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Homeschooling in Missouri

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Use this article to get familiar with the regulations regarding homeschooling in Missouri. Check out state laws and find helpful tips to support your homeschooling experience.

What Do I Need to Do to Homeschool in Missouri?

Missouri places no educational restrictions on families who wish to homeschool. You do not need to complete any special kinds of schooling in order to teach, and can begin homeschooling by simply withdrawing their child from public school. Additionally, you are allowed to teach your child at home without registering with the state, though you have the option of informing them if you wish. Though a parent may choose to homeschool their child at any time, he or she is not permitted to instruct more than four children who are not related.

You will be required to instruct your child for at least 1,000 hours over the course of a year. The state of Missouri dictates that at least 600 of these educational hours must focus on basic subjects. These include:

  • Reading and language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social studies
  • Science

400 of the hours spent providing this basic instruction must be completed at home.

You can find helpful online homeschool courses that will help your child review these core subjects. Accessing these study guides will allow children across different grade levels to complete fun, educational lessons at the own pace. Younger kids can take advantage of specially designed courses to help them develop their understanding of math, science and language arts.

Keep in mind that the compulsory school age in Missouri is 7-17. However, if you previously enrolled a younger child (5-6) in public school, he or she will need to maintain school attendance unless you remove them from the school attendance rolls. Additionally, 16 year olds are required to complete some form of schooling, but the hour requirements no longer apply.

Do I Need to Keep Records?

If you choose to homeschool in Missouri you are not required to supply the state with any educational records. However, you still need to keep track of your child's progress. You will need to keep the following documentation:

  • Some form of daily log tracking what the student learned and any activities he or she participated in
  • An academic portfolio of your child's work
  • Proof of evaluation

Your child will not need to take any standardized tests throughout their schooling in this state.

Will My Children Get a Diploma?

Missouri does not offer high school diplomas to homeschooled children. Your child can complete the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) in order to earn a high school equivalency certificate, which can be useful for college or career planning. This exam includes 5 subtests that will test your child on:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Social studies

You can help your student prepare to successfully complete these tests with these HiSET Prep Courses. Students can work their way through these study guides, focusing on the areas where they need help. These courses includes interactive quizzes and tests that allow your child to monitor his or her progress and get used to answering questions similar to those they'll face on the HiSET. They can also contact subject-matter experts if they need extra help with a particular subject.

Scheduling for the HiSET can be completed through the Missouri Department of Education's website (www.dese.mo.gov).

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