- Getting Started
Research home education: Before you transfer your child from a traditional school, learn all you can. Talk to other home educators, read books about home education, learn about homeschool law in Indiana, "comparison shop" for a curriculum for your school.
Transfer your child and notify his or her current principal, in writing, of your decision: You do not need a homeschool number prior to transferring your child and beginning home instruction. However, you do need to let the public school know that you have decided to withdraw your student in order to homeschool.
Request a copy of your child’s public school records: You are entitled to a copy of these public school records, both as a school administrator and as the parent of a minor child, under state law and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Please note that this does not apply to non-public school records.
- Homeschool Law
In addition to reporting your enrollment, Indiana law requires the following of all homeschools and other non-public non-accredited schools:
180 days of instruction: You decide which days your school will be in session, and how long to teach each day. In the case of mid-year transfers, days attended at the first school count toward the 180 day total at the homeschool.
Attendance records: There is no special form for these records, which are used to verify non-public non-accredited school attendance. Please note that the law allows local public school superintendents and the State Attendance Officer to request copies of your child's attendance records to verify attendance.
Instruction equivalent to that given in the public schools: State law does not define equivalency of instruction for non-public non-accredited schools. If there is ever a question of educational neglect, keeping good attendance records and other documentation regarding continuing educational activity is highly instrumental in addressing these concerns.
Homeschool curriculum: State law exempts home schools from the curriculum and program requirements which public schools must follow.
- Homeschool Organizations
While not a source for textbooks, these organizations can provide guidance about local support groups, choosing curricula, and the "how to's" of home education.
The Indiana Department of Education provides this information as a resource for interested parents only.
There is no state-approved curriculum for homeschool at any grade level, nor are there state-approved or mandated textbooks. Indiana law gives home educators the flexibility to choose the curriculum and textbooks they feel will most benefit their children. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to determine what to teach and what materials are appropriate.
The Indiana Department of Education does not provide books or curricula for homeschool at any grade level.
- General Information
Homeschooled students are generally not considered to be dropouts. They are transfer students who keep their driver's licenses upon withdrawal. If a student has been enrolled in high school, however, the parent or guardian must sign the Withdrawal to Non-Accredited Non-public School Located in Indiana form when withdrawing their student from school. If a high school student is withdrawn from school without a signed Withdrawal form, the student will be considered a dropout and the BMV will revoke or refuse to issue a learner’s permit or driver’s license.
Students with Special Needs: If you are homeschooling a special needs child, referrals may be available from one of the homeschool organizations listed above. Under 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(10), children with disabilities enrolled in homeschools have the same genuine opportunities for participation in IDEA funded programs (through the public schools) as children with disabilities enrolled in an accredited, non-public school.
Work Permits: Effective 7/1/2021, Indiana will no longer require work permits for minor employees. Employers will no longer be required to complete the “Intent to Employ” form, and schools will no longer issue work permits. For more information, contact the Indiana Department of Labor at (888) 833-6967 or visit the child labor web page.
Kindergarten: While encouraged, kindergarten is not mandatory in Indiana. Children are to be enrolled and attending school in the fall of the school year during which they turn seven, unless their parents choose to homeschool. Homeschooled children are to begin school no later than their seventh birthday.
Extracurricular Activities: Participation in public school extracurricular activities and sports is at the discretion of the public school and is a local decision.
The IHSAA has established the following criteria for homeschoolers to participate in public school sports:
- The student, in conjunction with the school, provide proof to the IHSAA that the spirit of the eligibility rules will not be compromised including passing a physical examination and participating in the required number of practices in a given sport;
- The student must have been homeschooled for the previous three consecutive years;
- The student completes all state-wide examinations as authorized by the Indiana Department of Education;
- The student's family must submit grade information to the school to affirm the student is passing all courses;
- The student must be enrolled in the school for which the student is participating for a minimum of one class per day.
For specifics, contact the IHSAA at (317) 846-6601.
21st Century Scholars: Under Indiana law, students enrolled in non-public non-accredited (including, but not limited to, homeschools) are not eligible for the 21st Century Scholars program.
State law does not require state testing, or any other testing, for children in homeschools. However, home educated children may take state standardized tests if they are enrolled in a particular educational program or initiative offered by a public or accredited non-public school. The Indiana Department of Education recommends periodic, standardized achievement testing for homeschooled children. If you wish, you may be able to arrange for private testing.
- Getting a Diploma
Homeschooled students will not receive a diploma from the local public school or from the Indiana Department of Education. It is strongly recommended that homeschool programs keep good records of the courses taught through high school so that they can be provided to colleges and prospective employers although those types of educational records are not required by state law.
Homeschooled students who are at least sixteen (16) years old may choose to take the test to earn a High School Equivalency (HSE). Information about the HSE is available on the Department of Workforce Development’s Indiana HSE page. Schools should be aware that students who exit school to take the general equivalency exam, should not be coded using the Removed to Homeschool exit code, but instead should be exited using a dropout code.