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Getting Started Homeschooling
1. Register your child or your homeschool with the Louisiana Department of Education.
You should notify the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) that you will be homeschooling your students by September of the year in which they turn 7 (5 for 2022-2023). If they were enrolled in school last year, you should register even if your children are under the required age.
You can register your homeschool under the Nonpublic option or your students under the Home Study option.
- Nonpublic – Under this option, you complete an online annual registration form giving your homeschool name (which you can choose), your number of students, and your address. If you give them your email, you will receive an email confirmation. The confirmation is just for your records. You are not required to give this to a former school. This is the easiest option, as you do not have to provide information on your students and every year to renew, you will simply complete the same online form. Your family will make all the decisions about educating your children and no special curriculum or testing is required. Students in this program are not eligible for TOPS scholarships or participation in local school activities.
REGISTER AS NONPUBLIC HERE The site will say-Welcome to the Attendance Submission for Nonpublic Schools
- Home Study – Under the Home Study option, you will register your individual students on an online form. In the initial year, you will need to send in a copy of your children’s birth certificates.
To renew your home study application in future years, you must send in one of the following:
- a curriculum packet – this can include a list of subjects taught, a list of resources used, samples of student’s work.
- a letter from a teacher certified to teach your child’s grade level saying your child is being taught from curriculum equal to the public-school curriculum.
- test scores from an approved test showing your child is working at or above grade level or has progressed a grade level.
To receive TOPS for college, your student must be registered under the Home Study option for 11th and 12th grade. It may also allow your student to participate in sports at local schools. You must call and talk with the principal to find out if this is available.
Each year, you will be able to choose how to register. If you have already registered this year, you can switch when you register next year. Many parents choose to register their homeschool under the nonpublic option and register students in grades 11 and 12 under the home study option.
2. Withdraw your child from their current school
If your child attended school last year or are enrolled for this year, you will need to withdraw your child by mailing or emailing the Louisiana Letter of Enrollment to the school. You do not need to sign anything the school provides or provide any other information to the school.
3. Connect with other homeschool families
Support – whether virtual or in person is so important. Local support groups allow experienced homeschoolers to help new homeschoolers. Parents can organize field trips or other activities for the members. During the pandemic, virtual support groups offer answers to your questions and curriculum ideas.
We have a Facebook group called Homeschool Louisiana Support Group. We encourage you to join, but this does not take the place of a local support group.
Some homeschool groups organize a co-op where parents take turns teaching a small group of students. This allows the parents and students to spend time with friends. A co-op is not a drop off location like a class.
This is a list of all Christian homeschool group associated with Homeschool Louisiana. If there is not one in your area, please contact us. We love having a local contact when starting a new group.
4. Decide what style of homeschooling will work best for you and your family
As homeschoolers, we are not confined to “school at home,” but are able to create a truly customized education for our students. Seven styles of homeschooling are detailed in this article. Choosing a basic style will help you make plans for your children’s education.
5. Choose Curriculum
New homeschoolers will often ask where they can buy the curriculum as if there is only one available. The state of Louisiana allows each parent to decide what to teach, when to teach and how to teach it.
Schools use textbooks because they are teaching large groups and cannot individualize that education per student. Textbooks cover a little bit about a lot of different topics. It is only one way to learn.
There are hundreds of companies selling curriculum to homeschoolers. The choices can be overwhelming. Deciding on a style of homeschooling can narrow down your options. (See step #4 above) For example, if you want a hands-on program for science or an online program for Algebra, then you are down to a dozen options instead of hundreds.
In homeschooling, we are not limited to buying a 7th grade curriculum, we can choose to study biology, famous American authors, and ancient history. We can buy a math program that fits our child’s level (whether it says 6th grade or 8th). Our goal is to have well educated students, and it really does not matter which year we learn which topic.
Millions of children have been educated at home and tend to outscore children who were educated in schools. This system has worked throughout history, and it can work for your family.
6. Keep good records
Whether you are homeschooling under the nonpublic or home study option, you will need to keep records of attendance, curriculum, and progress in case you need to reference them in the future. If you have chosen the Home Study option, you may need a list of courses studied and curriculum used.