Homeschooling in Indiana: Guidance for Getting Started

Although homeschooling is legal in every state, each has its own set of requirements and expectations for homeschooling families. 

This guide has everything you need to get started and thrive as you homeschool in Indiana. Learn what paperwork is required, the necessary qualifications, what you need to get started, and ultimately, how to best meet your family’s needs as you homeschool in Indiana.

Homeschooling in Indiana: Guidance for Getting StartedHomeschooling in Indiana: Guidance for Getting Started

DISCLAIMER: This article is not written as legal advice. Check with your local school board and official Indiana laws before making decisions about educating your children.

Is it easy to homeschool in Indiana?

The good news is, families report that it is actually quite easy to homeschool in The Hoosier State. 

While home education is regulated in Indiana, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association has designated Indiana as a no-notice, low-regulation state. Most families find that low regulation means increased flexibility and greater ease as they homeschool.

Homeschooling in Indiana is growing in popularity with more and more opportunities for support statewide. The Indiana Department of Education says that homeschooling is “quickly becoming a significant educational phenomenon” in the state. In fact, over the past eight years, the number of homeschooled children in the state of Indiana has increased by 400 percent!

 

The D. Family, Sonlighters from Indianapolis, INThe D. Family, Sonlighters from Indianapolis, IN
The D. Family, Sonlighters from Indianapolis, IN

Requirements for Homeschooling in Indiana

Indiana state statutes designate homeschools as nonaccredited private schools under the law. With this designation, you must meet the following requirements in order to homeschool in Indiana:

  • Instruction must be provided in English and be equivalent to other educational options in the state.
  • Teach the number of days required by the state each school year. This is typically 180 days. 
  • Keep records of attendance and be prepared to make these records available to the state if requested.
  • Provide learner information to the state if requested, including the number of children being homeschooled and their grade levels. 

If your child has never been enrolled in a public school, notification of your intent to homeschool is not required. If you are withdrawing your child from a public school, you will need to notify the child’s school that you are withdrawing. 

Public school officials in Indiana may request that you submit an online enrollment form. This is completely voluntary and not required under state law.

How many days are required for homeschool in Indiana?

Indiana homeschoolers are required to meet the same school day requirements as private schools in the state. This is typically 180 days. There are no statutes mandating which days throughout the calendar year meet these requirements. 

Racheal A. a Sonlight homeschooler from Fort Wayne, IN says,

Homeschooling in Indiana is fun. We can do school on the days that make the most sense for our schedule. This means we can include my husband on weekend days and homeschool through the summer.”

State statutes require that you maintain an “accurate daily record of attendance” but this is not required to be submitted to any agency. You simply keep track of the days you homeschool in any manner you like and maintain these records throughout the school year.

How many hours are required for homeschooling in Indiana?

There are no minimum instructional hours for Indiana homeschoolers. Much like the flexibility in the days you choose to homeschool, the same is true for the hours you devote to learning.  In Indiana, you choose the number of hours, as well as which hours to devote to learning each day. 

In general, the school day for homeschoolers is typically much shorter than that of students in public schools, because it is so much more efficient. This means you do not have to follow the typical 7:30 - 2:30 schedule of your local public school. 

It is a good idea to maintain some records in your homeschool, in case there is ever any question about your fitness as a homeschooling parent. Again, while this is totally optional, we suggest keeping records of the following:

  • The days you completed learning activities
  • A summary of what you learned
  • a list of curriculum and any other resources
  • field trip recaps
  • extra-curricular activities and co-ops
  • samples of your child’s work

Using the Sonlight planner can help you easily organize this information.  It includes pages for the most common records that homeschoolers keep.

Many parents find they appreciate having these records for their own personal benefit. It’s so rewarding to look back and see growth from the beginning of a school year to the end.

Do you have to be certified to homeschool in Indiana?
Who is eligible for homeschooling in Indiana?
​Is unschooling legal in Indiana?
Can I homeschool someone else's child in Indiana?
The H. Family, Sonlighters in Indianapolis, INThe H. Family, Sonlighters in Indianapolis, IN
The H. Family, Sonlighters in Indianapolis, IN

Do homeschoolers have to take standardized tests in Indiana?

There is no requirement for standardized testing or any other documentation of learning in Indiana. However, your high schooler may wish to take national standardized tests for university admittance. 

Do you have to have a curriculum when homeschooling in Indiana?

There is no specific curriculum requirement for homeschoolers in Indiana. You are free to select the curriculum and learning resources you like for your child in all subject areas. 

We realize that looking for homeschool curriculum resources can be a daunting task. Although legally, you are free to homeschool in the state of Indiana without a set curriculum, having a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum makes homeschooling so much easier!

The Sonlight All-Subjects Package covers everything you need to homeschool in Indiana. Providing a rich and engaging learning experience for your child makes all the difference in the practical, day-to-day realities of homeschool life. 

As you research various homeschool curriculum options, you may be curious about online homeschool programs. While online learning certainly has its place in homeschooling, there are incredible benefits to Sonlight’s Literature Based Approach. Literature for learning is the basis of all Sonlight curriculum options, creating an immersive and accessible experience for your learner. 

Getting Started as an Indiana homeschooler

You may be wondering what homeschooling in Indiana is really like on a day-to-day basis. If you are trying to determine the best way to get started, a great place to begin is with our 101 Guide to Getting Started as a Homeschooler.

One of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a curriculum for your homeschool. Your choice should reflect the approach you plan to take for learning in your home, as well as all the subjects you hope to cover. 

We also recommend that you designate an area in your home for all of your homeschool books and supplies. We are NOT saying that you need to have an entire room for homeschooling. In fact, many families find that the dining room table or living room couch are the areas most likely to be used for learning. 

At what age is school mandatory in Indiana?

Compulsory school attendance is not required in Indiana until your child is 7. However, parents who wish to begin homeschooling prior to the age of 7 may certainly do so. 

Can you skip kindergarten in Indiana?

Because school attendance is not required prior to age 7, you may skip kindergarten as a homeschooler in Indiana. Many families, however, find that some sort of learning is not only beneficial but fun for younger children in the family.

We recommend taking a gentle approach to early learning.

If you are considering homeschooling prior to first grade, take a look at Sonlight’s three early years programs:

  1. product-img
    Pre-Kindergarten Package
    $406.84
    $478.64
  2. product-img
    All-Subjects Package K
    $780.65
    $975.81