** This webpage is provided for informational purposes. It is not legal advice. **
First Step To Homeschooling In Maryland
In order to legally homeschool in the state of Maryland, parents must file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool form with their county homeschool liaison. The Notice of Intent form, required by COMAR, must be filed 15 days before beginning to homeschool. This form neither requests state or local approval nor permission for a family to educate their child at home. The form simply notifies the school district of a family’s choice to homeschool.
You may file your Notice of Intent form any time of year. However, should you wish to start homeschooling with the beginning of a new school year, you should file the form by mid-August. NOTE: Parents who plan to homeschool their children but wish to skip kindergarten must file a maturity waiver with their school district.
Choices You’ll Need To Make:
1- County or Umbrella Reviews
Parents must choose to have their annual reviews conducted by their local county school board or through an umbrella. A number of differences exist between these types of reviews, the biggest being cost. County reviews are free while umbrella reviews can cost upwards of $3,000 for each child. If you have already signed up for umbrella services, your umbrella director may NOT sign the Notice of Intent form for you.
2- School-Based Testing
Parents may elect to have their homeschool children participate in Maryland state assessments administered to public school students. These standardized tests are aligned to Maryland’s state curriculum. Should your child participate in this testing, their scores will be shared with the school principal where your child tests. Parents may decline to have their child participate in this testing but still be eligible to request Child Find testing, should the parent suspect a special learning need.
1- Previous Schools Attended
Parents are not obligated to provide information about previous schools your child may have attended prior to homeschooling. Keep in mind, however, that all Maryland counties maintain digital student records. If your child previously attended a public school in the county where you submit your Notice of Intent, the homeschool liaison will see that when they enter your child’s homeschool information.
2- Homeschool Curriculum Choices
Maryland does not require parents to select, buy, or use any specific curriculum with their homeschool. Additionally, county homeschool liaisons possess no authority to approve a family’s homeschool curriculum. Questions about homeschool curricular choices do not need to be answered.
3- Special Education Services
You are not obligated to submit information regarding any special education services or any IEP or 504 plan your child may have had previous to homeschooling.
Remember: You are not a legally recognized Maryland homeschooler if you have not signed and submitted your Notice of Intent form. If your local county does not have a signed form on file for you, then your child is considered truant from school.
Last modified on September 5, 2023