The decision to start homeschooling one or more of your children is likely one you did not take lightly. Maybe it’s something you’ve planned to do from early on in your child’s life. Or perhaps some change in personal or school circumstances has made you an “accidental homeschooler.” Whether you intended to homeschool or not, the fact is that you’ll want to do it successfully, and that begins by knowing what homeschooling requirements Alabama stipulates. On this page, you can find information about how to legally homeschool in Alabama, what (if any) records you may want to keep, and what might be involved in going back to school if you decide to end your homeschooling adventure at some point.
- Alabama Homeschooling Laws
- Switching from Public School to Homeschool
- Homeschool Record-Keeping in Alabama
- Returning to Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Alabama
Legal disclaimer: This page provides suggestions and information on how to meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Alabama. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
Alabama Homeschooling Laws
If you are at the beginning of the research stage, you have probably started wondering, “What are the requirements for homeschooling in Alabama?” There are a few different options that families have for homeschooling in AL, but the differences between them are significant. You’ll want to think long and hard about which option is the best choice for your family.
- Enroll in an Alabama Church School. With this option, the church school handles all records of enrollment and attendance.
- Set up your homeschool as a private, non-public school. This option became available in 2014 due to changes in the previous education law and has released homeschoolers from previous regulations they were subject to in the state.
- Hire (or become) a certified state tutor to teach your child(ren).
Switching from Public School to Homeschool
If your child is between 7 and 17 years of age and is currently enrolled in the public school system, it is a good idea to officially withdraw your child from school when you begin homeschooling. You may even want to contact the school directly to see if they have withdrawal procedures that they recommend. Sending your withdrawal notice via certified letter is an option that will provide you with a record of your intention to homeschool that may prevent truancy complications.
Homeschool Record-Keeping in Alabama
No matter which option for homeschooling you choose in AL, you will not need to personally report any data about your homeschool — either locally or on a state level. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep records about your homeschool experience. A homeschool portfolio can have many benefits for you and your student, including:
- serving as a cherished keepsake of your time spent learning together
- providing a reference of coursework covered in case of a return to public/private school
- assisting parents when creating homeschool transcripts
Some families keep their record-keeping as simple as jotting down notes each week about what they have learned. Others use dedicated computer programs or apps that let them track everything from lesson plans to extracurricular activities. Time4Learning makes the record-keeping process particularly smooth by giving parents access to full, printable reports of everything your student accomplishes with the curriculum.
Returning to Public School after Homeschooling
If your homeschooling time must come to an end for any reason, you will want to know how to enroll a homeschooled child in public school. If you are registered with a church school, you will want to officially withdraw from the school using their designated withdrawal procedures. Then, you will want to officially enroll in the public school (or private school) of your choosing. All public schools in Alabama will accept homeschoolers, but each one may have varying enrollment procedures for them. Some schools may request records related to your curriculum and your child’s assessment. Schools may also require your student to take placement testing to determine which grade level to be returned to. All of these decisions are up to the individual school where you will be enrolling.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Alabama
Have other questions about homeschooling in Alabama? You may find the following pages helpful.
- Homeschooling in Alabama
- Alabama Homeschool Associations
- Alabama Homeschooling Groups & Co-ops
- Alabama Church Schools
- Homeschool Field Trips in Alabama
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