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A Complete Guide To Homeschooling In Missouri

Homeschooling is legal in every state in the United States. Many families all over the country choose this option for their children because it suits their learning styles and personalities better.

Every state in the United States has its own rules and regulations when it comes to homeschooling, so if you are planning on homeschooling your kids, you will need to check what is required in your state.

If you live in Missouri and want to homeschool, then you have come to the right place.

Homeschooling In Missouri

We have put together a complete guide to homeschooling in Missouri. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Requirements For Homeschooling In Missouri

As with any other state in the country, there are some requirements you need to meet in order to legally homeschool in the state of Missouri.

As long as you stay within the parameters of these requirements, you will have no issues in homeschooling your children.

The requirements for homeschooling in Missouri are as follows:

  • Children between the ages of 7 and 17 must be in some form of education. If your children are not in public school, they must be homeschooled or seek alternative education.
  • You must keep samples of your children’s work. This goes for each individual child.
  • You must provide documented proof that your children have completed 1,000 hours of instruction during their academic year.
  • You must include 600 instructional hours in the core subjects of math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science.

Record Keeping is a big part of Missouri homeschooling law, but we will go into more detail below. As long as you follow these requirements, you will be able to homeschool your children.

Notice Of Intent

You are not required to submit a Notice of Intent to homeschool in the state of Missouri, but it is in your best interest to at least send a letter of withdrawal to your child’s current school.

This is basically the same thing as a Notice of Intent, and it will help you avoid any unwanted truancy investigations so you can homeschool without complications.

You do not have to include much in this letter, but if you do decide to send one, you should include the following:

  • A declaration of your intent to withdraw your child from public school.
  • A statement declaring your intent to homeschool your child.
  • Your child(s) name, age, grade level, and address.
  • The name and address of you, the parent or legal guardian.

Remember, sending a Notice of Intent or letter of withdrawal is not a legal requirement, but it will make the transition a lot smoother.

Record Keeping In Missouri

As we have previously mentioned, record keeping is a very important part of Missouri homeschooling laws.

There are a few different kinds of records you will need to keep, but as long as you stay organized, you should have no issues with this.

Let’s break it down here to give you a better idea of what the state of Missouri expects in terms of record keeping.

Assessment Records

While standardized testing is not required by law in the state of Missouri, lots of families choose to put their kids up for it because it will help with college applications in the future.

Having a record of any assessments taken by your children while they are being homeschooled helps educational bodies to determine their progress.

Lots of homeschoolers in Missouri will be eligible for the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP), but your child’s eligibility will largely depend on what school district they belong to.

All homeschoolers are a part of their local school district, even if they don’t attend public school.

When it comes to assessment records, make sure you record their results, what year they took the test, the name of the test, the board or organization they took the test with, and any other relevant information.

Samples of Work

This type of record is incredibly important in the state of Missouri. All homeschooled children are required to have samples of their work kept on record.

You can keep a homeschool portfolio if you want to, as long as it documents samples of your children’s work and progress.

Things to keep in this section of record keeping include:

  • Samples of lessons.
  • Quizzes.
  • Activities.
  • Tests.
  • Projects.

You don’t have to document every single detail, but keeping thorough records will make sure that you stay within the parameters of Missouri state law.

Documentation Of Instructional Hours

The final thing you need to keep up-to-date records on is instructional hours. Having documentation of how many hours you have instructed your children when they are being homeschooled is incredibly important within the state.

In the state of Missouri, you must keep documented proof of:

  • 600 instructional hours in the core subjects of math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science.
  • 400 of those 600 instructional hours must occur “at the regular home school location.”

You are free to keep this documentation in any way that works for you and your children as long as you do record it. Some families keep a daily log, while others keep a monthly log, for example.

Qualifications For Homeschooling In Missouri

In the state of Missouri, you are not required by law to have any qualifications in order to homeschool your children. As long as you are the legal guardian of your kids, you are free to homeschool them.

This makes homeschooling a lot more accessible in Missouri than it is in some of the other states.

You do not need any teaching experience in order to become their educational instructor.

Required Subjects For Homeschooling In Missouri

In the state of Missouri, you are free to create a homeschooling curriculum for your children that fits their individual needs and learning requirements.

That being said, there are still some required subjects that you must teach.

You must teach your children for 1,000 hours per academic year and 600 of those hours must be dedicated to the required subjects in the state.

The required subjects are as follows:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science

As long as you dedicate 600 hours per year to these core subjects, you can plan the curriculum in any way you want.

Days Required For Homeschooling In Missouri

There are no required days for homeschooling instruction in the state of Missouri, rather there are required hours.

These hours are quite specific in some cases as well, so let’s break them down so you have a better understanding.

In the state of Missouri, you are required by law to instruct your children for 1,000 hours per academic year. 600 of those hours must be dedicated to the instruction of the required subjects in the state, and at least 400 of those hours must occur at your homeschool location.

On top of this, you must also keep documented proof that these hours and requirements have been met.

Standardized Testing In Missouri

While standardized testing is not required by law in the state of Missouri for homeschoolers, lots of families do choose to put their kids up for testing.

Educational bodies such as the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) can offer assessments and tests to your homeschooled child, but you can also contact your school district if you need any help.

Your school district will be able to point you in the right direction and help you find educational bodies that can administer tests and assessments.

If you do decide to put your kids up for any form of testing, you must keep documented proof of those tests in your records.

Failure to record these tests in your records can result in you breaching the homeschooling laws in the state, so make sure to keep them documented.

Graduation Requirements

There are no official graduation guidelines or requirements in the state of Missouri.

The only thing you really need to keep tabs on is their attendance, but as long as you keep records of said attendance, you don’t have to worry.

Graduation requirements are largely left to the parents. If you are unsure of how to decide your child’s graduation requirements, you can base them on college requirements and goals, or you can look at their records to judge how prepared for graduation your children are.

It is helpful to talk to your kids when you are planning their graduation journey. This can give you a better idea of what is realistic to work towards.

Conclusion

Missouri is quite relaxed in its approach to homeschooling. The main thing you need to be thorough with is your record keeping, but if you use the information we have provided for you here, it should make the process a bit easier.

If you need any extra advice or information to get you started, don’t be afraid to contact your local school district.

They will be able to provide you will any recourses or extra information that you should be aware of before you start homeschooling.

Simon Lewis

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