Massachusetts Homeschool

Homeschooling in Massachusetts

How do I start homeschooling?

The steps to start homeschooling in Massachusetts are simple and straightforward:

Submit an annual notice of intent and educational plan to the school district.

Teach the following subjects:
Orthography, reading, writing, the English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, the history and constitution of the United States, the duties of citizenship, health education, and physical education.

Keep records of any evaluations.

Modify™ can help you with your tracking, portfolio and record keeping. Download the app today.  

Enjoying learning together! 

Homeschool Laws

According to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 76 § 1, compulsory school attendance is required for all children aged 6 to 16. The law provides “an exception from mandatory school attendance for ‘a child who is being otherwise instructed in a manner approved in advance by the superintendent or the school committee.’”

“Home schooling requires advance approval by the district in which the child lives, under the policy that the school committee has adopted. Home schooling is provided by or at the direction of a child’s parent, instead of enrolling the child in a public or private school; home schooling is not remote learning provided by a school district. The requirements that apply to public schools, such as educator licensing or structured learning time, do not apply to home schooling” (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

“Each school committee in Massachusetts has a policy on approval of homeschooling plans; details are available from the school district. The school district approves and provides oversight of homeschooling, with a focus on whether ‘instruction in all the studies required by law equals in thoroughness and efficiency, and in the progress made therein, that in the public schools in the same town’ (General Laws chapter 76 § 1).” (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

Homeschool Requirements

Massachusetts can be considered a highly regulated state for homeschooling, so there are some Massachusetts homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:

  • Begin homeschooling by age 6.
  • Notify the school district of your intent to begin homeschooling.
  • Submit your homeschooling plan to the district for review and approval.
  • Provide “instruction and training in orthography, reading, writing, the English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, the history and constitution of the United States, the duties of citizenship, health education, physical education and good behavior” (Care and Protection of Charles, 399 Mass. 324 (1987)).
  • Provide instruction for hours comparable to the 180-day minimum required for public schools (Care and Protection of Charles, 399 Mass. 324 (1987)).
  • Follow all Massachusetts homeschool regulations, based on information provided by your local school district.
  • Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.

Record Keeping

While recordkeeping isn’t required, the state of Massachusetts does require proof of educational process, usually once a year. The state does not mandate what proof is necessary, and it may vary from district to district. Usually, parents choose to provide proof of educational process via one these two methods:

  • Standardized testing OR
  • Progress reports and dated work samples

If you choose to take the second route, a great option is to create a homeschool portfolio. This allows you to share your child’s progress and work samples and has wonderful benefits, such as:

  • Serving as a cherished keepsake of your time spent learning together
  • Providing a reference of coursework covered in case of a return to public/private school
  • Assisting parents when creating homeschool transcripts

Make sure to check with your local superintendent’s office to learn their specific requirements for providing proof of educational process.

Graduation requirements

When it comes time for your child to graduate, there are no specific requirements.  You can set the graduation requirements for your children, create a homeschool transcript, and issue a diploma. If you homeschool through graduation, and your child is college-bound, it is crucial to create a transcript. Most colleges rely on a detailed transcript, including your child’s GPA, rather than a high school diploma. Universities in Massachusetts and the rest of the U.S. will usually accept a detailed transcript in place of an accredited high school diploma.

If your child would like to earn a high school equivalency diploma, there  is the option of taking the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). The Massachusetts Department of Education accepts passing scores on the HiSET to grant a diploma.

Modify™ helps homeschoolers to keep all necessary records and transcripts. 


General Laws chapter 76 § 1
Care and Protection of Charles, 399 Mass. 324 (1987)

Note: All information on this site is provided with no guarantee of accuracy. Modify™ is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or outdated information, or for the results yielded through use of this information.

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