How to Homeschool in Rhode Island

Before you start to homeschool your children, you will  need to take a look at homeschooling laws in Rhode Island.  By complying with these laws from the very beginning, you can avoid problems for yourself and your children.  You will be able to homeschool without fear of the local authorities.

Qualifications as a teacher

It is not necessary to have a teaching certificate or any other special qualifications to homeschool in Rhode Island.  All that is required of you to homeschool your children is that you can prove that you are capable of providing “thorough and efficient instruction” in the subjects that Rhode Island requires.  You will need to be approved by your local school.

Permission and requirements

Every homeschool parent in the state of Rhode Island must get permission from their local school system.  You will have to show them what material you plan to use and prove to them that you will be teaching your children the required subjects.  You also have to agree that your child will be in school for 180 days and that you will maintain a calendar showing those days.  You are not required to teach the same 180 days that the public schools do.

Standardized tests are not required in Rhode Island.  However every family has to work with their local school district to provide some method of evaluating what their child has learned during the year.  Standardized testing is one of the easiest ways to do it.  The parents have the right to choose which test and where it is to be taken.

Compulsory attendance

In July, 2011, the compulsory attendance age was changed from 16 to 18.  This means that parents must continue to submit proof of homeschooling for their children until they turn 18.  It makes record keeping more time consuming for the parents, but it is necessary for compliance to the Rhode Island homeschooling laws.

There are two exemptions to this law.  If the child has been accepted into college, he can be exempt from the homeschooling law at the age of 16.  Parents are also given the option of planning an alternative learning system that is approved by the local school superintendent. 

Type of curriculum

Rhode Island homeschool families are not required to use a certain type of curriculum or specific books.  They are required to teach writing, geography, reading, mathematics, U.S. history, Rhode Island history, civics, P.E. and health.  In high school, homeschoolers must study both the Rhode Island and the U.S. Constitutions.

Homeschooling in Rhode Island is overseen by the local school district, not the Department of Education.  This article is not to be used as legal advice.  If you have any questions concerning legal requirements for homeschooling in Rhode Island, contact your local school district.