Ohio Homeschooling Requirements
I homeschooled in Ohio for many years. I started when my son was just 4 years old, but he was to turn 5 in September, after the district’s cut-off date. But, I knew that it was the right choice for him.
While the state laws of Ohio allow for home education, there are requirements which govern the way a family proceeds with home education. Compared to other states, Ohio is considered a moderate state in which to home educate a child. The laws are simple to follow but the requirements are a bit more involved than what is found in other states.
We homeschooled in the buckeye state until December of 2015 when my husband’s job led us to Missouri where we continue to homeschool our soon to be senior in high school.
Still I get asked questions all the time about homeschooling in Ohio so I wanted to share the basics with you again.
Just the Ohio Homeschooling Facts
- Notification Form 3301-34-02 of the Ohio Education Administrative Code must be filled out and submitted to the School District Superintendent where the student resided.
- Brief Outline of intended curriculum (plan) for the current year.
- List of intended textbooks, courses, curricula or basic teaching materials. (Which serves for informational purposes only.)
- Assessment report form 3301-34-04 for previous years. (If you are homeschooling in the state for the first time, this form does not apply to you.)
3 Options for Homeschooling Assessments in Ohio
- Standardized Testing
- Portfolio Assessment
- A mutually agreed upon option between the parent and local superintendent.
The above mentioned form are provided by The Ohio Department of Education and can be downloaded at the on their website here: Recommended Notification Form or you can find it on the CHEO (Christian Home Educators of Ohio) website under Forms. It has a list of things which you, as a parent or guardian, offer assurance of by checking a box.
These Homeschooling assurances include:
Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications:
A high school diploma; or the certificate of high school equivalence; or standardized test scores that demonstrate high school equivalence; or other equivalent credential found appropriate by the superintendent.
Lacking the above, the home teacher must work under the direction of a person holding a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college until the child’s or children’s test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency or until the home teacher obtains a high school diploma or the certificate of high school equivalence.
Assurances that the following subjects will be taught:
*Please note the exception to the rule at the bottom of the list.
- Language, reading, spelling, and writing,
- History of the United States and Ohio; and national, state, and local government,
- Physical education,
- Fine arts, including music;
- First aid, safety, and fire prevention
*Exception to this rule is noted: “that home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent.”
Assurance that you will meet the minimum 900 educational hours.
There no requirement to submit a listing of educational hours, just that you will assure to meet a minimum of 900 educational hours.
For those of you who are new to homeschooling, don’t let all those legal words scare you. Simply put, I have to notify the school board of our intent to homeschool our child.
- I simply write a letter stating that, I include his name, and age.
- And, all of the relevant documentation forms as mentioned above.
- I send in a list of planned curricula and the assessment form.
In Ohio, an assessment can be done by any teacher who is certified in the state. They review a portfolio of the child’s’ work for the year. Their main focus is progression.
Learn how to build a homeschool portfolio for assessment.
- Chris Quickert at The Homeschool Gym
- Becky Boerner at Ohio Homeschool Assessments
- Lisa Cox at School Solutions
They want to see that the child showed progress in learning. Ohio also offers another option for assessment, that is completion of an approved standardized test. I chose the portfolio option when I lived in Ohio.
So I send all of the documents in to the school board and about 2 weeks later I receive back a letter from them which gives an excused absence for the school year.
Legal Advice and Assistance for Homeschooling in Ohio
I would like to point out that there is legal help available in the form of legal co-operatives. In Ohio there is the CHEO (Christian Home Educators of Ohio) organization which advocates for the legal rights of home educators throughout the state with the state legislature.
The national legal aid co-operative that I am a member of is National Center for Life and Liberty. It is a non-profit organization that operates solely on donations, works to protect the rights of homeschooling families. They will offer legal defense if it becomes necessary to anyone who is a member.
Another, HSLDA or Homeschool Legal Defense Association offers similar protections but they are a profitable entity and charge a membership fee.
I have heard wonderful reviews of both organizations, so don’t be afraid to look into them. And, I have been members of both entities. They are there for your rights and protection as homeschooling families.
They both also, lobby for your rights at local, state, and federal levels. They advocate for you in government.
For more information on homeschooling in the state of Ohio I wrote a more complete guide in my eBook Ohio Homeschooling Guide & Directory. If you would like to purchase this book, it is available on Amazon for Kindle. Just click the photo below.
I moved to Missouri during the 2015/2016 academic year. While the overall laws are easier, no reporting whatsoever, the state requires keeping a record of hours. Which I don’t enjoy. For me, I did prefer the Ohio laws for homeschooling.
What are the laws where you live? Are they harder or easier than Ohio?
Want to know more about how to get started homeschooling? These other posts can help.
- Considering Homeschool?
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Education Methods
- Learning Styles You Should Know when Homeschooling
- 10 Homeschooling Words You Need to Understand
4 Replies to “Ohio Homeschooling Legalities, Notification and Assessments”
I’m so glad I found this blog! We decided to homeschool this year and I am currently filing out the notification form and I’m a little confused….
Do I need to literally write a formal letter stating all the information they want to know about or do I merely check the boxes on the form and then type out a simple list (bullet points) of our intended curriculum and extra-curricular subjects?
Thanks so much!!
You can do either or both. You can fill out the form with a list of material, or include a formal letter.
I’m no longer in Ohio, but when I was there, I typed out a very simple formal letter with the name and birthday of my son. I never mentioned the ‘grade year’ or anything like that. I simply stated that I was choosing to homeschool my child, with name, and birthday. Then, included the list of planned materials, as well as the form from Cheo. It is to be sent directly to the Superintendent of Schools for your district, NOT your local school. If you are withdrawing your child who has been in public school, you will need to state that you are withdrawing and plan to homeschool your child.
Thank you for the blog. I homeschooled my son for the first time in Ohio. I had a teacher review his portfolio. The teacher wants to know if she needs to write a formal letter of her assessment or sign a letter stating it was reviewed.
I’m sorry I realized the notification form links to CHEO wasn’t active any longer so I updated that. But, the answer to your question is no, the assessor doesn’t have to send in a formal letter of any kind. They simply need to sign the assessment notification form that is provided by CHEO. You can find it here: https://www.cheohome.org/join-us/get-started/forms/ and download Assessment Option #2.