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Do Parents Have to Have a Teaching Degree to Homeschool?

by Kristine Tucker

In 49 of the 50 states, parents aren't required to have a teaching degree to home-school their children and they don't have to report to a certified teacher on a regular basis. In fact, parents don't need a college degree at all to qualify as home-school instructors. Each state has its own guidelines and reporting methods for regulating home-school instruction to ensure that children receive a sufficient education..

High School Diploma or GED

Most states require home schooling parents to have high school diplomas or GEDs, according to the Psychology Today website. In some households, both parents help with home-school instruction, so each needs to have a high school diploma or a GED. Education boards in each state require official proof of these documents, so parents must provide copies of their high school transcripts or GED before they are allowed to home-school. School boards have the authority to reject a parent's request to home-school if they feel the parent is unable or incapable of providing sufficient instruction.

North Dakota

North Dakota is the only state that requires home schooling parents to have a college degree. However, the degree doesn't have to be in education. If the parent only has a high school diploma or a GED, the home-school program must be supervised by a certified teacher on a weekly basis, according to Home Education Magazine. In North Dakota, you can legally home-school your children if you're a certified teacher in the state, have a four-year college degree or you meet or exceed the cut-off scores of the National Teachers Exam (NTE).

Attendance and Academic Records

Home schooling parents must provide documentation about their teaching methods, instructional material and means for assessing progress to the county superintendent, upon request. They may be asked to provide attendance records, lesson plans, report cards and academic test results. Parents are required to keep academic and attendance records for their home-schooled children between the ages of 6 and 16. Results of standardized achievement tests may also be required.

Considerations

Parents with a high school diploma or a GED can't just start teaching their child from home without submitting a letter of intent to the appropriate school district or superintendent's office. They must submit an intent-to-home-school letter and provide all necessary documentation before their educational goals can be approved. Parents must also notify their child's public school or the local school board of their intent to withdraw. If they decide to pull their child out of public school during the school year, parents must give sufficient notice. In some states, such as West Virginia, a two-week notice is required, according to Home Education Magazine.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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