Homeschooling in Louisiana: Everything You Need to Know

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Are you planning on homeschooling in Louisiana? Find out everything you need to know right here, from laws to community, to helpful resources you may not know about.

Hi! I’m Candice. I’m a homeschool mom of 3 and I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I’ve been homeschooling for 8 years now and it’s one of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done.

I remember though, how it felt to be new to homeschooling. Trying to navigate all the rules can feel a little overwhelming.

There are so many different ways to homeschool and the requirements can vary from state to state. Or even worse, you figure out how to homeschool where you currently live, and then your family moves and you have to figure things out all over again!

Well, after homeschooling in Louisiana for over 6 years, I’ve figured a few things out. If you’re planning to homeschool in The Pelican State (or think you might one day), then keep reading, because I’m sharing everything you need to know about homeschooling in Louisiana.

Are you planning on homeschooling in Louisiana?  Find out everything  you need to know right here, from laws to community, to helpful resources you may not know about.

Homeschooling in Louisiana: Requirements

Louisiana is luckily a pretty low regulation state when it comes to homeschooling. You do have to register your children as homeschooled, but it’s a pretty simple process and it can all be done online.

To homeschool you have two options:

  1. Home Study
  2. Non-Public School (Not Seeking State Approval)

Let’s chat a bit about the differences between the two.

Home Study

By registering your student as Home Study you are agreeing to teach your child in accordance with the Louisiana state standards. Every year you will send in your initial or renewal application.

You can apply at any time of the year to homeschool your child.

Here is a quick overview of the Home Study option:

  • You choose and provide the curriculum.
  • There are no teaching certification requirements.
  • You choose the grade level for your child when sending in the application.
  • Home Study renewal must be done within 12 months of the previous application.
  • The parent is responsible for providing a transcript upon graduation. However, all college and state departments recognize a diploma awarded to a student through the Home Study program.
  • Students must be registered as Home Study for 11th and 12th grade to qualify for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). This is a state-funded scholarship for qualifying students who are going to attend a Louisiana college or university.
  • State testing is not required.

The application process is pretty simple for Home Study and can be done online through the Louisiana Department of Education.

If you have more questions about the Home Study Program, you can read through the Home Study guidelines here.

Non-Public School (Not Seeking State Approval)

The other option for homeschooling in Louisiana is to register as a Non-Public School not seeking state approval. This pretty much means you are registering as your own private school and don’t have to meet any requirements from the state.

When you register each year, you simply report how many students are attending your “private school” by the thirtieth day after school begins and you’re done.

There is literally nothing else that needs to be reported to the state.

The application process is even simpler when registering as a non-public school. You can also do it online through the Louisiana Department of Education.

Home Study Vs. Non-Public (Not Seeking State Approval)

With two very different options for homeschooling in Louisiana, you might be wondering which one you should choose. Honestly, it just depends on your goals when it comes to homeschooling.

Reasons to register as Home Study:

  • You are only homeschooling for a short period of time and plan on putting your kids back in public school.
  • Your child is in 11th or 12th grade and you want them to qualify for TOPS.
  • You want a diploma that is accepted at Louisiana state colleges and universities. (I’m fairly certain you can do 11th and 12th grade for this as well.)

Reasons to register as Non-Public (Not Seeking State Approval):

  • You have the freedom to homeschool your kids however you want.
  • You don’t want to worry about providing proof of learning each year you renew your homeschool registration.

Most homeschoolers in Louisiana choose to register as Non-Public (Not Seeking State Approval) at least until 11th and 12th grade regardless of their homeschool philosophy or curriculum choices.

It’s just easier for the parent and less to worry about throughout the year. Plus, until your child hits high school, there really isn’t any benefit or incentive to register as Home Study.

How to Withdraw From Public School

Another common question that comes up for new homeschoolers in Louisiana is how to withdraw their student from public school. If you decide to homeschool your child before they attend public school, then you will simply register them as either Home Study or Non-Public School, and you’re done.

If your child is already enrolled in public school, however, you have a couple more steps that need to be done.

  1. Email or mail your withdrawal letter to the school your child is attending. (You can find a sample withdrawal letter here.)
  2. Register your child as either Home Study or Non-Public School (Not Seeking State Approval).
  3. Email or mail a Notice of Enrollment letter to the school. (You can find a sample Notice of Enrollment Letter here.)

That’s it! It’s a really simple process.

Know Your Rights

Despite withdrawing your child being a simple process, not all school systems or staff are aware of the homeschool laws in Louisiana, so they might argue, resist your attempts to withdraw your child, or insist you fill out other forms that aren’t necessary.

Here are some things you should know:

  • The schools are not allowed to stop you from withdrawing. They must drop your child, regardless of how you choose to homeschool.
  • You are not required to sign a home study form in the school office. You take care of that on your own, not the school.

If you’ve followed the above steps, you are DONE! Nothing else is required from you and the rest is the school’s responsibility, not yours.

Not every parent has difficulties withdrawing their kids from public school, but it’s best to understand what’s required of you ahead of time.

Homeschool Communities

One of the best things about homeschooling in Louisiana is that the homeschool community here is quite large.

Prior to COVID, the homeschool community was pretty big, but once parents got a taste of teaching their children from home, it’s only been growing.

This means there are so many different groups and communities available for families to choose from. No matter your homeschooling philosophy, there is something for everyone.

Homeschool Groups

Especially if you’re new to homeschooling or have moved to a new area, finding local homeschool groups can be really helpful. Other homeschool moms are an amazing resource for homeschooling in your area.

The most popular method of keeping in touch for most homeschool groups in Louisiana is through Facebook. So I’ve put together a list of Facebook groups and websites categorized by city.

If you see one in your area, feel free to join and let them know that you’re new to homeschooling. Most homeschoolers are happy to invite you to their meetups and let you know about any other local groups you might want to join.

Louisiana Homeschool Groups

Alexandria

Baton Rouge

Hammond

Lafayette

Lake Charles

Monroe

New Orleans

Shreveport

If you didn’t find your city listed, don’t worry. There is probably a group near you. Just search for “homeschool groups in (list your city)” and see what pops up.

If that doesn’t work, ask around in the bigger Louisiana homeschool groups. They often have threads where people post about local groups or someone in there can help point you in the right direction.

Homeschool Co-ops

Another really helpful resource for new (or old) homeschoolers is co-ops. A homeschool co-op is a group of families that comes together to teach classes.

Some co-ops only offer academic classes while others include things like art, music, and PE.

Co-ops can be run by the parents or have paid teachers. They usually follow the public school calendar but some meet year-round.

Co-ops are a great way to get out of the house and meet other homeschooling families while still getting some structure for your day.

Here are a few Louisiana homeschool co-ops listed by city:

Alexandria

Baton Rouge

Hammond

Lafayette

Monroe

New Orleans

Shreveport

FAQ’s About Homeschooling in Louisiana

Still have a few questions about homeschooling in Louisiana? I’ve listed some common questions that often come up.

At what age is my child required to start school?

According to the Louisiana Department of Education, children are required to attend school by the age of 7. Once your child turns 7 you are required by law to have them registered as either Home Study or Non-Public School (Not Seeking State Approval).

What happens if I decide I want to put my child back in public school later?

If you choose to put your child back in public school, you will have to work with that school’s requirements. Typically your child will be tested by the school system to determine what grade level they will be in.

Are there any attendance requirements for homeschooling in Louisiana?

Louisiana has pretty strict attendance requirements for their public schools, but you have a lot more leeway as homeschoolers. If you’re registered as Home Study, you are required to homeschool for 167 days a year.

However, you don’t have to provide any sort of proof of attendance to the state. So you can create your homeschool schedule however you like.

If you’re registered as Non-Public, each year you report how many students are attending your “school,” but you don’t have to provide the number of days the student attended.

Does Louisiana provide any funding for homeschoolers?

No. You, the parent, are responsible for providing all the curriculum and resources for educating your child.

However, if you choose to register as Home Study, you do have the option to use state-approved textbooks from your local school system. This is only if they have extra copies available.

With all the free resources out there for homeschoolers though, it’s not really worth the effort to try and get them from the local school.

Does my child still qualify for any state-funded services for disabilities?

As a homeschooler, your child won’t qualify for any services offered by the state for children with disabilities. Only children registered in public schools receive those services.

You will have to find and provide resources to help your child on your own.

How do I graduate my homeschooler in Louisiana?

As a homeschooler, there are no specific requirements for graduation. You can pick the courses you think will help your student the most depending on their plans for after graduation.

Then create your own transcript and diploma and go from there.

If your child is registered under Home Study and you are trying to qualify for TOPS, then you’ll need to follow the TOPS University Diploma Requirements.

Here is a quick overview:

  • English 4 units
  • Math 4 units
  • Science 4 units
  • Social Studies 4 units
  • Foreign Language 2 units
  • Art 1 unit
  • Health/Physical Education 2 units
  • Electives 3 units

Check out the TOPS University Diploma Requirements to see the full breakdown and what classes qualify for which subjects.

Even when registering as Home Study, you’ll still need to create your own transcript and diploma.

Beyond that, be sure to check any college or university requirements if your child is planning to attend college after high school.

Helpful Resources for Homeschooling in Louisiana

Sample Letter of Withdrawal – for withdrawing from public school.

Sample Notice of Enrollment letter – for withdrawing from public school.

Home Study Guidelines – information on what Home Study is, responsibilities of the parents, requirements, and paper application.

Graduation Requirements – a breakdown of the graduation requirements from the Louisiana Department of Education.

Louisiana Department of Education –  The Louisiana Department of Education is responsible for public education in Louisiana. They are the ones who set the rules and regulations for homeschooling in Louisiana and you use their site to register for homeschooling.

Home School Legal Defense Association – HSLDA is a national organization that provides legal assistance and representation to homeschooling families. They also offer information about homeschooling laws and regulations in Louisiana.

Louisiana Homeschool Support –  This is a great Facebook group for homeschooling families in Louisiana. It’s a great place to ask questions, get advice, and find out about local events.

Conclusion to Homeschooling in Louisiana

Now that you know a little bit more about homeschooling in Louisiana, I hope that you feel encouraged and equipped to start your homeschool journey! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to help fellow homeschoolers!

If you are homeschooling in Louisiana, drop a comment below: what are some of your favorite resources and activities?

And if you’d love to have a printable resource to use to keep track of state homeschool requirements, key organizations, activities and field trip plans, and curriculum notes, grab a copy of my Curriculum & Activity Planner below (it’s free!):

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Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.

About the Author

Candice McDaniel

Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.

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3 Comments

  1. Savannah A says:

    Thanks for clarifying a few things I was fuzzy on!

  2. This was great & as always right on time. I was just reregistering mine & wondering which option to choose for our high school homeschooler.

  3. Thanks! Helpful information!

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