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Old 06-23-2016, 12:28 PM   #1
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Best States to Homeschool in?

So Hubby and I are discussing moving and one of the biggest deciding factors for us will be homeschooling laws. We don't have to move, just something we are considering. We could move to pretty much any state but we would like to go North, preferably something a little more, not TX. However of all the things I dislike about TX I love the freedom we have when it comes to homeschooling (we also have some great museums and zoos, however the weather sucks).

I would love to go to PA. I have family there, it is beautiful, and it feels like home. However not loving the laws. What is it actually like to live with (as some one who doesn't have to do anything in the state I live in and deals with authority by throwing a toddler style tantrum, I can't help it this is who I am). I tend towards paranoia when dealing with government oversight.

Other states we have considered are Ohio, West Virginia (I was born there), Virginia, Idaho (no idea why hubby likes that one), and North Dakota (my friend likes this one and he is probably moving with us).

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Old 06-23-2016, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

As far as states I have lived and know are great for homeschooling, I would recommend either Michigan or Alaska. In both of those states, the only thing you have to do in regards to homeschooling is to homeschool. Alaska does have some really cool opportunities for homeschoolers, if you are willing to jump through a couple hoops, but it's not necessary. When we were there, we used one of the state accredited charter schools in order to get state money to help with schooling and extra curriculars, but it was not like most people think of charters. For one, we could use any curriculum we wanted. We only met with our advisor twice a year, and it was more a sitting and chatting than anything else. She was really just there to answer questions and help if we ran into a problem. The downside is that going through one of the charter school means you have to do state testing. BUT, you do not HAVE to go through a charter school at all. You could just homeschool, but you won't get state money.

Michigan is nice because if you wanted a rural setting, you could get that and still be close enough to go to museums and whatnot, or you can live in the city. I do know that Lansing has roller derby, as DH has a couple cousins who do it.

When we lived in Virginia, there were quite a few laws regarding homeschooling, but that was a dozen years ago, so I don't know what they are like now.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:30 AM   #3
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

Missouri is very easy. Only requirement is to keep a list of your hours of school. But never do you have to give it to anyone.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:36 AM   #4
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

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Originally Posted by tallanvor View Post
As far as states I have lived and know are great for homeschooling, I would recommend either Michigan or Alaska. In both of those states, the only thing you have to do in regards to homeschooling is to homeschool. Alaska does have some really cool opportunities for homeschoolers, if you are willing to jump through a couple hoops, but it's not necessary. When we were there, we used one of the state accredited charter schools in order to get state money to help with schooling and extra curriculars, but it was not like most people think of charters. For one, we could use any curriculum we wanted. We only met with our advisor twice a year, and it was more a sitting and chatting than anything else. She was really just there to answer questions and help if we ran into a problem. The downside is that going through one of the charter school means you have to do state testing. BUT, you do not HAVE to go through a charter school at all. You could just homeschool, but you won't get state money.

Michigan is nice because if you wanted a rural setting, you could get that and still be close enough to go to museums and whatnot, or you can live in the city. I do know that Lansing has roller derby, as DH has a couple cousins who do it.

When we lived in Virginia, there were quite a few laws regarding homeschooling, but that was a dozen years ago, so I don't know what they are like now.
It has to be secular to use the charter. My friend is a Native Alaskan who moved back there recently. She wasnt allowed to buy the curriculum she wanted because it was Christian based.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:11 AM   #5
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

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It has to be secular to use the charter. My friend is a Native Alaskan who moved back there recently. She wasnt allowed to buy the curriculum she wanted because it was Christian based.
When we were there, you could use sacred curriculum, but you couldn't necessarily use the state money to purchase it. And there were often loopholes. It had to do with how the company stated their mission. For instance, we had some friends in our charter that used Apologia for science, and we able to use the state money to purchase it. We had some other friends that used Sonlight, and while they couldn't use the state money to purchase the teachers manuals, they could use the state money to purchase just about all of the books used because they were not marked as Christian books.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

I'm biased toward Virginia. Hampton Roads area. We lived in Portsmouth and DH worked in Chesapeake. Love the seasons there and there is a lot to do. You are nearby Colonial Williamsburg, Norfolk Zoo, VA Aquarium, the outer banks, the VA Living Museum, the Air and Space Museum, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia Beach boardwalk, Children's Museum, botanical gardens, military museums, the beach is near, mountains are a short drive, DC is a pretty short drive and that offers so much. Also northern VA is a short drive and that has a lot to offer as far as history goes. The whole state has so much rich history! There's a large homeschool presence. I've never homeschooled there because we moved a few years ago but from what I read, it's similar to here. Notify the school board you homeschool and then either do a test at the end of the year or have a teacher evaluate the children.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

Tennessee isn't the best... but it isn't the worst. We homeschool under an "umbrella" program and have been left alone for years. We pay our yearly enrollment fees and enter grades and attendance in our HSRO account, and that's that. No check ups, no testing, etc. We chose to go that route because I found it preferable to registering with the local school system as homeschoolers... especially since we pulled our oldest kid from their public school program. LOL. We also didn't want to register our kids as homeschoolers with the county because then they would be required to submit for state testing. In Tennessee there is a provision for learning at home as part of a "church related school", so that's technically what our program falls under. However, the program we use is secular based with a focus on natural/peacful living (it's based out of "The Farm" in Summertown TN) which I guess counts as a religion according to the government.

The weather is decent here... but I think somewhere further up north would be nicer. We do get quite a few people migrating here from up north, though, so maybe there's something to that. However, I do know for a fact that the weather is nicer here than it is in Texas. LOL

ETA: It probably depends on the location, but I will say that one major drawback has been the difficulty we've had finding local support as a secular homeschooling family. There are many groups and co-ops close by, but most of them are not inclusive and require a statement of faith. We are in east Tennessee, though... things might be better closer to Nashville.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

Idaho is very much like Texas. You do not have to register your child at all or do any testing. Some areas have great groups of homeschooler and some areas you are really mostly on your own.
There are 10 states that have the most freedom when it come to homeschooling they are Alaska,
Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The six states with the highest regulations are Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:09 PM   #9
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

Wisconsin is easy to homeschool in. You just have to register the kids as homeschooled and that's it. No testing, no people checking in, and no reporting of grades or anything at all.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #10
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Re: Best States to Homeschool in?

Iowa recently changed their laws and are now one of the easiest states to homeschool in. If your child has never been enrolled, you just don't ever enroll them. The schools don't have to even know about you.
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