Looking for an unbiased homeschool resource that doesn’t have a hidden agenda? You’ve come to the right place to learn how to homeschool in Missouri.
To homeschool in Missouri, a parent or guardian should become familiar with Missouri homeschooling laws and regulations. Families must decide on a curriculum that fits their needs and be prepared for the self-discipline required to maintain a robust academic schedule.
How to Homeschool in Missouri
Homeschooling in Missouri is regulated by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The following steps outline the process for homeschooling in Missouri:
- Notify the local school district of your intention to homeschool. This must be done in writing within 30 days of starting homeschooling.
- Develop a written plan for your child’s homeschooled education. This plan should include the subjects you will cover, the materials you will use, and the schedule you will follow.
- Keep records of your child’s progress. This includes attendance records, lesson plans, and samples of your child’s work.
- Have your child take annual assessments in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. These assessments can be given by a certified teacher or administered by a homeschool testing service.
- Submit an annual report to the local school district. This report should include the results of the annual assessment and a description of the homeschool program.
It is important to note that homeschooling laws and requirements may vary by state. It is always a good idea to check with your state’s department of education for specific homeschooling regulations.
Free Missouri Homeschool Programs
Parents and students in Missouri can take advantage of top-notch online homeschooling programs, offering resources, courses, and assessments to track progress and reach academic goals.
Through these programs, learners can learn the basics of subjects, like math and literacy, while developing their problem-solving capabilities.
Homeschooling has great potential to help kids learn the fundamentals while also promoting their creativity through activities such as coding and robotics.
Missouri has free homeschooling programs that might be an ideal choice if you’re searching for another type of education for your child.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides additional support to parents homeschooling their children in the state.
Parents looking for help with homeschooling should check out the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), as they provide regular updates on homeschooling laws in Missouri and have webinars and articles that can help.
Between 2019 to 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.
Does Homeschool Have to be Accredited in Missouri?
Missouri allows homeschooling, and there is no requirement to be accredited. Parents can feel free to educate their children at home without the need for additional approval.
Although accredited programs may meet parent or college admissions requirements, there are many quality non-accredited options too.
Parents who homeschool their children can do so as long as they meet the required educational objectives set by the state and keep records of their students’ activities.
67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.
Missouri Accredited Homeschool Programs
In order to be an accredited homeschool, one must submit enrollment documents, maintain grade records, take state-approved yearly examinations and have a supervising teacher with the appropriate qualifications. Additionally, homeschools should keep abreast of mandated curriculum changes.
Private schools accredited by the state must list their compliance with all relevant laws and regulations in their admission policy in order to continue meeting compulsory attendance standards.
Homeschooling accredited by a governing education body can provide children with quality education in the comfort of their own environment.
Create a Designated Learning Place
Homeschoolers should have a specific area set aside for learning, to help establish a daily routine and provide an environment where their child can concentrate on schoolwork.
A dining table is an ideal spot for studying. It’s easily cleared off at the end of each day which allows it to be used for eating as well.
You can also provide your child with their own desk in their bedroom for added privacy and the opportunity to decorate it. Whatever you decide, be sure to create an environment that helps them focus on learning.
Over 300 million students were homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay On Track with a Daily Schedule
Sticking to a daily schedule for homeschooling has many advantages; here are some of them:
- Establishing a daily routine can help homeschoolers prioritize tasks, complete more in less time, and improve productivity. Families with multiple students or other outside commitments may particularly benefit from this strategy.
- Effective time management begins with planning. A daily schedule makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done and when, and prevents feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Allocating specific blocks of time to tasks can help your family stay organized.
- Homeschooling can provide a sense of structure and regularity, especially beneficial for kids accustomed to attending a traditional school. This can make them feel safer and more prepared to learn.
- Families can benefit from daily schedules to stay accountable and meet their homeschooling objectives. This is important for those who tend to be easily distracted or delay their tasks.
- Having a daily schedule in place can facilitate better communication among family members, helping to avoid misunderstandings and building a stronger bond between them.
Ease Into It
Homeschooling for new parents can be a big shift, so it’s crucial to not apply excessive pressure from the start. It is best to ease into this transition and move forward at a steady pace.
Homeschooling parents can begin with just a few basic supplies and then build on their resources as they get more confident with the homeschooling process.
When it comes to homeschooling, there are numerous options, so you should find one that works best for your family. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with different techniques; the less stressed you feel, the more successful your learning experience is likely to be.
Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.
Involve Your Child in Setting Learning Goals
Involving your child in homeschool assignment planning and curriculum scheduling is important for several reasons:
- Offering students a sense of importance and ownership in their education will provide them with motivation and boost engagement.
- Involving them in the homeschool process will help them feel that they are part of it, rather than it being done to them.
- Getting your child involved in the homeschooling decision-making will give you a better understanding of their likes, talents, and shortcomings; allowing you to modify the learning environment to better accommodate them.
Generally, having your kid involved in homeschooling planning is key to a successful experience for everyone.
Explore Other Ways of Learning Outside the Classroom
Homeschooled kids have an advantage as they can explore many educational possibilities not found in a regular school. This helps them gain a diverse range of knowledge and experience, resulting in a more comprehensive education.
In many cases, homeschoolers benefit from strong connections in the community. These relationships can open doors to new learning opportunities, such as classes and workshops taught by experts or members of the community.
Parents who homeschool their children should seize these chances to broaden their kids’ education.
Homeschooling families can give their children a very enriching education by exploring different learning techniques.
Reach Out to Other Homeschool Families
Homeschooling can be difficult, especially for families without a support system. Luckily, there are various ways to make connections with other homeschoolers and build a community. One way is by connecting with local homeschooling organizations.
Homeschool groups can provide emotional support, practical advice from experienced homeschoolers, and opportunities for field trips and social interactions.
Joining an online forum or Facebook group is an excellent way to network with other homeschool parents.
Joining a parenting group can be helpful for exchanging resources, asking questions, and obtaining advice from parents who have the same experiences.
Making connections with other homeschooling families can help parents lessen the feeling of isolation and build a supportive environment for their kids.
When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.
Can Homeschooled Students Play Sports in Missouri?
The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) states that students educated at home can only play school sports if they are taking 80% of their courses from the school they want to represent. Homeschooling gives families the unique advantage of having a more flexible and personalized learning environment than what is offered by typical schools.
In Missouri, homeschooled students will not likely be permitted to compete in public school sports unless they are enrolled in more than just academic courses.
How to Homeschool When Both Parents Work
Missouri parents who opt to homeschool their children have to be creative with balancing work and school, as it is a difficult task.
With some ingenuity, it’s possible to work and homeschool at the same time. Let’s examine some pointers to help you achieve it.
Prior to February 2020, just 68% of parents who had homeschooled their children said it had been a success.
Get Your Childcare Involved
Some parents are lucky enough to have assistance in homeschooling while they’re away at work due to childcare.
When it’s not achievable or budget-friendly for all households, one should think outside the box to devise a plan that fits everyone’s needs.
Involving your children in household tasks is an effective method to reduce the strain you may be facing between work and homeschooling. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about responsibility.
It’s prudent to be mindful of your child’s abilities. A five-year-old probably won’t be able to do the laundry, but they can lend a hand with things like dusting or laying the table.
As they age, give your children more chores. By involving them in household tasks, you can reduce your work while teaching them essential life skills.
Before the epidemic, 69% of homeschooled children expressed a desire to continue their studies in this manner for the upcoming school year.
You and Your Spouse Work Alternate Shifts
Balancing homeschooling with both parents working can be difficult, especially if you and your partner have alternating shifts. Here are some strategies to help make it work:
- It’s important to organize your week in advance by creating a schedule that includes all of your work hours and other responsibilities. This will help you plan effectively for homeschooling.
- Make use of online materials: Utilizing online components like lesson plans, videos, and virtual excursions can be a great way to supplement your kid’s schooling when you are not able to be with them in person.
- Be flexible with your homeschooling: If your daytime commitments don’t make 9 to 3 schooling feasible, think outside the box. For instance, you can do lessons at night or at the weekend. Or, break up the day into shorter chunks of time for educational activities.
- Ask for assistance: Don’t be scared to look for support when you need it. This could involve employing a tutor or nanny to aid with home-based instruction while you are busy, or requesting the aid of relatives and friends.
- Homeschoolers should be aware that it’s okay to take breaks. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling will help ensure that commitments are met on both fronts.
Homeschooling can be a tricky task if both parents are working. But it can be done with the right amount of planning and creativity, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.
Take Advantage of Online Curriculums
Homeschooling is a great option to personalize your child’s education, yet it can be difficult to fit work and school into one schedule. To make it easier, why not opt for an online curriculum?
Structured learning programs can assist your child in their development and ensure concentration while you are away.
Furthermore, online learning can be tailored to your child’s individual requirements, making it convenient to discover a course that suits their distinctive learning approach.
In their children’s upcoming academic year, 54% of parents who were homeschooling before February 2020 were likely to do so full-time.
Assign the Child Solo Activities to Do While You’re at Work
Parents in Missouri who teach their kids at home must find ways to keep their children entertained while they are working. One way is to assign independent curriculum projects.
Tasks such as reading assignments, research projects, and math and writing exercises may be included.
It’s essential to select activities that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level.
If your child attends childcare, ask your provider to remind them to complete their homeschooling tasks daily.
Proper planning can help your child become independent and accomplish tough tasks during the workday.
Allow Yourself Flexibility and Grace
Balancing a job and homeschooling can be difficult for parents, so it’s vital to give yourself some leniency and kindness while managing these duties.
Striving for perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to disappointment. Focus on the successes, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself on your achievements.
Keep in mind that your kids are observing you, and will take after you. By displaying a positive outlook and openness to change, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
Balancing work and homeschooling can be difficult, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to impart valuable lessons to your children. Show them how to be adaptable and graceful in any situation, setting them up for victory down the line.
The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).
Missouri Homeschool Curriculum Requirements
Missouri parents who homeschool their kids can decide on their own curriculum but must cover the major academic disciplines like reading, math, social studies, language arts, and science.
Parents can customize the education of their children according to individual needs and interests with this.
Homeschooling also offers families with diverse learning styles or schedules more freedom. Families who desire a deeper involvement in their child’s learning may look into homeschooling as an option.
However, with homeschooling, there is still an expectation of responsibility.
It is important for parents to ensure that their children are getting a comprehensive education that will set them up for success in university and the job market.
Letter of Intent to Homeschool in Missouri
Although not mandatory, in Missouri you can submit a Letter of Intent to Homeschool to your local school district office. This document informs the school district that you’re intending to homeschool your child for the upcoming year.
This enables the school district to monitor the number of students who are being homeschooled in the local region.
A Letter of Intent can help to clarify the agreement between you and your child’s homeschooling program, helping to avoid potential mix-ups.
Submitting a Letter of Intent demonstrates to the school district that you are committed to homeschooling and comprehend Missouri’s homeschooling regulations.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to submit a Letter of Intent to Homeschool in Missouri rests with you.
It’s considerate to communicate clearly so that everyone understands and is in agreement.
The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.
Is the Missouri Homeschool Curriculum Free?
Missouri has a variety of free resources for homeschooling parents, eliminating the need to purchase expensive curriculum materials and allowing them to create customized lesson plans.
Families who choose to homeschool their children have a wealth of free online resources at their disposal.
Even without buying a curriculum, parents can still stay on track with resources from the internet and self-management. This is generally easier on the budget.
Putting in a bit of effort, it is easy to obtain excellent, no-cost homeschooling materials in Missouri.
How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool in Missouri?
Numerous elements, including the number of children homeschooled, the selected instruction program, and opting for a tutor or using online education platforms, influence the cost of homeschooling in Missouri.
The HSLDA states that the average yearly cost for homeschooling is $480 for a family of two and $960 for a family of four.
Taking advantage of resources like public libraries and free online homeschooling programs can lower these costs.
Homeschooling families often collaborate to get discounts when buying learning materials.
Consequently, the cost of homeschooling in Missouri is usually suitable for most households.
A safe environment was cited as the main motivation by 50% of parents who homeschool their children.
How Many Days Are Required for Homeschool in Missouri?
According to the Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 167.031, parents who wish to homeschool their children are required to provide 1,000 hours of instruction each year. At least 600 of those hours must be in the five core academic subjects of reading, math, social studies, language arts, and science.
Of those 600 hours, at least 400 must occur at the regular home school location.
This ensures that homeschooled children receive a well-rounded education and are exposed to a variety of learning experiences.
In addition to meeting these requirements, parents are also responsible for keeping attendance records and ensuring that their child takes all required state assessments.
By following these guidelines, parents can ensure that their child receives a quality education while being homeschooled in Missouri.
Missouri Homeschool Record Keeping
Missouri law requires that homeschool parents keep a detailed record of their child’s educational progress. These records must include a log of the instructional hours completed each school year, as well as a portfolio of the student’s work.
Homeschool parents must also keep copies of all evaluation reports, including any standardized tests or skills assessments.
Here are some things that are important to keep a record of during the homeschooling years:
- Test results
- Samples of your student’s academic work
- Documentation of the type of curriculum being provided to your child
- Dialog with state and/or school officials
- Attendance records
A good rule of thumb is to save these records for at least two years or longer if required.
By complying with the state’s record-keeping requirements, homeschooling parents help to ensure that this option remains available for future generations of families.
Test results, extracurricular activities, and socialization were mentioned as reasons for homeschooling by 14% of the parents.
Missouri Homeschool Graduation Requirements
The state of Missouri does not have a specific homeschooling requirement in place for a student to graduate. Graduation standards are set by the parents as the facilitators of their child’s education. Once the student accomplishes the expected milestones set forth by the parents, they will graduate.
Missouri Homeschool Diploma
For homeschooled students in Missouri, earning a diploma can be an even greater accomplishment. Homeschooled kids don’t have the structure of a regular school schedule, so they have to be self-motivated and disciplined to do well. A high school diploma is a symbol of hard work and dedication.
Earning a diploma shows that they have what it takes to set goals and achieve them.
In addition, a diploma for Missouri homeschoolers can open up new opportunities, such as colleges and scholarships.
For homeschooled students, a high school diploma is an important milestone on the road to success.
As of February 2020, at least 9 million Americans had been homeschooled at least once.
How Does a Homeschooled Student Get a Diploma?
Parents in Missouri who homeschool their children have the unique opportunity to be the sole provider of their child’s high school diploma. This means that they get to decide what criteria must be met in order for their child to earn the diploma.
Of course, parents will want to ensure that their child meets all the necessary requirements for graduation, such as taking required courses and passing exams.
However, they also have the freedom to tailor the curriculum to their child’s interests and learning style.
As a result, homeschooled students often emerge with a well-rounded education that prepares them well for success in college and beyond.
Before COVID-19, 42% of parents said they wished their kids had more freedom to pursue their hobbies.
Are Homeschool Diplomas Valid?
The homeschooling movement has been growing steadily in recent years, as more parents opt to educate their children at home. While homeschooling can provide a number of benefits, there is one potential drawback: homeschool diplomas may not be as recognized by colleges or employers.
Some institutions may require additional testing or coursework for homeschooled students, so students should be prepared to take some tests to show their level of academics.
It’s not uncommon whatsoever for homeschooled kids to be more academically advanced than their peers who attended a public school, so in the long run, homeschoolers are quite capable of holding the advantage.
However, it is important to note that homeschool diplomas are becoming increasingly common and should be accepted by most colleges and employers.
Although the information in this article was researched with the utmost integrity and sincerity, it cannot be held legally liable or expected to take the place of legitimate legal advice for your specific situation.
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.