Wisconsin Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in Wisconsin

How do I start homeschooling?

To homeschool in Wisconsin parents must file a form of intent with the Department of Public Instruction and then meet two major requirements each year:

  1. Provide 875 hours of instruction each school year.
  2. Provide a sequentially-based method of instruction where children build on previous knowledge.
  3. Teach the required subjects
  4. Provide a sequentially progressive curriculum

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Homeschool Laws

According to Wisconsin Statute 118.15(1)(a), “any person having under control a child who is between the ages of six and 18 years shall cause the child to attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the public or private school in which the child should be enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes 18 years of age.”

“Under Wis. Stat. sec. 118.15(4), a parent or guardian has the right to select a home-based private educational program, commonly referred to as homeschooling, for his or her child or children, in order to comply with the compulsory school attendance law. Wis. Stat. sec. 115.001(3g) states, “Home-based private educational program means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child’s parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program” (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction).

“Since children under age six are not subject to the compulsory school attendance law, it is not possible to enroll a child in a homeschool program for four- or five-year-old kindergarten. If your child will not reach age six on or before September 1, it is not necessary for you to submit report PI-1206 to enroll him/her in a homeschool program for that school year. If your child will reach age six on or before September 1, you will need to submit a PI-1206 Homeschool Enrollment Report and he/she needs to be included in the enrollment numbers for that school year if you choose to homeschool. In Wisconsin, completion of five-year-old kindergarten is a prerequisite for enrollment in a public school for first grade. If you choose not to enroll your child in a public or private school for kindergarten, then wish to enroll him/her in a public school for first grade, you will need to request an exemption from this requirement. Requests for exemptions must be made to the school district in which you wish to enroll your child” (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction).

Note: “The Department of Public Instruction does not provide personal consultation and technical assistance regarding home-based private educational programs.”

Homeschool Requirements

Even though Wisconsin does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Wisconsin homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:

  • Begin homeschooling by age 6.
  • File the required Homeschool Enrollment Report (Form PI-1206) online each year.
  • Provide “at least 875 hours of instruction each school year” (Wis. Stat. sec.118.165(1)).
  • Offer the Wisconsin homeschool required subjects: a “sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health.”
  • Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.

Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?

“No. Wisconsin’s homeschooling laws do not require any form of testing or assessment. If you wish to have your child tested or assessed periodically to determine their level of progress, you would be responsible for obtaining such tests. While school districts are not obligated to provide testing services, you may contact your local school district regarding possible testing using local district tests. A fee may be imposed for any services rendered. Public school districts in Wisconsin are not allowed to administer state required assessments to students enrolled in home-based private educational programs” (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction).

What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, “The statutes contain no express authority for any agency or school district to monitor home-based private educational programs or to verify the hours of instruction provided or the use of a sequential curriculum. However, it is recommended that homeschooling parents maintain records of the instruction provided as this information may be used by prospective employers, including the military, and any post-secondary institutions to which the student may apply in the future.” You should also keep copies of your Homeschool Enrollment Reports (PI-1206 forms) since “the Department of Public Instruction only maintains records of submitted PI-1206 reports for seven years.”

In addition to this suggested recordkeeping, we also recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to prepare for re-entry into public school or postsecondary pathways. This includes the following:

  • Attendance
  • Immunization records
  • Lists of texts and workbooks used
  • Student schoolwork samples and/or portfolios
  • Test and evaluation results
  • Correspondence with school officials

You may also be able to find more information on Wisconsin homeschool requirements through your local school district.

Graduation requirements

Wisconsin diploma requirements:
Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.

Wisconsin high school testing requirements:
Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.

Wisconsin high school transcripts:
Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.

Wisconsin high school course credits:
Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.

GED eligibility: 
Individuals must show proof of age (at least 18.5 yrs.) and residency in WI for at least 10 days. Applicants must complete an application form at initial meeting and pay a testing and credential fee.

If you have a child that is college bound it is always a good idea to keep records, portfolios and transcripts, all of these and more can be done on the Modify™ app. 

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.

Wisconsin Statute 118.15(1)(a)
Wis. Stat. sec. 118.15(4)
Wis. Stat. sec. 115.001(3g)
Requests for Exemptions


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