Homeschooling in Ohio: Guidance for Getting Started
Homeschooling in Ohio provides a wealth of learning opportunities, social engagement, and educational success for homeschooling families. This guide has everything you need to get started homeschooling in The Buckeye State. Find out state reporting requirements and standards, Ohio homeschool teacher qualifications, the state’s best field trips, and much, much more!
DISCLAIMER: This article is not written as legal advice. Check with your local school board and official Ohio laws before making decisions about educating your children.
Is it easy to homeschool in Ohio?
Ohio is considered to be a Moderate Regulation state by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This means that the state of Ohio has an average level of requirement for families looking to homeschool.
While the provisions governing homeschoolers are modest, homeschool parents in Ohio love having access to a large and thriving community of families choosing to learn at home.
The best thing about homeschooling in Ohio is how many different things my children can do in the community. We have so many co-ops, combined field trips, student-led plays and musicals, and even playdates with other homeschool families. I think it's one of the best states for homeschooling," says Kayleen F., a Sonight Mom in the Columbus, OH Area.
According to the Ohio State Department of Education, more than 50,000 students in Ohio are currently being homeschooled. This represents roughly 2% of the total population of students, a number that has risen significantly since 2018. This growth shows no sign of slowing down.
What are the Homeschooling Requirements In Ohio?
There are two options for homeschooling in Ohio.
- Homeschool under Ohio’s Homeschool Statute
- Homeschool as a non-chartered, non-tax supported school (also known as an -08 school)
There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Explore the various requirements associated with these options below.
Option 1: Ohio’s Homeschool Statute
Homeschooling under the state’s homeschool statute is the option a majority of homeschool parents choose in Ohio. Under this statute, families must fulfill the following requirements:
- Submit a notification of intent to homeschool annually
- Meet minimum parent teacher qualifications
- Teach subjects required by the state
- Meet minimum learning hours requirement
- Assess academic proficiency annually
Look at each of these conditions in more detail below.
Option 2: Homeschooling As A Non-Chartered, Non-Tax Supported School (“- 08 school”)
The second option available to homeschoolers is to form a separate, non-chartered, non-tax supported school. Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-08 permits “a school which is not chartered by the state board of education, nor seeking a charter, because of truly held religious beliefs to operate if it meets certain minimum standards.” The administrative code is what gives this option the “- 08 School” name.
While this is a legally viable option for homeschoolers, it does require a significant investment in time, money, and energy as you are essentially creating your own legal school from scratch.
More Legal Questions Regarding Homeschooling In Ohio
Is unschooling legal in Ohio?
Unschooling is legal in Ohio (and in all 50 states). This is simply one, child-led approach to learning that parents may choose in order to achieve their home education goals. As long as you are able to meet all of the requirements outlined in Ohio state homeschool statutes, you may choose any approach you like, including unschooling.
Can I homeschool someone else's child in Ohio?
Parents or legal guardians who complete a notice of intent to homeschool are legally responsible for their child’s home education. That being said, a parent in Ohio may opt to employ an outside tutor or teacher for home instruction, as long as that person also meets the minimum teaching credentials for the state.
At what age is school mandatory in Ohio?
School is mandatory for all students ages 6-18 in Ohio. This compulsory school requirement also applies to homeschoolers.
Can you skip kindergarten in Ohio?
Because school is not required in Ohio prior to age 6, you have the option to skip kindergarten and begin formal education at grade 1. Many families however, choose to complete some sort of early childhood education in their homeschool prior to age 6.
These three early years programs from Sonlight are perfect for pre-K and kindergarten learning: