Four years ago, when I first decided to register my daughters’ as homeschool students, I felt the research about which steps I should take was daunting. In fact, I wasn’t sure where to begin. If you’re in Maryland and you want to homeschool here is a quick guide on how to get started.
STEP 1 Research your county’s requirements
The most important step I can give you is to research your local county homeschool regulations. Maryland has 24 different counties so there may be small stipulations that vary from the overall state requirements.
Visiting HSLDA.org is a comprehensive place to begin to see what the legal requirements are.
One homeschool parent in Maryland reached out to me regarding this post and asked me to stress that the state requirements are the most important ones. Essentially, your county can ask you to provide certain things, but you only need to fulfill what is required by the state. For example, “you are not required to follow common core, do at least 8 hours of work a day, or take attendance daily, etc.”
The homeschool school laws for the state are found in the home instruction archives.
A brief overview of the requirements are as follows:
The homeschool student should turn 5 years old by September 30th of their kindergarten school year. Student registration continues for homeschoolers through the age of 18 years old.
Letter of Consent
Maryland requires that you send a letter of consent to the Maryland Department of Education. A link to the form is found below.
Withdraw from your district school
The school board wants you to withdraw your child from the school in your district. Even if your child has never attended the school, the form still needs signing. Thankfully, this is only required once when you begin homeschool instruction, and each year after, only you and your homeschool reviewer sign the homeschool renewal form.
STEP 2 Complete and submit your Homeschooling in Maryland Forms
Complete the county enrollment forms. Once you enroll, A homeschooling coordinator will contact you to schedule your portfolio review. Maryland requires Fall and Spring session portfolio reviews. If you don’t want to meet with the state review you can sign up to be hosted as a homeschool under an umbrella school.
- PG County, Homeschooling in Maryland forms
- MOCO County, Homeschooling in Maryland forms
- Howard County, Homeschooling in Maryland forms
- Carroll County, Homeschooling in Maryland forms
STEP 3 Join a local Homeschool Group or Co-op
In addition, I highly recommend joining a homeschool group or co-op. Cooperatives (also known as co-ops) often require parent participation. I believe, a co-op can give you the support you need to stay active homeschooling. The key is finding the right homeschool that fulfills the needs you and your children have. Learn which questions to ask when vetting the homeschool group for your family by reading my post Ask These Top 10 questions Before Committing to a Homeschool Group
You can find local co-ops by searching in:
- Homeschool Meet-ups in Maryland
- Yahoo! Homeschool Groups in Maryland (Use the Search box to search for homeschool groups in your area.) I’m familiar with the PGHLN Yahoo! homeschool group
- Facebook Groups – (you can also search Facebook for community groups closer to you)
- or visit the site Homeschool Mom for a list organized by city
- Homeschool World also has a list of homeschool groups in MD
STEP 4 Ask for Support When Needed
When I started my homeschooling journey I had more friends homeschooling with me than I do now. Frankly, homeschooling isn’t easy and you won’t be able to successfully homeschool without support. Those are strong words, I know, but I know when I’ve doubted my decision and my life felt stressed, I almost gave up. The only thing that stopped me from enrolling my children in our nearest school was my husband. He is my biggest supporter and I appreciate his assistance and continual motivation. If your spouse isn’t apart of your support group you can develop your own. The group may consist of other family members and friends who are willing to offer their help or encouragement when homeschooling feels too hard.
I mentioned that my husband was my biggest supporter here are 10 Ways Dads Can Support Homeschool
Discounted activities: Baltimore Zoo
Want to learn more? Please visit my post: Common Questions I’m Asked About Homeschooling in Maryland so come back and check out the post.
Cleverly Changing is here to help you with your homeschooling journey. Check out this homeschool post and if you have any more questions about homeschooling in Maryland that you would like answered? If so, please leave your question below and I’ll answer in a post or video.
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