Delaware

Delaware’s homeschool statute states that “a ‘homeschool’ shall be considered a non-public school” and offers three options for homeschooling:

  • Single-family homeschool: Parents must submit annual enrollment and attendance reports to the Delaware Department of Education. There are no parent qualification, instruction time, subject, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements.
  • Multi-family homeschool: Parents must submit annual enrollment and attendance reports to the Delaware Department of Education. There are no parent qualification, instruction time, subject, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements. One parent must serve as the designated liaison.
  • Coordination with the local school district: While technically still on the books, this option has been discontinued.

For a definition of each option, see Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A. For the entire homeschool statute, see Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A and § 2704.  

(1) Single-Family Homeschool

Delaware’s homeschool statute states that “a ‘homeschool’ shall be considered a non-public school” and offers three options for homeschooling. The second option, the “single-family homeschool,” is defined as “the education of one’s own child(ren) primarily by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) mainly in their own residence.” See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A(2). For the entire homeschool statute, see Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A and § 2704.

Notification: Parents or guardians must (1) submit a statement of pupil enrollment as of the last day of September on or before October 31st of each year and (2) report end of the year attendance information on or before July 31 of each year. They are required use forms prescribed by the Department of Education, and they submit the information to the Department of Education rather than their local school districts. This process is now online and requires the name and address of the homeschool and parent and the name, address, date of birth, and grade of each child. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2704.
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: None.
Subjects: None.
Bookkeeping: None. However, parents should record attendance in order to submit the required end of the year attendance information. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2704.
Assessment: None.
Intervention: None. Failure to educate is included in the state’s definition of neglect, but exactly what that includes given the lack of subject requirements in the homeschool statute is unclear.
Other: n/a

(2) Multi-Family Homeschool

Delaware’s homeschool statute states that “a ‘homeschool’ shall be considered a non-public school” and offers three options for homeschooling. The first option, the “multi-family homeschool,” is defined as “the education of children, primarily by the parents(s) or legal guardian(s) of such children mainly in one or several residences, or other facilities, when such children are not all related to each other as brother or sister.” See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A(1). For the entire homeschool statute, see Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A and § 2704.

Notification: The designated liaison for the purposes of reporting enrollment and attendance must (1) submit a statement of pupil enrollment as of the last day of September on or before October 31st of each year and (2) report end of the year attendance information on or before July 31 of each year. They are required use forms prescribed by the Department of Education, and they submit the information to the Department of Education rather than their local school districts. This process is now online and requires the name and address of the homeschool and parent and the name, address, date of birth, and grade of each child. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2704.
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: None.
Subjects: None.
Bookkeeping: None. However, parents should record attendance in order to submit the required end of the year attendance information. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2704.
Assessment: None.
Intervention: None. Failure to educate is included in the state’s definition of neglect, but exactly what that includes given the lack of subject requirements in the homeschool statute is unclear.
Other: n/a

(3) Coordinated with the Local School District

This option is no longer available. It is only included here because it is still in the state’s homeschool statute. In that statute, a “single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district” is defined as “the education of child(ren) primarily by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of such child(ren) mainly in their own residence using a curriculum approved by the local superintendent or the local superintendent’s designee.” See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A(3). For the entire homeschool statute, see Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A and § 2704.

Notification: In addition to coordinating with the local school district, the parent or guardian must (1) submit a statement of pupil enrollment as of the last day of September on or before October 31st of each year and (2) report end of the year attendance information on or before July 31 of each year. This information must be submitted to the Department of Education on forms prescribed by that department. This process is now online and requires the name and address of the homeschool and parent and the name, address, date of birth, and grade of each child. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2704.
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: As required by the superintendent.
Subjects: Parents must use “a curriculum approved by the local superintendent” and must provide “regular and thorough instruction by the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the subjects prescribed for the public schools of the State and in a manner suitable to children of the same age and stage of advancement.” See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A(3).
Bookkeeping: As required by the superintendent.
Assessment: “The local superintendent shall determine in writing that the student is or will be provided with regular and thorough instruction by the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s)” in the required subject areas appropriate to the student’s age an development. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A(3).
Intervention: As required by the superintendent.
Other: n/a

Services Available to Homeschooled Students

Part-time enrollment: State law neither prohibits nor requires public schools to allow homeschooled students to enroll for individual classes, leaving the matter up to the local school district.  
Extracurriculars: The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association requires student athletes to be enrolled as students at the school for which they participate, thus barring homeschooled students from participation. See DIAA Reg 1008 2.3.
Special needs: Homeschooled students are eligible for special needs testing through their local public schools, but not to special needs services offered through these schools.
Other: n/a

Background:

Early homeschoolers sought to operate under the state’s private school law. In 1990, a bill that would have barred homeschoolers from using the private school statute and created a homeschool statute with oversight requirements failed to pass. The legislature finally passed a homeschool statute in 1997, requiring parents to homeschool in affiliation with a homeschool association or under the auspices of the local school district. The state’s current homeschool statute, which classifies homeschools as nonpublic schools with only minimal paperwork needed and dispenses with the requirement to homeschool through a homeschool association or the school district, was passed into law in 2003.

For more, see A History of Homeschooling in Delaware.

Resources:

Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 2703A and § 2704

Del. Code Ann. tit. 14: 200 Administration and Operations

Nonpublic Schools Frequently Asked Questions, Delaware Department of Education

Nonpublic Schools Admin Instruction Manual

Delaware, International Center for Home Education Research


This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. Page last updated September 2015.

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