Alabama Homeschooling Laws
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
- Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Alabama
- Returning to Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Alabama
This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws and rules that you will be homeschooling under.
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 to legally homeschool in Alabama, 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).
More information relating to the home education rules for Alabama can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Full Details of Alabama’s Homeschool Laws
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 you choose to homeschool under, 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. 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.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Alabama
|Alabama diploma requirements||Students graduating from an AR public school must have a minimum of 24 credit hours.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.|
|Alabama high school testing requirements||Although Alabama administers the ACT to all 11th grade students, there is no testing requirement for graduation in the state.||Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.|
|Alabama high school transcripts||AL public school transcripts include identifying information, immunization data, standardized test scores, writing assessment results, legal records, English as a Second Language (ESL) records, final report card, and graduation/termination data.||Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.|
|Alabama high school course credits||As of May 2018, in order to graduate, AL high schoolers must have 4 English credits, 4 mathematics credits, 2 science credits, 4 social studies credits, 1 physical education credit, a ½ credit in health education, 1 credit in career preparedness, 3 credits in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and/or Foreign Language and/or Arts Education, and 2.5 elective credits.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.|
|GED eligibility||Students who are at least 16 years old and have not earned a high school diploma from a public or private high school are eligible to apply to take the General Education Diploma test.||The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.|
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.