Legal Requirements

We offer this information about homeschooling for superintendents, legislators, and families. In Connecticut there are two things about homeschooling that need to be understood; CT General Statute 10-184, in particular, and the Suggested Procedure for Home Instruction, which is only a suggested procedure and not required by law. That suggested procedure includes a Notice of Intent (NOI) form that parents are requested to complete on an annual basis, prior to each school year. On that form, there is also a statement about a meeting taking place between the homeschool parents and their local school district, to conduct an annual Portfolio Review (PR).

It is important to understand the difference between a policy and a statute. The Guidelines (C-4 and C-14) are part of the Suggested Procedure on Home Instruction in Connecticut – a policy, not a statute (law). The NOI form *suggests* that homeschoolers *must* file a Notice of Intent (NOI) to homeschool. The use of the words “suggested” and “must” in the same sentence has, for many years, been a point of confusion for some people.  The bottom line is, the NOI is simply that; a guideline suggestion – a suggested policy procedure. Parents may want to file, or not, at their discretion. Please be sure to read and understand the law, and the history of the Guidelines. If you need further assistance, contact CHN.

CHN and NHELD have always told parents it is fully their choice to file the NOI and to do the annual portfolio review. As of 2019, when CT home educators responded to an attack on homeschool freedom backed by a particular legislator (with zero homeschool experience), we now recommend that homeschoolers do NOT file the NOI or do a PR.  Why?  We were lied to as a community. The attempted legislation would have mandated that we appear in person every year to “register” to homeschool in CT.  So, what?  We learned that the data collected would then be turned directly over to DCF to make sure we are not child abusers.  If that is not a repeat of the Salem Witch Hunts, what is?  We are innocent until proven guilty.  Home education is statistically, and by far, the safest education option for children. That is true across the country.  A handful of naysayers with an agenda, don’t change that. We are grateful for the legislators who saw through such a scam, and were not duped. They voted to sustain CT home educators’ freedom from governmental oversight.

We suggest that you watch the very brief video at the bottom of this page, about equivalent instruction, what that means, and why you need to know.

What Do You “Have to Do” to Homeschool In CT?

CT homeschool advocates and parents have fought hard for many years to monitor occasional threats to homeschooling freedom. We have protected it and we know that CT has a fantastic model for home education. It works, and it works well. Other states that have had strict regulations have curtailed their homeschool oversight in recent years, because it has proven unnecessary.

We frequently hear about how easy it is to homeschool in CT and how we don’t have “do anything”. That’s true and false. We don’t have to do anything when it comes to filing paperwork with the government schools. We do not have to file a Notice of Intent nor do we have to do a Portfolio Review, though we may choose to do so. When parents casually say we don’t have to “do anything”, they are talking about how we have freedom from government oversight and no paperwork is required.

So, what must you do in CT to homeschool? We follow the law, which in CT General Statute Duties of Parents, states, “All parents shall instruct their child…” and it goes on to say which subjects we must instruct them in, “reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic and United States history and in citizenship, including a study of the town, state and federal governments.” When, where and how we do this is at our discretion as we determine how to instruct our children.  We have an unalienable right to the upbringing of our children as we see fit.
To see a copy of the statute, you can visit the CT CGA website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_168.htm#sec_10-184.

Furthermore, CT parents have been homeschooling their children for over 30 years in CT with great success. Strapping families with governmental regulations do not equate successful outcomes; it only hamstrings parents into jumping through hoops and limiting creativity and freedom for children to learn.  To date, CT legislators have always protected and supported CT homeschool freedom from governmental oversight.  CT legislators should be proud of this, and CT’s statutes in that regard, should be a model for the entire country.

CT parents have repeatedly spoken out, as needed, for legislative support for their freedom to home educate as each family sees fit, to meet the unique needs of each child.  We have fought long and hard to sustain our freedom against a minority of negatively opinionated and power-wielding forces who would like to control, suppress and regulate us. Thank  you to those legislators who have seen through the facade; the attempted, unwarranted grab for power and control over the small percentage of people who home educate their children in the State of Connecticut.

CT State Law
Link here

CT State Guidelines (includes a sample Notice of Intent form)
Link here

Legal FAQs
Link here

Letter of Withdrawal
For those who will be withdrawing a child from the school system in order to homeschool, we offer a sample Letter of Withdrawal to present to the school district.
Link here

What to do if the School District Confronts You
Link here

Legislative Process in Connecticut
We encourage you to learn more about the Legislative Process here in Connecticut.
Link here

Equivalent Instruction
interview with Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson, CHN’s legal counsel,
speaking on the subject of “equivalent instruction” in this 4:39 minute CHN YouTube video
Important information for all homeschoolers – as well as the public, school administration, the State Department of Education, etc.