How to Homeschool in South Dakota

Getting set up to homeschool is easy in South Dakota. Here is a quick summary, but you can find all the details here.

Definition: Homeschooling in South Dakota is legally termed as "Alternative Instruction (AI)".

Exemption from Public Schooling: To homeschool, parents must file an exemption certificate with the South Dakota Department of Education and their local school district. This exempts the child from compulsory public school attendance. Here is a link to the Alternative Instruction Notification form.

Minimal Legal Requirements: South Dakota is known for its relatively relaxed homeschooling laws. There are no specific qualifications required for parents, no mandated days of instruction per year, no requirement to keep educational records or bookkeeping, and no mandatory assessment or testing for homeschooled students.

Educational Freedom: Parents have substantial freedom in choosing the curriculum and educational materials. There is no state requirement to follow a specific curriculum or use particular textbooks. (We recommend using Moving Beyond the Page curriculum.)

Online Public School Programs: While homeschooling under Alternative Instruction, some families may opt to use online public school programs provided by South Dakota. These programs are considered part of homeschooling but offer a more structured curriculum.

Government Oversight: The homeschooling process in South Dakota involves minimal government oversight, giving parents near-complete control over their child's education.

These guidelines reflect the state's approach to homeschooling, emphasizing parental responsibility and autonomy in educational choices.

Homeschool Groups in South Dakota

Homeschooling your children is a daunting task, but there are many groups and organizations in South Dakota to help you out. Here are some organizations you may want to look into.

South Dakota Christian Home Educators (SDCHE)
SDCHE is a Christian non-profit homeschool support group that supports and promotes Christian home education. They are welcoming to all homeschooling families in South Dakota, and are excited to share their philosophies and opportunities with you. SDCHE is focused on creating an accurate representation of what homeschooling really is to the general public, as well as providing its members with Christ centered activities, information about homeschooling, homeschool resources, training, and most importantly support. Homeschooling can be hard, but having people who support you who know what you are going through and know how to help, can be extremely helpful and comforting.
South Dakota Home School Association (SDHSA)
This secular homeschool support group is welcome to all homeschool families, but they mainly serve the Sioux Falls area. Here you will find social and educational activities for your children to partake in, such as swimming trips, arrowhead hunts, cooking classes and even a Halloween party. SDHSA is focused on providing homeschool families with the opportunity to meet and interact with other homeschool families. They want for you to find people to support you and give you guidance, and for you to do the same in return. SDHSA is a great place for your children to find the social interactions and extracurricular activities they crave, and you to find the support and encouragement you need as a homeschool parent.
Aberdeen Area Christian Home Educators (AACHE)
The Aberdeen Area Christian Home Educators group provides homeschool families in the Aberdeen area with opportunities to have their children go on field trips, partake in educational activities, and take classes once a week. Some of the activities that you may take part in as a member of AACHE are end of year project fairs, a Dr. Seuss Day, Christmas parties, and even a mother’s coffee. AACHE has a little something for everyone when it comes to social activities, so if you live in or around the Aberdeen Area and this sounds like fun, check out their website and see just what AACHE is all about.
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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 South Dakota

Moving Beyond the Page is a homeschool curriculum that exceeds the requirements for homeschooling in the state of South Dakota. 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 South Dakota 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.