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The Ohio home school laws are pretty straight forward and easy to follow in my opinion. Since I live in Ohio and have homeschooled 4 children for 14 years, I would say that I'm pretty familiar with the Ohio home school laws and how they work.
The Law - In layman's terms, if your child is between the ages of 6-18 by September 30th, you need to notify either your local superintendent or county superintendent, depending on where you live. We live in a rural area so we answer to the county superintendent even though our local school district has a superintendent on staff.
Since the beginning age for homeschooling in Ohio is age 6, that means that Kindergarten is NOT mandatory. Most school administrators will tell you to send your child to public school anyways, but parents must know that they are NOT required to send their children to kindergarten. I can't tell you how many people I have talked to that didn't know this!
What You Have to Do - Basically, you just need to fill out the 3301-34-03 Home Education Notification Form. It's pretty simple. You fill in the school year, your name and address, and the full name and birthdates of all your children who are between 6-18 by September 30th.
The part where parents start to get nervous when it comes to Ohio home school laws is the next part where you have to check a box saying that you will provide a minimum of 900 hours of instruction. When you break that down to 180 school days, that comes to 5 hours a day IF you don't count weekends or the Summer. If you spread that amount of hours over 365 days, that's 2.5 hours a day or 17 hours per week.
PLEASE don't let this requirement keep you from homeschooling! There is so much that you can count as Ohio home school hours, that you will easily be able to meet this requirement without even thinking about it. Any time you spend with your child talking about or observing the world around them can be considered instruction time. You can count time talking in the car, planting a garden, taking a walk, riding a bike, swimming, lessons, community and church activities, and so much more. DO NOT keep track of hours, just know that you are providing your child with lots of quantity and quality time that no teacher could ever give them.
The Ohio home school form also asks for a brief outline of intended curriculum. I just list the subjects and what we are planning to study this year for each area. If I have books, workbooks or textbooks that I will be using, I list those also. Basically, the school districts just want to know if you are studying the Civil War or Government. They don't want a general "Social Studies". They just want to be assured that you are studying something this year and that you have a plan of what direction you will be heading in your studies. Will your child be learning addition this year or long division? Our superintendent sends us examples of what they would like to see for our "intended curriculum" list.
Please don't stress over this list! Just list what you will be studying and don't worry if you switch gears or don't get to everything on your list. Public school teachers don't get all their intended curriculum done each year either.
The only other thing that is listed on the form is giving assurance that the parent either has a high school diploma or some equivalent. Then you sign the form and send it in.
How to Send Your Forms - Here are my suggestions for submitting your forms:
The Ohio Department of Education has homeschool notification forms on their website that you can download and print. It doesn't look like they have been updated in a while though. You should be able to get all the forms you need from your local or county superintendent.If you need more individualized help or want to speak to a homeschool coach. Feel free to contact me.
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