to homeschool your child. You must do this annually by October 1 of each school year.
Your request to homeschool will be approved as long as you certify that it will be a curriculum of quality and something similar to what is being taught in the public school system.
Include in application:
- Show proof of sustained curriculum
- Provide certified copy of child’s birth certificate (don’t photocopy)
Lousiana Homeschool Curriculum and Teaching Days per Year
In addition to the application, you are required to teach for 180 days of each calendar year. All course work must resemble what is being taught in the public school curriculum and if you have any doubts please obtain copies from local public schools or the county board of education offices.
Yearly Renewal to Homeschool in Louisiana and Recordkeeping
Each year you need to renew your application for homeschooling your child. Again, make sure you are supplying a steady similar curriculum and a portfolio that is similar to the public school teaching curriculum. You want to make sure you are keeping good records of work, tests, attendance, books, materials, subject matters being taught, and third-party references in case your county check’s up on your progress to ensure a suitable homeschool environment.
Suggestions on things to include in renewals include: your child’s passing score on the LEAP test and CAT test. Also, it can help to have a written statement from a teacher certified to teach at your child’s grade level who knows you are teaching them required work similar to public school.
Louisiana Homeschool Vaccine Laws
Vaccine laws are lenient in the state. Though it is required your child is vaccinated for meningococcal disease when they are 11 years of age. This is record is required for the state board of elementary and secondary education. It can be however waived if you have a medical, religious, personal or other reason to not vaccinate your child.
Louisiana Homeschool State Testing Laws
Annual testing and assessments are required of your child. When you re-apply to continue to homeschool each year you need to show your child is ready to move on to the next grade level. The acceptable tests include: testing through a local public school system, a standardized achievement test, or a statement from a certified local teacher (at your child’ grade level) stating your child has met requirements for their grade.
If you plan to homeschool in the state of Louisiana it is fairly straight forward. As with most states, a yearly renewal must be done. Record keeping is essential. I would advise you have a local teacher check in with your homeschool curriculum. It’s always a good idea to have a third party, especially a teacher in your area who can vouch for your homeschool.
Author: Meredith Iager
Meredith has 13 years of writing experience online and in newspapers and studied journalism at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Over the years, she has contributed entertainment articles and reviews to various sites including FrederickNewsPost.com and Fanbolt.com.
Since 2010, she has focused on AMA and integrative health and wellness content for AngiesList.com, SteadyContent.com, and a variety of private clients. She is an avid supporter of being prepared when SHTF and growing your own food, and is pro federal legalization of marijuana.
In addition to writing, she does transcription, researches on health constantly, and is an avid oil and acrylic painter. You can check out her paintings and older articles here: Meredith_A_Iager on HubPages | Follow Meredith on Instagram
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