Illinois Homeschool

Illinois Homeschool Attendance Ages: Students between the ages of 7 and 17 years (unless the child has already graduated from high school) are
required to attend school.

Illinois Homeschool Required Days of Instruction: Not mandatory for private or home schools.  Illinois law does not set any minimum number of hours per day, or days of instruction per year, for students in private schools. However, the Illinois courts have ruled that home-??schooling must provide an education that is equivalent with the standards set for public schools.

Illinois Required Subjects: Instruction must be in the English language. Parents must provide instruction in the same branches of education that the same age and grade receive in public school.  The statute identifies the branches of education as:

language arts
social sciences
fine arts
physical development

The State Board of Education treats biological and physical science as one branch, and physical development and health as one branch.

If a child is attending a homeschool that teaches the subject matter listed above at the child’s grade level then the child will not be required to attend public school and the child is in compliance with Illinois compulsory attendance law. Home schools that meet these two requirements are considered legal private schools. 
Registration and recognition: Public school systems often demand that homeschoolers register their private school with the Illinois State Board of Education. Registration involves submitting certain basic information annually. However, the statute that permits most private schools to register specifically does not permit “home-based” private schools to register. In Illinois, Parents may choose to notify their regional superintendent of education and/or the State Board of their intention to home-school.

Even for schools that are permitted to register under the statute, however, registration is strictly voluntary.

Home-schooling in Illinois is considered to be a form of private education.  Parents who choose to educate their students in the home through the high school years may determine when their student has met the graduation requirements of their private home school and is therefore entitled to receive a high school diploma.

Teacher Qualifications:

Standardized Tests:
Not required by statute.  There are private testing resources if parents choose to have their children evaluated.  The public school may choose to allow a home-schooled student to participate in some assessment tests. However, state assessments such as the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) are not considered appropriate tests for students in nonpublic schools, since the content of such assessments was designed specifically for the Illinois public school curriculum.
Student Transfer from Public to Private “home” school

It is highly recommended that you give the public school a dated letter (keeping copies for your records) that states you will be withdrawing your student to place him/her in a private school. Such a letter indicates your intent to continue your student’s education and will make it less likely that the school reports your student to county officials as truant after a prolonged absence. Home-schooling organizations provide samples of this type of letter.

Homeschool Resources

Your public library should have information on home-school groups in your area as well as state-wide or national home schooling associations. Some or all of these contacts may share information on home-schooling textbooks, study guides, homework materials, and curricula. Your library would also have information on home-schooling magazines and books.

The Internet has thousands of links to home-schooling information ranging from suppliers of home-schooling materials to home-schooling “ezines”and support groups to research studies and legal analyses. Parents interested in purchasing a home-schooling curriculum or related materials through the Internet are advised to first research the products, and their claims, as they would do before making other types of on-line purchases.

Your Regional Office of Education may have information on local home-schooling organizations as well as links to state and/or national organizations.

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