A Christian Homeschool Group in Madison, Wisconsin Homeschooling in Madison since 1985 Homeschooling in Madison since 1985

Brief History of Homeschooling in Wisconsin

During the early 1980's, Wisconsin homeschoolers faced significant adversity from the Department of Public Education and the community-at-large had little or no information about homeschooling.

Those who were currently home educating were scattered throughout the community with few contacts with other homeschooling families.

Through the diligence of the Wisconsin Parents' Association, lobbyist Marv Munyon and homeschooling families throughout Wisconsin, the home schooling community gained a victory on May 10, 1984, with the passage of the 1983 Wisconsin Legislative Act 512. This Act continues to be the current homeschooling law that we enjoy today.

Department of Public Instruction, Homeschooling Program, FAQ

Wisconsin Homeschooling Laws

In Wisconsin, we must file Form PI-1206 with the Department of Public Instruction, not asking for permission, but informing them that we are instructing our children at home. This form attests that we are not circumventing the school attendance laws and are providing at least 875 hours of instruction per year, covering at minimum reading, language arts, math, social studies, science and health.

This is the only requirement in the Wisconsin Laws for homeschoolers, although it is recommended, but not required, that you maintain an attendance record for your homeschool.

To register with the Department of Public Instruction for Home-Based Private Education Program, you need to fill out the on-line DPI Form PI-1206, here.  This will be sent directly to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and nothing else will need to be mailed to them.  This form needs to be filled out each year by October 15th.  

What about Extra-Curriculars?

According to DPI Form PI -1206, Wisconsin homeschool law, section 115.001(3g) states: " Home-based private educational program means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program."

What does this mean to your homeschool? Field trips, workshops, enrichment activities or any other activity where instruction is given to more than one family unit at the same time does not constitute a home-based private educational program. The hours spent participating in these activities are considered extra-curricular and cannot be recorded as part of your required 875 instructional hours each year. However, you may use these extra curricular activities as part of your "home-based private educational program" if the parent, guardian, or designated person is present at the activity and  responsible for the instruction of the children in a single family unit. You may also add these hours of extra curricular activity to a high school transcript for grades 9 -12.

NOTE OF DISCLAIMER: The workshops, field trips or enrichment activities listed in the FISH Network Newsletters or on the FISH Website have not been individually evaluated by the network Advisory Team to determine if they can be offered as extra-curricular or legitimate instructional hours. Please consider the above paragraphs when you evaluate what experiences you will record as part of your "home-based private educational program".