Are you considering homeschooling your child? You can do it! As you get started, it’s important to make sure you comply with the education laws where you live. This page helps you understand how to homeschool legally in Northern Mariana Islands—step by step.

Northern Mariana Islands Compulsory school attendance age

Northern Mariana Islands law requires children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend school.

Withdrawing your child from his or her current school

If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.

We invite you to become a member of HSLDA to receive specific advice about withdrawing your child from school and starting to homeschool. Local schools may have specific forms or withdrawal procedures. HSLDA members are eligible to receive individualized advice about whether complying with those procedures is advisable or required. HSLDA members are also eligible to use the sample letter of withdrawal for Northern Mariana Islands, available in Member Resources, to correspond with school officials.

We generally recommend that any correspondence with authorities be sent “Certified Mail—Return Receipt Requested.” Keep copies of the withdrawal letter and any other paperwork or correspondence, and any green postal receipts, for your personal records.

Note: If your child has never attended a public or private school, this section does not apply.

Complying with Northern Mariana Islands’s homeschool law

You can homeschool your child in the Northern Mariana Islands by receiving a waiver from the Commissioner of Education, which provides an exemption from compulsory attendance as a home study program. Here are the requirements to receive the waiver:

You must submit an application to the Commissioner at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the school year. The application must include:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of parent and student, and tutor, if applicable;
  • Justification for the home study program;
  • Auspices under which the home study will operate and the curriculum that will be taught;
  • Description and qualification of parent-instructor or tutor and, for any hired tutor, police clearance for the past three years;
  • Dates and hours of instruction;
  • For a hired tutor, negative active tuberculosis records; and
  • Any other pertinent and necessary information as requested by the Commissioner of Education.

The parents shall submit to the Commissioner monthly, quarterly, and annual reports on the progress of the home study program. In these reports, we recommend you include updates on attendance and the goals of the home study program.

At the end of each school year, submit a copy of the attendance record and goals of the home study program to the school the student would attend if he or she were enrolled in public school. The school will keep the records on file for at least five years.

The Importance of Recordkeeping

You can find Northern Mariana Islands’s recordkeeping requirements listed above. In addition to those requirements, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.

These records should include attendance records, information on the textbooks and workbooks your student used, samples of your student’s schoolwork, correspondence with school officials, portfolios and test results, and any other documents showing that your child is receiving an appropriate education in compliance with the law. You should maintain these records for at least two years. You should keep your student’s high school records and proof of compliance with the home education laws during the high school years (including any type of home education notice that you file with state or local officials) on file forever. HSLDA’s high school webpage has additional information about homeschool recordkeeping.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a national advocacy organization that supports the right of parents to educate their children at home. We are dedicated to protecting the legality of your homeschool while equipping you to successfully teach your children.

HSLDA members have 24/7 phone and email access to our staff of attorneys and legal assistants, who can help you understand the homeschool law in your state and will go to bat for you if a school official or other authority challenges your homeschool. Our 80,000 members—families like you!— also receive personalized advice on everything from homeschooling a high schooler to teaching a child with special needs from our team of education consultants.

Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.

Last updated July 11, 2016