How to Legally Home Educate in the State of Kansas
Homeschooling is legal in Kansas; however, it is not specifically mentioned in the Kansas statutes. Instead, homeschoolers are considered a non-accredited private school.
There are relatively few requirements for non-accredited private schools in Kansas:
1. Register as a non-accredited private school in Kansas upon establishing a homeschool. The only information required is the name and address of the school and the custodian of school records. Registration only needs to be done one time, with no further action needed unless there has been a change in address or school name, or custodian of school records.
2. Teachers must be competent. Kansas state law does not require the certification of private school teachers. The competence of the teacher is determined independently of any certification or license.
3. The school must be in session for a period of time that is substantially equivalent to the public schools. Kansas public schools are required to conduct classes for 1,116 academic hours. To meet this requirement, homeschoolers may include all activities that are considered to be part of the academic program for their school: instruction and study time, field trips, library or online research time, co-op attendance, drama, music lessons, 4-H, sports, and so forth.
Mandatory School Attendance
Additionally, for all children in Kansas, there is a mandatory school attendance statute. Students between the ages of 7-18 must regularly attend school until they have graduated or earned their general equivalency diploma (GED). School attendance requirements may be met at a public school or a private school.
Kansas does not have a specific curriculum that it requires for non-accredited private schools. However, K.S.A. 72-1101 requires accredited schools to offer instruction in “reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, spelling, English grammar and composition, history of the United States and the State of Kansas, civil government and the duties of citizenship, health and hygiene.” Though not required, homeschoolers will find these to be useful academic benchmarks for their program.
How to Begin
To begin homeschooling in Kansas, The Christian Home Educators Confederation of Kansas (CHECK) recommends these steps:
1. Register your school with the Kansas State Department of Education. You may do this by mail or online.
2. Establish your homeschool program. Determine the curriculum you will use and have it together before withdrawing your child from public school. Develop a schedule, school calendar, and lesson plans. These add credibility to your homeschool program and do not need to be complicated. As the old adage goes, those who aim at nothing are sure to hit it. Make sure to keep good records as well.
3. Formally withdraw from the current school. Don’t just disappear! Specifically inform the present school (by phone, by letter, or in-person) that your student is withdrawing.
Finally, it is a good idea to connect with fellow homeschoolers through support groups in your area. Whatever reason your homeschooling decision was based upon religious, academic, circumstance; you can be sure that there is a support group out there that is right for you and your students.