Homeschooling in South Dakota
Tuesday, 08 December 2020

  • Tags:
  • Journey
  • New Homeschoolers
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Record Keeping

Rich in history and traditional culture, South Dakota is a great place to educate your children. Whether you and your child are nestled in your living room, on a field trip to Mount Rushmore, learning at a park, enjoying a homeschool group activity, or studying in a waiting room at the doctor's office, you will benefit from one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling: growth and togetherness.


How do you legally homeschool in South Dakota?


It is important to note that homeschool laws can change. Therefore, it is essential to consult the South Dakota Department of Education website and double-check the current homeschool laws each year. 


Parent Responsibilities


  1. Complete the Notification for Public School Exemption Certificateform for exemption from public school attendance and submit it to the public school district office where you reside (SDCL 13-27-2).


  1. Your homeschool student must test in grades four, eight, and eleven (SDCL 13-27-3).


BJU Press Homeschool Testing and Evaluation Services

Your child can take the Iowa Assessments™ Form E achievement test online from the comfort of your own home. 


BJU Press Testing & Evaluation offers faster results with fewer requirements for Grades 3–12 with online tests.  


***Choose an adult to proctor the test in the comfort of your own home!

***No qualifications needed***


You can also order printed test materials 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.

School District Responsibilities 


  1. Review and file the exemption form each year (annually) (SDCL 13-27-7).


  1. Keep test score records (SDCL 13-27-7).


  1. Loan textbooks (without charge) to all persons ages five to nineteen (SDCL 13-34-23).



If the South Dakota Department of Education has probable cause that the homeschool program may not comply with the law, they may request and inspect records of attendance and academic progress evidence to determine whether the instruction is being provided (SDCL 13-27-3).


While not all states require record-keeping, it is advisable to keep good records of your child's curriculum, attendance, sample assignments, tests, and other documents that would show academic progress. Records such as this 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 the South Dakota Department of Education requests and inspects records of attendance and academic progress.


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. 


As a safeguard to protect the confidentiality of the information you submit with the exemption certificate to your school district, you may also choose to include a privacy notice. If you are a member of HSLDA, you can access and download a privacy notice form on their website.

AHE (Academy of Homeschool Education) 

A grading and record service provided by BJU Press Homeschool



Learn more about AHE >>> here.


South Dakota Homeschool Field Trip Ideas

Historic and culturally rich sites are nestled among the natural beauty that paints the lands of South Dakota. Explore the glacial lakes and outdoor adventure in the northeast. Visit the Black Hills, Badlands, and other inspirational places in the west. Experience the history of Lewis and Clark through central South Dakota as you venture near the Missouri River. Take in the bustling cities, quiet country landscapes, and family attractions of the southeast.


*Click on the locations below for a quick link to their corresponding website.


Art Alley, Rapid City

Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, Yankton

Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, Chamberlain

Mammoth Site, Hot Springs 

Badlands National Park

MEAD Cultural Education Center, Yankton

Bramble Park Zoo, Watertown

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Philip

City of Presidents walk 

Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower

Corn Palace 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone

Crazy Horse Memorial, near Custer

Old Courthouse Museum

Custer State Park

Prairie Arboretum, Freeman

Devil’s Gulch Park, Garretson

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

Falls Park, Sioux Falls

Storybook Land/Wylie Park, Aberdeen

Jewel Cave National Monument, Custer

Union Grove State Park, Township

Kokomo Inn Gallery, Lemmon

Wind Cave National Park


Interscholastic Activities


At the discretion of the local member school, under SDCL 13-27-3, alternative instruction students may be granted permission by an accredited member school to participate in interscholastic activities by annually fulfilling the conditions listed in the printable pdf found >>> here.


We are all given gifts and talents that we can use to glorify God and encourage others in faith. Whether it be building, organizing, teaching, writing, singing, or creating, we can use our gifts to glorify God. Through our talents, we can spread the gospel message of faith and forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. 


Here are a few resources for learning more about music and art:



Discover performing arts, music, and summer camps in South Dakota >>> here <<<

Local Resources for South Dakota's Homeschoolers


With the growing number of homeschoolers in South Dakota comes the added benefit of increasing homeschool programs and support. If you choose to register your child in one of these supportive programs, such as a co-op, inquire about record-keeping for credits, attendance, and grades. 

Your Local Library


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


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. For your convenience, here are a few Facebook groups that you may find helpful:





A Homeschool co-op is a group of homeschoolers coming together to provide educational and/or social activities for their children.



For your convenience, here are links to a few co-op groups in South Dakota. You may also locate more in your area through your network of homeschool families or local Facebook groups.



Homeschool Groups


South Dakota has various homeschool support groups throughout the state, providing opportunities to socialize, learn, and connect with other homeschool families. Some offer co-op classes as well. Here are links to a few homeschool support groups in South Dakota:


The Education Alliance of Christian Homeschoolers in South Dakota (TEACHSD)


TEACHSD, formerly known as SECHE, was founded in 2002. TEACHSD is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation with a board, committee, and membership representation from across the state. They educate the community and public of the importance of parent-directed education and the freedoms required to allow it to flourish. They also help coordinate communication between independent local homeschool support and activity groups and homeschool families.


The legislative action committee of TEACHSD, the Families for Alternative Instruction Rights in South Dakota, is dedicated to advancing, protecting, and securing alternative instruction rights in South Dakota.


Annual Homeschool Conference


TEACHSD hosts the annual Christian Homeschool Conference of South Dakota (CHCSD)where you can explore curriculum options, hear inspiring speakers, attend workshops, and learn about local homeschool programs. 




In Conclusion


Knowing that you have 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 will help you feel confident in your child's education. Weave your planned days of study with the heritage, history, and beauty of South Dakota, and you are sure to have a rich and fulfilling homeschooling experience. Not only are you now equipped with the resources here, but you also have support available from a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant who will encourage you, pray with you, and help you with any questions that arise as you homeschool your child. 


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 - Homeschool Mom - Blogger - Author - Podcast/Radio Show Host
Author of Inspirational Homeschooling: