With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID19 virus, public and private schools are struggling to develop adequate plans that ensure healthy and safe social distancing for teachers and students. While no definitive school re-opening plans have been presented, as of early July, parents anticipate making a decision between two equally unappealing choices. Parents will need to select between in-person instruction that risks contracting the virus OR signing up for an entire year of inconsistent distance learning provided by their local school. Some Maryland families, however, are considering legally transferring to homeschooling for part or all of the 2020 – 21 academic year.
Homeschooling in Maryland is a school choice option that parents can choose for their children. Unlike Spring 2020 crisis school-at-home, homeschooling places all responsibility for educating children on the parents.
Once public school parents file a Notice of Intent form with their local school district, their children become unenrolled from the public school system.
As a legally recognized homeschool family, rights and responsibilities for education shift entirely onto the parents. Just as families who chose to send their children to private or religious schools, the freedom of educational choice comes with a literal financial cost. The chart on the right provides a summary of some of the essential differences Maryland families will experience when they opt to educate their children at home.
As an all-or-nothing homeschool state, parents who opt to educate their children at home voluntarily give up access to all the resources available from their local public school. In other words, school issued laptops must be returned, as well as all textbooks. Access to digital platforms, like BrainPop, Reading Eggs, Schoology, Blackboard, and other for-fee learning services will no longer be available. And, special education services made available through a child’s IEP will no longer be provided.
Getting Started Homeschooling
- File you Notice of Intent form with your local city or county homeschool liaisaon
- Understand the difference between free county reviews and paying for an umbrella service
- Find a local homeschool support group to connect with
- Decide what you’ll be teaching your child for the upcoming school year
- Learn how to develop and maintain a homeschool portfolio for your compliance reviews
- Schedule a 1:1 consultation for personal help in starting your homeschool journey
Returning to Public School
- Learn about the general re-enrollment process homeschoolers go through when they return to public school
- Understand the legal requirements involved in transferring homeschool high school credits back into public school
- Find a list of pre-approved community college equivalent credit courses for your school district
Last modified on July 26, 2020