Illinois Homeschooling Laws
1. Teach the required subjects. The subjects which must be covered are ELA, fine arts, physical ed, social sciences, and science (biological and physical)
2. Instruction must be in English
3. Know what to call your homeschool program. It is advised to identify your program as a "homeschool" when applyging for under FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as part of the student's college financial aid paperwork. However, you should refer to your school as a "private school" when dealing with government officials.
This page provides information on:
· Homeschooling Laws in Illinois
· Homeschooling in Illinois on a Part-time Basis
· Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Illinois
· Requirements for Graduation in Illinois
· Switching from Homeschool to Public school
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Illinois
Parents who choose to homeschool must observe the following regulations:
1. Provide the instruction in English language.
2. Include the following subjects in the curriculum:
· Social sciences
· Language arts
· Fine arts
· Physical development and health as a combined branch
· Physical and biological sciences as a combined branch
The instruction given should be adequate and satisfy the requirements in Illinois.
3. Have a name for the homeschool program. It is preferable to use “private school” when dealing with the government. For students applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to aid in their financial college fee, the law allows the program to be referred to as a homeschool and not a specific name.
There are no requirements for the amount of work to be assigned or how frequently it should be done, the tracking method to be used to evaluate the child’s progress or the instructional materials to be used.
To prevent truancy uncertainty, students already enrolled in public/private school should be withdrawn officially before starting the homeschool program.
Homeschooling on a Part Time Basis in Illinois
Homeschooling students can participate in extracurricular activities of the local school whenever there is a chance as well as other academic programs they may choose. Parents must make a request to the local school in his/her district before May 1st to find out whether the child will be eligible to participate in the upcoming school year.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Illinois
In as much as it is not a requirement by law to maintain records, it is beneficial when creating homeschool transcripts, returning to public or private school after homeschooling, applying to colleges, universities, and workplaces, as well as the military. Lernsys homeschool program which provides printable versions of assessments and progress. Some of the things parents should include in the homeschool portfolio are:
· A detailed high school transcript for students in high school
· A report of the progress made each year
· A record of the standardized tests taken, if any, and the results thereof
· Details of subjects and courses covered.Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Requirements for Graduation in Illinois
Parents in Illinois determine the graduation requirements for their student and proceed to give a diploma that is considered valid and legal in Illinois. It is however advisable to have knowledge of what public school requirements are for the child’s homeschool diploma to remain relevant.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Illinois.
Diploma requirements in Illinois
To graduate, the student must complete 16 units to be awarded a diploma in Illinois.
Parents in Illinois have the liberty to determine if and when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms. Institutions also give diplomas to students in private/online schools.
|Testing requirements in Illinois||Must take the SAT or the DLM_AA in 11th grade and for students with a significant cognitive disability, an alternate test will be administered.||
There is no law in Illinois that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Illinois high school transcripts
Transcripts shall include particulars of the student, information on the attendance of the student, the totals of the credits taken, the test scores, a conclusive history of records that includes the grades awarded, the titles of the courses and the overall grade for each course taken.
Parents in Illinois can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Illinois
It is a requirement to have 4 years of language arts, 2 being writing intensive courses, 2 years of science, 3 years of math including geometry and algebra, 2 years of social studies including civics and the history of U.S., and 1 year of the following electives: music, vocational education, foreign language or art.
Parents decide when it is time for their student to graduate high school in Illinois. Many parents choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Illinois
Students who are 18 years and above but do not have a high school diploma are eligible to take the GED. They must not be admitted in a public school while taking the test.
Homeschoolers in Illinois are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Illinois
To transfer your child to a public school, you do not need to give a formal notice. All you have to do is enroll him/her in the school you choose. Schools can ask for test scores, curriculum examples held in your homeschool or completed work samples. For highschoolers, schools may require transcripts from grade 9 moving forward showing completed work samples.
Each school in Illinois applies different guidelines for grade placement and enrollment of students. You will find that some schools in Illinois let you register your child for the grade you wish him/her to attend while others require information on the student’s progress and the curriculum used during homeschooling. Other schools in Illinois will have your child take an assessment test to determine the appropriate grade level your child belongs in. Lernsys Homeschooling provides transcripts and curriculum records which include course average grade/final grade, quizzes/tests grades, lessons and topics covered, among other things. Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Illinois
Have other questions about homeschooling in Illinois? You may find the following pages helpful.