Homeschooling in Louisiana: Guidance for Getting Started

Are you a Louisiana resident or considering a family move to the Creole State? If you’re wondering about homeschooling in Louisiana, this guide is a perfect starting point! You’ll find out the most important Louisiana homeschooling information, including laws, regulations, and requirements. You’ll see the exact starting points for homeschooling—whether your child is already in public school or is about to turn five years old. Get your best Louisiana-specific homeschool guidance right here. 

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

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

Is it easy to homeschool in Louisiana?

Great news! It’s easy to register as a homeschooler, and the requirements are minimal. Accordingly, the Home School Legal Defense Association labels Louisiana a low regulation state

According to Ginger G., a Sonlighter from Pineville, LA,

Louisiana has been easy to homeschool in because reporting has been very minimal.”
The C. Family, Sonlighters from Maurice, LAThe C. Family, Sonlighters from Maurice, LA
The C. Family, Sonlighters from Maurice, LA

Requirements for Homeschooling in Louisiana

Louisiana homeschooling statues outline two ways to educate your children at home

  1. Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval 
  2. Approved Home Study

The rules for homeschooling in the Pelican State vary a bit depending on which of these two methods you choose. The first gives nearly complete freedom and responsibility to the parent. The second method requires more documentation but provides perks such as eligibility in the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS).

You can move from Nonpublic homeschooled to Approved Home Study (or vice versa) at any time.

How many days are required for homeschool in Louisiana?

For both the Approved Home Study option and the Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval option, homeschoolers are required to have at least 180 days of school. 

The great news is that homeschooling in Louisiana is incredibly efficient, and your school day will take a fraction of the typical public school day! 

Do parents need qualifications to homeschool in Louisiana?
Do you have to be certified to homeschool in Louisiana?
Who is eligible for homeschooling in Louisiana?
​​​​Is unschooling legal in Louisiana?
Do homeschoolers have to take standardized tests in Louisiana?
Can I homeschool someone else's child in Louisiana?
The M. Family SonlightersThe M. Family Sonlighters
The M. Family Sonlighters

What are the homeschool requirements in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, homeschoolers who want the greatest breadth of freedom educate their children under a category called a Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval.

If your child has been enrolled in a public school, be sure to first officially withdraw them. Then file the online attendance data here to become a Nonpublic School homeschooler. You’ll be asked to give your homeschool a name and indicate how many students are enrolled along with general data like address, phone, email, and parish. 

There is a second option called Home Study that requires additional documentation since it is actually approved by the Louisiana Dept. of Education. After the initial school year of Home Study homeschooling, you will be required to verify that the education you’re providing is equivalent to that in your child’s grade level in public school. Thankfully, there are three ways to provide the proof required for homeschooling in Louisiana under the Approved Home Study option: 

  1. supply information about the curriculum you’re using
  2. showing results on a standardized test
  3. submit confirmation from a certified teacher 

See the Home Study guidelines for precise requirements for the Home Study option.

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

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing your homeschool curriculum in the Bayou State. As you weigh your options, use this free printable Curriculum Comparison Checklist to see how each program measures up.

If you’re homeschooling in Louisiana under the Nonpublic School option, the choice is yours to use a curriculum or not. It makes sense to have a guide of some sort though. Of course, the younger your child, the less important a formal curriculum is. A conscientious parent can provide a great at-home learning experience through field trips, lots of great books, hands-on play, and parent-child dialogue. But most parents appreciate having a plan to rely on—not to mention a supply of ready-to-go resources like manipulatives, craft kits, and carefully curated book collections. Sonlight can provide this nearly foolproof open-and-go homeschool experience for you. Watch the video below to see everything you get in an All-Subjects Package.

If you opt to homeschool in Louisiana under the Home Study option, you will need a “sustained curriculum of a quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.”

After your initial year of homeschooling under the Home Study option, you’ll be expected to prove that your curriculum is adequate by either showing test results that demonstrate grade level proficiency, having a certified teacher affirm that your curriculum is adequate, or by detailing the contents of your instructional program. The latter option is easy to achieve! For example, in the case of a family using Sonlight, they can easily print out the Scope & Sequence for the programs you are using and add in the book list (found in the Instructor’s Guide). 

What do I need to homeschool my child in Louisiana?

Once you’ve chosen your option for homeschooling in Louisiana and filed the necessary paperwork, it’s time to supply yourself with the tools you’ll need. Use this free printable checklist as a guide.

You’ll want a home environment that’s rich in reading material of all kinds: non-fiction, poetry, magazines, novels, biographies, reference books, etc. Gather common school supplies, office supplies, and hands-on learning tools like math manipulatives, maps, games, puzzles, science kits, and crafts. 

Of course, you can slowly build your homeschool supplies, buying a few things each school year that your children will turn to over and over. And you can supplement your own collection with books you borrow from the library. 

To tie it all together, invest in a pre-planned curriculum that will serve as your daily guide. You have enough decisions on your plate. Let your curriculum do the heavy lifting when it comes to lesson plans and pacing. 

Think about how to organize your supplies and how to structure your time. These two videos will help!

Keep records of your school year. Here are some good tips. Even though Louisiana doesn’t require a portfolio, it’s wise to have documentation on hand just in case an official ever questioned you. But keep records for yourself, too! They come in handy when you need to give yourself a pep talk about all you’ve accomplished, tangibly see just how far your child has progressed, or just to admire their cuteness! Use the Sonlight homeschool planner to help you both plan and record your school year. 

Probably above all, you'll need the proper mindset. If you weren’t homeschooled, you may need to shed public school defaults and open your mind to the amazing freedoms you have for learning that’s far beyond, and superior to, the norm! Here’s a video to help you made that transition:

Getting Started as a Louisiana Homeschooler

So now that you know the basic legal regulations to fulfill, how does day-to-day homeschooling work in Louisiana? The great news is that you have loads of flexibility. But with all those possibilities, some parents can feel a bit overwhelmed. 

Take a deep breath! Realize that you don’t have to get everything right immediately. You can try different daily schedules, various curriculums, and methods of teaching to find out what works for your family. You can make changes as necessary. And you will make mistakes. But you can adjust course at any time! 

There are so many benefits of homeschooling in Louisiana; don’t let fear keep you from trying this amazing experience

How do I start homeschooling in Louisiana?

Here are your steps for getting started with homeschooling in Louisiana.

  1. If your child is currently enrolled in a public school, officially withdraw them.
  2. Next decide what kind of homeschool you’d like to set up: the Nonpublic School or Approved Home Study.
  3. Then file the needed online forms with the Louisiana Department of Education for your option of choice. 
  4. Choose your curriculum and outline your yearly plan.
  5. Designate a homeschool area with a place for family read-alouds and a place for table work. (This can be as simple as your couch and kitchen table.)
  6. Organize your curriculum and school supplies on a shelf or cabinet.
  7. Connect with other homeschoolers who can provide support and practical answers.
  8. Relax and enjoy your kids! You are creating memories you all will cherish for a lifetime!

For more details about getting started, see this comprehensive guide and watch the video below.

At what age is school mandatory in Louisiana?

School is mandatory in Louisiana from ages 5-18. 

Can you skip kindergarten in Louisiana?

Because school is compulsory starting at age 5, you can’t skip kindergarten in Louisiana. But you can absolutely do kindergarten at home as a homeschooler! In fact, many homeschoolers start to gently do a few minutes of school each day as early as age 3. To assist with these ages prior to 1st grade, consider these three early years programs from Sonlight:

  1. product-img
    Pre-Kindergarten Package
  2. product-img
    All-Subjects Package K