General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Nebraska
There are many laws which govern the attendance requirements for children in schools in the state of Nebraska. Children must participate in a school program, be it a formal institution or a homeschool program.
Children who reach 6 years of age on or after January 1 of a given school year, must attend school. The child must then attend school until they are either 18 or 16 years of age (and have completed an exit interview or have a notarized signed release from a parent/guardian) or successfully completed the program of study.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Nebraska
To homeschool in the state of Nebraska, parents must send the following information to the Commissioner of Education:
- Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate (on the first year in which they are begin homeschooled)
- A notice of intent to operate a private school (30 days prior to beginning the homeschooling year)
- A signed statement which states that they are choosing to homeschool their child
You also need to show that you meet minimum requirements in health, fire, and safety standards, your child meets the required schooling age, and that you can provide a structured education program. You should also demonstrate that you can give this tuition (though there are no laws governing specific requirements of the parents/guardians).
Learn more about homeschool laws in Nebraska in this short video below:
If you are homeschooling for non-religious reasons, you must also comply with immunization requirements.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Nebraska
There are no parent/guardian qualifications needed to teach your child in the state of Nebraska. You are responsible for what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are also no standardized tests needed to display that your child is gaining knowledge, but we recommend that you keep track of your child’s progress to show your local school board.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Nebraska
There are no laws governing the amount of instruction which you need to give to your child each year. When you start the year, you may have to come up with a plan detailing what you are teaching your child and when, but there are no laws governing how much tuition time you give to your child.
Again, we recommend making a plan for your child and keeping track of it so that you can submit it to your local school board each year.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Nebraska?
Nebraska law states that you must provide information for teaching certain subjects when you are deciding to homeschool your child. You must indicate that you will provide instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health education. You, as the parent/guardian, are responsible for the tuition.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Nebraska?
By Nebraska law, you are required to file a parent and guardian form every year. This form requires both parents (if there are two) to sign it. You must also sign and file a parent representative from each year. This includes submitting information on child enrollment, attendance, monitors, and program of instruction. Finally, an informal survey is required to be filed each year. This includes a plan for the number of hours your child will be taught, the scope of each subject, and the monitors who will be providing instruction.
Nebraska law does not dictate what and how you teach your child. There are no laws surrounding how you assess your child or what records need to be kept. However, we recommend that you keep records of everything your child does or is involved in so that you can track their progress or any disputes.
Things to include in your records include proof of attendance, information on the resources you are using (including workbooks, textbooks, online resources, etc.), samples of your child’s work, any correspondence with school officials or boards, portfolios and test results, and any other homeschooling documents which prove that you are complying with homeschooling law and regulations.
We recommend keeping your records for two years, and the best way to store them is by scanning them into your computer and storing them in separate folders, grouped by the year your child was homeschooled.
Testing is an important part of recordkeeping in homeschooling even though there are no formalized requirements in the state of Nebraska detailing what your child should be learning. You should be able to demonstrate that your child is learning and your assessments should be agreed upon before you start your homeschooling year. You should keep a record of all your child’s assessments to display that your child is learning.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Nebraska?
Yes. Under Nebraska education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child can take regular school classes as part of their homeschooling education and can split their time between home and school (as long as the school offers this).
Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Any homeschoolers who live with a disability are also eligible for services through their local public school (the same services which students with disabilities would receive if they were enrolled in public school).
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Nebraska?
Yes, and it is encouraged. One of the misconceptions of homeschooling is that your child will not be social. By enrolling in homeschooling groups and finding events near to you, you can help your child to meet other children (you can meet other homeschooling parents too).
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of Nebraska, you may want to visit the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association website.