How to Homeschool in Mississippi and Mississippi Homeschool Laws

By Dr. Jon

State laws change from time to time and though we try to keep the laws up-to-date at all times please check with the department of education for any changes that may have occurred.

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You live in Mississippi and you’re considering educating your children at home, or perhaps you plan to move there and want to continue offering your children the best home-based education; if you want to know how to start homeschooling in MS, you’ve come to the right place! Read on and you’ll find specific details related to Mississippi homeschool laws and, to make sure you’ll be informed all the way, a selection of the best Mississippi-related homeschooling websites and the infographic and video below will help you create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschool in Mississippi

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The Magnolia State

Though it may not be immediately apparent, Mississippi has a rich potential in terms of educational prospects, being well represented both in terms of literature and music. Faulkner’s award-winning Yoknapatawpha was set in Mississippi, and the Mississippi Delta Blues have been highly influential for American music in the twentieth century.

Apart from that, as one of the most highly forested states in the US, Mississippi offers lots of nature-exploring opportunities. You’ll love hiking or boating through the Mississippi Delta, with natural parks such as the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge or the Greenville Cypress Preserve offering wonderful views of the typical marshy landscape that’s become not only a local, but an all-American landmark. You can also combine nature with history by visiting the Vicksburg National Military Park, the site of one of the most crucial Civil War battles. Your children will love it!

You’ll also find plenty of interesting museums and memorial houses. You’ve got the U.S.S Cairo Museum in Vicksburg, and the Tupelo Automobile Museum and Elvis Presley’s Birthplace and Museum, both of which are located in Tupelo.

As you can see, Mississippi offers plenty of variety in terms of educational possibilities. It’s really a great place to start homeschooling your children.

Mississippi Homeschool Laws

The Mississippi homeschool requirements are really quite clear and easy to manage.

If you plan to homeschool in Mississippi, you’ll have to provide a notice of intent at the beginning of each school year. This will include basic information related to your children, as well as a simple description of the education you’re going to offer. You’ll have to provide this by September 15 of each school year, or at a later date, if you withdraw your children from the public school after the beginning of the school year.

The only other legal requirement is that you provide a number of 180 days of instruction. Other than that, there are no compulsory provisions regarding the qualifications, the subjects, bookkeeping or assessment.

However, there are legal means of enforcing proper education. Educational failure qualifies as child neglect and is punishable according to state and federal laws.

A legal feature that sets aside Mississippi from most other states is that special needs services offered by public schools are not available to homeschooled children. If you’re in this situation, you’ll have to get in touch with private service providers and specialists.

Mississippi Homeschool Friendliness Final Grade

The final grade when it comes to homeschool friendliness is B. While the Mississippi homeschool legal requirements are quite easy to navigate, there are a few issues that deny it a perfect A. The main problem is that there aren’t any free public school special services, thus making it a bit more difficult for parents of children with special needs to homeschool their children. The second issue is that educational neglect is punishable by law, which is, again, not exactly homeschool-friendly. However, if you’re determined to offer your children the best education, you shouldn’t have a problem with any of these – after all, if you aren’t, you’re better off sticking to the public system. But that’s not you, is it?

Conclusion

Mississippi is a great state to start homeschooling – you’ve got an easy-to-navigate legal system, and you’ve got plenty of support from local homeschoolers. Apart from that, the state alone is a giant, always available educational resource, catering for all academic preferences, from literature to biology. There’s really no excuse not to start homeschool in Mississippi today, and we’re here for you if you’ve got any additional questions.

Resources

http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/policy-issues/current-policy/

http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ODPCSA/HS - the official website of the Mississippi Department of Education offers everything you need to know when it comes to local homeschool laws

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/ms/ - the HSLDA website is another great resource in terms of news and legal requirements

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