General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Maine
As per Maine Law, MRSA title 20-A proclaims that parents of the child must provide a notice of intent if they are considering homeschooling their child. Homeschooling is to be funded exclusively by the parents, and it is separate from private or public schools. During homeschooling, parents adapt the curriculum to the child and they determine the goals of such an education system. The complete responsibility for the child’s education is on the parents.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Maine
As Maine Homeschool Laws suggests, there are two homeschooling options: either a child will be homeschooled by a parent or they must be enrolled into a private group/school. From the age of 7 to the age of 17, a child has to obey school laws. If parents decide to homeschool their child, they will need to submit a notice of intent that will be handed to both the Commissioner of Education and the local superintendent.
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The notice of intent has to be submitted within 10 days after withdrawing from public school. It should include information such as name and age of the child (student); name, signature, and address of the parent submitting the notice; a statement that ensures a homeschooling education of at least 175 days; and date homeschooling starts. Such an intent has to be submitted each year before or on September 1st (until 17th birthday).
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Maine
As mentioned, there are two main types of homeschooling in Maine – one related to parent homeschooling (under home instruction) and the other relating to private group homeschooling. Parents don’t need to have any qualifications to homeschool their child, not even a high-school diploma or a GED (though it is recommended).
On the other hand, a private group in Maine has to have a state-issued license; completed the exam for teacher competency; and a high school or a GED diploma. A person that fulfills all the above-mentioned requirements is eligible to conduct private homeschooling and act as a tutor.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Maine
There are 175 days of instruction or schooling for homeschoolers proclaimed by the state law.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Maine?
The state law of Maine related to homeschooling allows for both home instruction and private schooling. As for the subjects that need to be covered, these two options offer much the same in terms of subjects.
First and foremost, for home instruction, there are a few subjects that have to be taught throughout all homeschooling years: English and language arts; science; social studies; math; physical and health education; library skills; fine arts; and social studies. Along with that, the state law requires that computer proficiency is taught at least during one grade between grade 6 and 12.
On the other hand, being a part of a private homeschooling group has somewhat different requirements including English; math; science; American and Maine history and geography; government education; health education; and fine arts. There is no limited or instructed grade when these subjects need to be taught.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Maine?
As suggested by the HSLDA, recordkeeping is obligatory and it provides evidence of successful education done under a homeschooling program. The records that fall under the recordkeeping requirement include attendance records, documents of the student receiving education according to state law, tests and portfolio, books and materials used in the program, as well as samples of completed work.
Such recordkeeping may prove beneficial both to students (when they need proof of completed program) as well as to the instructor under an investigation. These records should be kept for at least two years, while the ones relating to high school studies should be kept for life.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Maine?
Maine Homeschool Law suggests that part-time enrollment is allowed for students that are a part of a private homeschooling program. Homeschool students are allowed to partially enroll in public school classes, as long as they are able to comply with the required academic achievements.
Such an application is approved by a superintendent who can deny it but not without a strict reason. On the other hand, students that are homeschooled under home instruction aren’t allowed to be a part of the part-time enrollment program.
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Maine?
Absolutely, and unlike the part-time enrollment program, homeschoolers do not need approval for participating in sports and extracurricular activities held by public schools. Having access to and being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools is a regulation that applies only to the homeschoolers that are a part of the private homeschooling program. Those that are a part of a home instruction program aren’t allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.
Additionally, homeschoolers with disabilities do have access to testing in their public schools – although this question is regulated separately by each district – most of Maine’s districts allow for free access to given services.
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of Maine, you may want to visit the Association of Homeschoolers of Maine website.