TEACH-CT supports the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. In order to focus on our mission and inform members about issues affecting them, it is important to define homeschooling. Definitions are also important to legislators, and the media when discussing public policy issues and legislation. This is a “working” definition, intended as a guide for our policies and mission and as such, is subject to further modification.
TEACH-CT defines “homeschooling” as instruction primarily received in the home or family unit, directed by the parent, without government funding.
Connecticut does not define homeschooling in statute. CT General Statute section 10-184 does describe the “Duties of Parents” and states that parents are either to provide, or arrange, instruction for their children in the required subjects.
Guidance for Groups:
TEACH-CT offers the following description of a traditional homeschool co-op, not to suggest that it is the only way to form community, but as an example of a model that has served homeschoolers well over the years, and may help to avoid problems that some groups have encountered*, especially in our recently evolving educational landscape.
A traditional homeschool co-op is organized by homeschooling families, for their own children. There is usually no tuition other than a nominal fee to help cover expenses. Some may require parents to sign an agreement such as a Code of Conduct, or statement of faith. Educational activities lean toward enrichment, rather than comprehensive treatment of core subjects and are organized by co-op leaders with input from member families. Some co-ops are strictly play or activity based with no formal educational component. Parents volunteer for most teaching though occasionally an outside instructor may be hired. The closer your group can stick to this model, the less problems you are likely to have* (see below).
1) All parents stay on the premises during co-op time and serve the group in some capacity.
2) Main meet-ups are usually scheduled no more than once per week (field trips and other activities may be additional).
Depending on the size of your group, your main activities and where you meet, it is a good idea to research state laws with respect to insurance, fire safety, zoning, childcare (if some parents watch the children while others teach) and consult an attorney if needed.
HSLDA Group Services offers guidance, though not legal representation of groups, on such topics as child protection policies, financial considerations, incorporation, LLC, insurance, fire codes, etc…
* Read “Co-op or Daycare? How to Make Sure Your Group is Legally Homeschooling” https://hslda.org/post/co-op-or-daycare-how-to-make-sure-your-group-is-legally-homeschooling by HSLDA Group Services attorney Darren Jones for examples of problems that other groups across the country have experienced, and what they have in common.
The information on this page is provided as general information only, for the consideration of homeschool group leaders. For specific legal advice, please consult an attorney.