Minnesota Homeschool

Minnesota Homeschool Attendance Ages: Students between 7 and 16 are required to attend school in Minnesota. 

Minnesota Homeschool Required Days of Instruction: No specific number of days is mandated

Minnesota Required Subjects:

Reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, government, health, and physical education.

Home School Laws and Regulations

The parent of a child is primarily responsible for assuring that the child acquires knowledge and skills that are essential for effective citizenship.

Homeschool Reporting: A person providing instruction to a child must file an “initial report” to the Superintendent by:

(1) by October 1st of the first school year after a child has reached age seven
(2) within 15 days of withdrawing a child from public school
(3) by October 1st when moving into a new school district.

The report must provide the following information:

child’s name
annual test to be used
immunization compliance information for a child reaching age seven or who is in the 7th grade.

After the “initial report,” a parent annually files a “letter of intent to continue homeschooling” noting any changes to the “initial report.” These changes would include whether additional children are being taught at home. When moving out of a school district, the parent is responsible for notifying the current school district of the move within 15 days.

Teacher Qualifications: None if the instructor is a parent. If an instructor is not a parent, their name and statutory qualification should be included in either the initial report or letter of intent to continue homeschooling.

Standardized Tests: Children who are not enrolled in a program accredited by a state recognized accrediting agency or public school must be assessed using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement examination.

Homeschools that are accredited by a state recognized accrediting agency are exempt from annual standardized testing requirements. Unless a parent has passed a teacher competency exam, holds a teaching license, or is directly supervised by a licensed teacher, the parent must also assess their children in the required subject areas that are not covered by the standardized test.

Children scoring below the thirtieth percentile or one full grade below children of the same age, must be evaluated for learning problems. Test results do not have to be submitted to the school district.
Recordkeeping: Parents must maintain certain documentation that indicates that the required subjects are being taught and proves annual tests have been administered. This documentation includes class schedules, copies of materials used for instruction and description of method used to assess student achievement. This information need only be made available to county attorneys under certain circumstances.

Local school superintendents notify homeschool families when they believe they are out of compliance with reporting or assessment requirements in the Compulsory Instruction Law in an effort to resolve situations. If this does not succeed, Minnesota Statutes requires them to contact the Minnesota Department of Education for mediation of the issue. The Department of Education will contact the homeschool by certified mail. If this does not succeed in addressing compliance issues related to reporting and assessment, the superintendent must refer the matter to the county attorney.

The Minnesota Department of Education does not have records of past or current homeschooled students. The Minnesota Department of Education does not validate for families, employers or the military that a homeschool operated in accordance with the law.
Homeschools are private schools and work independent of state government. However, Minnesota has a public school option where students learn at home, often with significant help from a parent/guardian who acts as a learning coach under the supervision of licensed teachers. This is called certified public online learning.

State curriculum standards are established for public schools. The state standards do not apply to private schools, including homeschools.  Students that complete homeschool will not receive a high school diploma through the state of Minnesota, since they did not complete their education at one of the state’s public education institutions.  Students that are interested in receive an accredited high school diploma should consider going back to public school or obtaining a GED, high school equivalent diploma.

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) gives homeschool families the opportunity to receive college credit for what homeschoolers already know by earning qualifying scores on any of 34 examinations. The program means homeschoolers can gain college credit for knowledge acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships.

Homeschooled students in homeschools of five or fewer students may participate in their own local, resident school districts extracurricular activities that meet the characteristics of extracurricular activities detailed in law.  If homeschoolers are interested in participating extracurriculars in other school districts or charter schools, students may possibly be able to do so for grades 10-12 by joining the Minnesota High School League and entering into an agreement with that district.

Recent Minnesota Homeschool Changes include:

Superintendents no longer request an annual meeting with homeschoolers to review curriculum or have homeschool instructors submit curriculum information, school calendars or quarterly report cards until such time as the students may seek enrollment in public schools. At the point that public school enrollment is sought, this information is submitted along with scores from all legally required testing.