Are you new to homeschooling or new to the area? This FAQ page provides answers on how homeschooling works in Alabama.

Compulsory School Age


Compulsory school age in Alabama is 6-17. All students in this age group must be enrolled in a school program or homeschooled.




Withdrawal


If your student has already been enrolled in school you will need to formally withdraw them to avoid being reported as truant.




Homeschooling Options


In Alabama there are three options to legally homeschool: hire a private tutor, register directly with your board of education, or use a church school (aka cover/umbrella school).
Families that use a private tutor must follow the requirements set by Ala. Code §16-28-5(1975) For more information on self registering with the BOE, click here. For more information about church schools, click here.




Online Schooling


Students who school through state provided online learning programs, such as K12 or Connections Academy, still belong to the public school system and must follow all of the state's requirements and rules set forth by their programs. If you choose to school through this method do NOT register your child with a cover school or send in notice of homeschooling to the BOE. There are some private online schooling options. You will need to communicate with these programs individually to find out their enrollment policies and if you still need to go through the steps to register as a homeschooler with the BOE. ECHO does welcome those families that online school year round to participate in our activities. (This does not apply to students that do part time virutal school due to COVID-19.)




Requirements and Reporting


The ALSDE is the authority on all schooling matters in the state. They do not license or regulate private, church, or home schools. There is no entity that does so. There are no requirements that must be met or reports that must be turned in to the state. Alabama recognizes the right of parents to choose the instruction that is best for their children.




Transferring to Public School


Students who wish to enroll in public school after homeschooling (including private tutor instruction) may be required to take placement tests.




Diploma and Transcripts


Alabama requires that homeschool diplomas be treated the same as private school diplomas. It is up to individual parents to decide what courses must be completed to graduate and create a transcript. (Sometimes cover schools assist with this.) If a student plans to attend college, we recommend contacting prospective schools to see what courses they require/expect to see on a transcript. Parents who want to model their high school requirements after the public school graduation requirements can find them on the ALSDE website.




Curriculum & Instruction


The state does not have any curriculum requirements for homeschoolers and does not provide curriculum to homeschoolers. Homeschooling has grown a lot in the past few decades, and there are now many different methods of instruction and types of material available. Books, workbooks, audio material, videos, computer/online material, hands-on activities, and more. It can be a little overwhelming trying to plan your child's education. First, understand that a classroom environment operates differently than a homeschool environment. What works for 1 teacher in a room of 25 children that are all the same age for 7 hours a day, won't necessarily work for a parent at home with 3 kids of varying ages. Next, decide what approach you want to take to homeschooling. This website gives very helpful explanations on different types of methods along with pros & cons and resource links. Finally, gather your materials. The Cathy Duffy website has information and reviews on many different curriculum and resources. It can also be very helpful to ask other homeschooling parents about their curriculum choices.




Accreditation


Accreditation is for institutions. It does not apply to individual homeschooling families or curriculum brands. Colleges know this and will lean on ACT/SAT performance for admissions.