This page contains links to several documents that should help you as you make the decision to homeschool your children. There are many options available to you in Maryland and some state requirements to navigate. In general, you are free to pursue this endeavor in whatever approach fits your family's lifestyle, beliefs and goals. It is our hope that the information below serves as a guide and makes your task an easier one.
Many questions will arise as you contemplate this decision. The following article entitled Homeschooling 101 addresses the most common concerns and offers step-by-step suggestions to get you off to a great start.
There are a multitude of books and websites containing practical advice and information. The list in the document below is by no means comprehensive. It is meant as just a starting point as you begin to explore the wonderful world of homeschooling!
The State of Maryland requires you to submit a Nofification of Intent to Homeschool within 15 days of your decision to begin homeschooling. This form must be completed and sent to your local Board of Education. The form here may be printed and mailed to your Board of Education.
Under the Annotated Code of Maryland, you have two options as to how your homeschool program will be monitored. You may report directly to the Board of Education which will conduct a review of your homeschool progress about twice during a school year. Or, you may join an oversight group, also called an "umbrella group" or "correspondence school". Under this option, you still file your notification with the Board of Education, but on it, indicate the name of the oversight group to which you will be reporting.
The portfolio review and curriculum requirements vary greatly from group to group. And, there is usually a membership fee associated with these groups which also varies greatly. The advantage to enrolling in an oversight or "umbrella" group is that your homeschool program will be monitored and reviewed by individuals who are familiar with homeschoolig, have first-hand experience and may offer helpful advice, and often share your Christian values in regards to providing a godly education to your children.
Below is a partial list of bonafide homeschool oversight or 'Umbrella" groups that serve Frederick County.
A complete list can be found at the Maryland State Department of Education website. Clicking the link will take you away from H.O.P.E. Homeschool Families web site and redirect you to the MD State site.
The freedom to homeschool is something that must be dilligently protected in the United States as well as in other countries. Currently it is legal to homeschool in some fashion in all 50 states. But that freedom and the extent to which we may engage in homeschooling without excessive government regulation is constantly being challenged in the courts across the country. An organization formed to legally defend our right to home school is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. This group of dedicated Christian lawyers make themselves available to address any legal concerns that may arise as a result of a family's decision to homeschool. In Maryland we have been blessed to have relatively few restrictions placed upon homeschool families. However, much of that freedom is the result of HSLDA working behind the scenes to ensure that legislators do not enact laws that would negatively impact our right to homeschool.
H.O.P.E. Homeschool Families strongly encourages you to visit the website and consider becoming a member of HSLDA.