Homeschooling in Minnesota

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Homeschooling your child can be a preferable alternative to public or private school options. To get started, learn about the homeschooling laws specific to Minnesota and utilize the helpful resources below.

Overview of Homeschooling in Minnesota

Students between the ages of seven and seventeen who have been withdrawn from public school and who are receiving educational instruction at home by a parent are considered homeschooled by the state of Minnesota. While the parent providing instruction does not need to hold any teaching credentials, he/she is held responsible for his or her child's education by the state.

Upon completion of all required homeschool coursework, students will not be issued transcripts or diplomas by the state; however, certificates of completion or homeschool diplomas can be issued by the instructing parent or homeschool program.

Minnesota Parental Requirements

The state of Minnesota has four basic laws that must be followed regarding homeschooling. These laws require that the homeschooling parent:

Reports Intent to Homeschool

The parent who will be providing instruction must notify the resident school district in writing about his/her intent to homeschool. When a student is first beginning homeschool, an initial letter of intent must be completed and sent to the superintendent's office no later than October 1st if beginning homeschooling in the fall, or within 15 days of the student's removal from school. Parents can write a generic letter or use forms available online, but it must include such information as the student's name and date of birth as well as the name of the standardized test parents will issue. Each year a child continues to be homeschooled, a letter must be submitted that declares the parent's intent to continue homeschooling and notes any changes from the initial report.

Submits Immunization Records

First-time homeschoolers must also include current immunization records with the submission of their initial paperwork. If a student has not been vaccinated for medical reasons or by choice of the parent, the parent must provide a notarized statement detailing the student's immunization situation. Parents who begin homeschooling their students in elementary or middle school will need to submit this information again once their children reach seventh grade.

Performs Annual Standardized Testing

Homeschooled students are required to take yearly standardized exams of the instructional parent's choosing. However, the district superintendent must be notified which exam will be used and he/she must agree that it adequately assesses knowledge in the required subject areas. Parents and superintendents must also agree on when and where the exams will be administered. It's not required for parents to submit exam results to the school district or state, but if a student scores below the 30th percentile, he/she must be tested for learning disabilities.

Provides Instruction in Core Subjects

Curricula for both public school and homeschool must include math, science, social studies (encompassing history, geography and government), reading, writing, literature, fine arts, health and physical education. Homeschooling parents are required to keep adequate records to prove they're teaching these subjects. These records should include the instructional materials used, the class schedules followed and scores from annual exams. This information only needs to be submitted under rare circumstances.

Resources for Homeschooling in Minnesota

After submitting all the required paperwork and documentation noted above, you can move forward in your homeschooling journey with help from the following resources.

Public School Services

Homeschooled students are eligible to receive part-time instruction and special education services through their local public schools. This includes access to the state's online, K-12 public learning courses, which feature instruction from licensed teachers.

Keep in mind that the availability of part-time instruction to individuals who are not classified as special education students is determined at the school district level, and parents of homeschooled students must pay tuition to access online courses. All homeschooled students can, however, participate in extracurricular activities through their resident school district.

Curriculum Resources

Using the state-mandated subjects as your guide, you can peruse the wide selection of curricula available from numerous sources and select the one that best meets your child's educational needs. Among those sources is, which offers cost-effective options in a variety of subjects, including those required by the state. These homeschool courses are available for middle and high school students. Useful elementary-level courses include those in English language arts, math, social studies and science. Most lessons feature engaging videos that are followed by interactive quizzes to help students retain information. Other resources available on include lesson plans and templates to help you organize your instructional plan.

Support Networks

Homeschooling can feel isolating for parents as well as students, so finding a support system within a local homeschool organization or with other homeschooling parents can provide opportunities for socialization and encouragement.

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