Is homeschooling legal?
Yes, homeschooling is legal in Delaware, just as it is in the other 49 states. The relevant sections of the DE state laws may be found at here.
There are probably as many different reasons to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Among the more common reasons cited for choosing to homeschool are moral and/or religious, safety, academic, and/or social concerns.
Who can homeschool? Do I have to be a certified teacher or have a college degree?
There are no certification or education requirements that must be satisfied in order to homeschool. There are many resources available which enable any parent to successfully homeschool, regardless of their educational background.
Does the state provide books and other curricula to homeschoolers?
Under Delaware law, a homeschool is considered a non-public school. As such, the state is under no obligation to provide any support. Some public school superintendents may choose to allow homeschoolers to use public school materials but this would be entirely at their discretion.
How do I find the best curriculum?
There is no one single curriculum that will be the 'best' for all homeschools. There are several guides to homeschooling materials that present comparisons and reviews. Support groups, experienced homeschoolers, and your local librarian can all be excellent sources of information.
How much does homeschooling cost?
You can spend as much or as little on curriculum, materials and supplies as you choose. Pre-packaged curricula may run several hundred dollars per child per year, although used curricula are often available for considerably less. An excellent source of free resource material is the public library.
What about testing?
Homeschoolers are exempt from the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). Some homeschool parents choose to have their children take a standardized test but this is entirely optional.
Do homeschoolers graduate? Do they receive diplomas?
The state does not award diplomas to homeschoolers although several multi-family homeschools do have diploma programs. Some homeschoolers choose to take the GED, although this is not a requirement.
Can homeschoolers without a diploma get accepted into college?
The majority of colleges accept homeschoolers with or without a diploma and/or transcripts. Other measures of academic progress such as SAT, ACT, portfolios of student work, etc. may be employed. Each college sets its own requirements.
How much time does homeschooling take?
Parents often find that it takes considerably less time than the 6-hour school day to successfully homeschool. This often allows the scheduling of extracurricular classes/activities during the 'normal' school day. Many businesses now cater to homeschoolers in this way.
Can homeschoolers participate in band, sports, etc., at the public schools?
There is no legal requirement for the public school system to allow homeschoolers to participate in activities. Some superintendents may offer this option. Multi-family homeschools, support groups, and co-op groups may also offer these types of 'extracurricular' activities.
What about socialization?
This is probably the most frequently asked question about homeschooling. Homeschoolers are not chained to their desks (or kitchen tables), but are out in the community interacting with people of all ages. Co-ops, support groups, community groups, churches, etc., all provide opportunities to make friends outside of 'school'.
Where can I find support?
Local support groups are scattered throughout the state. Some groups are exclusive to members of a particular religious faith or education style; others are open to all homeschoolers. More information about support groups can be found here.
How do I get started?
You will have to do some homework. Read our Getting Started section, talk to homeschoolers, begin to research curricula, find out about support groups. Then, just take the plunge. It can be a scary proposition; you may never feel completely ready. Remember, though, that thousands of other families have gone before you and, not only survived, but thrived.