When it comes to homeschooling in Kentucky, it is by far one of the easiest and most relaxed states. Whether you’re currently living in Kentucky and looking to start educating your children at home, or considering moving to the Bluegrass State, here’s all you need to know about homeschooling in Kentucky.
Important Things to Know About Homeschooling in Kentucky
Per Kentucky standards, a homeschooling student is one whom the family has withdrawn from public school (pursuant to KRS 159.030) and chosen to educate through a private or home setting. Also noted in Kentucky’s constitution is the parents right to choose the formal education for their child. Because Kentucky classifies homeschools as non-public schools, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) may not prescribe standards for homeschooling, and the laws relating to non-public schools also apply to homeschoolers.
Although this is one of the relaxed approaches to homeschooling you’ll find, there are still a few requirements that must be upheld by parents who choose to homeschool in Kentucky.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool
Whether you are pulling your child out of public education, or not enrolling them at all, you must notify the superintendent of your local school board in writing. A letter of intent must be received by the local board within ten days of the beginning of the school year for each child and each year they homeschool. The letter must include the name, ages and residence of each child in attendance of the homeschool.
Compulsory Age for Homeschooling
In Kentucky, under state law, all children must be enrolled in school between the ages of 6 and 18. If a child is six 6 by August 1, he or she must be enrolled in primary school (or homeschool). Children can begin primary school at age five, but only if their 5th birthday is on or before August 1 of the current school year. A four-year-old who will turn five by August 1 can enroll in primary school. If you are planning to homeschool before the compulsory age, it is not necessary to send a letter of intent to homeschool.
Recordkeeping for Kentucky Homeschoolers
It is necessary to keep records of each student’s progress in all subjects taught. The KDE suggests that the person responsible for instruction keep a portfolio that contains samples of the best work done by each child in several areas of study and maintain the portfolio each year the student is homeschooled. A record of courses taken and grades received is also necessary. This can be documented by keeping a transcript type form for each child and grade.
It is also necessary to keep accurate attendance records of each student’s homeschool attendance. The attendance records can be kept in a notebook, on a computer, or in another manner, but must be readily available in case of an inquiry.
The minimum school term should be 1062 instructional hours. KDE prefers that the term of the school be equivalent to the public school in the district in which your child attending homeschool resides. If the schools in your district are operating a year-round school program, the minimum term of private and parochial schools shall be one hundred eighty-five (185) days. Don’t get caught up on this, thought, as there are ways to get all hours and days in without modeling your homeschool year after the public school system.
Mandated subjects to be taught.
As with every state, there are certain subjects that are mandatory to teach. For Kentucky, those subjects are:
It is the parents’ right to offer other subjects, as well. And you are free to choose the curriculum (and worldview) that fits your family best.
Curriculum Requirements and Responsibilities
Kentucky places the responsibility for the education of homeschooled children completely in the parents hands. This also means that curriculum and educational materials are not provided by the state and are up to the discretion of the parent. There are many websites devoted to curriculum and instructions for homeschool families.
Resources to Help You with Homeschooling in Kentucky
Now that you’re familiar with the requirements to homeschool in Kentucky, let’s look at a few resources to help make your journey less overwhelming.
You’ll quickly realize that homeschooling has a lot of styles and methods. While it’s not required that you choose one, having an understanding about them can help give you an idea of what to do (and how). And don’t worry, you are not limited to picking just one. Lots of families combine different methods to cater each of their children’s unique learning needs. Most refer to this as the “eclectic” method of homeschooling.
A homeschool planner will be your best friend and one of the ways to stay organized year after year. There are many different types to choose from, so take into consideration the kind of planner person you are. If you plan to have an interest-led, unit study based homeschool, you may like a planner like this.
This is bound to cross your radar at one point or another, so here are some resources to help you get started on knowing what’s available and how to choose what’s best for you and your kids:
- Online Homeschool Curriculum Boxes by Grade Level
- Top Options for Homeschool High School Curriculum
- Using Video to Enhance Homeschool
- How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum
Field Trips for Homeschooling in Kentucky
Field trips are a favorite activity for most homeschool families, and Kentucky is filled with amazing historical sites, museums, and other wonderful, educational places to visit. Be sure to find time in your schedule to enrich the learning of your students in this way:
- Winter Field Trip Ideas in Kentucky
- Summer Field Trip Ideas in Kentucky
- Places to Visit in and Around Louisville
And when you’re ready to spend some time learning all about the Commonwealth, I’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive collection of resources to do a Kentucky Unit Study.
Support Groups for Homeschooling in Kentucky
Local support while homeschooling can make or break the experience for some families. While this is not an exhaustive list of homeschool support groups in Kentucky, we’ve included a few to get your started searching. Be sure to do a Facebook or search engine to see if your city or county offers a support group or homeschool co-op.
- CHEK (Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (CHEK) is our statewide homeschool information organization that works to assist families who choose to homeschool in Kentucky. CHEK’s goal is to better equip homeschool families with the tools and information to homeschool successfully and legally.)
- Home for His Glory (Louisville Metro)
- Kentucky Homeschooling Facebook Group
- Bluegrass Christian Home Educators
- FAITH Homeschool Group (Hardin County)
- Central Kentucky Homeschool Social Group
- Capitol Area Christian Homeschoolers
- Georgetown Homeschool Group
- Lexington Kentucky Homeschoolers
- Barren River Homeschool Association
- Madison County Homeschoolers of Kentucky
- Parents As Teachers in Christian Homes Support Group – PATCH
- Somerset Homeschool Share
- Teaching Homes in Northern Kentucky
- Wellspring Homeschool Community
There are other aspects of homeschooling to choose from; however, these are great places to start to help you get grounded in your journey.