Mississippi, located in the southeastern region of the United States, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. With a population of approximately 3 million, the state offers a unique environment for families who homeschool their children. Mississippi legally allows homeschooling and allows families to tailor their children’s education to their individual needs.
At High School of America, a premier online high school accredited by AdvancED, we are excited to extend our exceptional homeschooling programs to families in Mississippi. Our mission is to deliver an outstanding education that caters to each student’s unique goals and aspirations.
With our flexible and customizable online curriculum, students can achieve academic excellence while enjoying the comfort and convenience of learning from home.
To learn more about Mississippi’s online homeschooling requirements and how our programs can benefit your student’s education, please see the section below.
Homeschooling Law in Mississippi
Homeschooling in Mississippi is a relatively simple procedure with minimal regulations. All children between the ages of 6 and 17 in Mississippi must be enrolled in an educational program, whether it is homeschooling, private schooling, or public schooling.
Families who opt to educate their children at home only need to submit a yearly certificate of enrollment to the attendance officer in their county of residence.
Mississippi Certificate of Enrollment
In order to homeschool in Mississippi, the initial step is to obtain a certificate of enrollment for each child you intend to educate at home. This certificate must be completed and submitted to the school attendance officer of the county where you live. To acquire the certificate, you can reach out to the local school attendance officer.
Generally, the Mississippi homeschool form requires the following information from parents:
- The phone number, address, and name of your parent
- The name, date of birth, phone number, and address of your homeschooled student
- The signature of the parent, including that of the school official, if the student is registered in a non-public school
- A description of the kind of academic the student is getting or the non-public school where the student receives education
In Mississippi, the certificate of enrollment should be given to the school attendance officer in the child’s area of residence by September 15th annually. However, if parents decide to homeschool their child during the school year, the certificate should be submitted as soon as possible. If transitioning from public school to homeschooling, the certificate must be provided within 15 days after the official school year begins.
There are no mandated courses for homeschools in Mississippi. Parents have the autonomy to choose a homeschool curriculum that they deem fit for their children.
High school students in the state of Mississippi are required to complete the following course credits before they graduate:
- English (4 credits)
- Mathematics (4 credits)
- Science (3 credits)
- History, Geography and Economics (3 credits)
- Computers (1 credit)
- Health (1/2 credit)
- Electives (8 ½ credits)
Attendance Requirements for Homeschooling in Mississippi
There are no specific mandatory days of instruction for homeschooling families in Mississippi. This means that homeschoolers have flexibility in determining their own schedule and are not bound by prescribed attendance requirements.
Recordkeeping for Homeschooling in Mississippi
While Mississippi law does not mandate any specific recordkeeping for homeschooling families, it is still advisable to maintain a homeschool portfolio to track your child’s educational accomplishments.
Keeping a record of your child’s progress year by year allows you to identify any gaps in instruction and provides a reference if you decide to transition your child back to a traditional school setting.
Particularly during the high school years, keeping thorough records becomes more important. The subjects, grades, and credits assigned to your homeschooled student will be included in the transcript you create, which can be used for college applications or specific career paths.
Annual Standardized Tests for Homeschooling in Mississippi
Homeschooling students in Mississippi are not obligated to take standardized assessments as a means of tracking their progress. However, some parents choose to administer one of the many standardized tests available in the state to ensure their child’s educational development aligns with expectations.
Mississippi doesn’t have specific laws governing the graduation process for homeschoolers.
Homeschools in the state have the autonomy to establish their own graduation requirements. When a homeschooled student fulfills these requirements, they receive a diploma issued by their homeschool, which holds the same legal value as a diploma from a public or private school.
This transcript and diploma are recognized as valid when applying to colleges or pursuing employment opportunities after high school graduation.
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling in Mississippi
In certain situations, families may find it necessary for a homeschooled student to reenter the public school system. If this is the case, it’s important to note that each school will have its own enrollment and grade placement guidelines.
While some schools may allow parents to register their child for a desired grade level, others might require information about the homeschool curriculum and progress or even mandate assessment tests to determine the appropriate grade placement.
Frequently Asked Questions Online Homeschooling in Mississippi
Can parents homeschool their children in Mississippi?
Yes, parents in Mississippi have the legal right to teach their own children through homeschooling. The state has minimal regulations in place for homeschooling as long as the program is not established solely to avoid compulsory attendance laws.
Will homeschooled children receive credit if they transition to public school?
The acceptance of grades or completion credit for homeschooled classes upon returning to the public school system depends on the individual school district.
It is recommended that families contact their district to understand their specific policies regarding awarding credits for homeschool coursework. Some districts may require testing to determine the appropriate grade level for the student.
How can I register my child for homeschooling?
To register for homeschooling, contact your local School Attendance Officer (SAO) or the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Compulsory School Attendance. They will provide you with a home school enrollment card for each child you wish to register.
It is essential to use the enrollment card provided by the Office of Compulsory School Attendance, and the student will be considered enrolled once the SAO or MDE staff member receives the completed form. If your child attends a public school, you should inform the school district about your decision to homeschool.
What is the deadline for homeschool registration?
The deadline for homeschool registration in Mississippi is September 15th each year. However, it is recommended to register when the local schools start back rather than waiting until September 15th. Annual registration is required for each child and must be completed by the deadline.
Are there any educational qualifications or certifications required for homeschooling?
No, Mississippi has no educational attainment or teacher certification requirements for parents who homeschool their children.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Mississippi
Based on information gathered by the Mississippi Department of Education, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students opting for online homeschooling in Mississippi.
In 2020, the recorded figure stood at 25,376 students, while in the previous year of 2019, the count was 18,904 homeschoolers. This shift towards homeschooling has resulted in approximately 5 percent of the total student enrollment comprising homeschoolers.
These statistics indicate a growing trend of families choosing online homeschooling as an alternative educational option in Mississippi.
How to Do it: Mississippi Homeschooling Online
To homeschool online in Mississippi, you’ll need to follow the state’s homeschooling laws and find a suitable online curriculum or program. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to homeschool online in Mississippi:
- Familiarize yourself with Mississippi homeschooling laws: Start by understanding the legal requirements for homeschooling in Mississippi. Visit the Mississippi Department of Education website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on homeschooling regulations and requirements. Ensure that you comply with the state’s guidelines regarding enrollment.
- Notify the local school district: In Mississippi, you must file a “Certificate of Enrollment” with your local school district to notify them of your intent to homeschool. This must be done by September 15th of each school year or within fifteen days of starting homeschooling if you begin during the school year.
- Choose an online curriculum or program: Research and select an online homeschool curriculum or program that aligns with your educational goals and preferences. Various options are available, ranging from comprehensive online schools to individual subject-based curricula. Consider factors such as cost, curriculum quality, teaching style, flexibility, and support services when making your decision.
- Set up a suitable learning environment: Create a dedicated learning space in your home where your child can focus on their online homeschooling activities. Ensure the space is free from distractions and equipped with the necessary tools, such as a computer or laptop, internet access, and any required software or materials for the chosen online curriculum.
- Establish a schedule and routine: Develop a daily or weekly schedule that includes structured learning time for your child. Set clear expectations and establish routines to promote consistency and discipline in their homeschooling routine. Consider factors such as breaks, extracurricular activities, and other commitments when creating the schedule.
- Monitor progress and track records: Keep track of your child’s progress, assignments, and grades, even though the Mississippi homeschooling laws do not require it. Many online homeschooling programs provide tools for tracking and reporting progress, but you may also need to maintain additional records, such as attendance and portfolios, to comply with state regulations.
- Supplement with offline activities: While homeschooling online, it’s essential to incorporate offline activities to provide a well-rounded education. Include hands-on experiments, field trips, physical education, arts and crafts, and other activities to complement the online curriculum and enhance your child’s learning experience.
Benefits of Homeschooling Online in Mississippi
Homeschooling online in Mississippi has many advantages for families looking to provide a superior education for their children. These benefits include:
- a) Flexibility – Homeschooling online in Mississippi allows parents to tailor their children’s educational program, allowing them to focus on areas of particular interest or need. This flexibility also allows parents to work at their own pace and schedule, which is convenient for busy families.
- b) Individualized Attention – With homeschooling online in Mississippi, children can receive individual attention from their parents or teachers. This can help children develop better study habits and overall academic performance.
- c) Quality Education – Homeschooling online in Mississippi provides access to high-quality educational materials supporting a child’s learning journey. Parents can also use resources such as online tutoring services to supplement their child’s education and ensure they stay on track with their goals.
- d) Cost Savings – Families who choose to homeschool online in Mississippi often find it more cost effective than traditional schooling options. Families can save money by eliminating expensive tuition fees, textbooks, and other school supplies while providing an excellent education for their children.
By taking advantage of all that homeschooling online in Mississippi has to offer, parents can ensure their child will receive an excellent education and be well-prepared for success in the future.
Overall, homeschooling is an incredible choice for Mississippians with children of school age looking for an alternative option to traditional schooling. With state-specific laws allowing and regulating homeschooling, families can be assured that they can legally satisfy their child’s educational needs from home.
The virtual environment also offers amazing benefits, such as flexibility and customization, which can help students excel in areas of weakness and capitalize on areas of strength – all while working in a comfortable, familial setting.
Mississippi families interested in further exploring homeschooling options should consider reaching out to High School of America. Join today! Contact High School of America!