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—step by step.


Compulsory school attendance age

You must enroll your child in school if he or she will be 6 years old on or before December 31. If your child is 6 years old, but will not turn 7 on or before December 31, you can obtain an exemption for that school year by filing a notarized statement with your local public school district.

Your child is required to attend school until he or she turns 18 years old. If your child graduates from your homeschool program prior to turning 18, you can obtain an exemption for subsequent school years by filing Form D with the Nebraska Department of Education. If your child has not yet graduated, but is over the age of 16, you can obtain an exemption by filing a notarized Form D with the commissioner of education.

All exemption forms can be obtained from your local school district or the Nebraska Department of Education.


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 their state, 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 your state’s homeschool law

In Nebraska, a homeschool is considered a private school. You first need to set up a private school in your home, and then enroll your children in it.

There are two options for creating your private school. If you are homeschooling for religious reasons, you should file under Rule 13. If you are homeschooling for nonreligious reasons, you should file under Rule 12. Other than the reason for setting up the private school, the two rules have identical requirements.

Homeschooling under Nebraska’s homeschool statute:
Nebraska law specifically refers to homeschooling in Neb. Rev. Stat. ยง 79-1601(2). To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines.

Both parents must sign and file a notarized Parent or Guardian Form (Form A). This form requires you to state under oath that requirements for approval and accreditation either “interfere with the decisions in directing my child’s education” (Rule 12) or “violate sincerely held religious beliefs of the parents or legal guardians” (Rule 13).

The first year that you homeschool, you must send a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate (or other proof as allowed by law) to the Nebraska Department of Education. If for some reason both parents cannot sign Form A, HSLDA members may contact us to discuss what options may be available to you.

You must file the Parent Representative Form (Form B) to affirm your acceptance of responsibilities. These include the duty to submit information on student enrollment and attendance, monitors, and the sequential program of instruction.

The Information Summary is a supplemental sheet to Form B. You must file this prior to the date that you start homeschooling and by July 15 each year thereafter. It must include:

  • a calendar for the school year indicating a minimum instruction of 1,080 hours in secondary schools and 1,032 hours in elementary schools. (For a homeschool, this can be a very general statement of when the school term begins and ends.)
  • a list of all “instructional monitors” in the homeschool, including their names, addresses, ages, highest levels of education completed, names of educational institutions attended and the specific years attended, and summaries of prior teaching experience. For homeschools, the instructional monitors are typically the parents who will be overseeing the instruction.
  • a scope and sequence for each grade level.

On your Parent or Guardian Form (Form A), you must indicate that you will provide instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health, and that you, as the parents, are satisfied that the instructor(s) are qualified to monitor instruction in these skills. Nebraska does not require any specific qualifications to teach these subjects other than the parents’ satisfaction.

If you are filing under Rule 12, you must also affirm that you understand that your school must comply with vaccination requirements (unless you have a religious exemption for vaccinating). For more information on vaccination requirements, please contact HSLDA.


Records

If your state has any specific recordkeeping requirements, they are listed above. Regardless of your state’s recordkeeping 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 form homeschooling a high schooler to teaching a child with speical 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 6, 2015