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Maryland Homeschool Laws | Your Full Guide To Homeschooling

Homeschool

Maryland Homeschool Laws | Your Full Guide To Homeschooling

Maryland homeschool laws are fairly simple.

If a parent wants to homeschool their child in Maryland, they must generally follow the Maryland state curriculum for public schools.  School is from age 5 to 18 or when your child graduates with a high school diploma or GED.

You could potentially follow under an ‘umbrella’ approach; select a church-based school system that is recognized or through a private school, otherwise you follow the ‘portfolio’ method, which you do completely on your own, but are monitored through the superintendent’s office. Don’t forget to check out our full how to homeschool guide for more general info.

Maryland Homeschool Laws

Start by informing the school (don’t miss this step, it is critical)

Inform with a letter

If you decide to homeschool, you must write a formal letter to let the school superintendent 15 days before the start of a new school year.  At the beginning of each school year, you must do so again to verify that you are continuing to homeschool your child and also let them know if the status of your homeschooling changes.

2 options for homeschooling

  • Portfolio method (only you and your supplies)
  • Umbrella School: church or private school (overseen by church advisor, or teacher at a local public or private school)

Portfolio method/checklist

  • File a notice of consent with your superintendent, annually done
  • Teach required subjects: math, English, social studies, science, art, music, health, and physical education.
  • Provide the required instruction
  • Maintain a portfolio: have all of your educational materials such as your reading, worksheets, workbooks, your child’s writings, any creative materials, tests, etc.
  • Always respond to any superintendent requests; these reviews can be done up to three times a year. If the review goes badly you have 30 days to fix anything that you may need to provide or prove that you are adhering to school guidelines and at this second review if it is not sufficient you may not be able to homeschool your child anymore. You can appeal the review process and have 30 days.
  • The school system cannot impose additional requirements, just make sure you’re following the Maryland homeschooling regulations

If you don’t do this method, you can choose a church organization or select a private school to follow.  However, sometimes a non-portfolio method can cause an issue later on in life when your child seeks a college to attend or work.  There are some colleges who recognize non-public school diplomas and sometimes a career in law enforcement could pose a problem as they typically do not recognize church organizations as a method for schooling.

Umbrella options/checklist

  • Complete the church/private school exempt registration form
  • Documentation showing it is a bona fide church organization and proof from the IRS that shows that there is evidence of traditional church practices.
  • File a notice of consent with your superintendent
  • The church supervises your homeschool instruction or a teacher from the private school will do annual visits.
  • You have pre-enrollment conferences, textbooks and lesson plan reviews, and an annual visit to the site of instruction as well as periodic conferences with other parents and these can be done by phone. You should also make sure you’re regularly verifying your involvement in the umbrella program.

Complying with Maryland education laws

Make sure you’re complying with all laws that are in place.  It makes it easier on you and your child because if rules are broken you may not be allowed to ever attempt homeschooling again.  So be organized, keep records, and follow the curriculum in place. Teach required subject matter and follow the curriculum.

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Records Are Essential For Maryland Homeschools

When you’re doing any kind of homeschooling in Maryland or any state for that matter record-keeping is extremely important.  You are the one overseeing everything even if you have a church or a local teacher involved.  Attendance reports, school work from your child, workbooks that your student is using. Your portfolio should include all of this and it.  If you are investigated you will have proof that you are complying with laws and there is school work being done by your child.

Link for Maryland Public School Curriculum for homeschooling

Attendance: During a 10 month period at least 1,080 hours should be completed.

Maryland Homeschool Vaccine Laws

Maryland parents who choose to homeschool via the church or private school option are required to submit vaccination records. However, those Maryland parents who opt to homeschool under Maryland’s homeschool statute are not subject to any vaccine mandates. In other words, parents utilizing Marylands homeschool option that doesn’t involve a church or private school do not have to submit vaccine records.

Maryland Homeschool Support Groups

The Homeschool Mom

Conclusion

In Maryland, you have some options to choose from, but it is important to make sure you are following rules and regulations and have everything documented well.  It seems there are more rules and regulations for parents who are doing the portfolio method as opposed to a church organization guiding you through the process.

There also might be an issue later on when your child is seeking work if you select a church method of schooling. At the end of the day it is always up to you and what best fits the needs of your child, however, it is hard to tell what your child may do as a career if you are starting homeschooling at a very young age so you don’t want to limit your child by choosing a method with too many unanswered questions.

If you have any questions call your school board in the county you live in, and also get advice from homeschooling organizations in your state.

Please leave us more information based on your experiences in our comments section.

Here is a link to the Maryland official homeschool laws

Author: Meredith Iager

A seasoned writer who contributes to topics such as wellness and marijuana.

Follow Meredith on Hubpages. @meredithaiager



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