Homeschooling in Rhode Island & Homeschool Laws


You may be interested in homeschooling your children in Rhode Island, but don’t know where to start regarding state regulations and requirements. This guide will walk you through what you need to know to successfully set up your own program legally following Rhode Island Homeschool Laws. We’ll cover the history of homeschooling laws in Rhode Island, current laws and regulations, required notifications and filings, curriculum and testing choices, creating high school transcripts, access to extracurricular activities, graduation requirements, and accessing special education services.


The home schooling movement gained momentum in the late 20th century. Prior to the implementation of Rhode Island homeschool laws, households were often considered private schools when homeschooling in Rhode Island.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the state began formalizing regulations for home schooling a child. In 1996, Rhode Island homeschooling laws required a written notification and an annual assessment of the student.


Homeschooling in Rhode Island is primarily decentralized, with the local school playing a pivotal role in determining specific guidelines. The following laws are uniformly applicable to the homeschool journey:

  • Compulsory public school, private school, or home school for students aged 6-18.

  • Home-based attendance should align substantially with public school requirements.

  • A parent is responsible for maintaining attendance submitted to the local district.

  • A parent must provide “thorough and efficient” instruction.

  • Instruction should cover reading, writing, geography, math, U.S. history, RI history, and American government.

  • The instruction should be conducted in English and deemed “thorough and efficient.”

  • Rhode Island state laws do not mandate annual standardized testing for homeschoolers.


Homeschooling in Rhode Island involves basic legal requirements:

  • File a Notice of Intent: You will need district approval before you begin home instruction. Here’s a sample Letter of Intent.

  • Teacher Credentials: A parent who does not hold a current Rhode Island teaching certificate is required to submit a curriculum outline and instruction.

  • Removal from Public School: To withdraw from the public school system and start homeschooling, a parent should submit the Notice of Intent before home schooling. Public schools cannot legally compel continued enrollment once notified of a parent’s intent.

  • For New Residents: When moving to Rhode Island, a parent should immediately submit the Notice of Intent to their local school district.

  • Local District Requirements: Familiarize yourself with any additional policies adopted by your local district of Rhode Island.


The key ongoing requirements for maintaining a home school in Rhode Island are:

  • Submit a Notice of Intent each year.

  • Keep attendance records throughout the public school year.

  • Maintain a portfolio of each student.

  • For high school-level students, document coursework and credits.

A parent should adhere to the required period of instruction. Ensure that your Rhode Island homeschooling curriculum aligns with the public school schedule by providing instruction for a total of 180 days during the year, mirroring the standard of the Rhode Island department of education.

A parent should teach the mandated curriculum by the state. Your family curriculum plan should encompass reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, health, physical ed, U.S. history, Rhode Island history, and principles of American government.

These records demonstrate that consistent instruction is taking place and allow for annual progress reports.


Rhode Island state law mandates maintenance of attendance records, which includes submission to local school districts. Local school districts may impose additional recordkeeping requirements.

A parent must submit an annual evaluation of the child.

Beyond the mandated state records, it is crucial to maintain the following essential documents for your home school:

  • Attendance Records: Detailed logs showcasing consistent participation of the child.

  • Textbooks Information: A record of the educational curriculum.

  • Correspondence with Public School Officials: Records of communications with authorities.

  • Portfolios: Assembled evidence of educational development of the child.

  • Other Documents Confirming Compliance: Additional materials substantiating adherence to Rhode Island homeschool laws.



In Rhode Island, homeschooled students are required to participate in annual testing to assess their academic progress. Rhode Island home schooling regulations mandate that children must take a standardized test or undergo an alternative method of evaluation agreed upon by the parent and the local school committee. These evaluations must be administered annually and should demonstrate sufficient academic progress according to age and ability. The results of these assessments must be submitted to the local school committee each year. If a homeschooled student does not meet the minimum proficiency levels for their grade, the local school committee may place the program on probation and require additional assessments or support to ensure progress of the child.


Rhode Island does not provide any public funding, stipends, or educational savings accounts to assist many families with homeschooling expenses. All costs for curriculum, technology, extracurricular activities, and other educational special needs must be covered by the families.

Curriculum providers and online learning platforms do offer payment plans, subscription options, loan textbooks, or financial assistance programs that can help manage costs.

Maintaining an active membership in Rhode Island home schooling support groups can provide access to used curriculum, book swaps, shared resource libraries, and discounted group enrichment opportunities.

Federal Tax Breaks

You may be eligible for certain federal tax benefits to help offset educational expenses. One option is a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows money to grow tax-free when used for qualified education costs. A parent might also be able to deduct a portion of mortgage interest or rent if part of the home is used regularly and exclusively for homeschooling in Rhode Island. Finally, tax credits or deductions could be available for required books, supplies, and equipment used for homeschool curriculum and instruction. To learn more about these potential tax advantages, review the information and resources provided by the IRS. Consulting with a qualified tax professional is also advisable to understand eligibility and properly claim any benefits.


Rhode Island law requires homeschooled students to follow the same immunization rules as students enrolled in public schools or private schools. Proof of immunizations must be provided annually to the local school district when homeschooling in Rhode Island.


In Rhode Island, homeschooling enjoys full legality, and students who fulfill their parents’ graduation requirements are recognized as home school graduates. Parents have the authority to award diplomas to students who have successfully met their graduation criteria.

It is advisable to investigate the prerequisites of higher education institutions. Familiarizing yourself with the coursework, testing score expectations, and extracurricular activity standards of colleges can aid in shaping your high school homeschool curriculum. This informed approach ensures that the homeschool journey of the child aligns with the admission criteria of their desired colleges.

Rhode Island does not define statewide graduation requirements for students who are homeschooled. Graduation requirements and diplomas are handled at the local school district level.

However, homeschooled students should aim to complete a typical high school curriculum in order to demonstrate adequate preparation for post-secondary education or the workforce. A recommended course of study would be:

  • 4 years of Language Arts

  • 4 years of Mathematics

  • 3 years of Science

  • 3 years of Social Studies

  • 2 years of Foreign Languages

  • Physical Education 

  • Electives and vocational studies

Most colleges and employers will expect to see these required subjects. Homeschooled students should be prepared to demonstrate subject matter competency through standardized tests, portfolios, or evaluations by credentialed teachers.

Some choose to have their students earn a GED high school equivalency or enroll for their final coursework at a local school in order to receive an official diploma.


Rhode Island does not have any state-funded local school charter schools or virtual learning programs. All homeschooling in Rhode Island is done in private schools or by parents and families.

The state also does not require homeschooled students to participate in any standardized testing programs. However, homeschool families can choose to have students take nationally-normed standardized achievement tests like the Stanford or Iowa Tests as part of their evaluation process.


Taking charge of your child’s education doesn’t mean you’re on this journey alone. Rhode Island offers a robust system of support networks and resources for homeschooling families. 

Rhode Island has two prominent home school support groups, serving as guidance for both novice and seasoned homeschoolers in the state.

ENRICHri stands out as the largest secular homeschool network, offering many resources. For new homeschoolers, the organization provides parent workshops, field trips, a monthly newsletter, and many special education events like fairs and graduation ceremonies.

RIGHT, a Christian-led support group. Members benefit from homeschool resources, a monthly newsletter, and participation in a private Facebook group.

Joining a homeschool group comes with a multitude of advantages:

  • Connect with Like-minded Peers: Homeschoolers can forge connections with fellow students.

  • Diverse Group Classes: Enjoy group activities like field trips, science fairs, and physical education.

  • Guidance on Rhode Island Homeschool Laws: Stay informed about Rhode Island homeschool laws within the supportive framework of the homeschool group.

Rhode Island Homeschool Co-ops often emerge as a natural extension of homeschool support groups. These cooperatives, commonly referred to as “co-ops,” are organized homeschool families dedicated to providing shared learning opportunities for their student.

Discover the advantages of a Homeschool Co-op:

  • Tap into Diverse Talents: By harnessing the expertise of other parents, you gain access to classes that might have been challenging to teach at home.

  • Forge Lasting Connections: Weekly interactions with a consistent group of students foster meaningful friendships among homeschoolers, creating a supportive community.

  • Varied Teaching Styles for Future Success: Exposure to different teaching styles enriches the learning experience and equips homeschoolers with valuable adaptability skills, preparing them for future local school or college environments. 

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