Is Louisiana law favorable to home education?
Yes, Louisiana law is favorable to home education. Two options are available: (1) the Home Study Law or (2) the Private School
Law. This constitutional liberty is protected by the Private Education Deregulation Act (Act No. 828 which amends Section 236 of
Title 17 of Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950). However, as with all freedoms, it must be guarded. Although home study has
been recognized since 1980, attempts have been made to repeal that act or chip away at this right. See History of the Louisiana
Home Study Law
Letter to the school
(Withdraw my child from public school)
When removing a student from a government funded (public) school, you must notify the school in writing that the child will no
longer be attending. This step is required by law if you choose to operate as a private school, and is highly recommended if you
choose to operate as an approved home study program. (This is not required if the child is leaving a private school to be home
schooled.) The letter must contain the child's full legal name, date of birth, race and gender. The letter may contain a request for
a copy of the student's transcripts. Send it within 10 days of enrollment in your home school. (Recommend Return Receipt mail)
The Right Choice:
Whether you choose to operate as an Approved Home Study Program or as a Private School is up to you. Your choice is only
limited under the following circumstances:
1.) HOME STUDY STUDENTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL ED SERVICES
If you have a student with special education needs, such as a speech impediment, and you want to make use of a program at
your local school that could help him, such as speech therapy, your student is only eligible for that program if he is a private
school student (and the school districts only help a few at a time). Home study students are not eligible.
Renew my application for the home study program each year.
A renewal application must be made by the first of October of the school year, or within twelve months of the approval of the
initial application. Renewal applications are approved when parents submit satisfactory evidence that their home school offered
a sustained curriculum of a quality equal to that of the public schools at the same grade level. This can be done in one of four
(1) Verification that the child has taken the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT), California Achievement Test (CAT) or another
approved standardized test and has scored at or above his grade level or has progressed at a rate equal to one grade level for
each year in home study. A clear copy of the test results attached to the Home Study Application is sufficient. Note that the same
Home Study Application form is used for the initial application and for renewal applications.
(2) A written statement from a teacher certified to teach at the child's grade level stating that the child is being taught with a
sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at that grade level, or in the case of children with
mental or physical disabilities, a sustained curriculum at least equal to that offered by public schools to children with similar
(3) Verification that the child took the State Basic Skills Test and scored at or above the state performance standard.
(4) A packet of materials may be presented including a complete outline of the subjects taught, list of books and materials used,
copies of the student's work, test results, statements by third parties who have observed the child's progress, or any other
evidence of the quality of the program being offered.
Most parents choose to send in a copy of their child's test results. Whichever option you choose, proofread for spelling and
grammatical errors; and be sure that all required information is included.
2.) PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR TOPS
If you have a student who intends to apply for TOPS college funding, he must be enrolled in an Approved Home Study Program
by the end of his 10th grade year. A private school student is not eligible for TOPS unless he graduated from an approved
private school. Our home school private schools are not approved by the state department because the law does not require
approval of any private school (unless the school seeks government funding). Some of the larger church-run private schools
around the state have chosen to work through the lengthy and cumbersome approval process so that their graduates may be
TOPS eligible. The home school equivalent of state approval is the Approved Home Study Program.
To operate as a Private School, send a letter to the state DOE each school year notifying them of the number of school-aged
(7-18 year old) children you are currently teaching. The letter should include contact information (such as the name and address
of your school) and your starting date for this school year. Send only one copy, and mail it within 30 days of your first day of
school (we recommend Return Receipt mail). You are NOT required to include ANY information about your children besides the
total number enrolled.
Send a letter according to the instructions given for the initial notification under the private school option, updating the
information to reflect the new school year.
Types of Homeschooling
There are many different styles in which homeschooling can be implemented. However, each style will generally fall into one of
three categories: Structured, Eclectic, or Unschooling.
Structured learning is often called the cousin to public and/or private schools. A child who is being taught at home in a structured
learning environment will find that his or her day closely mimics that of school children in public or private schools. School will
generally start at a specific time each day. The school day flows in order and the curriculum that is used is fairly traditional.
Structured learning is usually the first type of homeschooling that many parents implement. This is due in part to its familiarity to
both parent and child. Many parents and children are pleased with structured learning as it brings a feeling of direction to the
day and the school year as a whole.
If structured learning is perceived as ï¿½traditionalï¿½ than unschooling is perceived as its oppositeï¿½unstructured.
Advocates of unschooling report that it is a natural form of learning that is centered around the interests of the child. Most
unschooling parents make sure their children learn to read, write and do basic math. However, lesson plans and traditional
textbooks are not the norm.
Unschooling is usually child-led. Generally speaking, unschoolers feel that a childï¿½s inner curiosity and desire to learn should
lead the way in learning. Unschoolers usually believe that each child has his or her own individual learning style which should
be accommodated. They do not believe that a child should be expected to accommodate himself or herself to a particular style of
teaching. Parents who unschool work with each of their children on an individual basis in relation to each childï¿½s ability and
areas of interest.
Eclectic learning is a general mix of both traditional and non-traditional learning styles. Many subjects may be structured (such
as Math or Language Arts) while other subjects may be unstructured (such as Science, Reading or History).
Eclectic learning is fast becoming the more popular type of homeschooling. The curriculum is generally a mix and match of what
parents have found works well for their children. In general, eclectic homeschooling parents do what they want in regards to
teaching their children. They do not feel bound to structured learning and keeping with a set curriculum, yet they are not as laid
back as unschoolers.
Homeschooling the Single Child
Homeschoolers report that it is sometimes more difficult to homeschool one child versus two or more children.
Many parents report that it is easy to place too much pressure on a single child, as the child is the sole focus of the parentï¿½s
day. Clashes may also arise between a parent and a single homeschooler as they are together for a large part of the day. Both
parents and single homeschooled children report that they sometimes feel smothered by each other. Some children also feel
Parents who homeschool one child report that it is better for both of them if they allow the child some time to work alone. It is
easy for the parent of a single homeschooler to hover over their childï¿½s shoulder. This may handicap the child into becoming
dependent upon their parent for approval, continually asking for help, and/or getting into the habit of not relying upon himself or
herself to find answers.
While children do not need to feel that they are alone, saying things like ï¿½Iï¿½ll be back in ten minutes to check your
work,ï¿½ or ï¿½Iï¿½m going to start lunch while you do your math,ï¿½ seems to work well.
When homeschooling a single child you may find that enrolling them in a support group or enrichment classes can greatly
benefit him or her. This will give the child the opportunity to be around peers, work in a group, and learn to take instruction from
someone other than a parent.
Being in a homeschool group will give the child the chance to make friends. You can encourage friendships with other
homeschoolers by allowing your child to invite his or her new friends on outings or for play dates at your home or the park.
The Most Important Thing to Remember About Homeschooling a Single Child
You should keep in mind that burnout is a possibility if you and your child do not have time apart. You need as much time away
from your child as he or she needs from you. When time is spent apart (even if that means just being alone in your own rooms)
homeschooling becomes more enjoyable and less of a chore.
Homeschooling Multiple Children
Homeschooling multiple children is sometimes like teaching school in a one room schoolhouse. You may have children which
range from Pre-School to High School. The key to successfully homeschooling multiple children is to make them independent
workers as early as possible.
Keep in mind that it may be necessary to spend as much time with a second grader as a tenth grader. Do not assume that just
because a child is older that he or she should be able to do everything alone.
Many parents who homeschool multiple children do so through Unit Studies, or by themes. Let's use the Civil War as an
example of a theme. Using the Civil War as the subject, you would gather reading material on the chosen subject to match each
childï¿½s reading level.
One child may focus on the cause of the Civil War and which states fought for the South and which states fought for the North,
while another child may be learning about the Generals of each side, and important battles. A preschooler may be given pictures
to colors of Abraham Lincoln or the American Flag and be required to learn the Pledge of Allegiance.
Once the books are read, each child would then start a report. A younger child may only have to come up with a book report,
while an older child may have to give a biography of a General or their opinion of the states that left the Union. A theme study
could also be worked into the spelling and/or vocabulary words each child has, along with a special art project.
Homeschooling parents who teach multiple children report that keeping to themes or unit studies keeps their work load at a
minimum. They are not required to keep up with many different subjects for each child at one time and it saves time.
Homeschooling parents who have toddlers or preschoolers find that it is easy to keep them occupied with a little forethought.
Many parents have toys or projects that can only be worked on during school hours. This keeps the little ones entertained while
the older children are working.
Homeschoolers and Socialization
Many people outside of the homeschool community are concerned about homeschoolers and socialization. The general
assumption by many is that a child who is homeschooled will lack socialization skills.
Tamra B. Orr states in her book A Parentï¿½s Guide to Homeschooling the following:
ï¿½The ability to socialize well with others implies that you know how to talk with people of all ages, types and backgrounds;
how to convey your thoughts clearly; how to have your own individual thoughts and opinions that you can comfortably share with
others; and how to listen to the thoughts of others in turn.ï¿½
Many homeschoolers believe that their children are not peer dependent and/or pressured, as many school children are on a
daily basis. Many homeschooling parents report that the type of socialization their children received at school is the exact reason
why they have chosen to take their children out of the school system and homeschool them. In addition, many homeschooling
families believe that homeschooling broadens their childrenï¿½s social skills, as shown in this excerpt from A Parentï¿½s Guide
ï¿½In homeschooling, children are truly out in that ï¿½real worldï¿½ they hear about in school. They run on errands with their
parents, go to church, join 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the YM/YWCA, interact with other homeschoolers in support groups,
play and talk with neighborhood children, take volunteer jobs, play on a community sports team, visit neighbors and relatives
and enroll in any variety of classes. They meet with people of all ages and types, and even a trip to the grocery store can turn
into a social event.ï¿½
Reports have shown that many homeschoolers are very well socialized and most have a positive self-esteem. Reports show that
homeschoolers tend to have a broader base of friends than other children as homeschoolers have friends of various ages,
sexes and backgrounds and they do not confine themselves to one particular group.
What constitutes ï¿½socializationï¿½ varies from individual to individual. While one would say that homeschoolers are very well
socialized, others would say that this is an impossibility as they are not able to interact with their peers on a day to day basis.
Convincing the Family to Homeschool
Many times the reluctance a spouse may have about homeschooling is due in part to finances. When one of the adults in a
household takes on the responsibility of homeschooling, usually any income that individual brought into the home will cease.
Many times the decision to homeschool or not will be decided by putting pen to paper and doing the numbers. If there is a way to
afford it, the hesitant spouse will usually grant their approval for a trial period of homeschooling.
To do the financial numbers, parents who are thinking of homeschooling will generally sit down and make out a list. This list will
show the money that would be saved each month by the spouse not working and the children being taken out of school. The
areas in which money would be saved could include clothes, lunches, gas, childcare for a young child, and the other
miscellaneous expenses of school and work. These figures will help the family determine whether they can afford to
Keep in mind that you are the parents need to determine what is best for their children. There common reasons parents want to
ï¿½ relaxed or a lack of teaching standards in your school district
ï¿½ violence in a school
ï¿½ a high number of students involved with alcohol or drugs
ï¿½ child with a learning disability
ï¿½ child that is not being pushed academically
When trying to convince a child about homeschooling , find out what his or her concerns are. Children who are young may
simply want to ride on a bus or have a chance to buy a lunch box. If so, you may be able to satisfy your child by taking him or her
on a bus ride in your town. You can also buy a lunch box and pack it for him or her each morning before homeschooling starts.
Older children may be afraid they will have no friends. Reassure them that they will still be allowed to have playtime with their
friends. Their curiosity may also be peaked if you tell them you are going to enroll them in a group or enrichment classes where
they can make friends with other homeschoolers.
***When first introducing homeschooling into a family, it should be viewed by all as a trial period. If children recognize this up
front, they may be more willing to give it a try.
Homeschoolers and College
Can Homeschoolers Get Into College?
Yes. Years ago it was difficult for a homeschooled child to enroll in college. However, is is not a problem today. With more than
1000 colleges and universities welcoming homeschoolers, a student should not have any difficulty going to a college of his or
What About the More Prestigious Colleges?
Prestigious colleges and universities will gladly accept a homeschooler. Check with the school your child is interested in to learn
their policy regarding homeschoolers.
Prestigious universities which welcome homeschoolers include Stanford University, West Point, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge,
Northwestern and Amherst.
Can Homeschoolers Get Scholarships?
Yes. Scholarships are available to homeschoolers, as well as public and private school teens. You and your child are
encouraged to start searching for scholarships in the junior year of high school.
What Can I Do to Help My Child Prepare for College?
One of the most important things a homeschooling family can do is to start thinking about college in the student's freshman year
of high school. Homeschooling parents are encouraged to list a few colleges of their childï¿½s choice and to do research on the
admission criteria of each. While your homeschooler may receive an accredited diploma from an umbrella school, many colleges
may require additional course work prior to allowing a student to enroll.
Try to plan out your childï¿½s four year high school course work so that he or she will be eligible to enter a college of his or her
choice. Many homeschooling parents may find that their child can attend classes at a local community college for those hard to
teach classes during the teenï¿½s junior and senior years. These courses can give him or her both high school and college
Many colleges place much emphasis on the scores of ACT and SATs of homeschoolers, as this test is impartial. You can enroll
your child in classes which will prepare him or her for these tests.
Benefits of an Umbrella School
What Is an Umbrella School?
An umbrella school is generally a private school which has an option available for homeschooling. An umbrella school has
students which actually attend the private school, as well as students who are registered as homeschoolers.
Why Do Homeschooling Families Want to Come Under a Private School?
A family who homeschools signs up under an umbrella school to essentially become ï¿½blanketedï¿½ or covered by the
umbrella school. When a family is covered by an umbrella school, the umbrella school stands between the family and the state in
which the family resides. This is very important to a family who does not want to be held accountable to the state for their
homeschooling decisions. Instead, the family is held accountable to the private/umbrella school.
Most, if not all, umbrella schools meet the requirements of the state in regards to education. Homeschooling families who are
registered under a private/umbrella school are required to meet the guidelines of the school. (This could simply mean that
homeschooling families turn in immunization, grades and attendance records to the private/umbrella school.) It is important to
note that each state has its own requirements for private and umbrella schools.
Many homeschooling families also sign up under an umbrella school so their child will receive a diploma from an accredited
school. A diploma from an accredited school is important to have when a child starts the college application process.
What Do Umbrella Schools Offer a Homeschooling Family?
Umbrella schools come in many different shapes and sizes. Many offer a wide range of services to a homeschooling family.
Umbrella schools may allow homeschoolers to participate in sports and/or labs, offer annual testing, guidance counseling and
more. Some umbrella schools may only serve as a record keeping office for a homeschooling familyï¿½s records.
Umbrella schools may dictate the type of curriculum which homeschoolers must use, while others may leave the choice up to the
individual families. Some umbrella schools are only offered to families of specific faiths, while others are more flexible with their
How Do I Find Out More About Umbrella Schools?
The best way to learn about umbrella schools is to contact a homeschool group in your area. Homeschool groups will generally
have a list of umbrella schools in your area. The contact information for these groups is generally available at your local library.
You can also go on the Internet and do a search for your city.
You think I'm an ignorant savage
And you've been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
Now can there be so much that you don't know?
You don't know ...
You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew
Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they're worth
The rainstorm and the river are my brothers
The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends
How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you'll never know
And you'll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind
You can own the Earth and still
All you'll own is Earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind