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Children in Connecticut have to go to public school unless the parent can show the child is learning the same subjects in another way. Homeschooling is one option to public education. Note this is different than “distance learning” offered during the Covid-19 pandemic where the children are still educated by their public school district, just not in the physical classroom.
The Connecticut General Statutes Regarding School Attendance, state that children are required “to attend a public school regularly during the hours and terms the public school in the district in which such child resides is in session, unless … … the parent or person having control of such child is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” This equivalent instruction could be via a private school or home instruction.
Under this law, there is a list of specific educational topics which must be covered: reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and citizenship, including the study of federal, state, and local government (CGS § 10-184). Parents are responsible for selecting the curriculum, finding the materials and providing the lessons. The law is “the parent must instruct or to be instructed” so you can’t have someone else homeschool your child on your behalf.
When homeschooling, you will need to determine the best way to teach this list of required topics, and other topics of interest, to your child based on their individual learning style. There are a wide variety methodologies, prepackaged curriculums for purchase, and free resources.
The CT Department of Education’s Guidelines about Homeschooling suggests (but can’t legally require):
If a student is currently enrolled in a public school and is switching to homeschooling then the student should be unregistered from the public school so they aren’t considered truant when they don’t attend.
The Southington Board of Education has a Home Instruction Policy. The Southington Public Schools (SPS) does not provide curriculum, books or materials to students being homeschooled. These children are also not allowed to participate in SPS sports, music or other activities since they aren’t students and so aren’t covered by the District’s insurance policy. SPS has a Home Instruction Form which lets the District know that your child will not be attending and that you will be covering the required subjects. The District Registrar can answer any questions about what the SPS provides. This form or a letter to unregister can be sent to her at:
Lara Nichols, District Registrar
200 North Main Street
Southington, CT 06489
Phone: (860) 628-3204
Fax: (860) 628-3205
There are several State and National organizations that can help if you with your homeschool decision.
National Home School Association (NHSA) – The NHSA is the national headquarters for home schooling in America. The NHSA provides comprehensive support, programs, activities, and resources to the nationwide community of homeschoolers.
CT Homeschool Network (CHN) is Connecticut’s largest statewide support & information homeschool organization that serves to inclusively inform, empower, and build community among home educators in the state of Connecticut.
CT Homeschoolers Inclusive – Connect and support CT homeschoolers regardless of geographic location, method of instruction or religious affiliation. The Yahoo Message Group is the hub of our activity, allowing homeschoolers across the state to connect to share ideas, methods, events and support.
Great Ways to Home Educate (GWHE) provides support, information, and enrichment activities and is available to all who have chosen to educate their children at home regardless of faith, curriculum choice, or teaching style. Their families are mainly located in Litchfield, New Haven, Fairfield, and Hartford counties in CT. They are an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing support for the homeschool community.
My Reflection Matters, LLC (MRM) provides the tools necessary to support and nurture the development of healthy racial and ethnic identities of Black and Brown children and older youth. MRM serves as an online parent-teacher warehouse, creates content, offers workshops and has a grassroots support group and cooperative, My Reflection Matters in CT Home Education, where parents unschooling or home educating Black and Brown children in the state of Connecticut, together, organize classes and activities for youth and adults that center decolonized learning and affirm the identities of BIPOC.
TEACH CT, is the Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers in Connecticut.
A local mother who homeschooled her children offers this advice: “To set your mind at ease about daily life and outcomes meet homeschooled children and families and also meet grown homeschoolers. Join playgroups of other homeschoolers and find the people who you feel comfortable with. Start with play and then attend classes together or set up co-ops.”