Homeschooling regulations vary from state to state.

Can a Parent Home School If They Don't Have a Diploma or GED?

by Tara West

Forty-one states have no regulations for a parent to have any specific educational documentation if they are wishing to homeschool their child. In these 41 states no high school diploma or GED is required to homeschool a child. In the remaining states, a GED or diploma may be required. Some states allow parents to homeschool without a GED or high school diploma if they are monitored by a state-certified teacher for a minimum of two years.

1. States with No Educational Requirements

Forty-one states have no educational requirement for homeschooling parents. This means a high school diploma or GED is not necessary in those states. However, just because these states do not have educational requirements for homeschooling parents, they may have other state mandates that should be considered such as logging school hours, curriculum approval, or testing requirements that must be met. Oklahoma is the only state that specifically protects the parents right to homeschool.

2. States with Exemptions

Tennessee does not require a GED or high school diploma for homeschooling children who are in the eighth grade or less. However, once a child enters the eighth grade year, the home teacher is required to posses a GED or high school diploma. Parents wishing to homeschool in North Dakota that do not hold a GED or high school diploma, can school their children at home if they are under the monitoring of a state-certified teacher for a minimum of two years.

3. States with GED or Diploma Requirements

Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia and the District of Columbia are the states and districts that require that parents have a GED or high school diploma. In these states if the parent does not meet these qualifications, they will need to find a suitable in-home teacher that does.

4. Other Considerations

Some states are more restrictive than others. Determining if it is possible to meet all state requirements, not just parent education requirements, should be considered. Each state has different restrictions when it comes to homeschooling. States may require parental notification of intent to homeschool to your local school district, others may not. Some states require specific testing, attendance records, performance evaluations, home visits or curriculum approval. Understanding the state's specific requirements is vital for any homeschooling family. Know what to expect by visiting the state's Department of Education website or speaking with the Home School Legal Defense Association. For families who travel, be aware that you are mandated by the state that you are physically present. This means if plans are made to frequent another state for an extended period of time, knowing that state's homeschooling regulations is a must.

About the Author

Tara West graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in business administration and human resources. West specializes in parenting, green living and career development as a regular contributor at SocialMoms.com. She has been featured on a variety of websites including a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow.

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