Illinois Homeschool Law
Summary Outline of Illinois School Laws that Pertain to Private Homeschools
Specific Home School Statutes: None.
Alternative Statutes Allowing for Homeschools:
1. Section26-1: "Any child attending a private or a parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language" is in compliance with the Illinois compulsory attendance law and is therefore not truant.
According to People vs. Levisen, a homeschool is a private school if it does those things that private schools are required to do.
Academic Requirements: None, other than you must teach those branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools and in the English language.
NOTE: Students using American Sign Language (ASL) are considered as being taught in English. Children for whom English is a second language must still be taught in English. Of course, in addition to teaching the branches of education in English you may teach anything else including the branches in any language(s) you choose.
Subjects: According to the Illinois Annotated Code Section27-22 the branches of education are Language Arts, Mathematics, Biological and Physical Science, Social Science (Social Studies), Fine Arts, and Physical Development and Health.
Compulsory Attendance: Compulsory attendance begins in the fall for a child who has turned 6 by September 1 and continues until the child turns 17, unless he or she has already graduated from high school. This is according to 105 ILCS 5/26-1.
Note - Attendance: Attendance does NOT mean sitting at a desk for five hours. Homeschooling, by its very nature, incorporates a wide variety of experiences. There are no mandated numbers of hours per day or days per year of attendance for private schools in Illinois.
Teacher Certification: Only public school teachers must be certified according to Section 21-1.
Standardized Testing: Not required by statute.
State recognition of your program or registration of your school: Not required.
If your student was never enrolled in the school your child would now be attending, then you do not need to notify the school, the district, or the state. Illinois does not have a required notice of intent or registration process.
If contacted by the Regional Superintendent or truant officers, homeschoolers should verify, preferably with a written letter of compliance, that you are in compliance with Section 26-1 because you teach the required branches of education in the English language.
No other official has authority to ask anything about your homeschool. For more information please read "What do I do if a truant officer comes to my door?"
You may be asked to sign a "Statement of Assurance" and/or a "Home School Registration Form" form. There is NO reason why anyone should fill these forms out. If you receive one, you can send it back blank with a letter of compliance.
You may be asked to fill out the "Non-Public School Registration Enrollment and Staff Report". This assumes you are a Non-Public School, which is true. The form is voluntary for all Non-Public Schools, but we urge you not to fill it out. Bureaucrats like a piece of paper for their files though, so you may wish to send them a letter of compliance instead.
Arguments against registering as a homeschool can be read here.
State Accreditation: Not required.
Graduation Requirements: Every Illinois homeschool is legally a private school. Each Illinois private school develops their own graduation requirements and gives their own graduation transcripts and diploma. For reference, State of Illinois public school graduation requirements can be found at: http://www.isbe.net/news/pdf/grad_require.pdf. (These do not apply to you, but are provided here as a general guideline.)
Transfer OUT of the public school procedures: Please visit our page explaining how to withdraw a student from public schools.
Transfer INTO the public school procedures: Please see our page explaining how to re-enroll a homeschooled student into the public schools.
This analysis does not constitute the giving of legal advice.