This is not legal advice. As someone who lives in a state that is highly regulated, I cannot emphasize enough the need for you to advocate for yourself and make a point to know your state laws. While the school district will most likely provide you with a printed copy of the laws and regulations for home schooling, a local home schooling group can be a valuable asset when it comes to navigating your way through the system.
Rhode Island has rather generous home schooling laws. In Rhode Island you may choose to operate a home school under the following conditions:
A child may receive a course of home instruction that is approved by the school committee of the town where the child lives as long as:
The instruction is “substantially equal” to that of public schools.
The parents keep an attendance log.
Teaching in the required subjects is “thorough and relevant.”
If the local school committee denies the right of the parents to home school, the parents can appeal to the Department of Education and have the right to a hearing.
Alternatives to “operating a home school”
Some parents may present a ‘certificate’ certifying that their child is enrolled in some type of satellite program.
Some parents can home school under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which makes the state responsible for proving that the family home schooling is in direct conflict with state interests and that stopping a home schooling family is the ‘least restrictive’ means of securing state interests. (In other words, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act makes it very difficult to prosecute home schooling families without cause.)
Compulsory Attendance: Children must be in school if their 6th birthday falls on or before September 1st until they are 16 years of age. A child who is ‘enrolled in school’ at age 16, must have written permission from his parents to stop schooling before age 18.
Required Subjects: Subjects taught must be ‘substantially’ equivalent to those in public school and must include Rhode Island State History and the State Constitution.
There are no teacher requirements. Annual testing may be required by the town school committee. However, parents preference as to what test and who gives it and where, must be honored.