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Homeschooling is growing in popularity across the United States! It is legal in all 50 states, but the rules and regulations depend upon your home state. Today we are exploring homeschooling in New Hampshire.
There are three big pieces to keep in mind when starting to homeschool in NH: the letter of intent, portfolio, and assessment. Visit Granite State Home Educators for considerably more in-depth information about each of these actions.
Steps for Homeschooling in New Hampshire
The Letter of Intent is your first action. You may be asked, but do NOT have to include a reason for withdrawal. It is recommended to send your notification via certified mail so that you have proof of submission. You can find a template to use at the NH Department of Education, or create your own, but it must include:
- the children’s names
- birth dates
- parent(s)’ name(s)
- daytime phone number
- date the home ed program will begin
- signature of the parent(s)
Upon graduation, or completion of the home education program, parents are also required to notify the State Department of Education. Again, it is recommended to create a paper trail via certified mail. This is only required if the child is under 18 upon completion of homeschooling.
Homeschoolers do not receive a diploma from the state, but rather self-certify that graduation requirements have been met. If your child is under 18 upon graduation, your notification must include the following information:
- name and address of student, date of birth
- name and address of parents, daytime phone numbers
- date the home education program completed
- parent signature
The second piece of the puzzle is the portfolio. This is a record of home education that should include samples of writing assignments, worksheets, tests, creative work, field trip reports, activity notes, and computer program printouts (from digital curriculum). It should also include a list of books and videos the student read/watched as part of the homeschool year. Assessments must be included.
The district can ask to review the portfolio, but this tends to remain the family’s private property, and it makes for a great memory keeper.
The last piece you must fulfill is the annual assessment. This can be completed with a standardized achievement test, an evaluation by a certified teacher, or another method agreed upon by parents and the district. Regardless of the method chosen, students must show “progress commensurate with age, ability, and/or disability.” (2022 House Bill 1663)
Some standardized tests are aligned with Common Core standards, while others are not. Some have hefty fees, while others are more affordable. Scoring turn-around times should also be considered, to be sure you complete the assessment during the school year. It does not have to be done at the end of the school year; some families test at the beginning of each school year instead. (If you are looking for an affordable, non-Common Core aligned option, check out the 1970-edition California Achievement Test from Christian Light.)
If choosing to go the evaluation route, you’ll need to find a certified teacher to evaluate your portfolio. This is a more subjective option and can work to the advantage of special needs homeschoolers.
Speaking of special needs homeschooling in the Granite State, from ages 3-6, the school district is required to provide any needed services (such as speech). After the age of 6, they are not required to do so. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) services end when you withdrawal your child from school. If you already have an IEP in place, start where your child is developmentally, rather than attempting to jump into chronological age.
Learn more about homeschooling special needs children at Teaching the Special Needs Child. You can find at-home resources to use for speech and occupational therapies, two of the most common services needed, at Speech Therapy in Homeschool.
If you choose not to pursue an IEP prior to age 6, but still want to look into development testing, you will need to look to private organizations. It can still be a worthwhile option, however, if you think your child may want to enroll in classes at schools or private organizations in the future.
If you think your child has a learning disability that might qualify for an IEP or 504 plan, it is worth pursuing testing. The results may be used for accommodations for other formal tests such as the SAT or ACT. It should be noted that re-testing is usually required every three to five years.
Gifted & Talented
Gifted & talented students also fall under the umbrella of special needs homeschooling. If a child wants to participate in district programming, they are required to complete enrollment requirements, which may include the SAT, PSAT, ACT, IQ testing, or other assessment.
Taking the test and submitting results, however, does not guarantee the district will allow your child to participate. If you need any help, it is best to contact HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) for assistance.
Homeschool Community in New Hampshire
While there are no conventions currently scheduled within the state of New Hampshire, there are a few in surrounding states, depending on which part of the Granite State you reside in. For those living in the southern part of the state, Sturbridge, Massachusetts offers the Mass Hope Christian Homeschoolers Convention in May.
Those living more to the north may be interested in the Central Main Homeschool Expo in Bangor, Maine. For those who prefer online programming, the Homeschoolers of Main Annual Convention is held completely online.
You can also find other online options that are less locally-oriented at the Ultimate List of Homeschool Conventions.
There you have it! I hope this has been helpful information as you begin or continue your journey homeschooling in New Hampshire.
Leave a comment below and let us know: what are your favorite groups, resources, and field trip ideas for homeschooling in New Hampshire?
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!):
Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.
About the Author
Yvie is a veteran homeschooling mom and lead teacher at Sparks Academy. She helps to create unit studies and enjoys helping other families on their homeschool journey. When not teaching or counseling, she enjoys reading, spending time in her garden, and traveling the country with her boys. You can find her at Homeschool On the Range, on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
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