Missouri is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is known for its rich history, vibrant cities, and diverse landscapes, including the Ozark Mountains, rivers, and plains. With a population of approximately 6.2 million, Missouri offers families the freedom to choose homeschooling as a legal option for their children’s education.
At High School of America, we are proud to provide our exceptional online homeschooling programs to families in the Show-Me State. As an accredited institution by AdvancED, we ensure our curriculum meets rigorous educational standards. Our flexible and customizable online courses cater to each student’s unique needs and aspirations, allowing them to excel academically.
Whether your student aims to obtain a high school diploma, pursue advanced coursework, or explore new subjects, our affordable programs are designed to prepare them for future success.
To discover more about Missouri’s homeschooling requirements and how High School of America can benefit your family, please refer to the section below.
Homeschooling Law in Missouri
According to Missouri law, a homeschool is defined as a school that:
- Has the main goal of offering education based on private or religious principles.
- Accepts students aged 7 to 16 years, with no more than four learners who aren’t related.
- Doesn’t require or collect any payment, including tuition, fees, or other forms of compensation.
To homeschool in Missouri under this statute, you are required to adhere to the following requirements:
The homeschooling law mandate parents to instruct the following courses:
- language arts
- science, and
- social studies.
These courses are supposed to be taught based on the ability and age of the child.
For high school students to graduate from online homeschooling in Missouri, they must meet the following course credits:
- English Language Arts: 4 credits
- Fine Arts (1 credit)
- Health (0.5 credit)
- Mathematics (3 credits)
- Personal Finance (0.5 credit)
- Physical Education (1 credit)
- Practical Arts (1 credit)
- Science (3 credits)
- Social Studies (3 credits)
- Other Electives (7 credits)
Other statutory requirements that high school students must meet before graduating are:
- 30 min CPR/First Aid Instruction
- American Civics exam
- Missouri Constitution Exam
- U.S. Constitution Exam
In Missouri, parents who homeschool their children are obligated to provide a minimum of 1,000 instructional hours per year. Out of these hours, at least 600 must be dedicated to core subjects such as reading, math, social studies, language arts, and science.
In addition, a minimum of 400 hours from the aforementioned 600 must take place at the regular home school location.
While participation in standardized testing is not mandatory for homeschoolers in Missouri, it is an option available to them. Some parents choose to utilize these assessments to ensure their children are adequately learning the required material and performing at appropriate levels.
The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test is administered to students in grades three through eight, focusing on grade-specific content.
High school students are assessed through end-of-course exams. Homeschoolers have the choice to participate in these tests, subject to the discretion of each school district.
In Missouri, homeschooling regulations primarily emphasize the importance of recordkeeping. It is essential to examine each individual requirement and consider how families can fulfill them.
- Keeping Samples of Work: Many homeschooling families, not only in Missouri but also across other states, maintain a homeschool portfolio to document their students’ progress. This involves keeping samples of lessons, activities, quizzes and tests the homeschooler completes throughout the year.
- Keeping Assessment Records: Although Missouri law does not specify the exact type of assessments homeschoolers should keep, nationally-normed tests serve as one example of an evaluation that allows for year-to-year comparisons of a student’s progress. Depending on the local school district, homeschoolers may have the opportunity to participate in the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). However, eligibility for MAP testing is determined by each individual district.
- Documentation of Instructional Hours: The homeschooling law in Missouri mandates that you must teach 600 hours in core subjects of science, social studies, language arts, reading, and math. In addition, 400 of those 600 instructional hours must take place “at the regular home school location.”
In Missouri, homeschooling families can choose how they want to document their instructional time. They can opt to maintain a daily log, recording the number of hours spent on homeschooling each day.
Alternatively, some families may prefer to update their log weekly or even monthly, summarizing the total hours spent during that period. The choice of recording frequency is up to the individual family’s preference.
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
The specific protocols for determining grade placement may vary from one school to another. Some schools might simply ask you to indicate the grade level you believe is appropriate for your child.
Others may request to review records that document your child’s academic progress during homeschooling, while some schools might require assessment testing to determine the most suitable grade placement for your child. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the particular requirements of the school you wish to enroll your child in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the regulations for homeschooling in Missouri?
In Missouri, the Department of Education does not oversee or regulate homeschooling. There is no need for state registration, allowing you to start homeschooling when you and your student are ready.
How long should I keep homeschool records in Missouri?
It is recommended to maintain homeschool records for a minimum of two years. It is also advised to keep high school records and proof of compliance with homeschooling laws throughout the high school years indefinitely.
How can I withdraw my child from school in Missouri?
To withdraw your child from a public school in Missouri, you can download a sample withdrawal letter, complete it, and send it via certified mail with a return receipt requested to the principal of your child’s current public school.
Can homeschooled students participate in sports in Missouri?
Homeschool or full-time virtual school students in Missouri cannot be prohibited from participating in athletic and extracurricular programs partially funded by their parents’ tax dollars.
Is it possible to homeschool a foster child in Missouri?
In Missouri, even in cases of adoption through foster care, approval for homeschooling the child under your supervision requires the consent of the case worker, the case worker’s supervisor, the Guardian ad Litem, and the judge overseeing the case.
Are standardized tests mandatory for Missouri homeschoolers?
Standardized testing is not compulsory for homeschooled students in Missouri. However, some parents choose to have their students participate in these assessments to ensure their academic progress and age-appropriate performance.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Missouri
In Missouri, online homeschooling continues to grow in popularity. Based on the Pulse Survey, a study conducted in the United States, it was found that the percentage of American families homeschooling their children increased significantly.
Initially, 5.4 percent of families reported homeschooling, but by late September and early October 2020, this number more than doubled to 11.1 percent.
The Census Bureau provided a state-wise breakdown of the data, revealing that in Missouri, the percentage of homeschooling families nearly doubled from 5.9 percent in the spring of 2020 to 10.9 percent in the fall. This indicates that over 1 in 10 school children in Missouri were being homeschooled during that period.
The survey also highlighted interesting trends regarding race, showing substantial increases in homeschooling among Black and Hispanic families. Among Black families, the percentage of homeschooling rose from 3.3 percent in the spring of 2020 to 16.1 percent in the fall. Similarly, Hispanic families experienced an increase from 6.2 percent to 12.1
How to Do it: Missouri Homeschooling Online
To homeschool in Missouri using an online approach, you will need to follow certain steps and fulfill the legal requirements. Here’s a general guide on how to homeschool online in Missouri:
- Understand the Missouri homeschooling laws: Familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Missouri. Missouri requires parents or guardians to provide 1,000 hours of instruction per year, with at least 600 of those hours in core subjects like reading, math, language arts, science, and social studies.
- Establish your homeschool: Notify the local school district or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) about your intent to homeschool. Contact the local school district office to obtain the necessary forms or visit the DESE website for the most up-to-date information on homeschooling requirements and notification procedures.
- Choose an online homeschool curriculum: Research and select an online homeschool curriculum that aligns with your child’s educational needs and your teaching preferences. Numerous online platforms and resources cater to homeschoolers, offering a variety of curricula for different grade levels and subjects. The most popular online homeschool programs is High School of America.
- Set up a learning schedule: Create a daily or weekly schedule that outlines the subjects and activities your child will cover. Establish a routine that works for your family, considering both online instruction and offline activities. Make sure to allocate sufficient time for each subject and allow for breaks and physical activities throughout the day.
- Monitor progress and keep records: Keep track of your child’s progress and maintain a record of their coursework, assignments, and grades. This documentation may be required for reporting purposes or in case of an evaluation by the local school district. Online homeschool programs often provide tools for tracking progress and generating reports, which can simplify this process.
- Supplement with offline activities: Although you’re pursuing online homeschooling, it’s crucial to supplement your child’s education with offline activities. Incorporate hands-on experiments, field trips, library visits, art projects, physical education, and socialization opportunities with other homeschooling families to provide a well-rounded educational experience.
- Engage with homeschooling communities: Connect with local homeschooling groups or online communities to share experiences, resources, and support. These communities can offer valuable insights, advice, and social opportunities for both you and your child.
Benefits of Homeschooling Online in Missouri
Homeschooling online provides an incredible opportunity for Missouri students and their families. Here are some of the top benefits of homeschooling online in Missouri:
- Flexibility – Parents have complete control over when their child learns, allowing them to work around family schedules and other commitments. This allows parents to create a flexible learning environment tailored specifically to their child’s needs.
- Cost Savings – Homeschooling online eliminates the need for costly materials and fees associated with traditional schools, such as tuition, textbooks, and transportation costs.
- Self-paced learning – Students can move through materials at their own pace, allowing them to learn in an environment that works best for them without feeling pressured or overwhelmed by the structure of a traditional classroom.
- Access to qualified teachers – Online teaching allows students access to knowledgeable teachers from across the state who specialize in specific topics and are skilled at delivering instruction tailored to each student’s level of understanding.
- Increased opportunities for socialization – While homeschooling may be seen as an isolating experience, online learning offers students the opportunity to socialize and collaborate with peers across the globe.
- Cost-effectiveness – Online learning eliminates many traditional costs associated with homeschooling, including buying textbooks and other educational materials, paying for tutoring services, and traveling to or from school each day.
In addition, most online programs offer tuition discounts or even free courses in certain areas. This makes online learning a great option for families who are watching their budget but still want to provide their children with a quality education.
Homeschooling in Missouri is a great way to enhance your child’s education. With the flexibility and effectiveness of online homeschooling, it can help provide an excellent opportunity for customized learning and the ability to make learning more student-centered.
Missouri law supports homeschooling as long as certain provisions are met, and there is no better platform than High School of America to get you off on the right foot.
Even if you are exploring the possibility of homeschooling, High School of America can offer the resources and tools necessary to get started on this educational journey.
Our team has years of expertise in helping students achieve their dreams and helping families navigate through the process. If you have considered or are considering homeschooling online in Missouri, contact High School of America today!