Homeschooling in North Dakota: Endless Opportunities Await

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In North Dakota, the opportunities are endless as you find the freedom to educate your children as you see fit. Are you interested in homeschooling in North Dakota? Let’s take a look at some things you need to know as you begin your journey.

In North Dakota, the homeschool community is growing and the opportunities are endless. Are you interested in homeschooling in North Dakota?  Let's take a look at some things you need to know as you begin your journey.

Homeschooling in North Dakota

Homeschooling in North Dakota is more challenging in that there are more regulations than other states such as its neighbor South Dakota. This can seem overwhelming, but I assure you that it can be a good thing. 

There are two options for families who want to teach their children at home. 

Option 1: Homeschooling under the home education law

This is similar to how other states homeschool, where the parent is involved in the curriculum and keeping kids accountable. 

You MUST have a high school diploma or a GED if you go this route, or be monitored by a certified teacher in North Dakota.

14 days before you start to homeschool (and each year afterwards), you must file a letter of intent to homeschool with the superintendent of your local school district. A sample letter can be found here from the North Dakota Homeschool Association.

Option 2: Homeschool as a private school

This option is only possible if you are a North Dakota certified teacher. You must receive a background check, teach the subjects that are required of the public schools, and submit a letter of intent each year. You must also record attendance and make sure you homeschool for the same length of time as your local public schools.

North Dakota Homeschool Requirements

North Dakota has a few specific requirements for homeschooling families. 

For starters, you need to make sure you are keeping track of your days and hours. You are required to give your kids a minimum of four hours of instruction a day for at least 175 days each year.

Homeschool Record Keeping in North Dakota

The records that you should keep handy at all times for your homeschooled children are: 

  • Immunization records
  • Teacher qualifications (this is only if you choose to homeschool as a private school)
  • Assessments Results
  • Evidence of state-mandated subjects taught

State Mandated Subjects Required

In North Dakota, the required subjects are the same as children registered in traditional schooling.  For elementary and middle school, these subjects include:

  • English Language Arts (including reading, composition, creative writing, English grammar, and spelling)
  • Math
  • Social Studies (including the United States Constitution, United States history, geography, and government. 4th and 8th grades should include North Dakota studies, with an emphasis on the geography, history, and agriculture of North Dakota)
  • Science (including agriculture)
  • Physical Education
  • Health (including physiology, hygiene, disease control, and the nature and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics)

The required subjects once student enter high school include:

  • English language arts (includes literature, composition, and speech)
  • Math
  • Science (includes biology and chemistry or physical science)
  • Social Studies (includes U.S. history, civics, economics, and concepts of personal finance)
  • Physical Education
  • Foreign languages or fine arts or career and technical education

Make sure you keep a record of when and how your children are learning these subjects. 

Testing Requirements

While in 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th grades, your kids must take a standardized achievement test unless you can claim an exemption. You can find more information on these standardized testing requirements on the North Dakota Homeschooling Association’s website.

Homeschool Community in North Dakota

Finding small groups or co-ops is an excellent opportunity for you to connect with other like-minded families in the homeschool world.  

One popular state-wide group is Classical Conversations. This group has small mini-chapters throughout the state for you to connect with your community with classes and small groups. This biblical homeschool group is a wonderful resource that might be a great fit for your family. 

North Dakota also has several co-ops run through local churches. Connect with your local children’s pastor to see where one is by you. 

Other Fun Learning Opportunities for Homeschoolers

Bison BEST (boosting engineering, science and technology) is a wonderful group of homeschool families that work to build a strong foundation in the sciences. It is a volunteer run and don’t be surprised if you end up helping out- it is so much fun you won’t want to miss out!

The North Dakota Museum of Art is a wonderful place to check out as well. Not only are they constantly changing their art and layouts, but they offer several children’s activities to help encourage their own creativity. 

Another must-visit spot is the Dickinson Museum Center. Filled with dinosaur bones, paleontology staff and lots of fun for kids, you’ll love this museum. There are even opportunities to volunteer on dinosaur digs and watch scientists work in their labs (behind a glass wall, of course).

Enjoy Homeschooling in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the homeschooling rules are set to help children have a strong foundation in their education for the rest of their lives. While that does mean more paperwork for the parents, it also means a lot of opportunity for your family. 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments: are you homeschooling in North Dakota? What are some of your favorite websites, resources, and places to visit? Drop a comment below!

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.

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