Homeschooling in Rhode Island: What You Need to Know

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Rhode Island, affectionately known as Little Rhodie, has a lot of history in spite of its small size. As a coastal New England state, it also offers natural beauty. But what is homeschooling in Rhode Island like?

Rhode Island, affectionately known as Little Rhodie, has a lot of history in spite of its small size. As a coastal New England state, it also offers natural beauty. But what is homeschooling in Rhode Island like?

Homeschooling in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is considered a highly regulated state by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This is in comparison to other states, which you can see on this map.

Still, homeschooling in Rhode Island is possible as long as you meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit an annual notice of intent to the school district and receive approval from the school district.
  2. Provide the required period of instruction, which is 180 days per year.
  3. Keep an attendance register and make it available to the school committee at the end of the year.
  4. Review any additional local district requirements. Individual school committees may have specific requirements for that particular district. 

You are required to teach certain subjects, too, including:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Geography
  • Arithmetic
  • Health and physical education
  • History of the United States 
  • History of Rhode Island 
  • Principles of American government (civics)

Homeschool Recordkeeping

Good recordkeeping is also highly recommended for Rhode Island homeschool families. This can be important to show yearly progress for the annual assessments and for high school transcripts.

Important paperwork to keep includes:

  • Attendance records
  • Information on the textbooks and workbooks used
  • Samples of your child’s schoolwork
  • Correspondence with school officials
  • Portfolios and test results
  • Any other documents showing that your child is receiving an appropriate education in compliance with the law

Compulsory school age is 6-18 years old.

Keep in mind that it is always good practice to send any correspondence to the school district as certified mail with return receipt requested so that you have proof that paperwork was submitted.

More about Life in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, so the beaches are a big part of the culture there. There are 400 miles of coastline and everyone in the state lives within 30 minutes of the ocean! There are lighthouses to visit and learn about maritime life throughout the history of our country. Rhode Island was one of the original 13 Colonies so there are historical sites to visit and learn about the founding of our country. 

Outdoor activities like birdwatching, hiking, swimming, boating, and kayaking are very popular. These make excellent opportunities for nature study and physical education, too.

Fun and Educational Places to Visit in Rhode Island

There are many fun field trip ideas to explore throughout the state of Rhode Island. Here are a few favorites that are great places for homeschoolers to visit:

Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village – This zoo is home to many endangered species and is a certified humane zoo so the animals are well cared for. There are 160 species of animals on display, everything from zebras to giraffes to elephants and red pandas. Kids have a chance to feed farmyard animals and giraffes, too. It’s educational and fun! Carousel Village offers train rides and of course, carousel rides, and more fun activities through the year.

Biomes Marine Biology Center – This Marine Biology center is home to the largest collection of New England marine life with more than 120 different species. Most of them are natively found in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, including sharks, eels, snakes, tortoises, and more. 

Providence Children’s Museum – This interactive museum offers kids a range of hands-on exhibits to try, which is always a fun way to learn! Exhibits include a children’s garden, a water activity, and an artistic “maker’s studio.” Children’s Museums are usually homeschool family-friendly, too, so be sure to check for special events and discounts.

Norman Bird Sanctuary – You’re sure to see plenty of local and migratory birds at the Norman Bird Sanctuary! There are 325 acres and 7 miles of marked hiking trails to explore. The Sanctuary also hosts special educational programs and camps throughout the year, so check the event calendar on the website for more information before your visit.

Belcourt Castle – Take a tour of this historic mansion and learn about its unique history. It has an interesting story as well as architecture. It was designed by the same man who designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty!

Homeschooling in Rhode Island Resources

You can find the homeschooling requirements for Rhode Island on the state website with further details and explanations. It is always best to read the regulations for yourself and seek legal counsel if you have specific questions or issues to be sure that you are in compliance.

I would love to hear from you if you are homeschooling in Rhode Island! What are your favorite places to visit? Any tips or advice for new homeschooling families? 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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