Homeschooling in Massachusetts

MassHOPE Recommends:

Significant Legal Documents:

Care and Protection of Charles

Brunelle v. Lynn Public Schools

Families considering homeschooling in Massachusetts may feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. MassHOPE is here to encourage and impart knowledge and resources to help equip you to know your options and make an informed decision.

Massachusetts Law

Massachusetts compulsory attendance law provides that children must attend a recognized and/or approved school or be educated in some other way that is approved in advance by the local school committee or superintendent. To legally homeschool, you will need to follow these requirements:

Submit an Annual Notice of Intent

According to state law and court opinions, there are four areas a superintendent or school committee may consider when reviewing a notice of intent:

  1. The proposed curriculum and number of hours of instruction
  2. The competency of the parents (parents do not need college or advanced degrees)
  3. Textbooks, workbooks, and other instructional aids to be used
  4. The method of assessment used (to ensure educational progress and attainment of minimum standards); the superintendent or school committee can require standardized testing or may substitute, with the approval of the parents, another form of assessment
Teach the Required Subjects
Massachusetts law requires that all students be taught the following subjects: spelling, reading, writing, English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, United States history and Constitution, duties of citizenship, health, physical education, and good behavior.
Keep Good Records
There is no explicit legal requirement that homeschool records be kept. However, certain assessments may require various records and work samples.
Test or Evaluate Your Child as Required

A superintendent or school committee may require periodic standardized tests or “other means of evaluating the progress of the children [that] may be substituted for the formal testing process, such as periodic progress reports or dated work samples.” Testing or evaluation must be mutually agreed upon by the parents and the superintendent or school committee.

According to the Massachusetts Supreme Court opinion issued in the case Care and Protection of Charles, the standard of review to determine adequate progress is if the education is equal in “thoroughness, efficiency and progress made therein” to that of the schools in the district.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 Cor. 16:13

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