Homeschooling in Missouri
Homeschooling In Missouri can be an amazing experience for any family. The homeschooling regulations in Missouri focus on the number of hours of instruction offered and require some recordkeeping as evidence of that instruction. By law, students are required to receive 1000 hours of instruction each year. The school year runs from July 1 to June 30, and educators can use any number of days within each year to complete their required number of hours. (The relevant laws for this information can be found in Missouri 167.031 and 167.042).
How to Notify the School District
The law states that the parent/guardian may choose to provide notification to the recorder of deeds before September 1 of each year. However, this declaration is not required.
The only time notification is needed is when students are withdrawn from a school in which they are already enrolled. In this case, a letter to the school administration stating that the child will be homeschooled is sufficient.
What Subjects Must Be Covered
There are rules about what subjects must be offered, but the law does not dictate what curriculum is used to cover those subjects or what standards must be met for any particular subject.
- Students receive a minimum of 1000 hours of
- 600 of those must be in the subjects of reading,
math, language arts, science, and social science (though the hours do not need
to be equally divided between the subjects). These are often referred to
colloquially as “core” subjects (though the word “core” does not appear in the
- 400 of the 600 “core” hours must be in the “regular home school location” (which means that they cannot just be field trips and external programs)
- The remaining 400 hours can be in “non-core” subjects of the educator’s choice or in more “core” hours. Popular “non-core” subjects include PE, music, art, home skills, life skills, etc.
- 600 of those must be in the subjects of reading, math, language arts, science, and social science (though the hours do not need to be equally divided between the subjects). These are often referred to colloquially as “core” subjects (though the word “core” does not appear in the law).
The law states that the following homeschool records must be kept:
- A plan book or written record of activities completed and subjects taught
- A portfolio with samples of work
- A record of evaluations of academic progress
While it is not strictly written into the law, most home educators in Missouri also keep a daily log that tallies hours spent in each subject. This log would be the first defense if there was a legal case challenging their home education status and is the easiest way to demonstrate adherence to the law.
Age Requirements for Records Keeping
Missouri requires all children between the ages of 7 and 16 to have home school records kept. Records do not have to be kept until the year the child is 7 at the beginning of the school year. If a child’s birthday is August 15, for example, records do not have to be kept until July 1 of the following year.
The exception is children who were enrolled in a public school before the age of 7 and then withdrawn to homeschool. For those children, records must be kept from the time of withdrawal even if they are under the age of 7.
While records are not legally required for a child over the age of 16, many parents who homeschool their children in Missouri continue to keep records and create transcripts suitable for use in college, employment, and trade school applications. Educators homeschooling high school coursework may find the state high school graduation requirements useful, especially if they plan to apply to in-state schools.
Evaluation and Oversight
There is no required standardized testing, portfolio review, or routine records check for homeschooling in Missouri.
There are active homeschooling groups across the entire state of Missouri as well as many homeschool programs offered by local educational institutions and museums.
- Families for Home Education– The legal lobbying group for homeschoolers in Missouri, FHE offers seminars, workshops, and resources.
- St. Louis Homeschool Events– This site keeps a running list of events relevant to homeschoolers across the St. Louis region and has a list of learning centers and co-ops available.
- Midwest Parent Educators– This site provides resources for homeschoolers in the Kansas City region and includes a list of co-ops and groups.
- There are a number of regional groups and organizations dedicated to homeschooling. You can find many of them listed here.
Need information on another state’s homeschooling laws and resources? Learn more at the Homeschooling In All 50 States
Michelle Parrinello-Cason is a homeschooling mom of two who lives in St. Louis, MO. She has a Ph.D. in English and runs Dayla Learning, a site that provides resources and curriculum for homeschooling the humanities. From blog posts on great philosophy books for preschoolers to entire semester-long high school writing classes, Dayla Learning provides parents with everything they need to “homeschool the humanities with humanity.”