Homeschooling in Vermont: What You Need to Know

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Vermont, the Green Mountain state, is full of natural beauty and pastoral scenery. With clean air and clean water, it’s a beautiful place to live. But what is it like homeschooling in Vermont?

Vermont, the Green Mountain state, is full of natural beauty and pastoral scenery. With clean air and clean water, it’s a beautiful place to live. But what is it like homeschooling in Vermont?

Homeschooling in Vermont

Vermont 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 Vermont is not impossible. You will have to meet the following requirements, however:

  1. Send a written enrollment notice to the Secretary of Education for each child
  2. Submit a narrative, outlining the content to be provided in each subject area
  3. Obtain acknowledgement of compliance by the secretary of education (note this is acknowledgement, not an “approval” process)
  4. Submit the results of a standardized assessment to the secretary of education when you file paperwork to homeschool the following school year annually (a report that includes a portfolio of the student’s work could be submitted alternatively).

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

  • Basic Communication Skills (reading, writing, and the use of numbers)
  • Citizenship
  • History
  • Government (Vermont and U.S.)
  • Physical Education
  • Comprehensive Health Education (effects of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and drugs on the human system and on society)
  • English and Literature
  • Natural Sciences
  • Fine Arts

There are options to be a part of a virtual umbrella school to help you meet the requirements as well. It will depend on your comfort level with oversight versus completely independent study. Unschoolers will have to investigate those options, too. Oak Meadow offers resources for homeschooling families in Vermont.

Compulsory school age is 6-16 years old.

Fun and Educational Things to Do in Vermont

Vermont offers many choices for field trips and nature study. There is no shortage of opportunities to explore rivers, waterfalls, and of course, the Green Mountains. Wildlife such as deer, fish, butterflies, birds, and even moose offer a chance to observe nature.

Outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, lacrosse, ice hockey, horseback riding, and skiing are very popular. All of these make excellent choices for physical education or hobbies.

Places to Visit in Vermont

There are many fun field trips opportunities throughout the state of Vermont. Here are a few that are great places for homeschoolers to visit:

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain – This is an awesome science center on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. It has daily 3D science documentaries, a touch pool with starfish and other aquatic life, fish of all kinds that are native to Lake Champlain, a weather station, water tables, science demonstrations, special events, and so much more! We had so much fun while learning here.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory –What’s not to love about delicious ice cream? You can see where it all started for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream legacy in Waterbury, Vermont. There are factory tours available, with samples included. It’s so interesting – and educational – to see how the ice cream is made!

Vermont Teddy Bear Company – Before there was Build A Bear, there was Vermont Teddy Bear. You can tour the factory in Shelburne, Vermont, and make your own custom teddy bear (or other stuffed animal) while you’re there. Kids love it!

Historic tours of Waterbury, Vermont – You can take the “windshield tour” of Waterbury, see the Mad River, and head into the ski country of Stowe from this central location. There are many opportunities for nature study in this area, as well as gorgeous leaf peeping in the fall. 

Cabot Cheese – Visit the Farmer’s Store at the Cabot Cheese headquarters, as well as taking a farm tour to learn how they make the cheese and get it from farm to table.

Smugglers’ Notch State Park – Enjoy hiking and scenic natural beauty in this state park. So many beautiful areas to explore! You won’t believe the boulders all around this notch within the mountains.

Trapp Family Lodge – Remember the von Trapp family from The Sound of Music? Visit their family home in America, which became the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont! The views are beautiful from the top of the hills and mountains all around. With traditional chalet style architecture, it really is a little bit of Austria in Vermont!

Homeschooling in Vermont Resources

You can find the homeschooling requirements for Vermont 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 Vermont, so drop a comment below! What are some of your favorite resources? What tips and advice would you offer new homeschooling families?

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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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the education!

    Brianna

  2. zekesmom10 says:

    Umbrella schools are not an option in Vermont. While enrollment in Oak Meadow is an option in VT, it is not considered homeschooling. It’s a private school. Of course, homeschoolers *can* and do use OM curriculum in their homeschools, but it that instance it’s no different than any other curriculum a homeschooler might use.

  3. I think “highly regulated” is a matter of perspective. I have only homeschooled in VT and have done so for 15 years. It seems easier to me as I go on and realize exactly what they are asking for in their documentation.

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