Where to Begin
To homeschool in Frederick County, you'll need to understand Maryland law, submit a notification form of intent to homeschool, and choose a monitoring method.
Maryland requires that homeschool students be monitored and prescribes various models - either monitoring through your county public school system or through a registered umbrella group (which can include a registered academy or hybrid program). For more info on these options, click below:
• Frederick County Public Schools
• Registered Umbrella Groups and Non-Public Entities
Maryland’s regulations for homeschooling:
▪ require evidence that the student receives instruction in English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health and physical education.
▪ do not require that parents have teacher certification in order to homeschool.
For complete Maryland homeschool law, see Education Article §7.301, Annotated Code of Maryland, Compulsory Attendance and the Code of Maryland Regulations regarding Home Instruction (COMAR) 13A.10.01. Check the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) website for updates, and read the MSDE Fact Sheet. Remember that the regulations for all homeschoolers are contained within the Maryland law. A local school system may not impose additional requirements for home instruction programs other than those in these regulations.
For a very good overview of your options and how to comply with Maryland's law, see the Maryland Home Education Association website as well.
In addition to choosing a method for monitoring, you also might want to consider joining a homeschooling cooperative group, or “co-op”. This is an informal group of homeschooling families that get together for fun, academic enrichment, and socializing. It’s important to remember that most co-ops are NOT registered umbrella groups and generally do not meet Maryland’s requirements for monitoring--they are for socializing and academic enrichment.
Before you begin, prep yourself by obtaining a few homeschooling guides or books. Although there are many good reads on the market today, allow yourself a few weeks, if not months, to soak up information and plan your child's educational goals accordingly. See some suggestions below.
Before purchasing curriculum, consider the teaching method you might feel most comfortable with in your homeschool. Perhaps a blend or mixture of a few styles? Not sure? There are many different approaches to homeschooling, ranging from "school at home" to "unschooling."
Check out the suggestions of one local homeschooler in Homeschool Methods: 101. Another homeschooler shares her thoughts at Homeschool Info. Do you have a different approach you'd like to share? Let us know---we'd love to hear from you!