Homeschool is defined in Ohio as “education primarily directed and provided by the parent or guardian of a child under division (a)(2) of section 3321.04 of the Revised Code which child is of compulsory school age and is not enrolled in a nonpublic school.”
Ohio Administrative Code 3321.04 defines compulsory school attendance as follows: “Every parent of any child of compulsory school age who is not employed under an age and schooling certificate must send such child to a school or a special education program that conforms to the minimum standards prescribed by the state board of education, for the full time the school or program attended is in session, which shall not be less than thirty-two weeks per school year. Such attendance must begin within the first week of the school term or program or within one week of the date on which the child begins to reside in the district or within one week after the child’s withdrawal from employment.”
Ohio parents can elect to homeschool under either of the following two options:
Option 1 – If a parent complies with state homeschool laws and regulations, their children will be excused from compulsory attendance and can be homeschooled.
Option 2 – Any school that is operating based on “truly held religious beliefs,” and is not chartered by the State Board of Education and is not seeking a charter, will be allowed to operate as long as the school meets the state’s minimum standards.
To start homeschooling their children, a parent in Ohio should begin by notifying the superintendent of their local school district that they intend to school their child or children at home. Ohio Administrative Code (Chapters 3301-34) states that a parent who “chooses to provide home education shall supply the following information to the superintendent:”
- School year for which notification is made;
- Name of parent, address and telephone number (telephone number is optional);
- Name, address, and telephone number (telephone number is optional) of person(s) who will be teaching the child the subjects set forth in paragraph (A)(5) of this rule, if other than the parent;
- Full name and birthdate of the child to be educated at home;”
- [paragraph (A)(5)] – “Assurance that home education will include the following, except that home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent: (a) language, reading, spelling, and writing; (b) geography, history of the United States and Ohio and national, state and local government; (c) mathematics; (d) science; (e) health; (f) physical education; (g) fine arts, including music; and (h) first aid, safety, and fire prevention.
- Brief outline of the intended curriculum for the current year (such outline is for informational purposes only);
- List of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula, or other basic teaching materials that the parent intends to use for home education (such list is for informational purposes only);
- Assurance that the child will be provided a minimum of nine hundred hours of home education each school year; and
- Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications: (a) high school diploma; or (b) the certificate of high school equivalence; or (c) standardized test scores that demonstrate high school equivalence; or (d) other equivalent credential found appropriate by the superintendent; or (e) lacking the above, the home teacher must work under the direction of a person holding a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college until the child’s or children’s test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency or until the home teacher obtains a high school diploma or the certificate of high school equivalence.”
Homeschooled children in Ohio must be assessed for academic proficiency on an annual basis. Four testing options are available:
- Testing can be completed using any “nationally normed” standardized achievement test administered by an Ohio licensed or certified teacher, OR another person the parent and local school superintendent agree on; OR any person authorized by the test publisher. The student must score at least in the 25th percentile and the composite score must be filed with the local superintendent.
- Testing can be substituted with a written narrative that includes verification that a portfolio of your student’s work has been reviewed by either an Ohio licensed certified teacher or another person that you and the superintendent have agreed on as a reviewer/verifier. The narrative must verify that your child’s educational progress for each year is substantially equal to their individual abilities.
- The homeschool parent/teacher has the option of choosing another assessment format that the parent and the superintendent have jointly agreed upon.
- The homeschool parent can register their child to complete testing in the local school district’s testing program.
Updated January 2018
Ohio Homeschool State Laws Links:
NOTE: HomeschoolFacts does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above. All of the information provided is intended for research purposes only and is not given as legal advice. REMEMBER: The most important thing you can do to prepare for homeschooling your child is to become familiar with your state’s laws about homeschooling.