A homeschool student is one whom the family has withdrawn from public school pursuant to KRS 159.030 and chosen to educate through a private or home setting. Section 5 of the Kentucky Constitution establishes that parents may choose the formal education for their child. Over thirty years ago, the Supreme Court of Kentucky determined that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) may not prescribe standards for homeschooling. Kentucky classifies homeschools as non-public schools; therefore, the laws relating to non-public schools also apply to homeschools.
KDE does not accredit or certify homeschools and does not provide any financial assistance; however, KDE desires to provide accurate and thorough information about requirements that pertain to the establishment and daily operation of a homeschool.
Kentucky Homeschool Laws
Parents of children who are homeschooled are required to do the following:
- Notify the superintendent of the local school board in writing within ten days of the beginning of the school year of their intent to homeschool their child(ren) each year they homeschool. The letter must include the name, ages and residence of each child in attendance of the homeschool. See KRS 159.160. View a sample letter of intent.
- Establish a bonafide school for the children to attend. When informing the district superintendent of your desire to homeschool, create a “school” name. This will be used for future records and diplomas.
- In Kentucky, under state law, all children must be enrolled in school between the ages of six (6) and 18. If a child is six (6) by August 1st, he or she MUST be enrolled in primary school. Children can begin primary school at age five, but only if their 5th birthday is on or before August 1st of the current school year. A four-year-old who will turn five by August 1st can enroll in primary school. See KRS 159.010 for further explanation.
- Record and maintain scholarship reports of each student’s progress in all subjects taught at the same intervals as the local public schools. See KRS 159.040. 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. This may be of assistance in documenting the existence of the homeschool or the transfer of the child to another educational setting. A record of courses taken and grades received is also necessary.
- Keep accurate attendance records of pupil 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. See KRS 159.040. The minimum school term is 1062 instructional hours. The term of the school shall not be for a shorter period in each year than the term of the public school in the district in which the child attending the school resides. In those school districts which are operating a year-round school program, the minimum term of private and parochial schools shall be one hundred eighty-five (185) days.
- Subjects taught should include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, science, and civics. It is the parents’ right to offer other subjects, as well. See KRS 158.080, KRS 156.160, and KRS. 156.445
- It is required that all core instruction be offered in the English language.
- Download the Kentucky Department of Education Homeschool Packet
Kentucky Homeschool Standardized Tests
Testing is NOT required in the state of Kentucky.
Kentucky Homeschool Letter of Intent
Click here to view a sample letter of intent. You will need to send this letter to your local school district superintendent approximately 10-14 days before the school year begins. I HIGHLY recommend you mail your letter of intent by certified mail with return receipt. This serves as your proof you filed. I make a copy of my letter and when the receipt arrives, I staple them together and keep with our attendance records.
*If you pull your child out of public school any time after school has begun, just send in your letter of intent as soon as possible following the withdrawal.