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
Chapter 71: Section 1 Maintenance; double sessions; subjects; twelve-month school year
Section 1. Every town shall maintain, for at least the number of days required by the board of education in each school year unless specifically exempted as to any one year by said board, a sufficient number of schools for the instruction of all children who may legally attend a public school therein. No town shall hold double sessions in any public school, if in any other public school of comparable grade levels in such town there are vacant spaces for more than thirty-five children, the number...
Massachusetts Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Massachusetts. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Massachusetts.
Homeschool Attorneys in Massachusetts
These attorneys have indicated that they are willing to provide legal information, consult with or represent homeschoolers on homeschooling or other legal issues they may have in their states. Most of these attorneys homeschool or have homeschooled their own children.
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 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.
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...
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.
Massachusetts Department of Education
The Massachusetts Department of Education provides this website as an information and contact source.
Current News
Current News is a section of the AHEM website that offers information on current legislative issues.
Massachusetts Home Learning Association (MHLA)
The Massachusetts Home Learning Association is an advocacy and education organization, which endorses home learning as an alternative to public or private schooling. MHLA informs and educates families, school officials, the media, elected officers, policymakers and other constituencies about the benefits, societal impacts and unique educational methods of homeschoolers.
Tips for Writing Your Education Plan
Practical ideas and tips for composing your education plan, with some examples of key phrases and paragraphs you may wish to use.
Sample Education Plan
Provided by Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts.
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.
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...
Ten Points from the Supreme Judicial Court's Decisions
A discussion of the Supreme Judicial Court's decisions (Charles and Brunelle) that affect homeschoolers.
Featured Resources

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Montessori Method
This book is Montessori's own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to "free a child to learn through his own efforts".
Ideas and Books: The Method of Education
A selection of Charlotte Mason's writings on the topic of the place of ideas and books in the education of children. Mason's teachings on the topic of education required six large volumes to cover. This book makes it simple for homeschooling parents ...
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.
The National Parks of America
For tourists, family campers, and serious lovers of the outdoors, here is a big, beautiful, color-illustrated book that describes more than 50 national parks, sites, and seashores that stretch from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic coast to the Grand Can...
LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd gra...