How to Start Homeschooling in Maine

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You can start homeschooling in Maine easily once you’ve made a couple of decisions regarding the state requirements for homeschoolers. 

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We’ve lived in Maine throughout our entire homeschooling journey and I’ve found it to be easy to deal with the state’s few requirements for homeschoolers.

It is essential to know exactly what is legally required of homeschoolers by the state and ensure that you don’t give them more information than is necessary. As with anything government-related, you give them more than you have to and you’re putting your freedoms at stake. 

While it can be a bit nerve-racking to pull your child from school, the state of Maine makes the entire process fairly easy and holds only a moderate amount of requirements for homeschooling. 

Where to find information on Maine’s homeschool laws

Maine’s local laws are pretty straightforward and are easy to make work for your family. You can find a complete guide to the homeschool laws in Maine on the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website for an easy-to-follow and understand guide to the homeschool laws in Maine.

You’ll want to have this information on hand when you talk to your child’s school in case they try to make the transition difficult for you and your family.

How to pull your child from public school in Maine

In the state of Maine, you have two options to pull your child from the public school system to homeschool.

  • Option 1

The first is to simply fill out a notice to send to your school’s superintendent and to tell your child’s school that you are officially unenrolling them.

For option number one, in your Letter of Intent to Homeschool to the superintendent, you’ll need to include your personal information as well as your child’s along with a start date, state that you’ll be homeschooling for a minimum of 175 days a year and that you will be teaching all of the state’s required subjects. You must keep a copy of this letter and send a new one each year.

At the end of the year, you have 3 options regarding year-end assessments. 1) you can utilize a standardized test like the CAT (if you’d rather not provide the final results a state of Maine certified teacher can view them and complete a letter of review as in option 3), 2) your child can take a test with the local public school or 3) you can have your student’s work evaluated by a Maine-certified teacher. These assessments are due annually by September 1st. 

  • Option 2

The other option is to join with other parents who homeschool and homeschool as a “private school”. Personally, I’ve found that option two offers more freedom and less government involvement and is my choice for homeschooling in Maine.

When enrolled in a “private school” as a homeschooler, you will need to turn in the grades (letter or pass/fail), the number of days homeschooled, curriculum name and courses taken twice a year (January and June) to the administrator/principal. They are then responsible for keeping these details and reporting to the state that your child has been homeschooled that year.  

What are you required to teach in Maine?

The state of Maine requires a full list of core subjects and some elective topics to be taught in schools and homeschools. This includes language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts, Maine History (taught once at some point between grades 6 and 12) and computer skills (at least once at some point between grades 7 and 12).

Please keep in mind that you do not have to cover every subject, every single day. The list of subjects above is a standard list that is similar in most states. You’ll just need to cover each of the subjects above each school year – with the exception of Maine History and Computer Skills which only have to be completed 1x each. If you homeschool year round, you’ll have 365 days to complete them all. 

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