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Homeschooling in Mississippi

Instructor: Shelby Golden
This article explores the process for enrolling your child in a homeschooling program in Mississippi. You can also find out what subjects you'll be able to teach and discover resources for educating your child at home.

Getting Ready to Homeschool

You can begin homeschooling in Mississippi by obtaining a certificate of enrollment from your local school attendance officer. Contact information for attendance officers can be found on the website for the Mississippi Department of Education (www.mde.k12.ms.us). You'll need to complete this form by listing information about yourself, your child and the curriculum you plan to use. You must sign this document and submit it to the enrollment officer by September 15th of each year you homeschool your child.

Attendance Requirements

Be aware that the mandatory school age in Mississippi is from 6-17. However, if you previously enrolled a child in kindergarten at the age of 5, he or she will fall under mandatory attendance laws, and you will need to fill out a certificate of enrollment form if you intend to start homeschooling your child.

If you fail to fill out a form by the deadline, you will be sent a written notice that you are out of compliance with the attendance law. You will then have 10 days to submit the enrollment form.

Teaching Your Child at Home

Mississippi allows parents of homeschooled children to pick their own curriculum. There are no specific subjects you're required to teach and no standardized tests that your child must complete. You can find information about the educational standards used throughout public schools in the state on the website for the Department of Education. Reading these standards can provide you with a good idea of what students are expected to learn at each grade level.

You can also check out these homeschool courses to get ideas about the subjects your child could study. These online study guides include short lessons that break down topics kids typically study in middle and high school. Interactive quizzes allow your child to put what he or she is studying into practice.

If you have a younger child, these language arts, mathematics, science and social studies courses can provide fun and engaging instructional opportunities.

Reporting Requirements

You are not required to keep any records about your child's education for the state. However, it may be a good idea to develop a portfolio that includes attendance records, examples of your child's school work and some form of assessment that demonstrates academic progress. Future employers or institutions of higher education may require these records.

Graduation for Homeschoolers

Homeschooled children will not receive a certified high school diploma in Mississippi. However, one of your options for verifying your student's educational achievement is to have him or her complete the GED test in order to earn a State of Mississippi High School Equivalency Diploma. You can find information on registering for this exam on the GED Testing Service website (www.gedtestingservice.com).

Studying for the GED is easy with this GED Prep Course. This study guide can help prepare students for the mathematical reasoning, language arts, science and social studies sections of the GED. Your child can view video lessons and complete practice quizzes to ensure he or she is ready for exam day. Additionally, subject matter experts are available to answer any questions your child might have while completing this course.

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