How To Homeschool In Louisiana

Homeschool In Louisiana

So you want to homeschool in Louisiana? But you’re scared, you’re not sure how to go about doing it, if you’re going to get in trouble or if you’re going to screw up your child. It’s scary because education is one of the most important parenting decisions you are going to have to make.

Then there is the dreaded socialization question that EVERYONE asks. Our family has been homeschooling since my now 9th grader was in 1st grade. We pulled him from his very good public school for a variety of reasons; it just wasn’t a good fit for our family or him. Now I couldn’t imagine our life any other way, I don’t think I could go back to the schedule of a traditional school. It honestly is probably the hardest but best decision our family has made for our children.

So now you’re saying BUT Cara, how do I homeschool? What do I need to do in the State of Louisiana?  Louisiana is actually one of the easier states to homeschool in.  We have two options to legally homeschool in Louisiana, Home Study and Private School.  You don’t  have to register for either option until the year your child turns 7.

BESE Approved Home Study:

Under this option parents have to submit an application for approval no later than 15 days after the start of their home study program. And applications must be submitted each year with the following information:

  • Student Information including name, date of birth (optional), age (optional – paper application only), grade, and school year
  • Family Information including name of parent or legal guardian, address, parish or city school district, phone number, and email (optional)
  • A statement addressing the immunization status for meningococcal disease for a child age 11 years old.
  • Disclosure of Information Statement
  • Birth Certificate

Renewals must include one of the following: 

  • Curriculum “Packet” that demonstrates that the home study program offered is at least equal to that being offered by public schools at the same grade level
  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Teacher Evaluation by a certified teacher that states the child is being educated in accordance with curriculum that is of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level

While this option requires more from the parent and more oversight from the state, it does have it’s pros. Students who are enrolled  in an approved home study program can  participate  in interscholastic athletic activities at a public or at a state-approved nonpublic high school that is also a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Also students enrolled by the end of 10th grade are eligible for TOPS.  More Information and the application for the Home Study Program can be found here

Registered Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval (AKA Private School)

This is the easiest option for homeschooling in Louisiana, it is the one we will use until each child enters 10th grade. With this option you care basically declaring your homeschool a private school that is not seeking state approval.  All you have to do is fill out the online form or send in a letter that states your school’s name, school year, contact information, and total number of students enrolled. You send this letter to:

Registered Nonpublic Schools
Office of Portfolio
Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Be sure to keep a copy of for your records if you mail in the letter but that’s it, that’s all you have to do! No tests, no evaluations, no packets to put together.  More information on the Registered Nonpublic School Not Seeking State Approval can be found here. If you are withdrawing your child from a public school and using this option you also have to send the school an Enrollment Notification Letter, with in 10 days of withdrawing. You can find a sample letter in the Louisiana Homeschool Support Group on Faceboook.

Online Charter Schools

There is another option in Louisiana if you wish to keep your child at home but don’t feel comfortable going the traditional homeschool route.  These are Connections Academy and K12. These are public charter schools that can be done online at home, each have different enrollment and other requirements.

The S Word… Socialization

Oh the word that all homeschoolers dread… socialization. The first questioned asked when you tell someone you homeschool is  usually “What about socialization?” Apparently this S word only happens in schools, where I clearly remember being told by teachers that “school isn’t the place to socialize” in some people’s heads.  Homeschoolers can get socialization, in fact there is so much to do, that if we wanted we could be socializing five days a week with other homeschoolers. There are a variety of homeschool groups that offer field trips, park days, co-op classes, dances and other activities.

There are just a few of the many homeschool groups in the New Orleans area and around the state of Louisiana.  And many of the homeschoolers I know are a member of different groups because they each have something to offer our kids.  In addition to groups there are after school activities such as:

  • Clubs such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4H.
  • Classes – dance, karate, music, art etc
  • Sports at local playgrounds and for High Schoolers the Homeschool Saints 

So there you have it, homeschooling in Louisiana! It’s simple and easy and there are a ton of groups to find your child the right level of socialization that fits your family.

Do you have any questions about hot to homeschool in Louisiana or homeschooling in general?  Did we miss your local homeschool group or organization in our list? Let us know in the comments!


How To Homeschool in Louisiana

19 Comments on "How To Homeschool In Louisiana"

  1. Jennifer Smith | July 21, 2014 at 11:46 am | Reply

    Thank you for this information. I’m very interested in homeschooling my son with special needs. He is severely disabled so how do I go about picking out a program for him? If going by age appropriate grade level he will be in 3rd grade this year but cognitively he is about 18 months to 2 years.

    • Jennifer for you child I would do the private school option and search for Tot School activities such as these adapted to his level. The beauty and joy of homeschooling is being able to meet your child at their level, so personally I see no reason to purchase 3rd grade material if he’s not at a 3rd grade level. Hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for this! It’s just the info I’ve been looking for. My daughter is 5 and will start kindergarten this fall. We plan on doing the private school option. Do I need to register this year? Or wait until next year?

    • Jenny you don’t have to register until she turns 7! I will probably register my youngest next year (2015/2016) because she turns 7 right after the start of the school year.

  3. Charmaine Hebert | August 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    Can you offer some suggestions on curriculums? It’s a little daunting, after doing a quick Google search and getting so many results.

    • It depends on your child’s learning style and what you are looking for in a curriculum. I personally like Oak Meadow and that is what I’m using for both of my kids this year. It’s a little light and touchy feely in the younger grades but ramps up around 4th grade.

  4. I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions for my daughter. She’s in the 4th grade as a repeat. She didn’t fail her classes but she didn’t pass the Leap test at the end of the year. She’s been really struggling and needs a lot of one on one that her school does not have the resources for such as tutoring. I’m wondering if homeschooling could be an option for her in the middle of the school year. My husband is military so we’ll be stationed up north for the next school year, so I’m not sure if I should make that change for such a short time. But I really want her to be ready for the next grade. She’s in danger of failing and I’m at the point that I don’t know what to do.
    Sorry for such a long message. I’d really appreciate another mothers opinion. Thank you.

  5. My son has a an IEP and I would like to get some information for homeschool. For him

  6. This is our first year homeschooling. I registered as Home Study but next year I want to register as Non-Public. So my question is…Do I still have to send in this years standardized test scores? Kinda confused, any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Art Strickland | February 6, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Reply

    on the option of declareing my home as private without state assistance it says there are no test no evaluations and no packets. how do we teach our child?

    • You have to purchase curriculum from various sources. We use Growing with Grammar programs for language arts for our 4th grader, reading novels, Teaching Textbooks for math and unit studies for science and history.

  8. what are the requirements to home school my child in Shreveport, Louisiana? I don’t think I can put up with public schools another year. Do I have to be a certified teacher myself, or will one be appointed to him online? What time would his classes start online? If he has trouble understanding the work is there assistance for him? a What computer is best for online classes, must I furnish one for him? so many questions so little time, desperate mom. please help I only have my son’s educational interest at heart.

    • The requirements to homeschool in Shreveport are the same for the entire state which are outlined in this post. You don’t have to be a teacher to homeschool. The only way he would have a teacher is if you signed him up for one of the virtual schools. As far as what they do and require, I don’t know because each one is different you will have to contact them.

  9. veronica fonseca | March 6, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Reply

    Hello I have a question about the not seeking state approval school, I was hoping you can answer. If my child returns to school later in life will they let him in? And into the correct grade? Or will they not because it’s not state approved?

    • From what I understand each Parish has their own way of handling this. My friends children had to take a test I think. I’m not familiar with the process though.

  10. Hey! I feel as though my answer has already been answered in a round about way on your post but just need a clarification. I sent in to the base home approved study today. March 10 2018. My daughter is 5 in public school. Since I have sent in the application and also being that she is only 5 can i keep her home learning from here on out ? Or do I have to await the letter of approval before formally withdrawing. I don’t want her to have to go another unnecessary day to this prison yard

    • I think you can go ahead and withdrawal but I’m not 100% sure. I would suggest you join one of the homeschool groups on Facebook like Louisiana Homeschool Support and ask there. Those ladies are so knowledgeable.

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