This post by no means serves as legal advice.
These are laws we researched on our own to get a better understanding of our rights and we wanted to share with you.
We referenced the laws and their sources below, and would strongly encourage you to review the legal language yourself for the most updated and accurate information.
The law can be interpreted in many ways, and we hope this brief list gives you a head start.
1. Citizen’s Rights
No state can deny a citizen basic rights.
As parents, we have the liberty to educate our own children.
2. The Minimum School Age
Children who are 6 in September must attend school. In other words, if you are homeschooling, your child should be registered when they are 6 years old.
You register for homeschool by filling out a one-page form notifying the city that you will be educating your child.
3. Homeschool Registration
The school committee is responsible for maintaining records of minors in school.
After 16 years old, homeschoolers do not have to register.
Rise-Out is a great website for teen homeschoolers trying to figure out what is next.
4. Contributing Citizen
Part of the reason the government requires it’s children be “schooled” is because they want to ensure its residents fulfill the “duties of citizenship."
In addition to contributing to American society, we hope our children will be intentional global citizens by making a difference not only in their local community - but their global community.
5. Parents As Educators
Educators must be of “competent ability and good morals.”
No fancy degrees or certificates required to homeschool.
6. Choosing A Curriculum
A curriculum is “a planned sequence of instruction” (Wikipedia).
The state has created a sample curriculum outlined in this general law. It serves as a template (not a requirement) to encourage schools to implement it or a variation of it.
This curriculum includes subjects like reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, music, history, physical education and more.
I strongly believe that most authentic learning is holistic. And if we focus on our children's interests and give them the space to master those interests - they will absorb multiple subjects better than we could have ever taught them.
7. Homeschool Approval
The city can suggest recommended changes to homeschoolers' proposed curriculums, but they can not ban a parent’s right to this type of education.
8. High School Diploma
Homeschoolers can totally apply to colleges and universities with a parent-issued high school diploma (if the parent chooses to create one).
In fact, top colleges and universities are actively seeking homeschoolers and other forms of non-traditional students. They consider SAT scores and other achievements.
9. Performance Measures
Annually, homeschoolers are required to submit assessments on their children.
These assessments can be ...
♡ An independent assessment/evaluation
♡ Daily logs/journal
♡ Portfolio with dated work samples
♡ Progress Reports
We love progress reports, because they document our girls' interests and their natural progression in those areas. There is no comparison of their skills to other children, it purely looks at their individual development, follows their journey as they hone in on their skills and master their abilities.
10. Virtual Schools
Massachusetts started it’s first virtual school, Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, in 2010.
Because the virtual school is funded by state taxes, students are part of the public school system and have to abide by their course requirements, assignments, and tests.
In other words, virtual schooling uses a public school curriculum without the brick-and-mortar building. It is still a public school education, with the flexibility of doing it at home.
This is very different to our homeschool approach. Curriculums that have been developed by adults are very outdated. I find that our girls do best when they are able to live life, ask questions, and we study those specific - yet sometimes random areas, without the constraints of having to complete a project on a disinteresting topic.
We hope this list is helpful and will give you a head start on understanding laws regarding homeschooling in Boston.
Until next time.
Peace & Love,
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