The homeschooling rules and laws first apply to children who reach age 6 by September 1 of the current school year, and through age 18.
Students may move in and out of the public system to and from homeschooling without any restrictions; however, homeschooled students who transition to a public high school may find that the high school does not evaluate their coursework as credit toward graduation. See more information below.
Homeschool Families in Oregon must:
Notify local Education Service District (ESD) of intent to homeschool (either electronically or through paper mail) within 10 days of withdrawing child from school or from the start of the school year
Plan to have child(ren) tested at the end of grade levels 3, 5, 8, and 10
Submit test scores to the ESD as requested
Contact local ESD If child(ren) returns to school
Homeschool families may choose their own curriculum, and may use the Oregon’s Academic Content Standards to guide their instruction; however, there is no requirement to adhere to Oregon academic standards. Homeschooling exists outside of the public system, which means there are no public resources. The Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN) is a good place to learn about resources and materials. Local public libraries may be a good place to start for locating materials. Additionally, Oregon Open Learning provides access to free lessons in a variety of subjects and grade levels.
Families new to homeschooling have an 18-month grace period before children must be assessed.* Homeschool testing is due by August 15 for grade levels 3, 5, 8, and 10; homeschoolers who are participating in interscholastic activities are required to test every year.
All tests approved by the State Board of Education are nationally-normed, multiple choice achievement tests that assess grade-level skills. The ODE maintains a list of approved testers (link below). Families are to find a tester in their area, and coordinate time and place with the test administrator. Test administrators are to be neutral, not related by blood or marriage, and meet at least one of the qualifications listed in OAR 581-021-0026)
*Note that short-term homeschooling (less than one academic year) would not require testing.
Homeschooling children with disabilities:
A child may already have an IEP or want to have a PDP (Privately Developed Plan) in order to maintain the awareness of instructional needs, or for accommodations with required testing. School districts are obligated to identify all children within their boundary, including children who are homeschooled. Whether or not to provide services to homeschooled students is a district decision.
Homeschooling in High School:
If a student experiences a transition from homeschooling to public school during high school, school districts may not accept homeschool coursework. Some colleges and universities will accept a homeschool transcript in lieu of a diploma, however, apprenticeship programs, trade schools, and the military will not, nor will some scholarship/grant providers. One option for high school completion, and a universally recognized credential for homeschoolers, is the GED tests.
Oregon law (ORS 339.460) allows students who are homeschooled, enrolled in in a charter school, or a GED program to participate in interscholastic activities at their resident school. The law specifies that this is allowable in grades K-12, but that in grades K-8 this is restricted to those activities that occur before or after school. Homeschooled students who wish to participate must test annually, by August 15, or provide a work sample or portfolio to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. For more information, please see the OSAA Handbook.
For students who are thinking about what they want to do after high school, these Career Development resources are a good place to start.