How to Homeschool in Massachusetts
- An overview of the Massachusetts Charles and Brunelle rulings,
- An introduction to homeschool groups in Massachusetts, and
- A description of how Moving Beyond the Page can help you get started.
Massachusetts Homeschool LawsWhile Massachusetts education law allows local school districts to determine their policies for homeschooled students, two important court decisions still affect all homeschoolers in the state.
The main court ruling you should become familiar with is Charles. This decision affects what school districts may require from you, but not what they must request. Charles allows school districts to request the following from families that plan to homeschool:
- Educational plan
- Information about a parent's qualifications
- Materials/text list
- Information on educational progress
Charles is also clear that while the school district may request information about your qualifications, they may not request your transcripts. You are not even required to have a college degree, although your school district may require alternative qualifications in lieu of a degree.
Finally, at the end of each school year, Charles permits school districts to require proof of educational progress. This may come in the form of standardized tests, but the requirement can also be met using portfolios, interviews, and anecdotal records.
The Brunelle decision is rather simple. It states that local school districts cannot require home visits as part of the approval process for your homeschool program.
In addition to knowing what Charles and Brunelle do allow, it is also important to know what they do not specifically permit. Below is a list of items your school district cannot require:
- Explanation for why you chose to homeschool
- Information on socialization
- A daily schedule matching your school district's
- Information about your employment schedule
- Information about methodology or instructional practices
- Statement of student's willingness to homeschool
- Information regarding hired individuals' (tutors, etc.) qualifications
Homeschool Groups in Massachusetts
Homeschooling your children is a daunting task, but there are many groups and organizations in Massachusetts to help you out. Here are some organizations you may want to look into.
NOTE: You can find a wealth of local and state groups offering homeschooling advice and support on sites such as Facebook and Yahoo Groups. You can search by city or county, religious preference, homeschooling philosophy, and more. You will need a free account on these sites to join one of their groups.
A Homeschool Curriculum for Massachusetts
Moving Beyond the Page is a homeschool curriculum that exceeds the requirements for homeschooling in the state of Massachusetts. All of the Moving Beyond the Page packages cover science, social studies, and language arts, and we offer a range of math programs as well. The Massachusetts legal requirements are only a starting point, and our curriculum utilizes a range of educational strategies that are designed to foster a love of learning in children including:
- Hands-on activities,
- Differentiated options, and
- Independent projects.
Moving Beyond the Page encourages critical thinking and creativity while encouraging your child's unique learning style like no other curriculum on the market. If your child is a hands-on learner, a gifted learner, or a creative free-thinker, then you should look into Moving Beyond the Page for your child.
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Any information about the laws in your state is provided to help you understand your legal requirements to homeschool in your state. It should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. This information was not compiled by a lawyer. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under. If you have questions, you should seek the advice of a lawyer that operates in your state.
Moving Beyond the Page does not endorse any of the homeschool groups that are included in these pages. They are provided only for your benefit. You should research any group to ensure that they align with your family's goals and philosophies.