General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi law states that your child must start school in the year when they turn six years old on or before September 1. The child must then complete school each year until the year they turn seventeen on or before September 1. The law also applies to children who are five years old on or before September 1, if they are currently enrolled in a full-day school program or kindergarten.
The law states that the parents or guardians must complete a certificate of enrollment in each year which the child is to be homeschooled.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Mississippi
Parents must submit a certificate of enrollment in each year they plan to homeschool their children and send this certificate to the school attendance officer of the county in which they reside. A copy of the certificate can be obtained from the school attendance officer.
When submitting the certificate, it should contain information including:
- Parent/guardian’s name
- Address, and phone number
- Homeschool student’s name
- Address and phone number of the student
- Date of birth
- Description of the type of education which the child will receive
- Signature of the parent or guardian.
The certificate of enrollment should be submitted no later than September 15 of each year if the child is starting a new year or as soon as possible from the time you decide to homeschool your child. If you are switching from public school to homeschooling, then the intent should be submitted within fifteen days of the switch and no later than 15 days after the beginning of the school year.
We recommend sending this letter by registered mail so that you know when it has been received and that it has been received.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Mississippi
There are no parent/guardian qualifications needed to teach your child in the state of Mississippi. You are responsible for what and how you teach your child. There are also no standardized tests needed to display that your child is gaining knowledge, but we recommend that you keep track of your child’s progress to show your local school board.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Mississippi
There are no laws governing the amount of instruction you give to your child each year. When you start the year, you may have to come up with a plan detailing what you are teaching your child and when, but there are no laws governing how much tuition time you give to your child.
Again, we recommend making a plan for your child and keeping track of it so that you can submit it to your local school board each year.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Mississippi?
Mississippi homeschooling does not require you to teach your child any specific subjects each year. To stay in line with most other states in the country, it is recommended that you touch on spelling, writing, English, language arts, geography, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, and art. There are no laws stating how often these should be taught or at what grade level but it is recommended that you try to keep the lessons grade-specific.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Mississippi?
There are no formal laws as to what records should be kept over the school year, but there are some best practice guides to help you (and your child) get the most out of the homeschooling experience.
Things to include in your records include proof of attendance, information on the resources you are using (including workbooks, textbooks, online resources, etc.), samples of your child’s work, any correspondence with school officials or boards, portfolios and test results, and any other homeschooling documents which prove that you are complying with homeschooling law and regulations.
We recommend keeping your records for two years, and the best way to store them is by scanning them into your computer and storing them in separate folders, grouped by the year your child was homeschooled.
Learn more about Homeschoolers in Mississipi in this short video below:
Testing is an important part of recordkeeping in homeschooling even though there are no formalized requirements in the state of Mississippi detailing what your child should be learning. You should be able to demonstrate that your child is learning and your assessments should be agreed upon before you start your homeschooling year. You should keep a record of all your child’s assessments to display that your child is learning.
There are no graduation requirements for homeschooling in the state of Mississippi, and it is up to the parent (and student) to determine when they graduate.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Mississippi?
Yes. Under Mississippi education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child is able to take regular school classes as part of their homeschooling education and can split their time between home and school (as long as the school offers this).
Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Any homeschoolers who live with a disability are also eligible for services through their local public school (the same services which students with disabilities would receive if they were enrolled in public school).
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Mississippi?
Yes, and it is encouraged. One of the misconceptions of homeschooling is that your child will not be social. By enrolling in homeschooling groups and finding events near to you, you can help your child to meet other children (you can meet other homeschooling parents too).
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of Mississippi, you may want to visit the Mississippi Home Educators Association website.