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  • Writer's pictureKrystyna

A Comprehensive Guide for Homeschooling in Louisiana

Are you considering homeschooling in Louisiana, or perhaps you're already on this educational journey and seeking valuable insights? You've come to the right place.


In this comprehensive guide, we'll navigate the intricate landscape of homeschooling in Louisiana, providing you with essential information, expert advice, and practical tips to ensure your homeschooling experience is a resounding success.


Please note: this blog is not intended as legal advice. Always consult your local school board and official Louisiana laws when making decisions regarding your children's education.


Is Homeschooling Easy in Louisiana?

Absolutely! Registering as a homeschooler in Louisiana is a straightforward process with minimal requirements. In fact, Louisiana is considered a low-regulation state for homeschooling.


Requirements for Homeschooling in Louisiana

Louisiana offers two methods for homeschooling:

The regulations for homeschooling in Louisiana vary depending on which method you choose. The first option provides more freedom and parental responsibility, while the second option requires additional documentation but offers benefits like eligibility for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS Scholarship). You can switch between these options at any time.


In Louisiana, homeschoolers opting for the most freedom choose the "Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval" category. By registering as a nonpublic school, you essentially establish your own private school, which exempts you from adhering to any state-mandated requirements.


Upon concluding your annual registration, the only task remaining is to fill out the online attendance data form within 15 days from the start of your school year. This form should include essential details like your homeschool's name, the number of enrolled students, and your contact information. Beyond this step, there are no further reporting obligations to the state. Refer to the Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval guidelines for specific requirements.


The "Home Study" option entails a more extensive documentation and approval process facilitated by the Louisiana Department of Education. When submitting your application, you have the responsibility of selecting your child's grade level. After completing the first year of Home Study homeschooling, you'll be required to demonstrate that your educational program aligns with the public school curriculum. This can be achieved through providing curriculum details, standardized test results, or obtaining confirmation from a certified teacher. The renewal for Home Study must be completed within 12 months of the previous application.


It is essential to note that as a parent, you are accountable for generating a transcript upon your child's graduation. However, it's worth mentioning that all colleges recognize a diploma awarded to a student who has completed the Home Study program. To qualify for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), a state-funded scholarship designed for eligible students intending to attend a Louisiana college or university, students must be registered as Home Study learners during their 11th and 12th-grade years. Refer to the Home Study guidelines for specific requirements.


How Many Days of School Are Required in Louisiana?

For both the Approved Home Study and Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval options, homeschoolers must complete at least 180 school days. But keep in mind that school is always happening, even outside the workbooks, with nature walks, cooking, experiments, and more. These all count! And a typical day of homeschooling requires far less time than a typical public school day.


What age is school mandatory in Louisiana?

School is mandatory in Louisiana starting at age 5.


Can my child skip kindergarten?

Since school attendance becomes mandatory at age 5 in Louisiana, skipping kindergarten is not an option. However, you can certainly choose to homeschool your child for kindergarten! In fact, many homeschooling families begin introducing brief daily learning activities as early as age 3 to gently prepare their children for formal education.


How long can you homeschool a child in Louisiana?

You have the option to homeschool during the compulsory schooling years, spanning from ages 5 to 18. Furthermore, you can even begin earlier with preschool or pre-K at home.


Families have the flexibility to homeschool for a year or two and then re-enroll their children in public or private schools if they wish. On the other hand, some families choose to homeschool continuously from kindergarten to high school graduation. In Louisiana, the array of educational choices allows you to make the decision to homeschool or explore other options on a yearly basis.


Do Parents Need Specific Qualifications in Louisiana?

No, Louisiana does not require parents to have specific qualifications to homeschool their children. There are numerous successful homeschooling parents in Louisiana who do an excellent job without formal education backgrounds or degrees. You've got this!


Is Unschooling Legal in Louisiana?

Yes, unschooling is a valid educational approach where a child's natural curiosity guides their daily studies. In Louisiana, unschooling is legal under the Nonpublic School option. If you choose the Approved Home Study option, you'll need to meet specific curriculum requirements, but you can still incorporate some unschooling practices into your homeschooling.


Are Homeschoolers Required to Take Standardized Tests?

Louisiana does not require homeschoolers to undergo state standardized testing. However, a parent may schedule state testing (i.e., English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies) for their child through the local school board’s testing administrator.


What if we are a military family stationed in Louisiana?

Military families are required to adhere to the homeschooling regulations of the state in which they are currently residing, so based on your physical location here in Louisiana. This means that, just like public school students would attend the school in your area, homeschooled students are subject to the jurisdiction and homeschooling laws of Louisiana, rather than their designated home state.


Do You Need a Curriculum for Homeschooling in Louisiana?

Louisiana offers flexibility when it comes to choosing a homeschool curriculum. Under the Nonpublic School option, you have the freedom to decide whether or not to use a formal curriculum. However, we find having some form of educational guidance is helpful. Younger children require a less structured curriculum, as parents can create engaging learning experiences through field trips, reading, hands-on activities, and discussions. We find that most parents appreciate having a curriculum for planning purposes, especially one that provides resources like manipulatives, craft kits, and book collections. Under the Home Study option, you'll need to maintain a sustained curriculum at a quality level equivalent to public schools.


Do I need to keep records of my kid's work?

Even though Louisiana doesn't require a portfolio, it's wise to have documentation on hand just in case an official ever questions you (and do NOT let that statement worry you. It is not the norm).


We recommend adhering to the same three-year retention guideline as you would for your taxes. This involves keeping records of work from the last three years, focusing on selected samples that highlight progress and accomplishments. This will also prove to be invaluable if life takes a different direction, and homeschooling is no longer part of your plans.


And remember to maintain these records for your own benefit as well! They not only come in handy when you need to boost your morale by recognizing all that you've achieved but also provide a tangible measure of your child's progress and allow you to cherish their adorable moments.


Will my teen get a high school diploma and transcript?

As a Louisiana homeschooler, you are responsible for issuing your teen's diploma and transcript as these documents are not provided by the state or public schools.


Can my child participate in high school sports?

A "home study" student may be allowed to participate in interscholastic athletic activities at a public or at a state-approved nonpublic high school that is also a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Participation at a public school is based solely on the approval of the school principal. Participation at a non-public school is at the sole discretion of the governing authority of such school. Students registered as "Nonpublic School, Not Seeking Approval" are not eligible.


For more information on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, please visit: http://lhsaa.org.


Can my child play sports in college?

If you want to play NCAA sports at a Division I or II school, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center if you were home schooled for any part of high school. If you are planning to attend a Division III school, you do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.


Getting Started


If your child previously attended a public school, remember to officially withdraw them before transitioning to homeschooling.


  1. Essential Supplies for Homeschooling: Once you've chosen your homeschooling approach and completed the necessary paperwork, it's time to gather essential tools and supplies. Use a printable checklist to ensure you have everything you need, including standard school supplies, math manipulatives, maps, science kits, and crafts. Create a rich reading environment with a variety of genres and complement your collection with library books. Consider investing in a pre-planned curriculum to streamline lesson planning.

  2. Preparing Your Homeschool Area: Designate a dedicated space in your home for homeschooling activities. This area should be versatile enough for family read-alouds and table work. It can be as simple as your living room couch and kitchen table. Organize your curriculum and supplies on shelves or in cabinets to keep everything easily accessible and organized.

  3. Connecting with Other Homeschoolers: While homeschooling can be a personal journey, connecting with other homeschooling families is beneficial for support and socialization. Explore homeschooling groups, co-ops, and communities in Louisiana, such as Homeschool Louisiana, which offers a supportive network and valuable resources for both parents and children.

  4. Homeschooling for High School in Louisiana: Homeschooling for high school follows the same rules and requirements as lower grades in Louisiana. However, it's essential to align your teen's education with their future plans and ensure their transcript meets college admission requirements, if applicable. Consider transitioning to the Approved Home Study option during 11th and 12th grades to be eligible for the TOPS Scholarship program, which has specific ACT score and academic requirements.


Take a moment to breathe deeply and recognize that you don't need to have everything perfectly in place from the start. You have the freedom to experiment with different daily schedules, explore various curricula, and employ diverse teaching methods to discover what best suits your family's needs. It's perfectly okay to make mistakes along the way because you can always adjust your approach as necessary.


Homeschooling in Louisiana offers a multitude of advantages; don't allow fear to deter you from embarking on this incredible journey!



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