Homeschoolers have complete autonomy to create a customized learning plan for their children. They do not have any obligation to follow the local public school’s calendar, schedule, standards, scope/sequence, attendance requirements, or any other aspects of the public education model.
That said, some families may be planning to re-enter public school at some point, perhaps when the Covid protocols change and remote learning ends, or have other reasons. These families might be interested in referencing the state standards to use as a guideline for their children’s learning. These standards, which are College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core), are available on the NH Department of Education’s website. They are listed by subject and grade level. The Health and PE curriculum guidelines are available here, and information about the Arts guidelines is available here.
If it is your intention to have your child re-enroll in the local public school, we recommend checking out your SAU’s policies about transferring credits and speaking with the school’s guidance office ahead of time so you can appropriately plan your child’s learning program. To re-enter for grades 1 through 9 (at the beginning of the freshman year), there is rarely any problem and a simple call to the school is sufficient. The process can be more challenging later on at the high-school level for grades 10 through 12. Typically, public school principals have discretionary authority to approve or accept any “credit” earned through a home ed program. Public schools have policies requiring a particular percentage of classes to be taken within the district to satisfy graduation requirements. Some families find that classes taken through accredited sources or those that can demonstrate competency through placement tests, such as mathematics and world language, have more success transferring. Again, we encourage families to speak with their SAU if returning to public school is the intention. We have a video that explains this in more depth and has tips to maximize credits towards graduation.
Homeschooling families have very broad requirements as outlined in RSA 193-A. The portion that addresses content simply says, “Instruction shall be deemed home education if it consists of instruction in science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, the history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States, and an exposure to and appreciation of art and music.” Families have discretion regarding when and how to cover these subjects at some point over the duration of their home education program; these subjects do not need to be taught annually.
If you are searching for help regarding how to put together a home education plan, take a look at our Homeschool Methods page that includes descriptions of several common approaches to homeschooling, along with quizzes to help identify which may be a good fit for your family. There are also lists of curricula and resources that go with each style, including some that are often a good fit for children with special needs. These are only suggestions; you know your children best and can fully customize their learning plan to fit their needs and goals.
We also cover creating a learning plan in our Intro to Homeschooling series of videos. You can find it and additional videos on our website.
By Michelle Levell