Start Here: Know the Law
Hopefully, by now you are clear about the reasons why you are homeschooling and you have determined that it is a good fit for your family, it is time to make it official. (If not, see Start Here: Finding Your Why)
Most states require some form of legal declaration for homeschooling that is typically submitted to your local school district. It is essential that you learn and adhere to the legal requirements in your particular state. Most states have laws that are make it fairly easy for parents to homeschool, so there is no excuse not to know and follow them.
Visit https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/homeschool to learn more about your particular state’s laws.
While you are at it, be sure to familiarize yourself with your state's laws surrounding:
Eligibility: Some states require parents to have achieved a certain level of education. Don't worry, most states have alternative options for parents who may not meet educational requirements, including qualification courses.
Compulsory Ages: States generally require students to be enrolled in some form of compulsory education between the ages of 6 and 18. The age limits vary.
Testing & Review: Most states have relaxed or no testing requirements. However, there are a few with very specific requirements to ensure students are making "adequate progress." The definition of what constitues progress vary from state to state. Some states will require that you submit test results, while others require that you save them as part of a portfolio. Most states requiring testing have a list of acceptable standardized tests, as well as alternative assessment options for those who prefer not to, or are unable to test.
Alternatives include portfolio reviews, or the review of the child's coursework by a state-prescribed professional; usually a state-certified teacher, licensed psychologist, or individual who holds a graduate degree. Another common alternative is a non-test assessment which is an informal review of student progress by a qualified person.
SpritelyMind offers assessment services and can help with annual Portfolio Reviews, non-test Checklist Assessment, and one-on-on Assessments for those in states that require annual testing. We do not offer standardized tests.
Again, be sure to become VERY familiar with your state's laws!