Homeschooling in Missouri
Need some help educating yourself about homeschooling in Missouri? We hope this page will help you by providing others' experiences with homeschooling. Time4Learning has recruited a state rep for Missouri to help new homeschoolers in the state get started. Her role is to help you connect with online and local Missouri homeschool resources.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Missouri, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is one family's story and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Missouri. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
One of the Most Homeschool-Friendly States
I think Missouri is one of the most homeschool-friendly states. We have very little in the way of requirements and anyone can "teach". For some, this is troubling but I love the freedom that this gives us! One of the reasons Missouri is so friendly is due to the large homeschooling population here. Just recently, there was a bill introduced into the legislature that would potentially negatively affect homeschoolers. A message was sent out over various lists and a day or two later thousands of homeschoolers flooded the Capitol building!
Missouri requires that children between the ages of 7-16 be "enrolled" in some type of school; homeschooling can be one of those forms, or in combination with others. Several counties have made an effort to lower the starting age for mandatory attendance and so you need to check specifically for the county in which you live.
Each year, a child must have 1,000 hours of "school", 600 of which must be in the five required subjects and 400 (of the 600) are supposed to be in the home or wherever they regularly do "school". The state school year runs from July 1 to June 30, so the hours can be filled any time during that period. I interpret the law to say I should have examples of school work, but not necessarily a detailed record of hours. I used to keep a database program, written by a Missouri homeschooler, that logs hours, keeps grades, and makes monthly reports. Currently, I simply keep all the written and printable work my kids do in a binder for the year. Just from looking at the pages in the binder, it's quite obvious the children do a lot!
How We Get Involved Locally
Locally, our family attends a weekly homeschool playgroup. There are a few different groups in our area and there are many across the state. A Google search for Missouri homeschool, or similar wording, turns up quite a few resources. We are starting a co-operative for the older children to get a feel of classroom settings and to give them the experience of other teachers besides mom and dad. In addition, my kids attend a weekly sports program for homeschoolers when the public schools are in session. Statewide, the best resource I've found is Families for Home Education (FHE). They keep us up-to-date on legal issues as well as offering support.
Time4Learning is vibrant, engaging, educational, and funny. It sure beats our previous homeschool curriculum which was textbook/workbook based.
Time4Learning is so effective that very little intervention is required. This works great if you're homeschooling multiple children.
No Two Days Alike
It's very rare we have two days that are alike in this household, but I will give you a rough estimate of our day. In the morning, the kids take turns at the computer. To start the day off, we work on the Time4Learning website. Depending on how long they spend on that, a site of their choosing follows. Another website we really like (although my 10-year-old is out-growing it) is Enchanted Learning. This year, we're also adding in the Learn at Home books for grades first through third. These are great books that help the non-organized parent have a plan. It includes plans for the day but also leaves time/room for expansion or changes. We also read at least an hour every day.
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.
Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!
Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in Missouri, head over to the Missouri Parents Forum.
Some Helpful Tools and Resources
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.
Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of the number of lessons that are included for each grade and subject. All students have access to at least 2 (and in most cases 3) grade levels of curriculum for each subject, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.
Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.
The Lesson Activity Finder - One of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child. You can visit our hints and help section for more information about the activity finder.
Lesson Planning Worksheet - Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Estimate the number of activities per day using this easy to use, printable worksheet.
Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.