A letter or notice of intent to homeschool is often the first step in filing paperwork to start homeschooling your child legally. Different states have different laws about letters of intent to homeschool, but most require some standard information. If you're ready to start homeschooling, use a sample letter of intent to help you get started.
What Is a Notice of Intent to Homeschool?
A notice of intent to homeschool is simply a letter stating that you are planning on homeschooling your child. For states that require a lot of paperwork in order to homeschool legally, the letter of intent is generally the first step in filing. A notice of intent to homeschool does not usually require a witness or notary.
Information to Include in a Letter of Intent
A notice of intent to homeschool generally includes the following information:
- Child's full name
- Child's address and address of homeschool if different
- Child's birth date
- The grade the child would be entering if they were in school
- A simple statement saying that the child will be homeschooled for the following school year and who will be giving the instruction
Who Completes the Letter of Intent?
Typically, the parent or guardian of the child writes and submits the letter of intent to homeschool. Even if you plan to use a tutor, church, or homeschool co-op, it is the parent's responsibility to notify their district.
Who Receives the Letter of Intent?
In most cases, a letter of intent is given to the superintendent of the school district in which the child resides. The address for the superintendent should be available on the district website or by asking any office personnel at the school. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter for your own files. If you want proof of receipt, you can mail it so it requires a signature or deliver it in person and ask the recipient to sign and date your copy and their copy.
Sample Letter of Intent to Homeschool
Most states suggest you only include the information required in your letter of intent and leave out things like specific curriculum plans. If additional documentation is required, that should be separate from this letter.
Dear Dr. Jefferson,
Please accept this letter as notice that I intend to enroll my child, Jennifer Grace Jones, in homeschool for the 2021-2022 school year.
Jennifer will be in second grade for this school year. Her birthday is July 11, 2014. Jennifer will receive her home education from me, her mother, Elizabeth Jones in our home at the address listed above. Jennifer's homeschool education will be effective starting September 1, 2021.
Mrs. Elizabeth Jones
Other Types of Homeschooling Notifications
While a letter or notice of intent is standard, some states require different types of homeschool notifications.
Intent to Homeschool Form
If your state requires intent to homeschool forms, those will be available on the state's Department of Education website. These forms usually include the same information as a letter of intent and often have room to include the names of multiple children. These forms often require a witness or notary.
Letter of Withdrawal
Instead of a letter of intent, some states require a letter of withdrawal. This letter is still sent to the superintendent and indicates that you will be removing, or withdrawing your child from that school district. A letter of withdrawal would include the date when your child will be removed and the purpose for withdrawing her.
States That Require a Notice of Intent to Homeschool
For more information regarding how to homeschool legally in your state, visit your state's department of education website or a legal organization such as HSLDA. There, you can find out all the requirements for homeschooling.
As of February 2020, the following states require a notice of intent or similar documentation:
| State || Notice Type || Deadline |
| Arizona || notarized Affidavit of Intent || Within 30 days of homeschooling |
| Arkansas || Notice of Intent form || Aug. 15 annually |
| Colorado || Letter of Intent || Within 2 weeks of homeschooling |
| Connecticut || Intent form; suggested, not required || Annually |
| Delaware || Letter of withdrawal || After opening homeschool |
| Florida || Notice of intent || Within 30 days of homeschooling |
| Georgia || Declaration of intent form || September 1st |
| Hawaii || Letter of intent or Form 4140 || N/A |
| Idaho || Letter of withdrawal; suggested, not required || N/A |
| Indiana || Withdrawal form for high school only || N/A |
| Iowa || Competent Private Instruction form || Varies by school |
| Kansas || Non-accredited Private School form || Before opening homeschool |
| Kentucky || Letter of intent || Within 10 days of public school start |
| Louisiana || Home study application and letter of withdrawal || Within 15 days of homeschooling |
| Maine || Notice of intent || Within 10 days of withdrawal |
| Maryland || Notice of Consent form || 15 days before homeschooling |
| Massachusetts || Letter of intent; based on attendance law || Within 7 days of homeschooling |
| Minnesota || Letter of intent || October 1st annually |
| Mississippi || Certificate of Enrollment || N/A |
| Missouri || Declaration of Enrollment; based on attendance law || Within 30 days of homeschooling |
| Montana || Letter of intent || Annually |
| Nebraska || Exempt status packet || July 15 |
| Nevada || Notice of Intent form || Within 10 days of withdrawal |
| New Hampshire || Written notification || Within 5 days of homeschooling |
| New Jersey || Letter of intent; based on attendance law || N/A |
| New Mexico || Notification of a Home School form || Within 30 days of homeschooling |
| New York || Notice of intention || July 1st annually |
| North Carolina || Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School || 30 days before homeschooling |
| North Dakota || Statement of Intent form || 2 weeks before homeschooling |
| Ohio || Letter of intent || Within one week of withdrawal |
| Oregon || Notification of intent || Within 10 days of homeschooling |
| Pennsylvania || Affidavit || N/A |
| Rhode Island || Varies by school district || N/A |
| South Carolina || Varies by school district || N/A |
| South Dakota || Notification for Exemption form || Annually |
| Tennessee || Letter of Intent || Annually |
| Texas || Varies by school district || N/A |
| Utah || Affidavit of intent; form varies by district || N/A |
| Vermont || Home study enrollment forms || May 1st |
| Virginia || Notice of intent || August 15 |
| Washington || Declaration of intent form || September 15 Annually |
| West Virginia || Notice of intent || When starting homeschooling |
| Wisconsin || Home school enrollment form || October 15 annually |
| Wyoming || Letter of intent or homeschool registration form || N/A |
Do Your Homework
Homeschooling your child requires a lot of work on your end from choosing a homeschool curriculum and format to notifying your local school district about your plan to homeschool. Check with your local school district and your state Department of Education to make sure you've covered all the bases for homeschooling.