Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the Missouri Department of Education website for updates.
If you live in Missouri and are ready to start homeschooling, familiarizing yourself with the state’s requirements for homeschooling is the perfect place to start. As you will quickly realize, Missouri is one of the least regulated states for homeschooling, but that may leave you with even more questions!
Fortunately, there have been many families who have homeschooled in Missouri, and they can help you. Take advantage of the opportunity to network with local homeschoolers, and you will learn quickly how to navigate Missouri homeschooling. Experienced Missouri homeschoolers can not only share their personal experiences with how to legally homeschool in Missouri, they can also offer practical advice on the day-to-day details of homeschooling.
In the meantime, we can help you get started on your understanding of the requirements to homeschool your child in Missouri:
Missouri Homeschool Law
According to Missouri Education law (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 167.031), “A parent, guardian or other person in this state having charge, control, or custody of a child between the ages of seven years of age and the compulsory attendance age for the district shall cause the child to attend regularly some public, private, parochial, parish, home school or a combination of such schools not less than the entire school term of the school which the child attends,” with a few exceptions.
A school is considered a “home school” if it:
- “Has as its primary purpose the provision of private or religious-based instruction;”
- “Enrolls pupils between the ages of seven years and the compulsory attendance age for the district, of which no more than four are unrelated by affinity or consanguinity in the third degree; and”
- “Does not charge or receive consideration in the form of tuition, fees, or other remuneration in a genuine and fair exchange for provision of instruction.”
Homeschool students may attend public school part-time or may choose to re-enroll in public schools (with incoming credits determined by the local school board). There is no recognized high school diploma for homeschooled students, but homeschoolers can choose to take the high school equivalency exam to obtain a GED. Be sure to check with colleges, vocational schools, or the military for admission requirements.
Missouri Homeschool Requirements
The Missouri Department of Education does not require state registration nor does it regulate or monitor homeschooling. If you’re ready, and your students are ready, you can get started!
Although not required, if you are withdrawing your child from a Missouri public school, you may want to inform your public superintendent of the decision to begin homeschooling in order to avoid confusion.
In Missouri, parents who homeschool are required to:
- Start homeschooling by the age of seven.
- Maintain a written record indicating subjects taught and activities engaged in and a portfolio of samples of the child’s work or record of academic process (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 167.031.2(2)(a)).
- Teach 1,000 hours of instruction each year (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 167.031.2(2)(b)).
- Teach 600 of the 1000 hours in these five subjects: reading, math, social studies, language arts and science (or related courses).
- Teach 400 of the 600 hours “at the regular homeschool location.”
- Complete each year of instruction between July 1 and June 30.
Parents should keep their daily log showing the homeschool course of instruction as evidence for meeting educational requirements related to compulsory education.
Connect With Local Homeschoolers
The best way to understand your homeschool laws and requirements is to talk to current homeschoolers in your area. We have homeschool groups for Missouri to help. Click the image below to find homeschoolers near you.