Every child in Maryland who is 5 years and older and under 18 must attend a public school “unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age” or has completed a home instruction program that has been verified by the local school system or supervising entity. Learn more about compulsory school attendance.
Parents/guardians who wish to home school a child should familiarize themselves with the applicable law, including Maryland Code, Education Article, 7-301 and Code of Maryland Regulations ("COMAR") Title 13A, Subtitle 10 ("Home Instruction"). Note that a local school system may not impose additional requirements for home instruction programs other than those in the Maryland regulations.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Education § 7–301
Read the Regulations: Code of Md. Regulations, Title 13A, Subtitle 10
Written Agreement - If a parent or guardian wishes to home school a child, the parent/guardian should contact their local home school coordinator. The parent/guardian must submit a confidential Home Schooling Notification form to the local school superintendent at least 15 days before starting a home schooling program. Forms are available on the Maryland State Department of Education's website as well as from your local home school coordinator.
The parent/guardian must annually verify with the local school superintendent or supervising entity whether their child will continue to be home schooled. Annual verifications must be completed before the school year begins. If there are any changes in the child's home school status, the parent/guardian must also notify the local school superintendent or supervising entity.
Read the Regulation: Code of Md. Regulations, 13A.10.01.01
Instruction/Curriculum - The home instruction program must provide regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in public schools to children of the same age. Required subjects include English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. Home instruction must occur on a regular basis during the school year and be of sufficient duration to implement the instruction program. The instruction program may include enrollment (part-time or full-time) in courses offered by accredited or unaccredited colleges. Read the Maryland regulations carefully for information about curriculum requirements and exceptions. Note that neither the local school system nor the Maryland State Department of Education will provide a required curriculum for use in home instruction. It is the parent's/guardian's responsibility to select curriculum and instructional materials.
Supervision - If a parent/guardian provides instruction, they must maintain a portfolio of materials used to instruct the children and of examples of each child’s work. These materials must be reviewed by a local public school or a supervising entity at the end of each school semester. Supervising entities include a nonpublic school that holds a Certificate of Approval from the Maryland State Department of Education, a church-exempt nonpublic school, or an institution (education ministry) offering an educational program operated by a bona fide church organization. A full list of nonpublic entities registered to supervise home instruction is available through the Maryland State Department of Education website.
If the reviewing school decides the child is not receiving proper instruction, the parent/guardian has 30 days to show that the problem has been resolved. If the problem is not resolved within that time, the parent/guardian must enroll the child in a public school or accredited nonpublic school. Parents/guardians do not need to make a portfolio of materials and samples of work if the child is enrolled in a home schooling program through a qualified nonpublic school. The nonpublic school has to provide students with personal assistance and educational materials. Each year, organizations offering home schooling must notify local school officials of the students they are supervising.
Participation with Local Public Schools - Home-schooled children may participate in standardized tests at their local public school. However, the Maryland regulations do not provide for children receiving home instruction to participate in courses or activities offered by the local public school.
Read the Regulation: Code of Md. Regulations, 13A.10.01.02