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  Home Schooling - Frequently Asked Questions

Q:   Does Maryland law permit a student of mandatory school age to be home schooled instead of
       attending a public or a nonpublic school?


YES.  Maryland law, Education Article, 7-301, Annotated Code of Maryland, Compulsory Attendance, states that each child who resides in Maryland and is 5 years old or older (as of September 1 of each school year) and under 16 shall attend a public school regularly during the entire school year unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public school to children of the same age. Maryland recognizes nonpublic schools and home instruction as alternatives to public school enrollment as a means of students to receive regular, thorough instruction.   

Q:   Do Are there regulations that govern home instruction in Maryland?  

YES.  COMAR 13A.10.01 Home Instruction, are the regulations that govern home instruction in Maryland. The purpose of COMAR 13A.10.01 is to establish a procedure to be used by the superintendent of each local school system to determine if a child participating in a home instruction program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

Q:   What must a parent do before beginning home instruction?

At least 15 days before the beginning of a home instruction program, a parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at Home, must sign a written statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education. The parent should contact the Anne Arundel County Home School Office for a copy of the ‘Notification’ form and COMAR 13A.10.01.

Q:   Does the local school system or the Maryland State Department of Education provide a
       curriculum to parents to use for the purpose of home schooling?

NO.  A parent or guardian, who elects to provide instruction to his/her child(ren), must select the curriculum to be used. The home instruction regulations do, however, specify the subjects that must be taught by the parent.


NO, Anne Arundel County Public Schools does not provide materials for a student enrolled in a home school program, who is not enrolled in the public school system. Parents must provide the instructional curriculum and materials needed to provide instruction in the seven subject areas: Language Arts (English), Math, Science, Social Studies (History/Geography), Art, Music, and Physical Education. All materials needed for a home school program are the responsibility of the parent, home instructor. You may access the curriculum information for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools at for specific content covered in the different curriculum areas. 

Q.   What subject areas of home instruction are mandatory?

English (Language arts), mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education are the subject areas that parents or guardians must teach their children who are being instructed at home.

Q:   Must home instruction be supervised in Maryland?     

Yes Home instruction must be supervised in Maryland by one of the following entities: o

  • The local school system through the Home School Office

  • A church-exempt nonpublic school. (Nonpublic entity)

  • An education ministry of a bona fide church organization. (Nonpublic entity)

Q:   What must a nonpublic school or education ministry of a bona fide church organization do
       before beginning to supervise home instruction of Maryland students?

Before beginning to supervise home instruction, the head of the legal authority of a nonpublic school or the chief officer of a bona fide church organization, that elects to supervise home instruction, must contact MSDE for registration procedures. Registration procedures include the completion of an official registration form that can be obtained by calling the Nonpublic School Approval Branch at (410)767-0407.

Q:    Can a tutor or someone other than a parent or guardian be hired to teach a child who is home

NO.   A home-schooled student may be tutored in a particular subject just as a student enrolled in a public or nonpublic school may be tutored. Regardless of whether the student is enrolled in home schooling or in a public or nonpublic school, tutoring is supplemental to each of these primary forms of instruction. Tutoring may not be substituted for the instruction that is provided by the parent to his/her home schooled student or the instruction provided by public or nonpublic school to students enrolled.

The bylaw is clear that Home Schooling is for a “parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home.” The parent or guardian must be the primary provider of the instruction. Other adults may assist with the special areas of interest, but may not replace the parent. Otherwise, teaching by another adult or group of adults constitutes a school, which must seek approval through the Maryland State Department of Education.

Q:   Must a parent/guardian be a certified teacher?

NO.  COMAR regulations do not require parents to have teacher certification in order to home school their child

Q:   Will the public school provide curriculum and textbooks materials?

NO.  Acquiring curriculum and texts is the responsibility of the parent, but they may reference the public school system’s curriculum or the MSDE Voluntary Curriculum .

Q:   Will high school high school assessments (HSA) taken in Anne Arundel County Schools in
       English 10, Algebra I, Biology, and United States Government count as course credit if a
       student enrolls in an Anne Arundel County High School?

High School Assessments are the graduation exit exams required for all students earning a diploma. Students enrolling from home schooling or a nonpublic nonapproved school do not earn course credit for passing these exams. To earn credit in the CORE courses, a student must take and pass the ‘test for credit’ exams offered for each course.   

Q:   How much time should be spent on instruction each day?

Generally, a minimum of five hours of home schooling, Monday through Friday, is recommended for a period of at least 36 weeks (180 days) of instruction.

Q:   Can a student who is home schooled participate in other aspects of the instructional or
       extracurricular programs that are offered by a Maryland public school?

NO.  Students who are home schooled are not permitted to participate in courses, activities, the Center for Applied Technology or afterschool programs that are offered by a Maryland public school other than the optional standardized testing program.

Q:   May a home-schooled student participate in the standardized testing program that is offered by
       the student’s local school system?

Yes.   A child receiving home instruction may participate in the regularly scheduled standardized testing programs that are administered in the school where the student would attend. Requesting standardized testing can be made through the Home School Office. It is the responsibility of the parent to contact the assigned school’s testing coordinator to find out the testing schedule and participation 3 weeks prior to the testing date. The parent must provide the transportation to and from the testing location. AACPS offers the following standardized test: Maryland Student Assessment ((MSA) March for grades: 3 – 8) ; PSAT (October: for grades 9, 10, & 11); and the High School Assessment (HSA)(May for Algebra I, US Government;; Biology & English 10)

Q:   What are the procedures for a home-schooled student to return to a public school?

Parents should contact the Home School Office for procedures regarding enrollment in a public school. The Home School Office, in collaboration with the High School Counselors, will determine credits to be awarded when transferring to an AACPS high school from a home school program. This determination is made through an evaluation of the student’s course documentation and curriculum. This transfer process may include administration of course examinations or ‘Tests for Credit’ assessments.

Q:    Can a home-schooled student receive special education services?

Children with special needs or learning disabilities, who are home schooled, do not have an individual entitlement to special education services in the public school system. If a parent believes that a child should be assessed to determine eligibility for special education services, the parent should contact the Home School Office to initiate the assessments. Special Education services are not provided for students enrolled in a home school program in Maryland.

Q:    Does the Maryland State Department of Education provide information on home school support

NO.  MSDE does not collect information about home school support groups or cooperatives. However they maintain the names and addresses of the nonpublic schools and bona fide church organizations that are registered to supervise home schooling in Maryland.

Q:    Will a high school diploma be used by the local school system or MSDE if I elect to have my
       child remain on home schooling through grade 12?

NO.  Diplomas represent completion of the Maryland (MSDE) graduation requirements for students who attend public schools in Maryland. Your child may choose to take the GED Exam (Maryland General Education Degree). Home School nonpublic supervisory entities may offer a completion of program certificate, but may not issue a Maryland diploma upon completion of a home school program .

Q:    Will the Home School Office validate a student MVA Learner’s Permit Application or GED

YES.  The applications should be sent to the Home School Office for validation and processing. Please allow at least 3 days to complete the documentation process. MSDE Approved Supervising Nonpublic Entities can not validate a student’s application according to the regulations.

Fact Sheet Regarding Home Schooling With the
Anne Arundel County Home School Office.

AACPS Option Questions & Answers

Q:    How often do home school program (portfolio) reviews occur?

Generally, reviews occur two (2) times per school year, usually once in either October/November or January/February and once in May/June. A maximum of three (3) reviews are permitted by the COMAR regulations each academic year. Parents meet with Home School Office staff for a review of their home school program at local libraries, the Ft. Meade Center or the Board of Education in Annapolis. Information on the dates/times is sent to parents a few weeks prior to the scheduling process

Q:   The General Regulations for Home Schooling state that I must provide regular, thorough
       instruction. How can I show this?

The primary documentation or evidence of regular, thorough instruction will be through a review of your child’s own work. Some parents have found it helpful both for their organization and for the portfolio review process to keep records such as a planning book or journal of activities. According to the regulations, the portfolio should include examples of child’s writing, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials, tests, etc. Samples should also be dated. The Home School Office can offer assistance or suggestions of how other parents have demonstrated their home school programs in the past.

Q:   What subjects (courses) are required?

The COMAR regulations state that instruction should be provided in subjects usually taught in the public schools to students of the same age’ and should include English/language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and physical education as well as health. Anne Arundel County also recommends that documentation include a schedule; evidence of computer skills and library/media skills.

Q:   What happens if my child’s portfolio is found to have deficiencies in the Home School

A parent is notified in writing and must provide additional evidence within 30 days that the documentation deficiencies have been corrected. If the deficiencies are not corrected, the Anne Arundel County Public School Superintendent will require that the child be withdrawn from a home schooling program and enrolled promptly in a public or private school within five days of notice of deficiency.

Maryland State Department of Education
Nonpublic School Approval Branch