Massachusetts Homeschool

Massachusetts Homeschool Attendance Ages: Students age 6 by December 31 of that school year to 16 are
required to attend school in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Homeschool Required Days of Instruction: None required, but school districts will use the public schoolís required number of days and hours of instruction time for purposes of comparison, For example, 180 days; 900 hours at the elementary level and 990 hours at the secondary level. 

Massachusetts Required Subjects:

Reading, writing, English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, history and constitution of United States, duties of citizenship, health (including CPR), physical education, and good behavior.

According to Massachusetts Education regulations, homeschool is considered private school in the state.

Students are eligible to attend an authorized private school (homeschool) if the schoolís instructions and lesson plans meet the stateís education requirements.  The superintendent or school committee must approve a studentís eligibility to attend a private school  

The Massachusettsí superintendent or school committee may examine when determining whether to approve a home education plan, which include the four below areas:

a. The proposed curriculum and number of hours of instruction of each of the proposed subjects.

b. The competency of the parents to teach their children (superintendents or school committees may not require certification, advanced degrees, or college degrees).

c. Textbooks, workbooks, and other instructional aids, as well as lesson plans and teaching manuals (so that the superintendent or committee can determine the subjects to be taught and the grade level of instruction for comparison with the public schoolsí curriculum). The superintendent or school committee may not determine the manner in which the subjects will be taught.

d. Periodic assessments (to ensure educational progress and attainment of minimum standards).  The superintendent or school committee may properly require standardized testing or may substitute, subject to the approval of the parents, another form of assessment.
2. Home visits are unconstitutional if imposed against the parentís objection. Home visits are not essential for children to be educated, so any random school visit without the permission of the parent is considered unconstitutional.

3. School districts may request that the home schooled child be ordered to enroll in a public school pending the approval of a home education program.  If an order to put children in school was to be obtained, the school district would first have to prove children were not receiving regular and thorough instruction.

4. If a home school is rejected after seeking approval, the burden of proof shifts to the school authorities to show that the proposed home school instruction fails to equal in thoroughness and efficiency as a public school in the same school district. 

Teacher Qualifications: There are no teacher qualifications in the state of Massachusetts. 

Standardized Tests: When the superintendent or school committee requests assessments, parents have two choices

1) standardized test results
2) an alternative form of assessment.

This may consist of progress reports, dated work samples, a portfolio review, an assessment by a certified teacher of the parentís choice, or another method agreed upon between the parents and the superintendent or school committee.
Approval and oversight of home education in the state of Massachusetts is a local, rather than state, function in Massachusetts. Therefore, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is not involved in setting policy, overseeing school district practices, or otherwise enforcing the Commonwealth's home education law.

Parents are responsible for establishing a curriculum for their child.  There is a lot of great homeschool curriculum material online and through other homeschool resources.  It's important to know Massachusetts education standards, so your child will learn the same material as students attending a public school.

The state of Massachusetts does not offer an accredited high school diploma for homeschool students, since they were unable to oversee the learning and teaching process.  If your child is interested in attending post-secondary education or plants to go into the workforce then they should consider taking the GED exam, which is equivalent to the high school diploma.

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