Maryland Homeschooling Laws
The law of the state of Maryland defines homeschool as regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age. In other words, it is the routine and comprehensive study throughout the school year in subjects usually covered by students of the same age in public schools. Another term used to describe homeschooling is a “home instruction program.” The conditions for homeschooling in Maryland differ depending on the direction the parent chooses. Families have 3 choices from which to choose, each option has its own rules and procedures.
The general requirement is that one has to submit to the local superintendent a Consent Notice Form and declare to include the prescribed subjects in the homeschool program. The notice should reach the superintendent 15 days before the homeschool program begins. Homeschooling parents have the freedom to pick and include programs they see best fits their children. This page provides information on:
· Requirements to homeschool in Maryland
· Choice 1: portfolio homeschooling
· Choice 2: providing instruction under the auspices of a church
· Choice 3: providing instruction under the umbrella of a school accredited by the state
· Recordkeeping for homeschoolers in Maryland
· Switching from homeschool to public school
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Maryland
Choice 1: Portfolio Homeschool
Parents must follow the following guidelines:
· Submit a Consent Notice Form to the local superintendent.
· Give instruction for the specified number of days.
· Include the following subjects in the homeschool program: English, Math, Art, Health, Science, Social studies, physical education and music.
· Submit a change of notice in case of any changes regarding the homeschool program to the superintendent. The changes may vary from switching to another option of homeschooling or when you intend to end the homeschool program.
· Submit an annual notice of intent to continue homeschooling for that school year to the superintendent.
· Review your child’s portfolio with the superintendent as requested. The meetings shall not exceed 3 in a year. Some school personnel may think they are entitled to review the child’s progress but after the homeschool laws were revised in 2019, the entitlement was removed.
· Keep a detailed record in a homeschool portfolio. Some of the details to include in the portfolio are: the reading and instructional materials, samples of the child’s written work, tests taken during the program, worksheets, etc.
Local schools are not entitled to anything further apart from the listed requirements.
Choice 2: Providing Instruction under the Auspices of a Church (Church Umbrella Option)
Parents are required to first choose a church umbrella then file the Consent Notice.
· Submit a Consent Form to the local superintendent.
· Confirm your presence in the program. This involves informing them whether you will remain active, move, stop homeschooling or transition to another homeschooling alternative.
· Allow the church umbrella to oversee the homeschool instruction, which involves updating program plans, holding conferences on a regular basis and visiting the location every year.
Choice 3: Providing Instruction under the Umbrella of a School Accredited by the State
The first step is to choose a school accredited by the state. This is a church affiliated school that provides instruction to homeschoolers. An umbrella school is not considered a school and a diploma issued by the umbrella school is deemed invalid by the education department in Maryland. Students applying for law enforcement positions with diplomas from umbrella schools have run into major difficulties. Families are required to:
· Submit to the local superintendent the Consent Notice.
· Confirm your presence in the state approved school program. This involves informing them whether you will remain active, move, stop homeschooling or transition to another homeschooling alternative.
The church oversees the program with:
· Conferences before enrollment
· Holding parental conferences on a regular basis either physically or via phone
· Instructional materials and reviewing the lesson plansChoice 4: Providing Instruction under the Umbrella of a Church-exempt School
Choose a church-exempt school you intend to join then proceed to submit a Consent Notice Form to the office of the local superintendent. The parent must allow the church-exempt school to oversee the instruction provided in the homeschool program.
1. Before you submit your Notice of Consent, you will need to Select and join a church-exempt school umbrella among the many available church-exempt school umbrellas available in Maryland. Since you will need to identify the name of the umbrella you joined on the notice, joining the church-exempt school umbrella happens first and then the Notice of Consent.
2. File a Notice of Consent form with your superintendent (already explained above).
3. Have the church-exempt school umbrella supervise your instruction (already explained above).
4. Regularly confirm your ongoing involvement in the school umbrella program.
Notice of Intent to Homeschool in Maryland
For any of the 3 options above, parents who wish to homeschool in Maryland must submit to the local superintendent the Consent Notice form.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Maryland
Families homeschooling under the portfolio option must keep and maintain detailed records of the homeschool activities. The portfolio should include the attendance records of the child, tests taken and the grades awarded as well as examples of the child’s written work and any additional information deemed relevant.
The other options of homeschooling have the church or school keep records of the child’s progress on behalf of the parent.
Requirements for Graduation in Maryland
The laws on homeschooling in Maryland do not provide requirements students must fulfill to graduate. The homeschool administrator determines the requirements to graduate, the courses to be taught as well as the credits to be assigned. They also decide when the homeschoolers will receive the diploma. It is a good idea to research on the qualifications to join college or any post-secondary organization the student may be interest in to align the homeschool goals with those. This will inform the parent’s decision on what to teach and what to include in the transcripts.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Maryland.
Diploma requirements in Maryland
To graduate, the student must complete 21 credits to be awarded a diploma in Maryland.
Parents in Maryland have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in Maryland||N/A||
There is no law in Maryland that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Maryland high school transcripts
Transcripts shall include particulars of the student, information on the attendance of the student, the totals of the credits taken, the test scores, a conclusive history of records that includes the grades awarded, the titles of the courses and the overall grade for each course taken.
Parents in Maryland can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Maryland
To graduate in Maryland, high school students must complete the following:
3 credits – Mathematics
4 credits – English
3 credits – Science
3 credits – Social Studies
1 credit – Fine Art
1/2 redit – Health
1 credit – Technology Education
1/2 Physical Education credit
2-4 credits – World language or ASL
1-3 credits – Electives to include courses beyond requirements.
Many parents in Maryland choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Maryland
To take the Maryland GED test, you must Be a resident of Maryland. Be at least 18 years old. Candidates under 19 years old must have officially withdrawn from a high school program, submitted the GED Official School Withdrawal/Exception Form to the Maryland GED Office.
Homeschoolers in Maryland are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Maryland
Each school has different procedures and regulations to be observed while enrolling new students. It is the parent’s responsibility to consult with the school he/she chooses for the student to get the specific procedure on enrollment. The decision on grade placement is given by the superintendent of the local school as well as the amount of credits to be awarded for students in secondary school. This decision can be accomplished by test results, an assessment, interviewing the student or giving the student an exam.
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Maryland
Have other questions about homeschooling in Maryland? You may find the following pages helpful.