General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Delaware
In Delaware, the law states that all children who are between the ages of 5 and 16 years of age (on or before the 31st August of the current school year) must attend school. Delaware recognizes two types of homeschool: single family, and multi-family homeschools. To be considered a legitimate homeschool, registration with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is required, as is an annual report on enrollment and attendance.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Delaware
In order to homeschool your child and/or other children, you must officially open a non-public school via the DDOE online notification system. This account will enable you to notify the DDOE of the enrollment of any child for homeschooling and report their attendance record at the end of the school year. Information relating to enrollment is required before 5th October and attendance information by July 31st.
Learn more about Delaware Homeschool in the video below:
To withdraw a child from either a public or private school to homeschool them during the school year, it is recommended that you formally do so in writing. If you intend withdrawing them between school years, and the child has already been enrolled for the school year to come, you should give formal notice of intent to withdraw before the next school year begins. This is to ensure that the school with which they were originally enrolled, does not mark them as truanting or absent.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Delaware
In Delaware, there are no requirements for anyone opening or teaching in a homeschool scenario to have any formal education or teaching qualifications. The DDOE define two types of homeschool: (i) Single family, (ii) Multi-family. For a multi-family homeschool, a person must be designated as the liaison to the DDOE for matters such as information relating to attendance and enrollment.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Delaware
The state of Delaware does not define, nor does it require any specific number of hours per day, nor does it require a minimum number of days per year. It does state the general requirement that a child of school age must attend school (public or private) and that the child’s attendance record be maintained throughout the school year and submitted to the DDOE at the end of the school year.
What Subjects Need to Be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) In Delaware?
Delaware’s homeschooling laws do not have any requirements or guidelines in relation to the subjects that can or cannot be taught to children who are homeschooling. It follows that with no specified subjects, there is also no minimum time allocated each week for any single subject. This means that the homeschool is responsible for all educational courses, supplies, and materials.
Taking this a stage further it also follows that with no subjects specified, nor minimum time allocation, the DDOE does not require, keep or recognize any test scores, grades or diplomas awarded by a homeschool. It does recommend that a portfolio is kept of each child’s academic achievements during homeschool, although it does not guarantee that this will be recognized when considering any of the child’s next step in their education.
What Are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Delaware?
The state of Delaware has two main reporting requirements which every homeschool must comply with, in order to remain open and to be considered active. The first is the annual enrollment report which must have information on any child who will be attending the homeschool during the school year. The applicable dates for this report to be submitted are normally between August 2nd and October 5th each year.
The second report which is required by the DDOE is the attendance report. The dates between which this report needs to be submitted are June 1st and July 31st. The information in the report should include the number of days the homeschool was open during the school year, and also the number of days each child was considered to be in attendance.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Delaware?
The law in the state of Delaware in relation to part-time enrollment neither requires this to be allowed nor does it prohibit it either. Instead, the decision as to whether a child can enroll part-time in a public school is made by the school district which has the jurisdiction.
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Delaware?
If a child attends homeschool, they will not be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in Delaware if they relate to athletics or sport. This is due to regulations 1008 and 1009 as laid down by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA). These DIAA rules state that only students who attend a full-time school which is a member of the DIAA, are allowed to represent their school at interschool athletics events.