How to Homeschool in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, homeschooling policies are determined by local school districts. To determine your homeschooling requirements, you will need to familiarize yourself with your local school district's policies and two court decisions that affect what school districts may and may not require from homeschooling families. To begin this journey, you've come to the right place! In this article you will find the following:

  • 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.
* This page does not contain legal advice and is not an endorsement of any homeschool groups listed. (see disclaimer)

Massachusetts Homeschool Laws

While 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
When submitting your educational plan and materials list, you should know that this information can be used only to determine the subjects and grade level of each student. There is no list of approved texts or educational programs. The school district is responsible for using the information you provide to determine if your instructional program is equivalent to the school district's.

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
For more information, be sure to contact your local school district for a full list of their policies and requirements.

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.

Catholic Homeschoolers in Massachusetts East (CHIME)
This group for Catholic homeschoolers provides support, helpful links, and variety of activities.
North Suburban Home Learners
This secular group primarily serves the North Shore area of the state and focuses on providing educational and social opportunities for homeschooling families. They also organize several clubs and adult support groups.
Massachusetts Home Learning Association (MHLA)
This secular organization provides information, resources, and several local support groups for homeschooling families throughout Massachusetts.
If you would like to recommend a new link or let us know about a problem with an existing link, please contact us

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.