Massachusetts law about home schooling

Laws, cases, and web sources on teaching your children at home.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.76, § 1 Requirements and exceptions
Provides an exception from mandatory school attendance for "a child who is being otherwise instructed in a manner approved in advance by the superintendent or the school committee."

Selected cases

Brunelle v Lynn Public Schools, 428 Mass. 512 (1998)
Home visits are not presumptively essential to protect the State interest in the approval of a home education plan under MGL c.76, § 1, and may not be required without parental consent as a condition of approval of such a plan.

Care & Protection of Charles, 399 Mass. 324 (1987)
Clearly states that parents may educate their own children with approval from the school. Provides guidance in what schools may consider when deciding to grant approval. 

Goodall v. Worcester School Committee, 405 F.Supp.3d 253 (2019)
Under Massachusetts law, a parent may choose between lawful alternative forms of education by enrolling her child in a public day school, another day school approved by the school committee, or by seeing that a child is "otherwise instructed in a manner approved in advance by the superintendent or the school committee." MGL c.76, § 1

Web sources

Advocates for Home Education in MassachusettsAHEM.
Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts (AHEM) is a nonprofit, independent, grassroots, volunteer-run, educational organization that gathers and disseminates information about homeschooling in Massachusetts through education, advocacy, and events. We believe that informed and active homeschoolers are their own best advocates in maintaining the right to independently homeschool.

Homeschool laws by state, Home School Legal Defense Association.                                                               
A compilation of homeschooling laws for all U.S. states and territories.

Massachusetts Home Learning Association, MHLA.
Since 1987, MHLA has worked with homeschooling families, districts, and the State to assist in deliberations about important homeschool policy issues.

Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators, MassHOPE.
MassHOPE assists parents in understanding and fulfilling the homeschooling laws of Massachusetts. We support and encourage homeschooling families through various activities and events including our annual convention, used curriculum sale, graduation, and also through a network of support groups, and communications such as our MassHOPE Messenger, The Voice of Hope, and legislative alerts as needed.

Massachusetts homeschooling laws, Time4learning.
Provides basic information on homeschooling law in Massachusetts at no cost. Site also offers paid services. 

Teaching & learning during COVID-19, Mass. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education.
An abundance of resources for ALL online students.

Print sources

Municipal law and practice, 5th ed. (Mass Practice v.18B), Thomson/West, 2006 with supplement. Section 22.8 Approval of private schools, home schooling.


Last updated: May 22, 2023

Help Us Improve with your feedback