Who We Are
Maryland Homeschool Reviews is a homeschool umbrella that is registered with the Maryland State Department of Education to supervise home instruction under regulation .05 of the home instruction regulations, COMAR 13A.10.01.
MHR serves children of any gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation and national or ethnic origin. We are a secular and inclusive organization that supports families in their educational choices and in meeting the diverse needs of their children while also meeting their legal obligations under COMAR.
CURRENT NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
- MHR 2021-22 is now open. MHR online enrollment documents can be found here.
- 2020-21 end of year reviews were due on June 1. If you have not sent yours in, please do so ASAP. If you are having an issue completing your review, please contact Kate Heck (firstname.lastname@example.org). Remember, you MUST complete your end of year review to maintain compliance with COMAR.
Frequently Asked Questions
Umbrellas must certify that families are providing regular and thorough instruction. Umbrellas may be more familiar with the many ways that learning occurs in a homeschooling environment than local school system representatives who are more familiar with traditional public schooling methods
COMAR stands for the Code of Maryland Regulations. Homeschoolers often use the term COMAR to refer to the sections of the Maryland code that lists Homeschooling regulations.
You can find a copy of the relevant sections of COMAR here.
- MHR will confirm your enrollment with your local school system each year. We will provide up to 2 phone conferences and ongoing email availability as needed throughout the academic year. We will conduct 2 reviews per academic year, maintain a record of your compliance with homeschooling regulation, and assist with any communication issues with the school system.
- Our reviewers are veteran homeschoolers who recognize that families and children have diverse needs. They understand that education can look very different at home than it does at school and that there are many different, but still effective, ways to educate your children at home.
- MHR will communicate any compliance issues as needed. If it is determined a family is not meeting the Maryland regulations, a representative from MHR will reach out and help make a plan to be sure the family stays in compliance. That may involve advice on documenting things the family is already doing, but that are not reflected in their review.
- Occasionally, families might need to make a plan to add a subject that might have been omitted. MHR would then schedule a follow up conference to make sure the plan is working. We do have a responsibility to notify the county if families are out of compliance, but we will do our best to help you meet your obligation.
- MHR can advise on high school issues such as transcripts, graduation requirements, and awarding course credit completed work.
- MHR can advise families on ways to document non-traditional learning, brainstorm ideas when something is not working or you are having trouble meeting COMAR's required subjects, or point families toward other resources.
- MHR neither provides nor requires specific curricula. MHR does not have academic requirements beyond those specified in COMAR. We believe that families can both meet the requirements of COMAR and retain the flexibility to also meet the individual needs of their children and family.
- Families must notify their local school system of their intent to homeschool a minimum of 15 days before their official homeschooling start date.
- COMAR requires families to update their local school system of any change in status including enrollment in school, change in umbrella enrollment, new student enrollment, change of address.
- Per state regulations, families must show evidence of regular and thorough instruction in 8 subjects: English, Social Studies, Science, Math, PE, Art, Music and Health. Generally, students should be covering all 8 subjects each academic year. High Schoolers have some flexibility in scheduling their courses but should have a plan for completing sufficient high school level credits and meeting their graduation requirements.
- Families must provide MHR with an email address that is checked regularly, to ensure you receive communications regarding reviews and other important updates. It is a good idea to add both of our contact emails to your safe list: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Families must review twice per academic year to confirm that you are meeting COMAR's requirements. Reviews also provide an opportunity to answer questions or brainstorm ideas about any issues you might be having. Veteran families may only be required to do a formal end of year review and a more informal mid year check in, but may opt for a full review if they prefer. Informal mid year check ins are offered at the discretion of the MHR coordinators. A family may be required to complete 2 full reviews if their reviewer or the coordinators determine the family needs more support to maintain compliance with COMAR
- Families need to complete our enrollment/renewal process including payment (currently $150 per family per academic year) before MHR will update the county with your status or complete a review.
- Families are responsible for ensuring that they are providing regular and thorough instruction to meet the standards set by COMAR. MHR can help advise you on how you can meet those standards within the context of YOUR homeschool program, educational style, or children’s needs.
- Families with high schoolers must be prepared to keep records of their students’ progress, credits, and course descriptions so they can prepare an accurate high school transcript. Families need to set both graduation requirements and standards for awarding high school credit. MHR can provide guidance with standards, credits, and transcripts upon request.
- A homeschooling review is traditionally a meeting between a homeschooling parent and a representative of the organization or agency providing educational oversight to the family.
- The primary legal purpose of the review is to confirm that the family is in compliance with COMAR. If they are not, an umbrella like MHR can help them build a plan to meet those requirements.
- A review also provides an opportunity to share your successes, ask questions, look for resources, and discuss problems. Some families need help figuring out how to document non-traditional learning. Sometimes a family wants to change their homeschooling approach and is looking for ideas or perhaps they are approaching high school and need information on keeping transcripts and setting graduation requirements. Sometimes a family has found an awesome resource that they just want to share with the community.
- MHR has in the past conducted reviews in person. With Covid protocols in place, MHR transitioned to remote and has been conducting reviews by email and zoom. Going forward we will likely provide options for both remote and in person reviews so we can continue to meet our families’ diverse needs
- MHR reviews (or check ins for eligible families) should be completed by early January and early June. Instructions for the next review with precise deadlines will usually going out about 45 days before that.
- Both organizations are divisions of The Center Nonprofit.
- Both organizations serve the Greater Baltimore Homeschooling Community.
- Families may choose to join just MHR or just The Homeschool Center, or they can join both. MHR enrollment does not give access to classes at The Homeschool Center and members of The Homeschool Center are not covered by our umbrella unless they are signed up for BOTH.
- Families signed up for both services receive a $50 discount per academic year.
- MHR uses an online database called Alma to collect inquiries and manage the application process. MHR enrollment will also be handled through this system starting with the 2021-22 school year. Submitting this form will send your information to us and start the process. Enroll here
- MHR accepts enrollments throughout the academic school year.