Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Approved! Or Not?

Your education plan is submitted, all your ducks are in a row, and your homeschooling year is well underway. The only problem is, you haven’t received an approval or acknowledgment letter from your district. Is that a problem? Information collected over the past fifteen years via the AHEM Questionnaire on Homeschooling Policy and Practice shows that it’s not uncommon for districts to never send such letters. In these cities and towns, homeschoolers simply go about the business of educating their children as outlined in their education plan, with no issues.

Maybe you have received a letter, but the language makes it hard to discern whether it’s actually an approval letter. Don’t be intimidated by formal or provisional language such as “preliminary approval” or “pending reviews of progress.” It’s common for schools to use this kind of language in approval/acknowledgment letters.

Below are some tips and options about how to handle the fact that receiving official acknowledgement of receipt of your plan or of approval is not guaranteed:

  • Send your education plan “Return Receipt Requested” or hand deliver it and ask for a signed receipt. Either option provides verification that your materials were received.
  • If you don’t receive an approval or acknowledgement letter, and you feel concerned about the lack of response from the school, check with other homeschoolers in your town. You may find out that it’s routine for your district not to provide a letter. If a letter is important to you or necessary, you can request one.
  • You don’t necessarily need an approval or acknowledgement letter to take advantage of educator discounts available to homeschoolers. Many museums and stores allow homeschoolers to self-certify.
  • If you did receive a letter and have questions about it, AHEM's helping contacts are available for one-on-one support.

Read more about “approval.”