Can you homeschool in idaho? Yes, you can!
Idaho is one of the easiest and most unregulated states to homeschool your child within the United States.
And a large number of school kids in Idaho are being homeschooled – around 12% of all Idaho children are being homeschooled now. And that number keeps going up every year.
Idaho has some of the most lenient homeschooling laws in the United States so it’s little wonder so many parents find it relatively straightforward to decide – and then proceed – with home education in this state.
As a home educator in Idaho you are not required to notify the state that you’re homeschooling your children.
But: it is recommended that you do notify the school if you need to withdraw your child from an Idaho public school. This will simply prevent an assumption that your child is truanting.
You’re also not required to follow any specific curriculum or teaching methods.
Standardized testing is optional for homeschool students in Idaho. The state does not monitor or track your child’s education or progress, meaning it’s completely up to you to make sure everything is going to plan.
If you do want to standardized testing, you can do it through the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) Comprehensive Assessment System (CAS). You could do this once a year if you wanted, or once every few years. Or, not at all. The ball is in your court as an Idaho home educator parent.
When used in a public school environmnet, the ISAT CAS test is done for these purposes:
- Students in grades 3-8 take the test each year, then once in high school.
- Testing is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.
- The results are used to track student progress and to identify areas where additional help or focus is needed.
- The CAS results are also used to compare student achievement to other students in Idaho.
Again, you do not have to ever do ISAT testing for your homeschooled children. But understanding the how and why of these standardized tests will help you decide whether or not they’re something you’d want your children to undertake at any time.
Beaus Idaho is one of the few US states that doesn’t regulate or monitor homeschool education, you have the freedom to choose your own curriculum, teaching methods, and learning schedule.
Depending how you look at it, this can be a positive or negative. For most home educator parents, this freedom is welcome and opens the door to shaping your child’s education however you want.
You will have the sole responsibility to research and select the curriculum you want to use.
No need to start from scratch though. There are countless pre-made curriculums out there which you can use in full, or as inspiration.
Why Homeschool in Idaho?
If you’re in the early stages of considering home education for your child or children in Idaho, it can help to be aware of the reasons why other parents make this decision. Do any of these align with your own aspirations, beliefs and values about your own children’s education?
Some of the most common reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children in Idaho include:
Many parents are confident they can give their kids a better education by homeschooling them instead of sending them to a regular public or private school.
More and more parents are homeschooling their children because they are concerned about the safety or social environment of traditional public schools.
Some parents homeschool their children because they want to teach them about their religious beliefs in a way that is consistent with their values.
Special needs children often require a more tailored and one-on-one approach to education. Whether it’s a physical disability, a learning disorder or other reasons, homeschooling allows for a more individualized approach to education. It can also provide a safer and more comfortable environment for the child.
More flexibility in the schedule is a major reason for homeschooling. It’s not often the primary reason, but is complimentary to whatever it is that is strongly motivating you to become a home educator. There’s lots of reasons for wanting or needing the increased flexibility – it can be because there are multiple children of different ages, or because you work from home.
One thing I’ve seen new home education parents asking is whether there’s any type of funding or tax credits in Idaho for homeschooling.
There is no state funding or assistance in Idaho for homeschooling.
There are a some private organizations and groups that offer scholarships and grants to homeschoolers. These organizations can have specific requirements such as religious affiliation or certain academic achievements that you’ll need to meet.