We thank God for the ability to raise our kids in this beautiful state. Not only is the area we live and learn in breathtakingly gorgeous- but our state has some other qualities that makes it the ideal place to raise our children. The primary reason for our moving here would have to be the freedom we have in homeschooling here. Even though Minnesota wasn’t really a horrible place to homeschool- Idaho had more freedom in doing so.
Here in Idaho, we aren’t required to contact our school district each year with a “notice of intent to homeschool”, nor are we required to send in yearly vaccination records and/or exemption forms.
Standardized testing is not required.
Our curriculums do not have to be approved. So long as they are “instructed in subjects commonly and usually taught in the public schools”- we’re free to make our own decisions in the direction of our children’s schooling. If we want a family member, friend or other unrelated person to teach our children- we have the freedom to choose to do that as well.
We teach Science, History, Mathematics, Language Arts, etc.. but this doesn’t mean that we have to teach the subjects AS they are taught in the public school setting. We have the freedom to teach these subjects as we see fit. This right here is a big deal to our family, as we really enjoy having the ability to teach our kids what WE feel is important-and in the way we want to. It also allows us to focus on what they are interested in, if you can make learning fun- go for it! If your kids show an interest in bees? Hey- that’s Science. Want to do some animal track casting? Again- Science. A trip to Yellowstone- Science, Geography & History all in one! Throw in a written essay on thermal activity, tourism, native peoples, seeing the park through the eyes of an animal, etc- you have Language Arts thrown into the mix as well.
We have the freedom to school in whatever homeschool style that we choose..We can teach what we want, without feeling like we are required to force our children to fit the same mold as those in the public school system. We can take a classical approach, Montessori, some may choose an eclectic or relaxed approach, and some will choose unschooling, etc. You may even decide to “school at home”- following a schedule and curriculum that very closely resembles area public schools. You as the parent can decide which will work best for you and your family.
Idaho is one of the last states that really allows you as the parent to decide what is best for your children.. not just limited in schooling, either.
Homeschooling IS legal in all 50 states- but laws regarding homeschooling will vary from state to state. HSLDA’s website has a lot of great information on each state, and they have the ability to give you legal advice as well.
If you have questions about homeschooling in Idaho, in your home state, or homeschooling in general, I highly recommend looking into local homeschool Co-ops, or visiting http://www.HSLDA.org for more information. Don’t take my interpretation of Idaho’s homeschooling laws as infallible (or even accurate)! The laws may have changed since this post was published. Look into them yourself!