How to Start Homeschooling in Indiana: A Step-by-Step Guide


Home schooling in Indiana can be a rewarding and flexible educational journey for both parents and students. If you’re considering homeschooling your child in the Hoosier State, understanding the process can help you navigate it successfully. This step-by-step guide covers everything from legal requirements to finding support groups, ensuring you’re well-prepared to embark on this educational adventure.

Understanding Legal Requirements: Indiana Homeschool Laws Overview

Before diving into homeschooling, it’s crucial to understand Indiana’s legal framework. The state recognizes homeschooling as a form of non-public education, giving parents the freedom to design their own educational programs. However, there are some basic requirements you must meet:

  1. Instruction Days: Indiana law mandates that homeschool programs provide instruction for at least 180 days per year. This ensures that homeschooled students receive a consistent and comprehensive education.

  2. Attendance Records: Parents must maintain attendance records, which can be requested by the state superintendent. These records help ensure compliance with the state’s instructional days requirement.

  3. Curriculum: While Indiana does not prescribe a specific curriculum for homeschoolers, the instruction must be in English and cover general education subjects similar to those taught in public schools.

  4. Compulsory Attendance: Children between the ages of 7 and 18 are subject to Indiana’s compulsory attendance laws. This means that homeschooling parents must ensure their children receive regular and adequate education during these years.

With a clear understanding of the legal requirements, the next step is to make your homeschooling official.

Officially Registering Your Homeschool: Filing Notice of Intent

One of the first steps to legally homeschooling in Indiana is filing a notice of intent. This process is straightforward and involves the following steps:

  1. Notify the School: Although Indiana does not require parents to file a formal notice of intent with the state, it is recommended to inform your local school district in writing. This helps avoid any confusion or truancy issues.

  2. Withdraw Your Child: If your child is already enrolled in a public or private school, you need to formally withdraw them. Provide the school with a written notice stating your decision to homeschool.

  3. Keep Records: While filing notice isn’t mandatory, maintaining detailed records of your child’s education is beneficial. This includes attendance records, curriculum plans, and samples of work, which can be helpful if you need to demonstrate compliance with state laws.

Now that you’ve taken the necessary steps to register your homeschool, it’s time to focus on one of the most critical aspects of homeschooling: choosing your curriculum.

Selecting the Right Curriculum: Choosing Educational Materials

Selecting the right curriculum is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a homeschooling parent. Indiana’s flexible laws give you the freedom to choose materials that best suit your child’s learning style and interests. Here are some tips to guide you:

  1. Assess Your Child’s Needs: Consider your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This will help you select a curriculum that keeps them engaged and motivated.

  2. Research Options: There are countless homeschooling curricula available, ranging from traditional textbooks to online programs and unit studies. Spend time researching and comparing different options.

  3. Consider Learning Styles: Every child learns differently. Some may thrive with hands-on activities, while others prefer reading or visual aids. Choose a curriculum that aligns with your child’s preferred learning style.

  4. Budget and Resources: Homeschooling can be as affordable or as expensive as you make it. Factor in the cost of materials, resources, and any extracurricular activities when selecting your curriculum.

Choosing the right curriculum sets the foundation for a successful homeschooling experience, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Connecting with support groups can provide valuable resources and community support.

Building a Support Network: Connecting with Local Homeschool Communities

Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Indiana has a vibrant community of homeschooling families and support groups that can provide valuable resources, advice, and social opportunities. Here’s how to connect:

  1. Local Homeschool Groups: Search online for local homeschooling groups in your area. These groups often organize field trips, co-op classes, and social events, providing both educational and social benefits.

  2. Online Communities: Join online forums and social media groups dedicated to homeschooling in Indiana. These platforms are great for sharing resources, asking questions, and connecting with other homeschooling parents.

  3. Statewide Organizations: Organizations like the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) offer support, resources, and annual conferences. Joining such organizations can provide access to a wealth of information and a network of experienced homeschoolers.

  4. Community Resources: Utilize local libraries, museums, and parks for educational activities and resources. Many of these institutions offer programs and materials specifically geared towards homeschoolers.

Wrapping Up: Embarking on Your Homeschooling Journey

Starting homeschooling in Indiana is a journey filled with opportunities for personalized education and growth. By understanding the legal requirements, filing the necessary notices, choosing the right curriculum, and connecting with support groups, you can create a successful and enriching homeschool experience for your child. With the flexibility to tailor education to your child’s unique needs and interests, homeschooling in Indiana can be both a fulfilling and effective way to educate your children.

James Sullivan
the authorJames Sullivan