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In Maryland, homeschool families are required to submit to county reviews with a Board of Education employee to demonstrate that they have provided "regular and thorough instruction" in all the usual classes taught to children of the same age as their own. Families may be required to meet for such reviews up to three (3) times a year.
State regulations allows families to opt out of the county review if they pay for a private review with an umbrella oversight organization. Umbrella groups must be registered with the state department of education.
Umbrellas are required to provide the state with an annual list of all homeschool children registered with their organization. Other than that, currently, no state oversight exists for any religious body, church-exempt school, or private school - after they register their umbrella group with the state.
Support groups are different organizations from umbrellas. While umbrellas can officially substitute the oversight role of your local county school board, support groups cannot. Support groups are generally volunteer based and offer any number of free or for-fee services, such as play groups, mom-meetings, field trips, and curriculum swaps.
Homeschool co-ops are a third type of group that offers services to families educating their children at home. Co-ops are either informal or a franchise type of school that offers at least once a week classes to families. Co-ops require parents to volunteer a certain number of hours to help run the programs. They will either hire professional teachers or tap parent expertise within the group. Some homeschool co-ops require an admission application and have the children wear uniforms.
The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only. It is not considered legal advice.