Homeschooling in Louisiana
Sunday, 05 July 2020

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Homeschooling in Louisiana has grown significantly in the past decade. There are numerous reasons that parents make the decision to homeschool their children. Regardless of the reason, Louisiana residents have the legal right to choose how their children will be educated, with very few legalities involved.

Homeschooling Laws
Louisiana families have two options when it comes to homeschooling legally in Louisiana. The first option is to register as a "Home Study." The second option is to register as “Non-public, not seeking state approval.” These options are described in detail on the state website:

Under both options above, the parents have complete control over selecting what curriculum they will use to educate their child. Parents should use a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level. No teaching certificate is required by the parent or tutor to provide the instruction. Grade levels are determined by the parents.

Compulsory Attendance
Children from the ages of 7 to 18 in Louisiana must attend school or comply with Louisiana's homeschool law. To comply, you must operate your home study program for 180 days each year.

State Testing
State testing is not required in Louisiana. However, parents may schedule state testing through the local board's testing administrator if they so desire.

Upon graduation, parents create and issue the homeschool transcripts and diplomas. These are not awarded by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) or the Louisiana Department of Education.

Now that we've discussed the legalities of homeschooling in Louisiana, I want to share with you some perks (or “lagniappe" as we call it) of our great state.

Louisiana has a deep and colorful history of French, Spanish, and African ancestry. These explorers found their way to the region and inhabited the area very early relative to the settlement of much of the rest of the continent. As a result, some communities in Louisiana are among the oldest in the United States.

Louisiana sugarcane is the most successful crop in the history of our state. It is vital to our economy. It is produced on more than 400,00 acres of land in 22 Louisiana parishes – with the production of approximately 13 million tons of cane yearly. FUN FACT: All of the raw sugar produced by Louisiana's 11 sugar mills would fill up half of the Louisiana Superdome.

We don't just eat around here. We plan our lives around the culinary seasons. Just days after the New Year, Mardi Gras season ushers in the arrival of King Cakes, followed by months of crawfish boils in the spring, slurping snowballs and crabbing in the summer, with football tailgating in the fall and warm gumbo as the weather turns cold.

Avery Island
Avery Island is the birthplace of Tabasco Brand products, including TABASCO pepper sauce. The Tabasco Factory is a great place to tour to see how the products are manufactured and distributed. While visiting there, you can also taste TABASCO-flavored ice cream.

Louisiana is nicknamed "Sportsman's Paradise," and it's easy to see why. Louisiana's weather allows for year-round fishing (both freshwater and saltwater), hunting, and countless other types of outdoor recreation. Our coastal wetlands offer the perfect habitat for many types of wildlife to reside here.

Louisiana's waters have allowed the seafood here to play a significant role in the growth of the area and the history of its people. Crabs, crawfish, shrimp, oysters, alligators, and fish all provide revenue, jobs, and ways of life here in the South.

Swamp Tours
Some families enjoy taking swamp tours to get up close and personal with alligators and other Louisiana wildlife. I have lived in South Louisiana my entire life and have to admit that I have never been on a swamp tour. But those of us who live near the swamp can see alligators by simply walking out into our own backyards!

State Parks
Louisiana is home to more than 20 state parks and preservation areas. These parks offer the perfect opportunity to go camping, hiking, biking, and birdwatching.

Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz, zydeco, Cajun, and swamp pop. However, it’s also home to a variety of music genres ranging from blues, country, hip-hop, gospel, brass hop, and more.

Some of my favorite field trips and tours have been at various plantations along the Mississippi River throughout our state. These plantations offer a fascinating look at lifestyles of the past and a crucial period in the history of the United States. Many of the state's antebellum mansions remain intact and are remarkably maintained and furnished with beautiful period pieces.

Audubon Nature Institute
The Audubon Zoo, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center offer educational field trips and discoveries throughout.

Fun Year-Round
I was born and raised here in South Louisiana. I am blessed to live in a state that recognizes family fun and the love of get-togethers. It is not by accident that Louisiana clings to the phrase "Laissez les bons temps rouler," meaning "Let the good times roll." Homeschooling is fun year-round in Louisiana!

Meet the Author

Laura Quick, Veteran Homeschooling Mom