Can I home school my child?
Yes, if the answer to each of the following questions is “yes”:
- Are you the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s)?
- Is your child between the ages of 6 and 18?
Effective July 1, 2016, Oregon school attendance law (ORS 339.010) has been amended, lowering the age of compulsory attendance from age 7 to 6. Students who are age 6 on or before September 1st, must be enrolled in school – public school, private school or home school.
Do I need school/district permission to home school?
No. Parents may decide to home school at any time and no permission or approval is needed from their local school or school district.
What do I do if I want to home school my child?
Provide one time, written notification of your intentions to home school to Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District:
- Your notification must be submitted within 10 days of withdrawing your child from public or private school. If your child has never attended school, you must notify us of your intentions to home school once the child is six years old. We will send you an acknowledgment letter or email and let you know when test results will be due for your child.
- Students enrolled in an online private school are considered home school students and need to notify LBL ESD of their intention to home school. Students enrolled in an online public charter school are considered public school students and are NOT considered home school students.
Who has responsibility for my child’s education once I start home schooling?
Parents have full responsibility for and freedom to design their student’s education. The decision to home school means you must decide what to teach and are responsible for selecting and purchasing all curriculum and materials.
How do I know what to teach?
Oregon law does not specify any specific course of study. Parents may teach whatever they feel is best for their student. It may be helpful to review the National Education Standards, Oregon Content Standards and a World Book Encyclopedia’s Typical Course of Study list. Links to these resources are on the LBL ESD home school resource list.
Where do I find books and materials?
LBL ESD offers a home school resource list with contact information for local support groups, curriculum resources, and other information. Public libraries or resident school districts may have some curriculum and instructional materials available for home school students. Other sources of curriculum include used book stores, teacher supply stores, free curriculum websites, home school curriculum vendors, and online or correspondence schools.
What if I decide to send my child back to school or move out of the area?
Your child’s home school notification will remain active until you notify us of a change. Please notify our office before registering your student in public/private school, or if you are moving out of the Linn, Benton, or Lincoln county area. You can request a withdrawal from home school by phone, email, fax, or through our website. Students cannot be enrolled in a local public school until they have been withdrawn from home school.
What about testing?
Home schooled students must take a test at the completion of grades 3, 5, 8 and 10, per OAR 581-021-0026. If your child completes the 3rd, 5th, 8th or 10th grade during this 18-month window of time, testing does not need to occur until the next required grade level. If the child never attended public or private school, the first test must be taken at the end of 3rd grade. Special testing rules exist for students with disabilities.
Parents are responsible for all testing arrangements and costs, and need to keep their students’ test scores and be able to provide them if asked.
What happens if I am out of compliance with home school laws?
Students who are not in compliance with notification and testing requirements for home school are released and no longer exempt from public school attendance. It is important that parents or guardians keep up with appropriate requirements.
Can home schooled students participate in any public school activities?
Yes. Parents or guardians can make arrangements with their resident public school district for home school students to participate in interscholastic/extracurricular activities or attend public school on a part-time or limited basis. LBL ESD is not involved in making or overseeing such arrangements and interested parents or guardians should contact their resident public school district. Home school students establishing eligibility for interscholastic activities (athletics, music, speech, etc) must test annually at the end of each school year (prior to Aug. 15th) because test scores are used to determine eligibility for the following year.
Parents need to submit these test results directly to their resident school district.
For more information, call our office or view the OSAA Home School Eligibility Guidelines
Does my home schooled child receive a high school diploma?
LBL ESD does not issue credits, transcripts or diplomas for home school students. Public school districts are not required to award credit for work completed at home. The acceptance by a local public school of high school credit earned while homeschooling is determined by local district board policy (OAR 581-021-0210). Please contact your local school or district with any questions.
Is my home schooled child eligible to participate in GED classes and testing?
Yes. Home schooled students over the age of 16 are eligible to participate in GED classes and testing with the proper authorization forms from LBL ESD. Please contact our office at least one week in advance of when you need the completed forms.
Can a home schooled child go to college?
Yes. Many colleges are very welcoming to home school students. However, admission policies may vary. Please contact colleges your student may be interested in to discuss their specific requirements and procedures.