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Navigating Homeschooling in Indiana: How to Get Started

March 30, 2023

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Are you a parent in Indiana dissatisfied with the public schooling system or looking for an alternative educational experience for your child? If so, homeschooling in Indiana may be the perfect solution for you. Homeschooling provides a flexible and personalized education for your child that can meet their unique needs and interests.

Homeschooling families have the luxury of taking ownership of their child's education and teaching schedule. Homeschooled students don't have to miss out on the necessary experience of public schools, such as field trips and socialization. There are many ways for you to provide a well-rounded and influential experience for your child, even while allowing them to learn outside of public or private schools.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to start homeschooling your child in Indiana.

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Understanding Indiana Homeschool Laws

Before you begin homeschooling your child, it's essential to understand Indiana's homeschool laws.

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According to state law, parents or legal guardians who homeschool their children must provide "equivalent instruction" to public schools. This means that you are required to provide a comparable level of education to what is provided in public facilities. Alternatively, this means you're not required to follow the same structure or programs offered in public school, allowing for more freedom in what your child learns.

Homeschool families in Indiana are required to submit a notice of intent to the Indiana Department of Education. This notice is typically submitted at the beginning of the school year and must include the names, ages, and locations of all homeschooled students in the family. You must also keep attendance records for each student, which must be submitted to the Indiana Department of Education upon request.

Although state law does not mandate state or any other testing for homeschooled children, the Indiana Department of Education recommends periodic, standardized achievement testing. Home educated children may choose to take state standardized tests if enrolled in a public or accredited non-public school program. Private testing can also be arranged if preferred.

You must also provide your child with 180 days of education to be compliant with Indiana's education laws.

Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to choose a curriculum that fits your child's learning style and interests. Indiana homeschoolers have many curriculum options to choose from, including pre-packaged curriculums, online courses, and individual subject resources.

When selecting a homeschool curriculum, it's important to consider your child's learning style and interests. If your child is a hands-on learner, a curriculum that includes experiments and projects may be a good fit. If your child is interested in a particular subject, look for a curriculum that covers that subject in-depth.

There are many resources available to help you choose a homeschool curriculum, including homeschool curriculum reviews, online forums, and homeschool conferences. The Indiana Association of Home Educators also provides resources and support for homeschooled families.

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  1. Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) - offers a list of curriculum providers and support groups in Indiana - https://iahe.net/

  2. Indiana Department of Education - provides resources for homeschooling families, including a list of approved curriculum options - https://www.doe.in.gov/

  3. Homeschooling in Indiana - a blog that offers curriculum reviews and recommendations - https://homeschoolinginindiana.com/

  4. Christian Liberty - a publisher of Christian-based homeschool curriculum, including online courses and textbooks - https://www.shopchristianliberty.com/

  5. Time4Learning - an online curriculum provider for homeschooling families, offering preK-12 courses in all subjects - https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling/indiana/

Private Schools vs. Homeschooling

If you're considering homeschooling in Indiana, you may be wondering how it compares to private school education. Private schools can provide quality education, but they can be costly and may not offer the same level of flexibility as homeschooling.

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Homeschooling provides a personalized education that can meet your child's unique needs and interests. You have the freedom to choose a curriculum that fits your child's learning style and interests, and you can adjust the pace of learning to meet their needs. Homeschooling also provides more flexibility than private schools in terms of scheduling and location.

However, homeschooling can also be a significant commitment of time and resources. You will be responsible for planning and implementing your child's education, which can be challenging. Additionally, homeschooling may not be the best option for children who thrive in a social setting, as they may miss out on the social interaction that comes with attending a public or private school.

Joining Homeschool Groups and Support Networks

Homeschooling can be a challenging but rewarding experience for both you and your child. Connecting with other homeschool families can provide your child with support, resources, and social opportunities.

Indiana has a strong homeschool community, and many homeschool groups and support networks are available to homeschool families. Local support groups can provide opportunities for field trips, social events, and educational activities. Homeschool cooperatives can provide opportunities for group learning and collaboration.

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The Indiana Association of Home Educators is a statewide organization that provides resources, support, and advocacy for homeschool families. Joining a homeschool group or network can help you connect with other homeschool families and find the support you need to be successful. Local support groups and homeschool cooperatives can also be great resources for advice, curriculum ideas, and field trip suggestions.

Many communities have homeschool sports teams, music groups, and other extracurricular activities that can provide opportunities for socialization and skill development.

Staying Compliant with Indiana Law

To ensure that you comply with Indiana homeschool laws, it's important to keep accurate attendance records and submit them to the Indiana Department of Education upon request. You should also keep records of your child's educational progress, such as grades, test scores, attendance, and completed assignments. If there's ever a question about your child's education, having these documents on file helps alleviate any question the Department of Education may have.

In addition, it's important to stay up-to-date with any changes in Indiana homeschool requirements. The Indiana Association of Home Educators provides updates and resources on homeschool laws and regulations in Indiana.

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Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in Indiana can provide your child with a flexible, personalized education. Understanding Indiana homeschool laws and requirements is essential before you begin homeschooling. Choosing a homeschool curriculum that fits your child's learning style and interests is key to a successful homeschool experience. Connecting with other homeschool families through local support groups and networks can provide support and social opportunities for your child.

As a homeschool parent in Indiana, you have the freedom to provide your child with a unique and personalized education. With the right resources and support, homeschooling can be a rewarding and successful experience for both you and your child. While homeschooling may not be the best option for everyone, it can be a great alternative for families who are looking for a different educational experience.

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