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Wisconsin Homeschool Laws & Requirements

Wisconsin Homeschool Laws & Requirements
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Wisconsin compulsory education laws require children ages 6-18 to attend school. In Wisconsin, the relaxed homeschool laws give you the freedom to create a homeschool program and choose the curriculum that best matches your students and family’s needs. Homeschooled students are even welcome to participate in sports and extracurricular activities at the local school district as well as take up to 2 classes per semester at any public school. Wow!

Read on to discover which subjects you will need to teach, what constitutes a school year, what you need to know about recordkeeping and testing, and learn what is required for homeschool graduation. Here’s to a successful homeschooling journey in the Badger State!

This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.

Wisconsin Homeschooling Laws

To legally homeschool in Wisconsin parents must comply with the following regulations:

  1. File a notice of intent—Homeschool Enrollment Report PI-1206—online on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website each year by Oct. 15th
  2. Provide 875 hours of instruction per child between the ages of 6 and 18 during the school year (July 1st – June 30th).
  3. Provide a sequentially progressive course of instruction for each child in the following subjects: reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health.

Please visit the Wisconsin Parents Association Kindergarten page for a detailed explanation of the state-specific laws regarding Kindergarten attendance.

As a bonus, the Wisconsin DPI also offers homeschoolers the following options:

  1. Homeschoolers are welcome to participate in their school district’s sports programs and extracurricular activities.
  2. Through Wisconsin’s part-time attendance law, homeschoolers are invited to take up to 2 classes per semester at any public school as long as any prerequisites have been met.

More information relating to the home education rules for Wisconsin can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.

Full Details of Wisconsin’s Homeschool Laws

Your Notice of Intent – Homeschool Enrollment Report

The notice of intent to homeschool in Wisconsin is the Homeschool Enrollment Report PI-1206 also referred to as HOMER. This form must be filled out online each year by October 15th. The following information is generally recommended to be included:

  • # of students who will be homeschooled
  • State your main purpose: To provide a private or religious-based education
  • Affirm that your homeschool is privately controlled by you
  • State that you will provide at least 875 hours of instruction per child
  • State that you will provide a “sequentially progressive” curriculum for all students ages 6 – 18 in reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, and health

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to view a sample form.

Homeschool Recordkeeping in Wisconsin

Even though Wisconsin homeschool laws do not require Homeschool Portfolios for your students, these can serve as a wonderful keepsake for you and your children. This will prove especially helpful whenever your child is getting ready to apply for college, enlisting in the military, or for social security benefits among other situations. These are just some of the records that should in included in your portfolio:

  • Examples of work by grade level, including tests and quizzes
  • List of all books read
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Writing samples, including handwriting, essays etc
  • Homeschool transcripts (for high school students)
  • Any documents required by your state (medical, LOI, attendance, etc)

Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Wisconsin

Below is a chart comparing the graduation requirements of public school students and homeschooled students in the state of Wisconsin:

Public/Private School Homeschool
Wisconsin diploma requirements Students must complete a minimum of 22 credits of coursework in English, math, social studies, science, Civics, Physical Education, and electives. Some districts require community service experience. 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.
Wisconsin high school testing requirements Students must pass a district Civics test and the ACT in mathematics. Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.
Wisconsin high school transcripts Transcripts are kept by each school district and students who desire a copy must contact their high school. Some districts have online request forms as well as charge a fee per item requested. Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.
Wisconsin high school course credits Students must complete the following credits: 4 English, 3 math, 3 science, 3 social studies, 1.5 Physical Education, 0.5 Health, a Civics course, and electives (credits vary). 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 Individuals must show proof of age (at least 18.5 yrs.) and residency in WI for at least 10 days. Applicants must complete an application form at initial meeting and pay a testing and credential fee. The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.

Returning to Public School after Homeschooling

If you choose to stop homeschooling and decide that you’d like to send your child to public school, most school districts have policies in place to aid the process. You’ll need to contact the school where you plan to send your child/children and ask about their enrollment policy.

If your children will be entering public school mid-year, you have two options:

  1. Return to the PI-1206 (HOMER) online page and change your enrollment numbers.
  2. Call or write to the School Management Services Team at WPI and alert them of the fact that your child or children will no longer be homeschooled. Contact information can be found on the WPI website.
  3. Once the PI-1206 is submitted, it will be at the school districts discretion for student grade level placement and number of credits, if any, they will grant the student for courses completed in their homeschool. We recommend reaching out to the school district they will be attending and review their policies.

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Wisconsin

Have other questions about homeschooling in Wisconsin? You may find the following pages helpful.

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