Home School Programs and
Special Education Services

 

Parents decide to enroll their children in home school programs for a variety of reasons. Some feel their child needs the small structured environment of home, some do not want their child exposed to the standardized requirements of a public school, some are needing to avoid social situations or it could be that the child is involved in an activity that requires them to have an extremely flexible schedule.

If you believe your home-schooled child has a learning disorder, you have the right to seek an evaluation and services from your local public school district.  The level of responsibility that the school district has for providing special education services to eligible home-schooled students depends on whether the IEP team determines that services should be provided. 

Usually, an IEP team will decide not to provide services unless the child is enrolled full or part time within the public school district.

If you decide to have your child evaluated, you should contact your local public school district, state that your child is in a home school program and request an evaluation.

Once a home-schooled child is referred to special education, the local public school is required to complete the evaluation within 60 days.

You can use this sample letter if you need assistance in requesting a special education evaluation. Simply change the information to reflect the specific needs of your child.

The district will follow the process outlined in IDEA including: 

  • Notifying the parent of the intent to evaluate and providing parents with their procedural safeguards.
  • Obtaining written consent for evaluation, placement in special education and development of the IEP.
  • Developing an appropriate IEP that measures the satisfactory educational process of the home-schooled child.
  • Re-evaluating the child for special education eligibility every three years.
  • Parents of a children in a home school programs have the right to refuse to consent for the evaluation, revoke consent or refuse to make the child available for evaluation.
  • If a home-schooled child is found to be eligible for special education services BUT those services would only be provided if the student enrolled in public school, the school district does not have to provide services to the child.    
  • If the evaluation determines that a child is eligible, the parent can consider enrolling them part time in the public school so they can receive services.
  • For example, a child could be enrolled for 2 hours on Monday and Wednesday’s so they could receive reading support from a specialist. Or, if your child is older, you could enroll them in an elective class or physical education class so they are regularly on campus to receive support services.

    If services can be provided at the district office, you can ask to arrange a regular time every week so your child can attend the support program.

    Free Online Schedule and Grade Keeper for Homeschool Parents