Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Massachusetts and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Massachusetts.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
Perchemlides v. Frizzle (1978)
In Perchemlides v. Frizzle (1978), a Massachusetts court upheld the right of the nonreligious Perchemlides family to homeschool their young son. The court concluded that "the Massachusetts compulsory attendance statue might well be constitutionally infirm if it did not exempt students whose parents prefer alternative forms of education."
Compulsory School Age in Vermont
The laws in Vermont state that you must enroll your child in school from the day he or she turns 6 years old until he or she turns 16. This HSLDA article details the Vermont state compulsory school age regulations. 
Sample Education Plan
Provided by Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts.
Homeschool Guidelines at a Glance
A discussion of the laws regulating home education in Massachusetts, including school authority oversight, approval and evaluation, and responsibilities of school authorities and parents.
The Role of School Policies and Forms
Home education policies are not laws nor contracts between schools and homeschoolers. Rather, they are tools for the administrative convenience of school officials. School districts are not required to have policies, but are free to deal with homeschoolers on a case-by-case basis.
Care and Protection of Ivan & another (1999)
In the Ivan case, the family was brought to court by the school for refusal to provide "bare essentials of their educational plan and to allow for any evaluation…" The court placed the children in legal custody of the Department of Social Services, ruling that "…it was always open to the parents to work out an accommodation of their interests along the lines suggested by school authorities and to resolve the matter by agreement. However, the judge found that the parents never filed educational p...
Chapter 71: Section 2 Subjects of instruction; history and civics.
Section 2. In all public elementary and high schools American history and civics, including the constitution of the United States, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights, and in all public high schools the constitution of the commonwealth and local history and government, shall be taught as required subjects for the purpose of promoting civic service and a greater knowledge thereof, and of fitting the pupils, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship.
Charles, in Brief
A summary of the Charles decision and its effort on home education in Massachusetts.
Ten Points from the Supreme Judicial Court's Decisions
A discussion of the Supreme Judicial Court's decisions (Charles and Brunelle) that affect homeschoolers.
Michael Brunelle et al., vs. Lynn Public Schools (1998)
The Charles decision left the door open on the question of whether or not home visits might be required as a condition of approval of a home education plan. In 1998, in the Brunelle vs. Lynn Public Schools, that question was settled: home visits could not be deemed "essential" in determining if education was taking place; therefore, home visits could not be required as a condition of approval. (The Court did not exclude the possibility that such visits might be required in exceptional cases.) In...
Homeschool Policies in Massachusetts: An Overview
AHEM offers this clarification of the role of homeschool policies in towns in Massachusetts.
Chapter 71: Section 3 Physical education.
Section 3. Physical education shall be taught as a required subject in all grades for all students in the public schools for the purpose of promoting the physical well-being of such students. Instruction in physical education may include calisthenics, gymnastics and military drill; but no pupil shall be required to take part in any military exercise if his parent or guardian is of any religious denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, or is himself so opposed, and the school commi...
Current News
Current News is a section of the AHEM website that offers information on current legislative issues.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Frequently Given Answers
Some of the basic questions and answers asked by parents considering homeschooling in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Home Education: Information for Superintendents
Lists court rulings on home education in Massachusetts, a summary of guidelines for home education in Massachusetts, FAQ for Superintendents, relevant documents, and more.
Featured Resources

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Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in...
Pass Your New York DMV Test Guaranteed! 50 Real Test Questions! New York DMV Practice Test Questions
This book is written by a former DMV classroom instructor. He shares the 50 most common questions and answers to the New York DMV written test. A great guide to help your teen pass the DMV test on their first try.
Black Children : Social, Educational, and Parental Environments
Black Children, Second Edition collects current empirical research unique to the experiences and situations of black children and their parents. As the editor emphasizes, "African American children develop a duality for their existence. To be fully f...
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
Includes scripted lessons and lovely illustrations to offer encouragement and understanding to children in grammar, copywork, narration, picture study, and other classical technique. These lessons will help develop the student's language ability and ...
In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences
Children learn in differing ways. Thomas Armstrong specializes in helping parents identify the unique areas in each of our children that enhance their special way of learning and expressing creativity. This work on multiple intelligences talks about ...