Growing Up

Is Homeschooling legal?

Laws in the US

Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of the U.s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state.
Interpretations of these laws can vary from school district to  school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year.
The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when  it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate information about these laws. But, most people need to get the laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable information from the support group at your locality. Additionally, many state education departments have online resources that will help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The internet is also a good source of information.
It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move, you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child may need to take.

Laws in the UK

Legal Information

This is what the government’s website (direct gov) says about educating your child at home:

What’s required of you?

  • You do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home
  • Your child is not obliged to follow the National Curriculum or take national tests, but as a parent you are required by law to ensure your child receives full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude
  • Any special educational needs your child may have must be recognised
  • You do not need special permission from a school or local authority to educate your child at home, but you do need to notify the school in writing if you’re taking your child out of school
  • You will need to notify the local authority if you are removing your child from a special school
  • You do not need to observe school hours, days or terms
  • You do not need to have a fixed timetable, nor give formal lessons
  • There are no funds directly available from central government for parents who decide to educate their children at home
  • Some local authorities provide guidance for parents, including free National Curriculum materials

The role of your local authority

Local authorities can make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided. If your local authority makes an informal enquiry, you can provide evidence your child is receiving an efficient and suitable education by:

  • Writing a report
  • Providing samples of your child’s work
  • Inviting a local authority representative to your home, with or without your child being present
  • Meeting a local authority representative outside the home, with or without your child being present (representatives have no automatic right of access to your home)

If it appears to the local authority that a child is not receiving a suitable education, then it might serve a school attendance order.
Although you’re not legally required to inform your local authority when you decide to educate your child at home, it is helpful if you do so. If you are taking your child out of school to home-educate them, you need to inform the school in writing.
It’s advisable, but not compulsory, to inform your local authority of any significant changes in your circumstance relevant to your child’s education, like a change of address.
Other cases:
German Children Seized From Parents for Crime of Homeschooling
The German government forcibly seized four children from their parents in a raid last Thursday in Darmstadt, Germany. Why? Because the Wunderlich children were home schooled – an illegal activity viewed by the German government as “child endangerment.”
HSLDA said that when a nation has voluntarily signed up to obey international human rights obligations, the international community has the right to call such a nation to account for violating human rights standards.
Germany Uses Nazi Era Law to Imprison Mom for Homeschooling; Family Flees to Austria
German police hauled Mrs. Plett off to Gelsenkirchen jail, where she served a 10 day prison sentence for exercising her right to be the primary educator of her children.