General Homeschool Information
In accordance with Section 20-5-109(5) of the Montana code annotated, homeschool families are required to send in a letter of intent to the county Superintendent of Schools. The letter must state the intent to homeschool, the school year during which you will be homeschooling, and the names of your children. We recommend our members send this registered mail.
Superintendent Jack Eggensperger
935 1st Ave West, Suite SS
Kalispell, MT 59901
Flathead County Superintendent of Schools
Montana Homeschool Law Summary
By law, Montana homeschool parents are solely responsible for :
a. The educational philosophy of the home school;
b. the selection of instructional materials, curriculum, and textbooks;
c. the time, place, and method of instruction; and
d. the evaluation of the home school instruction.”
Pursuant to state law 20-5-109: Nonpublic school requirements for compulsory enrollment exemption, a nonpublic or home school shall:
a. maintain records on attendance and immunizations, and make records available to the county superintendent upon request
b. provide at least the minimum aggregate hours of instruction in accordance with MT laws
c. be housed in a building that complies with local health and safety regulations
d. provide an organized course of study that includes instruction in the subjects required of public schools as a basic instructional program
e. notify (in the case of home schools) the county superintendent of schools, each school fiscal year, of the students attendance at the school (notice of intent to homeschool).
For a copy of Montana’s homeschool law visit Montana Homeschool Law. FHEA strongly recommends HSLDA membership, which includes Montana specific help and information related to homeschooling requirements. Members of FHEA are eligible for a group discount rate.
The below information was updated on 1/18/13 by Lyn Campbell, Connections in Education.
Homeschool students are not required to use accredited programs.
On the other hand, public schools have the right to determine the admission requirements for home school students transferring into public schools. It is my understanding that there are no requirements for homeschool students transferring into grades 1 – 8, but to be sure parents should contact their local school district. Recently, I have heard of homeschool students having to take diagnostic/placement-type tests when entering local public middle schools.
A few years ago, I spoke with counselors from Columbia Falls High School, Flathead High School, Whitefish High School, and Glacier High School, and each one of these counselors told me that incoming homeschool freshman could transfer in without any problem. If a homeschool student transfers with high school “credits” (even one semester) these credits will not be accepted unless they were earned through a program accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. This is the same organization that gives accreditation to our local public high schools. The only programs that I know of that are accredited by this organization are American School of Correspondence and Brigham Young University’s High School Correspondence course.
Please be aware that even if a homeschool family is using an accredited program, the credits may not be accepted by the local high schools for high school credit. Many programs are “accredited” but they are accredited by different organizations. For example, local public high schools will not accept credits earned through A Beka or Bob Jones – not because of the Christian content but because these programs are not accredited by NAAS.
Colleges have various requirements for incoming homeschool students. Accredited transcripts are usually not required, but parents will want to contact potential colleges to find out what is required of incoming freshman. For example, one college that my daughter was considering required four years of math and three years of the same foreign language. This information is often available at the college’s website (admissions).
Other related articles written by Mary Hood
The Dangers of Accreditation
Guarding Our Birthright – the Question of Accreditation
The Montana Guide to Home Education is a homeschool reference guide for the state. This is an excellent resouce for learning more about home education in Montana. Online you will find:
Facts and Statistics
“What’s so Great?”
How Home Education has Benefited…
Are You Sure?
For information online go to MTCHE.org