Getting Started

Home Education Magazine’s Mary Nix has a timely post for homeschoolers just getting started.  Check it out!

Not Back to School Resources

I’ve sent along information to interested parents enough that I came up with a standard (not standardized) fact letter that has links to original documentation/statutes. If the kids haven’t been in the public schools, there is no reporting or documentation required to send to schools to learn in freedom. Gettysburg History Lesson

Here it is for Illinois homeschoolers if they’re exiting or deciding whether to come out of the public schools:

Hello New Homeschooler,

Welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling!   If you know the law and have it handy as you withdraw your child, then you are in good shape. The wonderful part of homeschooling is that you will be able to create the best homeschool for your child  that will be custom fit to their needs.

Here is the link for compiled statutes:

This legal information is solely my opinion and I’m not a lawyer.  I think homeschoolers should think like lawyers regarding their rights and responsibilities, particularly since we’re a tiny alternative lifestyle minority. 

If you choose to homeschool, you will be transferring from public school to a private school. IL homeschoolers are considered a private school (at the same status as any brick and mortar private school) per a 1950 IL Supreme Court ruling (Levisen). You will be the administrator (principal, superintendent) of your private school.

If you’re leaving the public school to homeschool, there are some do’s and don’ts involved. 

Notification of transfer is now required per this linked statute:

(105 ILCS 5/2‑3.13a) (from Ch. 122, par. 2‑3.13a)
    Sec. 2‑3.13a. School records; transferring students.

c) The State Board of Education shall, by rule, establish a system to provide for the accurate tracking of transfer students. This system shall, at a minimum, require that a student be counted as a dropout in the calculation of a school's or school district's annual student dropout rate unless the school or school district to which the student transferred (known hereafter in this subsection (c) as the transferee school or school district) sends notification to the school or school district from which the student transferred (known hereafter in this subsection (c) as the transferor school or school district) documenting that the student has enrolled in the transferee school or school district. This notification must occur within 150 days after the date the student withdraws from the transferor school or school district or the student shall be counted in the calculation of the transferor school's or school district's annual student dropout rate. A request by the transferee school or school district to the transferor school or school district seeking the student's academic transcripts or medical records shall be considered without limitation adequate documentation of enrollment. Each transferor school or school district shall keep documentation of such transfer students for the minimum period provided in the Illinois School Student Records Act. All records indicating the school or school district to which a student transferred are subject to the Illinois School Student Records Act.
(Source: P.A. 93‑859, eff. 1‑1‑05; 94‑696, eff. 6‑1‑06.)

If you do choose to homeschool, school administrators might also ask you to fill out a Home School Registration Form. That form is NOT mandated and as you’ll notice in the link, it’s updated every year and put into the ISBE Data Analysis and Progress Reporting Dept database. Most homeschoolers would strongly discourage sending in that form for your sake and to not help set precedents for other homeschoolers:

IL Homeschoolers-Eight Reasons NOT to Register

The form will likely look like some version of this directly below:

Home School Registration

The list owner Lynn Hocraffer has sample withdrawal letters here.

Here’s the pertinent statutes:


(105 ILCS 5/26-1) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-1) Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age-Exemptions. Whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 years (unless the child has already graduated from high school) shall cause such child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session during the regular school term, except as provided in Section 10-19.1, and during a required summer school program established under Section 10-22.33B; provided, that the following children shall not be required to attend the public schools:

1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language;

Teach the branches of education taught to kids the same age and grade
as your son and teach it in the English language. (Unless he’s
learning a foreign language.)

Ordering catalogs and reading home education mags is a great idea.
Rainbow Resource  (an Illinois company) is very thick and will show you some of the endless
possibilities available for homeschooling.

For new homeschoolers, there are also many, many general resources
online to research. Here’s some of my favorites:

Home Education Magazine’s
For New Homeschoolers:
Starting Out, Learning The Ropes Questions and Answers, FAQs

Ann Zeise’s Beginning to Homeschool

Lillian Jone’s  The best advice of seasoned homeschoolers and other educators…

There’s so many other resources online and there are usually local resources available in your library.  Check it out. You’ll appreciate and enjoy your new discoveries and possibilities and then be able to make the best decision with that information for your family.

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