When homeschooling, following state laws isn’t an option – it’s required. No matter your feelings on whether laws are too restrictive, overly permissive, or something in between, all homeschooling families must adhere to the laws as they were written.
Therein lies the tricky part. Most people don’t write that way. Many people don’t think that way, either. So, how are ordinary people supposed to remain in total compliance if they cannot fully understand the laws?
The key to understanding is to find trustworthy interpretations of the laws. This means, in addition to reading the laws themselves, reading an explanation from a trusted source, and even some examples of how laws are applied where you live.
Finding interpretations may not be as easy as locating the laws. Begin with a state-wide homeschooling organization or a legal defense association. If those do not exist, look for a large homeschooling group in your area instead.
Folks who have been homeschooling in your state for a long time are able to help explain what the laws mean. They can give examples of different scenarios to help to illustrate some of the finer points that may be trickier to understand. Finally, seasoned homeschoolers, especially those who work with other families in your state, will explain any peculiarities about living in your area, including parts of the law that seem to be applied a little bit differently than anywhere else.
Sound scary? It shouldn’t be. Homeschoolers must understand the laws but must never be afraid of them. Although the laws point to what is required, they also (by omission) point to everything else that isn’t! Thus, by seeing what you must do, you will also understand everything else that you can do on your own, too.