Homeschooling in Idaho
Idaho requires that kids between the ages of 7 and 16 years old receive education. Idaho code states that instruction shall be “in subjects commonly and usually taught in the public schools.” The law does not specify how or to what degree these subjects should be achieved. Parents and guardians are permitted to educate their own children in whatever manner they see fit. Parents do not have to meet any qualifications, nor do they have to notify the state in order to homeschool.
If a student has already been enrolled in public school, it is wise to submit a withdrawal letter to the school in order to avoid being reported for truancy. Homeschool families do not have to take state tests, submit lesson plans, or follow the local school’s yearly schedule. Families are free to school on whatever schedule they wish, using the education style, and keeping the pace which works best for their students. Neither the state department of education nor local school districts have regulation or oversight of home educators.
What About Graduation?
Idaho homeschool parents are free to select their own graduation requirements. Since private home education is an accepted form of education, parent-issued diplomas are valid as proof of graduation. The state does not issue or verify diplomas for home educated graduates. There are graduation celebrations for homeschooled students in various parts of the state, ranging from formal cap and gown ceremonies to close-knit dessert socials. The largest is hosted by Homeschool Idaho in Southwestern Idaho on the Northwest Nazarene University Campus. Connect with local groups to find a graduation celebration close to your community!
State universities, colleges, and local community colleges admit homeschool graduates. Admission requirements could include a sealed transcript from the parent or SAT/ACT scores.
Where Can I Find Support?
- A growing list of co-ops and support groups is available at homeschoolidaho.org/find-a-group.
- An annual convention brings homeschoolers together to hear helpful, inspirational speakers. A used curriculum sale and vendor hall let you see curriculum in person.
- Social media provides online discussion groups, both statewide and in local communities. A good place to start is facebook.com/groups/homeschoolidahodiscussiongroup. Ask for recommendations for local events and meetups.
- A quarterly print magazine, Homeschool Idaho Magazine, brings national and local homeschool authors right into your living room! Subscriptions available.
Bucket List Destinations
No matter what part of the state you call home, there are fascinating destinations for homeschoolers! Here are few to get you started!
- State Capitol: Idaho’s capitol building in Boise is the only state capitol heated by geothermal water! Guided field trips or self-guided tours are available.
- Craters of the Moon: A stunning National Monument in central Idaho with lava flows and land forms reminiscent of a lunar landscape! Trails and caves provide lots of exploring, while informative signs and a visitor center give highlights of geology and volcanology! Don’t miss the wildflowers in the spring!
- Idaho State Museum: Newly renovated and designed to engage all ages! Idaho history, geology, economics and more are brought to life. The museum offers a Homeschool Day, with discounted admission, on the 4th Monday of the month during the school year.
- Route of the Hiawatha: Located in scenic northern Idaho, this breathtaking 15-mile long bike trail explores re-purposed train tunnels and trestles.
- The Idaho Commission for Libraries published a collection of educational destinations all around Idaho.
- Idaho Public Television produced an educational video series on Idaho.
Learn about homeschooling in another state with the Homeschooling In All 50 States series.
Johanna Ireland has been on a homeschool adventure with her family in Idaho for 15 years. She and her husband serve on the board of Homeschool Idaho. This state organization works to inspire parents in their homeschooling and to protect homeschool freedom in Idaho. www.homeschoolidaho.org firstname.lastname@example.org