Home Instruction (Home Schooling)
What is Home Instruction (Home Schooling)?
Parents/guardians may choose to educate their children at home rather than enrolling in a traditional public or private school. The parent provides regular and thorough instruction during the school year in the subjects usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age. The parent or guardian selects and purchases the home school curriculum and materials to be used. Home instruction must be supervised by the FCPS home school office or by a private organization registered with the Maryland State Department of Education. Evidence of instruction in all of the following areas is required: English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health and physical education.
Resources to build knowledge about Maryland home instruction regulations:
Video Series: The Home Instruction Process in Maryland
- Part 1: Initiating Home Instruction (Note: FCPS does not require 15 days notice)
- Part 2: Components of a Home Instruction Program
- Part 3: Special Topics for High School-Aged Students (Note: the MVA DL-300 form no longer requires an FCPS signature)
How is this different than Virtual Learning?
Students who transfer to home schooling are no longer considered an enrolled student with FCPS, therefore they will not have access to the learning materials, equipment and programs that FCPS provides. This means there will be no access to Schoology or other online resources, participation in sports or extracurricular activities or special programs like the Career and Technology Center or high school academies for students transferred to home schooling.
Virtual Learning is one of the current delivery models of instruction for FCPS enrolled students. Students are offered the option to participate in a FCPS sponsored on-line distance learning program and do not have to physically attend school. Students are accountable for attendance and coursework. They receive grades, credits and/or report cards. These students may participate in the regular sports and extracurricular programs offered to other FCPS students.
How do I transfer or enroll in Home Instruction?
FCPS accepts homeschooling notification forms for students who are 5 years old or older on September 1st up to the student’s 18th birthday.
Complete a Home Instruction Notification form.
Be sure to note your oversight options: either FCPS oversight or select a Non-public Entity Registered to Supervise Home Instruction. A list of these programs can be found here:
Submit your form via email to email@example.com
If you are current FCPS student, please return any equipment (computer, Chromebook, Mobile Hotspot) to your child’s school.
Can I return to FCPS schools if I decide that home schooling does not work for my child?
Students may return to their public school, however, be sure to contact the school’s front office in advance to obtain re-enrollment and re-entry information. Homeschool students who want to transfer back to a public school will have their homeschool portfolio materials, etc., evaluated by the school principal to determine placement and transfer credits. Please refer to FCPS Regulation 400-49 for details on this process.
I am home schooling under FCPS oversight, what can I expect from a portfolio review?
Generally, a portfolio review is an opportunity for a parent or guardian to share a portfolio of materials which demonstrates regular and thorough instruction in studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age. The portfolio includes relevant materials, such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child’s writings, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials and tests. Parents may also choose to provide a grade report or transcript from an accredited or unaccredited school in lieu of a portfolio.
Samples of a portfolio summary form or learning plan, grade report, transcript or digital portfolio can be found below:
- Sample transcript
- Sample American Academy transcript
- Sample grade report
- Sample digital portfolio
- Sample portfolio summary form or learning plan
How does my child graduate from high school?
High school students participating in home instruction do not earn course credits or high school diplomas from Frederick County Public Schools. Home schooled students are eligible to take the GED at the age of 16 to earn a Maryland State High School Diploma. Families may choose to follow the guidelines set forth by MSDE and referenced by FCPS under Graduation Requirements.