How Do I Start Homeschooling in Maryland?

Greetings and Happy New Year!  It has been a while since I have posted a blog message. I spent the good part of the second half of 2017 writing and publishing my first book Riley Road: Navigating the Path to Discover My 6th Great Grandfather, Jacob Riley. The book chronicles my research methodology on my paternal line of my family tree.  Thet research enabled me to apply and join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in March 2017!

Speaking of research, this week I have received three inquiries from friends whose friends are looking to homeschool their children in Maryland and they wanted information on how to get started.  The option to educate your children at home is your right as an American citizen and each state has its own requirements and regulations. There are numerous reasons to choose the homeschooling option for your child(ren), including health issues, bullying, religious, military deployment, failing state test rankings, or a combination of the above, just to name a few…

“Parents are the first and the most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents.” – St. John Paul II, Letter to Families

Please note: The information on this page should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

 

This post is limited to how to get started homeschooling in Maryland. If you are looking to get started homeschooling, in any state, first do a quick google search of how to homeschool in [insert State] and then contact the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for further details.

 

 

How Do I Start Homeschooling in Maryland?

Here is a concise checklist to get you started on your journey of homeschooling in Maryland.

  1. START HERE!  The Home School Legal Defense Assocation has a checklist to follow here: https://www.hslda.org/hs101/MD.aspx
  2. Go to the Maryland Board of Education website for a “Fact Sheet Regarding Home Instruction in Maryland: http://archives.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/nonpublicschools/npdocs/fact_sheets/np_fact_home_instruction.htm
  3. Which Maryland County do you reside?  If you live in Prince George’s County, MD, go here: http://www.pgcps.org/homeschooling/ for further information and forms to complete and submit with the Home School Instruction Office. If you live in neighboring Charles County, MD, go here: http://www.ccboe.com/schools/stethem/index.php/2016-04-24-19-12-21/home-instruction 
  4. Decide on the type of curriculum that you would like to use.  There are numerous curriculum (Catholic, Protestant and secular) available.
  5. As the parent, you will need to decide if you will be the “liasion” to the county school board homeschooling office or if you would like to be under a state of Maryland “approved umbrella school.” You will need to list which option you select on the required form to notify the county school board of your decision to homeschool when you submit the form.  Keep in mind that you cannot begin homeschooling without this notification form and you must give yourself a 15-day window once the form is submitted to begin educating your child at home. These approved entities are “education ministries and nonpublic schools are registered with the Maryland State Department of Education to supervise home instruction under regulation .05 of the home instruction regulations, COMAR 13A.10.01 Home Instruction.” 
  6. Many families feel more comfortable and safeguarded by joining an umbrella or approved organization in which to homeschool.  This is not a requirement, but is a very popular option in Maryland.  Here is the list of approved entities in Maryland to join as your “umbrella:” http://nonpublicschoolsdb.marylandpublicschools.org/nonpublic/home_instruction/DisplayLocationsByCounty.asp
  7. Currently, the Prince George’s County (PGC) Home Instruction Office requires you to submit your form online. I highly recommend that you *also* hand-carry your form, after your online submission, to the Home Instruction Office for their signatures *and* a time/date stamp and request a copy be made while you are there for your records. Once you are home, scan the copy and keep both a digital and paper file and make notations of what was said during your visit and to whom you spoke.  The PGC Home Instruction Office requests that you call to set up an appointment before you arrive: 301-333-1001.  The phone number for the Charles County Home Instruction Office is: (301)934-7438.
  8. The state of Maryland requires homeschooling families to annually submit a notification form of their intent to continue homeschooling. I highly recommend that you submit this form by May 1st, well before the Memorial holiday and regular public school calendar ends in early June.  If you miss this window to submit the form prior to the upcoming school year, it is VERY DIFFICULT to reach someone in the office and you will be caught in a VERY SHORT, if not impossible window, to submit your form prior to the start of the next school year…
  9. It is also HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for you to join *both* the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) ($10/mth fee) and Heritage Defense Assocation ($15/mth). Here is a brief video on the difference on both organizations: http://www.heritagedefense.org/2014/09/10/israel-wayne-on-why-he-is-a-member-of-both-hslda-and-heritage-defense/
  10. Consider joining a homeschool support group or co-op organization in the Prince George’s County/Charles County area like:  Calvary Gospel Home Educators and SPEAR .

Here is a list of suggested items to assist you with your in-home classroom and home management:

Please note: The information on this page should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

 

“May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace.”  – Numbers 6:24-26

 

xoxo,

Holly