Missouri Homeschool Laws
The Missouri Department of Education does not regulate or monitor home education in the state, and no state registration is required to begin homeschooling. That means that you can begin whenever you and your student(s) are ready. However, it’s a good idea to fully understand what the requirements for homeschooling are in the Show-Me State prior to jumping in.
On this page you will learn about the main requirements that homeschool families must follow in Missouri, what records you’ll want to keep, what is involved in homeschool graduation, and even how to enroll (or re-enroll) your child in school if your homeschool experience comes to an end.
- Missouri Homeschool Requirements
- Homeschool Recordkeeping in Missouri
- Missouri Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Missouri
*This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Missouri Homeschool Requirements
Compulsory age for schooling in Missouri begins at seven. Any family homeschooling a child aged 7 through graduation must:
- Keep samples of each homeschooled student’s work.
- Keep a record of periodic assessments.
- Provide documentation of at least 1,000 hours of instruction during their annual school term.
If you are switching from public school to homeschool in Missouri, it is a good idea to send your student’s current school a letter of withdrawal to let them know that you will now be homeschooling in order to avoid any truancy issues.
Full details and additional links relating to the home education laws for Missouri can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Homeschool Recordkeeping in Missouri
Because recordkeeping is the primary focus of homeschool law in Missouri, it is helpful to look more closely at each of the individual requirements and how families might choose to fulfill them.
Keeping Samples of Work
Many home educators — not only in Missouri but also in other states — track their students work via a homeschool portfolio. This is simply a way of documenting your students progress by keeping samples of lessons, activities, quizzes, and tests your homeschooler completes through the year.
Time4Learning makes this process incredibly easy by providing parents with printable reports for each subject.
Keeping Assessment Records
Very few homeschoolers enjoy standardized testing, but it can be a helpful measure of how a student is gaining and retaining information year to year. Although the type of assessments homeschoolers should keep is not clarified in Missouri law, a nationally-normed test is certainly a type of assessment that allow for comparisons of a student’s progress year to year. Depending on your local school district, your homeschooler may be eligible to participate in the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP), however this is at each local district’s discretion.
Documentation of Instructional Hours
The law relating to instructional hours has two distinct aspects:
- 600 of the instructional hours must be 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”
Missouri homeschoolers have a variety of ways they can record their instructional time while homeschooling. Some families may wish to create a daily log of their homeschool hours, while others may prefer to update their log only weekly or even monthly.
Missouri Homeschool Graduation Requirements
Missouri has no laws relating to graduating your homeschooler. Compulsory attendance is required for students until the age of 17, but there are no guidelines in Missouri on what your high schooler must achieve prior to graduation. Instead, homeschool parents determine their own criteria for when their homeschooled high schooler is prepared to receive a diploma.
If college is on your student’s radar, it’s a good idea to look at the recommendations for any school they may apply for and align your homeschool goals with those. But if your high schooler has an alternative to college in mind, it’s totally fine to align their goals with that path instead.
If you are curious about how a homeschool high school completion differs from traditional school graduation, the below chart outlines some of the comparisons between the two.
|Missouri diploma requirements||State minimum high school graduation requirements comprise 24 units of credit.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.|
|Missouri high school testing requirements||End of course assessments must be completed in the subjects of Algebra I, English II, Biology, and Government prior to graduation.||Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation. However, they may participate in EOC assessments if they wish, at the discretion of each individual school district.|
|Missouri high school transcripts||Created by individual schools and denotes credit information earned from 9th through 12th grades.||Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.|
|High School Equivalency eligibility||Individuals who are at least 16 years of age and have achieved at least 16 credits toward high school graduation||Homeschoolers wishing to take the HIsET in Missouri must provide a written declaration that they are in compliance with MO homeschool laws and written permission to take the test.|
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
Certainly, not every family who begins homeschooling will continue through graduation. Oftentimes home education is a year-to-year decision. If at some point you choose to end your period of homeschooling, you will need to know how to transfer from homeschool to public school. In Missouri, this process is determined at the discretion of individual districts and schools.
Each school will have different protocols for determining grade placement. Some schools will simply ask you to decide what grade level you want to place your child. Others may ask to review records relating to your child’s academic progress while homeschooling and some may even require assessment testing to determine proper placement.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Missouri
Have other questions about homeschooling in Missouri? You may find the following pages helpful.