General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Missouri
Missouri law states that your child should be informal education when they have reached their 7th birthday by the start of the school year. The law states that this attendance is compulsory and could be in a public school or as part of a homeschool program. This is in effect up until your child reaches 17 years of age.
If your child earns 16 credits towards a high school diploma, they can become exempt from the compulsory attendance laws.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Missouri
While there is no law stating that you must inform your school board that you are withdrawing your child to homeschool them (or are not sending your child to a public school at all), we still recommend that you notify your school district of your intent to homeschool.
Find out more about homeschooling in Missouri in this short video below:
When you withdraw your child from school, you do not have to notify anyone, but you can see why it would be beneficial to do so (for both you and the school board). When sending a letter of intent to homeschool (which can be as simple a handwritten note), you should send it to your local school superintendent and do so by registered mail so that you know it has been received.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Missouri
There are no parent/guardian qualifications needed to teach your child in the state of Missouri. You are responsible for what you teach your child and how you teach them. 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 Missouri
There are no laws governing the amount of instruction which you need to 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.
Missouri schools teach 1,000 hours to the children who are enrolled (600 of which are in basic subjects like math and English). When you are creating your plan for the year, you can use this as a base for your teaching.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Missouri?
Missouri 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 Missouri?
Missouri law does not dictate what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are no laws surrounding how you assess your child or what records need to be kept. However, we recommend that you keep records of everything your child does or is involved in so that you can track their progress or any disputes.
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.
Testing is an important part of record keeping in homeschooling even though there are no formalized requirements in Missouri 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 prove that your child is learning.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Missouri?
Yes. Under Missouri education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child can 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 Missouri?
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 Missouri, you may want to visit the Missouri Association of Teaching Christian Homes website.