How to Homeschool in Alabama

This information is not legal advice and should not be used as such. You should verify all requirements with the government agency in your area before you begin homeschooling. You may find contact information in the links below.
  • In Alabama, homeschooling is known as a "private school, church school, or private tutor" option.

  • Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 6 through 17.

From the United States Department of Education

A home school can seek qualification as a private school, church school, or under the private tutor option. Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-1(1), 16-28-1(2), 16-28-5.

Private Schools Option:

Private schools must hold a certificate issued by the state superintendent of education that shows the following requirements are being met:
1) any teachers are state certified;
2) subjects mandated by the state are included;
3) instruction is in English; and
4) regular attendance is kept. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-1(1).

By the end of the first week of instruction for a new school year, the principal private school teacher of a home school qualified as a private school or any state certified private tutors who are working within a home school setting must submit paperwork with the county superintendent of education.

The paperwork states the child or children to be instructed, the subjects to be taught and the period of time instruction is to be given. In addition, throughout the compulsory attendance period a register of attendance shall be kept on each child. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-7.

If a home school is qualified as a private school, the school must provide a physical education program that conforms to the program outlined by the Alabama Department of Education. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-40-1.

A certificate of immunization or testing for the prevention of communicable diseases designated by the state health officer is required prior to admittance to a private school. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-30-4.

At the end of the fifth day from the opening of the public school, the principal teacher of each private school must report to the local superintendent the names and addresses of all children enrolled; and thereafter, at least weekly the names of students absent without excuse. Code of Alabama. 1975 §16-28-7.

The principal teacher of private schools must keep an attendance register showing the enrollment of the school and every absence of each enrolled child from school for a half-day or more. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-8. The registry is admissible as evidence in compulsory attendance hearings. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-23.

Church Schools Option:

A church school is K-12 school or school with any combination of these levels "operated by a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches on a nonprofit basis which do not receive any state or federal funding". Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-1(2), 16-46-1(3).

Documentation of the enrollment and attendance of a child in a church school must be filed with the local public school superintendent by the parent or guardian on a form provided by the superintendent. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-7.

At church schools, enrollment and attendance must be reported to the local public school superintendent by the parent or guardian on a form provided by the superintendent. The administrator of the church school countersigns the enrollment form.

If a child leaves the church school, the church school will notify the local public school superintendent, by prior consent of the parent or guardian. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-7.

If a home school is operated as a ministry of a local church, there are no legal requirements for instructors. Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-1, 16-28-5.

Private Tutor Option:

Instruction as a private tutor is defined as instruction by a state certified teacher who teaches in English state required courses between 8:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a minimum of three hours per day over the course of at least 140 days during the calendar year. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-5.

Compulsory Attendance Requirement:

Every child between the ages of six and 17 is required to attend a public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a private tutor certified by the state of Alabama for the entire length of the school term in every scholastic subject under the compulsory attendance law. Students enrolled in a church school before their 16th birthday are exempt from the new (2009) compulsory attendance law and may withdraw at age 16. Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-3, 16-28-1, 16-28-7.

Contact Information

Alabama State Department of Education
5227 Gordon Persons Building
50 North Ripley Street
P.O. Box 302101
Montgomery, AL 36104-3833
Phone: (334) 242-9700
Fax: (334) 242-9708
Private School Registration: (334) 242-9960
Homeschooling: (334) 242-8165

Source: United States Department of Education - Alabama State Regulations

From the Alabama State Department of Education

Alabama State Department of Education provides very little information for homeschooling. Below is what is on the department's website.

"For more information regarding Church School Requirements, Private School Requirements, Private Tutor Requirements, Graduates of Non-Public School, and Homeschoolers and Public School Sports, please go to the links below."

Contact Information

Phone: 334-694-4900
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: Alabama State Department of Education

Updated 29 December 2021

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