Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the Mississippi Department of Education website for updates.
Are you ready to start homeschooling in Mississippi? You may have many questions about topics like what you need to do to begin, what recordkeeping and testing is required, and how you need to interact with your local school district. You will want to start by understanding Mississippi homeschool law. You may feel overwhelmed as you start this process, but there are resources available and other homeschoolers who have already succeeded on this adventure!
Here is some information on Mississippi homeschool requirements to get you started:
Mississippi Homeschool Law
According to Mississippi Homeschool Policy, “Pursuant to the Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated Section 37-13-91, the Mississippi Legislature requires all compulsory-school-age children who have attained or will attain the age of six (6) years on or before September 1 of the calendar year and who have not attained the age of seventeen (17) years on or before September 1 of the calendar year; to enroll in and attend a public, private or home school.”
One way to meet the compulsory school age requirement is “when a compulsory-school-age child is being educated in a legitimate home instruction program.” The Mississippi Department of Education suggests, “Parents who wish to home school their children should contact their local School Attendance Officer (SAO) for information and requirements.”
What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?
There are no minimum qualifications for you to homeschool in Mississippi.
Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?
Yes! In accordance with MS Code 37-13-91, “The parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child described in this subsection, or the parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child attending any nonpublic school, or the appropriate school official for any or all children attending a nonpublic school shall complete a “certificate of enrollment” in order to facilitate the administration of this section. The form of the certificate of enrollment shall be prepared by the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement of the State Department of Education and shall be designed to obtain the following information only:
- The name, address, telephone number and date of birth of the compulsory-school-age-child;
- The name, address and telephone number of the parent, guardian or custodian of the compulsory-school-age child;
- A simple description of the type of education the compulsory-school-age child is receiving and, if the child is enrolled in a nonpublic school, the name and address of the school; and
- The signature of the parent, guardian or custodian of the compulsory-school-age child or, for any or all compulsory-school-age child or children attending a nonpublic school, the signature of the appropriate school official and the date signed.
The certificate of enrollment shall be returned to the school attendance officer where the child resides on or before September 15 of each year. […] However, in the event the child has been enrolled in a public school within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school year as required in subsection (6), the parent or custodian may, at a later date, enroll the child in a legitimate nonpublic school or legitimate home instruction program and send the certificate of enrollment to the school attendance officer and be in compliance.”
Once the Certificate of Enrollment is submitted, “the school attendance officer will provide the parent, guardian or custodian with information and documents to ensure compliance with the Compulsory School Attendance Law” (Homeschool Policy). Parents should keep a copy of the completed enrollment form for their records.
Submission of the Certificate of Enrollment form must be done in conjunction with withdrawal from the public school district if the student has been enrolled in the public school prior to homeschooling. You can do this by contacting the school district directly.
Mississippi Homeschool Requirements
Even though Mississippi does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Mississippi homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:
- Begin homeschooling by age 6.
- File the required Home School Certificate of Enrollment form with your local School Attendance Officer when beginning homeschooling.
- Provide instruction that aligns with the Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards (MCCRS). This alignment is suggested by the Mississippi Department of Education, but there are no required subjects for homeschooling.
- Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.
Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?
There are no assessment requirements for homeschooling in Mississippi.
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
The Mississippi Department of Education recommends that you “maintain a portfolio for each child that contains samples of activities, assignments, projects, and assessments, as well as a log of books and materials used. Include results of any national assessments.”
In addition to these suggestions, we also recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to prepare for re-entry into public school or post-secondary pathways. This includes the following:
- Immunization records
- Other test and evaluation results
- Correspondence with school officials
You may also be able to find more information on Mississippi homeschool requirements through your local school district.
Other Mississippi Homeschool Policies
Once you make sure that you are following Mississippi homeschool law and meeting Mississippi homeschool requirements, here are some other things you need to know:
What if I want to re-enroll my child in public school after homeschooling?
According to the Mississippi Department of Education, “Each district decides whether it will accept grades or completion credit for any classes completed while homeschooling. Families are advised to speak with their school district before beginning a home school program to learn the district’s policy for awarding credit for home school classes. For example, a district may require testing to decide the grade in which a student may enroll.”
What are my child’s postsecondary options after homeschooling?
The Mississippi Department of Education recommends that you “contact potential colleges and universities to learn what is required for admission.”
See the Home School page on the Mississippi Department of Education’s website for even more information on homeschooling in Mississippi.
Connect With Local Homeschoolers
Remember, too, that you are not alone. You should connect with local homeschoolers from your state, who can help you with Mississippi homeschool law and Mississippi homeschool requirements and offer you all kinds of practical advice and suggestions. They can give you guidance on everything from curriculum to daily schedules to recordkeeping, and they may be able to share information about local resources, support groups, and field trips. Click the image below to find Mississippi Homeschool Groups by county.