How to Start Homeschooling in MN: Minnesota 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.

It’s practical, safe and you can do it from home: homeschooling is an increasingly popular educational alternative among many parents who wish to be more directly involved in their children’s education.

If you plan to do so yourself, you’re about to join a great community of fellow homeschoolers, always ready to offer advice and resources. We’ll show you how to start homeschooling in Minnesota without too much effort. We’ll go through some of the main educational opportunities offered by the Land of 10,000 Lakes, give you an introduction of the Minnesota home school requirements and point you to some great online homeschooling sites and communities. Use the infographic and video below to create a homeschool that thrives.

How to Start Homeschooling in MN

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The Land of 10,000 Lakes

In the Dakota dialect, Minnesota means “clear, blue water”. While this is illustrative of the beautiful waterscapes you’ll find in this amazing state, there’s so much more to Minnesota than just splendid lakes and gorgeous sunsets.

The North Star State is famous for its liberal-minded people and its great cultural heritage, among other things. Heavily influenced by the Scandinavian and German culture, more recently it’s been home to significant numbers of Asians, Africans and Latin Americans. This blend of cultures and ethnicities has apparently been beneficial, as Minnesota boasts one of the highest standards of living and some of the most effective educational systems in the US. Not too bad if you plan to homeschool, right?

In fact, if you’re planning to homeschool, Minnesota offers so many educational opportunities that we cannot even begin to give a comprehensive overview here. You’ve got the fascinating North Woods in the north, perfect for geography or biology enthusiasts, and you’ve got the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Science Museum of Minnesota, for Arts and Science fans, respectively. There are so many things to do in Minnesota that you’d best pick up a pen and a notebook and start planning educational trips right now!

Homeschooling in MN: Minnesota homeschool laws

The Minnesota homeschool statute requires you to file a full initial report of your children’s name, birth date, address, as well as of the instructor, and of the annual testing procedures. This is a one-time submission that you’ll have to do by October 1 if your child turns seven or if you move to a new school district, or within two weeks after you withdraw your children from public school. You’ll then need to submit an annual letter of intent, informing the authorities of your decision to continue homeschooling your children, and of any subsequent changes in terms of instructors or assessment methods.

There are no formal qualifications that you’ll have to provide if you’re the parent or the legal guardian, but any teachers you’ll work with must be qualified or work under the supervision of a qualified teacher. There are also no legal provisions in terms of hours or days of instruction.

Minnesota homeschooling laws also make a few provisions regarding the compulsory curriculum: you’ll have to provide education in the main curricular areas, addressing subjects such as “reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, government, health, and physical education”.

You’ll also have to keep records of progress and of the materials used, which you’ll have to provide if you want to enroll your children in a public school.

Your children will have to be tested annually using standardized tests, but the results of these tests do not have to be reported to the local school district.

Unlike many other states, these legal provisions are enforced under the accusation of neglect, and failure to educate your children may have unpleasant consequences.

Minnesota Homeschool Friendliness Grade

As the amount of compulsory paper work is pretty high, we’ve given Minnesota a C in terms of homeschool friendliness. However, that doesn’t mean that there are any real obstacles in your homeschooling success – the legal specifications are down-to-earth, and they’ll help raise the quality of your children’s education.

Homeschooling in MN: Conclusion

If you plan to homeschool, MN offers lots of educational, but the MN homeschool laws may be a bit off-putting; however, you shouldn’t let yourself get discouraged by that, as they’re not meant to be a burden, but a guideline to help you along the way. Get in touch with the great Minnesota homeschooling community and you’re bound to succeed in offering your children the best home education there is. If you’ve got any questions, you can always contact us – we’ll be more than happy to help you!

Resources

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

http://homeschoolers.org/ - the official website of Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Association is a great place to get in touch with fellow homeschoolers

http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/fam/nphs/home/ - the official website of the Minnesota Department of Education; you’ll find everything you need to know about the Minnesota homeschool laws, including all legal provisions and a sample of the annual letter of intent

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