Homeschooling in Nebraska
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History of Homeschooling in Nebraska 

Learning about other parents who had to fight for homeschooling rights and what they had to go through has made me grateful for the homeschool freedoms we enjoy today. 

 

Homeschooling wasn't always legal in Nebraska. In the 1970s and early 1980s, some parents were concerned with their children's education and chose to homeschool. However, Nebraska's state laws required schools to have state accreditation and approval. In addition, all teachers had to be certified. As a result, some homeschool parents faced prosecution. Thankfully, the State Board of Education approved Rule 13 in 1984, which enabled parents to homeschool, provided periodic testing and visitation. In 1987, homeschools became exempt from state accreditation, approval, testing, and home visits.

Today homeschool families in Nebraska enjoy the support of statewide and national homeschool organizations and community groups. With the growing number of home educators throughout the state and through avenues such as social media, homeschoolers are finding it easier than ever to connect with other like-minded homeschool families. 

 

How to Legally Homeschool in Nebraska

Homeschool laws can change. Therefore, it is important to consult the Nebraska Department of Education website to double-check the current homeschool laws each year. 

 

File for Exempt Status (Rule 13)

Nebraska's Rule 13 states that homeschool parents must complete and submit the required forms listed below for exempt status with the Nebraska Department of Education for children who will reach age six and have not reached age 18 before January 1st of the current school year. All forms must be submitted by July 15th each year. 

 

  1. Form A: Statement of Election and Assurances 

(each parent or legal guardian must complete and sign their own)

  1. Form B: Authorized Parent Representative Form 
  2. A certified birth certificate (unless previously submitted)

 

You can file online here or print the paper forms found on the last few pages at the end of the document here

 

Mail completed and signed paper forms to:

 

Exempt School Program Office

Nebraska Department of Education 

301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 94987 

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4987

 

If your children are below age 18 and have completed their instruction program, you can complete and sign Form D: Report of Completion of Program Form, found on the last page of the documents here, and send it to the Exempt School Program Office above. 

 

Required Information Summary 

(Rule 13 Sections 004.01, 004.02, and 004.03)

 

  • Provide a list of courses with a written summary of instruction for the following subjects: Language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. 
  • List the name of the instructor, age, and the highest level of education completed.
  • Provide the grade level of the student.
  • Teach 1,032 hours to all K-8th grade students and 1,080 hours to all 9th-12th grade students during the reporting period (July 1st through June 30th of the following year).
  • Comply with vaccination requirements. 

 

This information summary can be submitted simultaneously with Form A and Form B for the initial year but no later than 30 days after. After the initial year of homeschooling, the information summary must be submitted annually by July 15th.

 

Letter of Acknowledgment 

An acknowledgment of the receipt of Form A, Form B, and the information summary required in Section 004 will be sent to the parent/legal guardian and the school district where the child resides. 

 

Optional Records 

You may want to keep additional records listed below, which can prove helpful if you decide to re-enroll your child in a public or private school, if your child would like to pursue post-high school education, or in case there are questions about your child's education.

 

  • Immunization records
  • Tests and sample assignments 
  • Annual nationally standardized test scores or yearly assessment report
  • Correspondence with school officials 
  • Any other documents showing proof of your child's education and compliance with Nebraska's home education laws

 

Preparing Your Teenager for Homeschool Graduation in Nebraska

Presently, Nebraska has not set high school graduation requirements other than the courses of study listed above. To best equip your child for post-secondary education, you will find it beneficial to research graduation requirements for Nebraska's public schools and contact any of your teenager's prospective college admissions offices to inquire about their specific entrance requirements. This information will help you plan your teenager's high school courses and graduation requirements. When your teenager has completed your graduation requirements, you can issue your teenager's homeschool diploma and complete your teenage graduate's transcripts.

 

Local Resources for Nebraska Homeschool Families

The growing number of homeschoolers in Nebraska also comes with the added benefit of an increasing amount of homeschool support. Listed below are several ways you can connect with your local homeschool community.

 

Your Local Library

Enquire with your local library about books related to your child's interests. Also, inquire about reading program options or an occasional class of interest.  

 

Interscholastic Activities and Services

God often works through our service and talents to draw others closer to him, whether our gifts are building, organizing, providing care, teaching, writing, singing, or creating. We can spread the gospel message of love, faith, and forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and fulfill the biblical mandate to love others through our service. 

 

Homeschooling allows us greater flexibility to explore each child's unique interests and sharpen their talents. In addition to acting or dancing, you may want to explore other areas of interest like creating custom cakes, flying classes, construction courses, or more. As you discover your child's interests, ask your family, friends, members of your church, and your local homeschool group for any ideas or program options that might help you sharpen your child's gifts and talents. You may be surprised to find what opportunities await!

 

Social Media

Social media can be a valuable support tool where you can connect with other homeschool parents and inquire about local support groups, co-ops, sports options, and more. Many local groups use social media platforms such as Facebook as their primary means of communication. You can find homeschool groups on Facebook by typing in the name of your area and the word "homeschool." For your convenience, here are a few Facebook groups that you may find helpful:

 

 

Nebraska Homeschool Co-ops

A Homeschool Co-op is a group of homeschoolers coming together in cooperation to provide educational and/or social activities for their children. If you choose to register your child in a co-op class, inquire about recordkeeping for credits, attendance, and grades.

 

  • Co-ops can have a wide range of operation styles, goals, and worldviews.
  • Co-ops may consist of a few families or larger groups of families who have developed programs that offer classes to any homeschoolers who wish to participate. 
  • Larger groups typically require registration and charge fees to cover administration costs.
  • Homeschool co-ops may encourage or require parental participation or volunteering.

 

For your convenience, I included some links to a few co-op groups in Nebraska. You may also locate more co-op groups in your area through your network of homeschool families or local Facebook groups.

 

 

Nebraska Homeschool Groups

Nebraska has a variety of homeschool support groups throughout the state. These groups provide opportunities to socialize, learn, and connect with other homeschool families by offering activities such as field trips, mom meetups, monthly parent meetings, science fairs, and more. Here is a list to get you started in finding a homeschool group:

 

Homeschool Organizations in Nebraska

State homeschool organizations serve homeschoolers through supportive programs. Many also work to protect our freedom to homeschool.

 

The Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association (NCHEA)

The Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association's mission is to encourage and equip parents to disciple and educate their children according to biblical principles. They offer events, instruction, training, resources, and support. In addition, they are dedicated to protecting home school freedoms by monitoring legislative bills and keeping families informed about issues affecting homeschooling and parental rights.

 

Annual Events 

  • NCAA Conference and Curriculum Fair 
  • Graduate recognition ceremony
  • Legislative Days at the state capitol, which includes a state capitol tour and an opportunity to learn about the legislative process

 

Nebraska Homeschool–The Home Educators Network, Inc. (NH-HEN)

NH-HEN works to encourage, support, and network Nebraska's homeschool community 

 

Annual Events

  • Spelling bee
  • Used curriculum and book sale 
  • Hosts homeschool picture days and an option to purchase a yearbook
  • Partners with The Rose Theater to offer family-friendly films 

 

Additional Support and Resources 

 

Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

HSLDA offers supportive information and resources, legislative advocacy, and legal representation benefits. Click >>> here <<< for more information on HSLDA. 

 

BJU Press Homeschool Testing and Evaluation Services

BJU Press Testing & Evaluation offers the Iowa Assessments™ Form E achievement test online for grades K–12. Since an approved test administrator is provided by the Testing & Evaluation service, you can choose an adult to proctor the test in the comfort of your own home, and no qualifications are needed.

 

You can also order printed test materials for Iowa Assessments™, CogAT®, Stanford, and OLSAT for your student and select a local administrator to test your child. 

 

Ask a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant for more details on these testing options.

 

AHE (Academy of Homeschool Education) 

A grading and record service provided by BJU Press Homeschool

 

  • Keeps track of student grades 
  • Sends quarterly report cards 
  • Includes annual standardized testing
  • Prepares official transcripts that detail the student's academic record, including results of standardized tests
  • Holds an annual graduation ceremony 
  • Incorporates a Cash4College program which allows you to earn tuition dollars toward enrollment at Bob Jones University with every curriculum purchase
  • Offers dual credit options: Earn dual credit by taking residential or online Bob Jones University courses and have them count toward high school graduation requirements and college credits

 

Learn more about AHE >>> here.

 

In Conclusion

I have enjoyed the time homeschooling has allowed me to spend with my children. I am also grateful that I have been able to help my children develop a solid foundation in Jesus Christ through the biblical integration that BJU Press Homeschool so expertly intertwines throughout every subject. Along with an educational tool at your fingertips that is woven with God's word and a solid foundation of academics that fulfills the requirements of your state's homeschool laws, my prayer is that the valuable information and resources shared above will help you feel confident as you homeschool in Nebraska.

 

I cannot underestimate how helpful the support, advice, and encouragement from those who understand and have lived out the challenges and enjoyments of homeschooling have been to me. Consequently, I am thankful for each of the HomeWorks by Precept consultants who passionately serve the homeschooling community by encouraging, praying with, and helping others who homeschool. And since each consultant has used the BJU Press Homeschool curriculum for many years, they can pull from their experiences to help with any questions that arise throughout the year. 

 

Click >>> here <<< to watch a short video about how HomeWorks by Precept Consultants can help you. 

 

*The list of resources and links is provided as a courtesy and does not imply endorsement by HomeWorks by Precept. We encourage you to research the philosophy and practices of programs and places before deciding on participation.



Meet the Author


Yvonne Strachan - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Yvonne-Strachan
Author of Inspirational Homeschooling: www.inspirationalhomeschooling.com


 

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