I Want to homeschool!
Where do I start…?
Congratulations on beginning your homeschool journey!
If you live outside of Vermont: Find Your State Homeschool Law on the HSLDA website, or contact your State Department of Education for details on homeschool enrollment. Each state has its own homeschooling laws and procedures. This section is Vermont-specific.
In Vermont, as per the new law, you are simply notifying the Department of Ed of your decision to homeschool. They will not deny your right to homeschool your child. The new law took effect July 1, 2023. We have included a link to the new forms needed to notify the State of your intent to homeschool at the end of this section, and we have updated this website as the information about the new procedure becomes available. We also suggest you take a moment to review the information about the new enrollment procedure at the Vermont Home Education Network website, www.vhen.org.
Retta Dunlap, at VHEN, has worked for years to encourage the State DOE to simplify enrollment and reporting for Homeschool families. She offers insight into these changes and advice about keeping the process as simple as it can be. No need to send a Minimum Course of Study with your enrollment, and no need to send the State your End of Year Assessment (more on that below).
Enrolling simply requires that parents fill out the State's form, assure that their child will receive 175 days of instruction, and, if necessary, adapt instruction to meet the needs of a child with learning disabilities. There is no longer a requirement to submit a minimum-course-of-study plan.
The requirement to submit an End-of-Year assessment has also been changed. Parents are required to do an EOYA, but not to submit it to the State. It should be completed and filed.
Curious about homeschooling, on the fence, or ready to dive in? Find facts, motivation and enrollment details here!
Sign up for emails.
Sign up for emails.
Sign up for emails from the VT Department of Education (DOE) Home Study Division by emailing email@example.com, or Alicia Hanrahan Alicia.Hanrahan@vermont.gov.
This is not a requirement, but it is quite useful. Even if you’re undecided about homeschooling, or your child is not yet school-aged, you can still join the email list. By subscribing you’ll receive official news as well as information about events and various educational offerings available throughout Vermont. There is also a checkbox on the Home Study enrollment forms if you choose to subscribe at a later time.
Anyone can send an email blurb to the DOE for mass distribution, so you will get an excellent assortment of activities to participate in physically, virtually, or independently. The variety is diverse enough to satisfy all kinds of interests. Math groups, science programs, artist workshops, formal and informal gatherings, museum exhibits, sports, creative writing classes, music lessons, woodland adventures, day programs, second-hand supplies, cooking classes, contests, and competitions… you really never know what opportunities to engage with your community will appear in your inbox!
Enroll in Home Study.
How to complete enrollment forms.
Enroll in Home Study.
How to complete enrollment forms.
The VT Department of Education (DOE) refers to all styles of homeschooling as “Home Study”, regardless of the philosophy or methodology you employ. Whether you plan to be highly structured, utilize a co-op model, un-school, de-school, or some other approach, when it comes to state communication and enrollment forms always use the terms “home study” or “home school.”
You can enroll at any time during the year. The State asks for your enrollment form ten days before you plan to start homeschooling.
https://education.vermont.gov/home-study to either enroll online or fill out a paper form for mailing.
Children with a Documented Learning Disability (LD)
The new law includes a requirement that parents who have a child with a learning disability include a description of the adaptations they plan for their child's home study program. We have no details about that requirement yet. The following information fulfilled the State's requirements for a child with a learning disability prior to the passage of the new law.
If your child has a documented learning disability (LD), you will need to (1) have a doctor, practitioner, social worker or other professional attest to the LD (there's a section in the Home Study Enrollment forms for this); and (2) complete the Adaptations section in the enrollment forms.
Adaptations can be written in your own language and do not have to be minutely detailed. Adaptations can be subject-specific or “global”, meaning they apply to all areas of study.
Though adaptations will be specific to your child, some examples may include:
May take frequent breaks to stretch and move as needed.
May use manipulatives and multi-sensory learning approaches as needed.
May use dictation software if/when written communication is a hindrance.
May use audio books in conjunction with independent reading when needed.
May participate in regular family read aloud of chapter books.
May be given oral instruction when needed.
You do not need to itemize as in the format above. You may also write in a narrative form, for example:
“As I approach every subject, I'm going to use techniques such as flexibility and visual aids in the learning process.” no need to be wordy, and less is more.
Assess Your Needs and Gather your Resources
State needs vs. individual needs
Determine what you have already and what you need.
You probably already know what you want to teach your child: so your first question is how to teach. This website, and many others, offer many resources to answer that question.
The Vermont MCOS included 8 educational categories: reading/writing, math, history/government, literature, natural sciences, physical education, health, and fine arts. You can cover some or all of these topics ( and others you choose) using any method, be it via printed material, digitally, orally, through projects, field trips, or conversations. See tips on finding homeschool materials, our list of academic resources, as well as our list of parental resources.
And even though you have decided to educate your child outside of the public school, please keep in mind that you can opt to enroll your homeschooled child in some academic classes and electives at your school. From Vermont's Home Study website; education.vermont.gov/home-study:
"Home study students are permitted to enroll at their local school for up to 2 of the 5 main courses (Math, Science, Reading and Writing, History/Civics/Government, and Literature), as well as electives, athletics, and extra-curricular activities, as space permits. Parents must collaborate with their local school to arrange enrollment and scheduling. "
The second question is how to complete your End of Year Assessment (EOYA)?
End of Year
TIP: Avoid the EOYA scramble!
Designate a place for your work samples up front
The 2023 law changes the reporting of the EOYA:
It is no longer sent to the state at the end of the school year. They do require that parents create an EOYA each year to be filed.
The EOYA is now two things: a permanent record of the work you did, and an opportunity to reflect on the things you did together. The assessment is a time to ask what went well and what you will change for next year.
Keeping Track of your work:
It will be helpful to keep track of your work throughout the year. You can take pictures, videos, and voice clips, keep a written journal, create digital documents and spreadsheets, or keep a box for work. Like any multi-step project, it is easier to compile or note things as you go than it is to recollect months of happenings at the end of the year.
The State does provide some guidance regarding the EOYA. Please see: https://education.vermont.gov/end-year-assessment-eoya