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.
There are basically two options in Michigan that allow you to home school your child. One is the state home school statute that says a legal guardian has the right to direct the education of the child. The second is what is referred to as the “Non-Public School Statue” where you seek to have your home school qualified as a non public school.
Under Michigan State Law, a child is not required to attend public school if, “the child is being educated at home, by a parent or legal guardian. . .in the subjects of reading, spelling, math, science, history, civics, literature, writing and English grammar.”
Under the home school statute, there are no requirements to notify, seek approval, test or file forms with the state. The burden is on the state to prove that the home education program is not fulfilling its obligation.
There are significantly more requirements to operate as a non-public school instead of a home school. I have to assume that the advantages of operating this way are that you would not need to be the child’s legal guardian. For example, if you wanted your child home schooled, but didn’t feel as if you could do it, perhaps Auntie Jane could. There are also several instances where groups of homeschoolers might get together to share teachings.
A home school that chooses this option must do the following:
1. Submit records of enrollment, courses of study, and qualifications of teachers, IF requested by the department of education.
2. These home schools must also furnish the local public school officials with these documents at the beginning of every school year: a) name and age of each child enrolled in the school b) name of the school district where the parent lives c) the name and address of the parent d) the name and age of any child enrolled in the school who is not in regular attendance.
3. Home schools under this option are required to have a certified teacher teach all subjects unless they have a religious objection to having a certified teacher.
Notes: Interestingly, home schools do not need to be approved and the board of education cannot enforce “compliance procedures.”
Compulsory Attendance: The child must be 6 and is under compulsory attendance until his 16th birthday.
Required Number of Days: There are no specified amounts of days.
Required Subjects: They must be comparable to those taught in a public school. (See above.)
There is no mandated record keeping or testing.