Homeschooling is a popular education choice all over the United States, and each state has its own rules and regulations that need to be followed.
Some states are really relaxed in their approach to homeschooling and what requirements are needed, but some are a bit more strict.
Homeschooling in Minnesota is popular, but this state is one of the stricter ones that has a few more requirements than other states.
Some of the requirements may seem a bit daunting at first, but once you get organized, you can start homeschooling your children.
If you are considering homeschooling your kids in Minnesota, then you have come to the right place.
We have put together a complete guide to homeschooling in Minnesota, so read on to find out everything you need to know.
Requirements For Homeschooling In Minnesota
As we have previously mentioned, Minnesota has quite a few rules and requirements that need to be followed before you start homeschooling.
Some of the requirements are quite simple, but others will need to be prepared and sorted out ahead of time.
It is always recommended to have all of your affairs in order before you start homeschooling, regardless of what state you live in.
Having all the necessary paperwork, information, and qualifications ahead of time can save you a lot of time and stress later.
The main requirements you need to meet in Minnesota are as follows:
- Once a year, parents must submit a Letter of Intent to homeschool to your school district and superintendent.
- Parents must make sure they meet all of the qualification requirements (we will go into more detail about this later).
- You must make sure that your homeschooled children are taking part in standardized tests every year.
- You must maintain records, and these records must include things such as tests, completed lessons, projects, etc.
- Instruction in the required subjects must be provided.
- The required subjects you must teach include Reading and Writing, Literature, Fine Arts, Mathematics and Science, Social Studies (including History, Geography, Economics, Government, and Citizenship), and Health and Physical Education.
As you can see, there are quite a few requirements you need to meet in order to homeschool your children in the state of Minnesota.
If you do not have the right qualifications yet, don’t panic; we will be going over more information about this later on.
Record Keeping In Minnesota
Record keeping is required by law in Minnesota when you want to homeschool your kids.
When you homeschool in this state, you need to make sure that you are keeping recorded proof of the required subjects being taught, as well as things like tests and standardized test scores.
There is a lot of information needed for record-keeping in Minnesota, and this is why a lot of parents in the state choose to keep a homeschooling portfolio.
This helps to keep you and your children organized, and it also helps you in keeping the right records.
Some things you will need to keep records of include:
- Proof of all required subjects being taught.
- Proof of the annual standardized tests that have been administered to your kids who are being homeschooled.
- A copy of your homeschooling schedule.
- Copies of any and all instructional materials used.
- Assessment method descriptions.
- Coursework or related things (this is especially helpful if your children are older and plan on going to college).
It is heavily recommended in the state of Minnesota to keep at least three years of academic records for your homeschooled children.
Even if you are not thinking about college for your children yet, this will help later on down the line, and it will also keep the state and school district happy.
Qualifications For Homeschooling In Minnesota
In the state of Minnesota, it is required by law that tutors who teach homeschooled children must possess the required qualifications.
This is a big reason why it is so important to make sure you have all of your affairs in order before you pull your kids out of school.
When it comes to parents homeschooling their own children, the qualifications needed don’t always apply.
In most cases, you are automatically qualified to teach your kids as long as you follow all of the other requirements.
If, however, you choose to get external tutors to teach your children, they are required by law to have specific qualifications.
When it comes to tutor homeschooling qualifications, the following are required in the state of Minnesota:
- The tutor must hold a Minnesota teaching license, and this license must be in the field and grade that they are teaching.
- The tutor must be directly supervised by a licensed teacher.
- The tutor must have a baccalaureate degree.
- The tutor must provide instruction in a school that is recognized or accredited by the school board.
In some cases, only one of these qualifications is needed at any given time, but the more, the better.
If you are planning on using other tutors besides yourself to teach your children, you have to make sure that they meet these qualifications before they start teaching.
Letter Of Intent
The Letter of Intent might be a bit confusing if you have never written or submitted one before, so let’s break it down a bit here.
By law, you must submit your Letter/Notice of Intent to your superintendent by October 1st of each year. This is required for all homeschooled children between the ages of 7 and 17.
Your Letter of Intent must also include the following information:
- Full names and birthdates of all the children who are being homeschooled.
- The address of the children being homeschooled.
- Name of the Instructor, including yourself or any external tutors.
- Evidence of teaching credentials/qualifications when applicable.
- Proof of immunization compliance (at age 7 and again in 7th grade).
- Name of the annual tests you plan on using.
You will have to submit a Letter of Intent every single year between the ages of 7 and 17.
You will also need to make sure you include all of the information above in each individual letter. If this is ongoing, you must include that you are continuing to homeschool each year.
Days Required For Homeschooling In Minnesota
In Minnesota, the days required for homeschooling are pretty relaxed.
There is no official requirement for days and hours needed, so you are free to create a schedule that works for both you and your children.
Public and traditional schools in Minnesota are usually spread over 165 days, so use this as a template for your homeschooling schedule if you don’t know how many days to teach.
Standardized Testing In Minnesota
Standardized testing is another requirement that you need to meet in the state of Minnesota.
Every year, homeschooled children between the ages of 7 and 17 must take a ‘nationally normed achievement test.’
Both the parents and the superintendent must also agree on which test is taken and where.
There are a few different testing bodies you can use for this, with one of the most popular being The Minnesota Statewide Testing Program (MSTP), which is run by the University of Minnesota.
You can talk to your superintendent if you are confused or unsure about which avenue to go down for standardized testing, but it is important to know that you must make sure your children are doing this once a year.
Subjects Required For Homeschooling In Minnesota
We have briefly gone over the required subjects that need to be taught to homeschooled kids in Minnesota, but let’s go into a bit more detail now.
As you already know, the following subjects are required by law to be included in your homeschooling curriculum:
- Reading and Writing
- Fine Arts
- Mathematics and Science
- Social Studies
- Health and Physical Education.
While all of these subjects are required by law to be included in your curriculum, there is no specific requirement as to how often they are taught.
You are free to work them into your homeschooling schedule in whatever way works for you and your children.
How often each of these subjects is taught will largely depend on your children’s age and grade level, as well as their personal interest in each subject and how your routine is set up.
As long as you do include them and have records of these subjects being taught, you will be complying with Minnesota homeschooling laws.
Minnesota is a bit more strict in its approach to homeschooling, but as long as you follow the requirements and laws down to the letter, you should have no issues.
It is incredibly important to make sure you are record keeping regularly and you are making sure your children are annually tested.
If you are confused about any of the information we have provided here, you can go to your school district or superintendent for advice, more information, and anything you will need.
Use the information we have provided so you can start teaching your children from home sooner rather than later.
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