How to Homeschool in South Dakota

So you have made the big decision to start homeschooling your family in South Dakota, but you are not quite sure where to start? Despite South Dakota not having a homeschool statute in their law, it is still relatively easy to begin homeschooling. This article will explain everything that the state expects you to do as a homeschool parent, as well as give you some helpful tips. Here you will find:
  • An overview of South Dakota homeschool laws
  • An introduction to homeschool groups in South Dakota
  • 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)

South Dakota Homeschool Laws

In order to homeschool your family in the state of South Dakota, you will need to keep the following in mind:
  • You must submit an application for excuse to your local school official
  • You will need to keep records of your child’s attendance and academic progress
  • Instruction must be provided for the same amount of time as public schools
  • Your instruction must include the subjects of Language Arts and Mathematics
  • You child will need to take a standardized test at certain grade levels
  • You may not teach more than 22 children in your homeschool
Application for Excuse
Each year that you choose to homeschool, before your first day of instruction you will need to file an application for excuse to your local school official. This statement will include the names of your homeschool’s teachers, the place of instruction, and a description of the basic skills that will be taught. You will need to use the form that is provided here, by the secretary of the department of education and cultural affairs. After you have filed the application your child will automatically be excused from public school, and you can begin homeschooling.
You should note that the first time you submit your application for excuse, you will also need to submit a copy of your child’s birth certificate.

Standardized Testing
South Dakota requires that all homeschool children take the standardized test used in local public schools or any other nationally standardized test at when they reach certain grade levels. If your child is in grades 2, 4, 8 or 11 they will need to take one of these tests to determine academic progress. If your child shows less than satisfactory academic progress the school board may not agree to renew your child’s application for excuse, which would mean that your child would not be able to be homeschooled.

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.
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 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.

Choose an age level to continue:


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.