Homeschooling in Maryland
As a Maryland homeschooling parent, I was rather intimidated by the rules of the state. I’d first stumbled upon Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and researched the legal requirements for homeschooling in Maryland. I was concerned that it was one of the most restrictive states for homeschooling.
The state has the overarching rules:
· Contact the superintendent of schools for your county to notify them that you are planning to homeschool your child. (See list of Superintendent here: http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/pages/school-systems/superintendents.aspx )
o Do 15 days before planning to withdraw student from school
o Use form for your county listed here: MD Homeschool Notification Forms by District (https://homeschoolstatelaws.com/2017/03/20/maryland-homeschool-notification-forms/ )
· There is a law regarding attendance and instruction that has to be followed and is verified by a local school system or supervisor.
o This is where the student can use what’s called an Umbrella school to serve as that supervisor. Here is a list of Umbrella Schools and Supervising entities: http://nonpublicschoolsdb.marylandpublicschools.org/nonpublic/home_instruction/DisplayLocationsByCounty.asp
o The parent can have scheduled documentation review with the state employed supervisor that reviews and validates student is getting instruction
· Check the HSLDA website that outlines various options: https://hslda.org/content/hs101/MD.aspx
Maryland has many different counties. Each county supports homeschoolers differently. In Anne Arundel County where we used to live there was a large amount of support from the school board who had one person that managed homeschoolers.
Maryland libraries, museums, gyms and more have homeschooling events.
Unfortunately, as a homeschooling student, kids aren’t allowed to participate in public school sports or extra-curricular activities. However, the superintendent will notify their homeschooling families of certain opportunities that will accommodate homeschooled students.
Here is a list of other support for Maryland Homeschoolers:
· Maryland Homeschool Organizations and Support Groups - https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/homeschooling-in-maryland/homeschool-organizationssupport-groups/
· HomeSchooling in MD – HSLDA - https://www.hslda.org/hs/state/MD/
· Maryland Homeschool Association - http://www.mdhsa.com/
· Maryland Homeschool Resource Network - http://www.mhrn.com/
· Maryland Home Education Association (MHEA) - http://www.mhea.com/
· Hand In Hand Homeschool - http://www.handinhandhomeschool.com/
As a Maryland homeschooling family, we decided to homeschool using an Umbrella school. We searched the few offered and found one that was mostly hands off, but had quarterly events for the homeschooled kids and documentation training and review. Many Paths of Natural Learning accepted home educators that taught their kids in many ways. They acted as an advocate for many of us and provided a wealth of support for the small fee they charged. My kids got to participate in a graduation and other events sponsored by the Umbrella school.
Maryland has a large group of homeschooling families of so many variations. My family had two working parents, other families we’ve befriended were single parents, and many more.