The number of families that homeschool their children is increasing each year. Families who want more personalized learning for their children have many state incentives available to them. How can you homeschool in Minnesota?
To Homeschool in Minnesota, you will have to follow these steps:
- Submit your letter of intent to provide home instruction.
- Create a curriculum and class schedule of the subjects your student must learn.
- Keep records of assessments, completed work, and any other documentation.
- Keep a scorecard or history of test results.
So far, you can see Minnesota is homeschool-friendly. Throughout this process, let’s learn more about the parents’ and students’ journeys.
Homeschooling Options In Minnesota
While other states offer options, it is not the case in Minnesota. Here if you want to homeschool your children, there is only one way of doing it.
The parent is responsible for teaching the subjects, record-keeping, knowledge tests, and notifying public schools about their child’s education status.
Suppose another person, rather than one of the parents, wants to homeschool a child. In that case, they need to undergo a thorough verification process before the state deems them qualified to do so.
Before You Begin Homeschooling In Minnesota
There are a few aspects instructors should consider before deciding to homeschool their children in the state of Minnesota. Here we brought you a list of questions and answers to help you determine which direction to go.
Do You Have The Time? Space? Interest?
Regarding time, Minnesota has a minimum of required hours per educational stage per school year.
- Elementary school, 935 hours
- Middle and high school, 1020 hours
As a parent, your responsibility will be to ensure your kid gets enough instruction hours.
There are no state regulations about how the area should be distributed regarding space. You must set up a specific location in your home where your kids can take classes. It would help if you considered the basics, a quiet spot where your kid doesn’t get easily distracted with all the materials they need handy.
Minnesota Laws For Homeschooling
Here are some of the regulations about homeschooling in Minnesota.
- Children must be at least seven years old.
- If the family is planning to homeschool for the first time:
- Parents must fill out a Letter of Intent to Provide Instruction.
- Parents must submit the Letter of Intent to the school district no later than October 1st.
- If the family has already received homeschooled classes in the state of Minnesota:
- Parents must fill out a Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide instruction.
- Parents do not require specialized courses to teach their children.
- Tutors or other relatives willing to homeschool children need to provide at least one of the following:
- Teaching license issued by the state that certifies they can instruct the grade and subjects.
- A licensed teacher who oversees the instruction process
- Have approved the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) in reading, writing, math, and pedagogy.
- Attend a state-authorized school to provide instruction.
- Have a bachelor’s degree.
- The education should include the following subjects:
- Skills in reading, writing, and math.
- Social studies in history, geography, economics, government, and citizenship.
- Health and physical education.
- Fine arts
- Parents must keep a record of the date and time of each class given.
- Parents must ensure the students receive knowledge assessments, tests, and examinations.
As we mentioned, the registration process for homeschooled students in Minnesota must happen before October 1st. The parents must enroll the student in this program and fill out the Letter of Intent to Provide Instruction.
Filling out the Letter of Intent to Provide Instruction
The letter of intent includes information about the instructor, such as:
- Name, address, and contact information.
- Evidence that qualifies them to be an instructor.
Also, the letter requires the student’s name, date of birth, and grade. Additionally, the state of Minnesota requires immunization records for all homeschooled students.
Finally, parents and superintendents must choose which tests will be applied to the student. The options to choose from are:
- Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades K-8
- Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED), Grades 9-12
- Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-10), Grades K-12
Filling out the Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide Instruction
Parents who already have students enrolled in homeschooling programs must fill out an annual letter of intent to continue providing instruction.
The form allows the instructors to add new students or remove existing ones. The instructor must include their contact information, name, and address.
Finally, parents must agree with the superintendent on which test will be applied to the student. The options remain the same as the letter of intent to provide instruction.
Costs Of Homeschooling In Minnesota
Experts claim that homeschooling in Minnesota is a clever financial decision. Some of the reasons why this is correct include the following:
- Homeschool instructors apply for reimbursement on educational material expenses.
- There are two tax relief programs for homeschool instructors; The K–12 Education Subtraction and the K–12 Education Credit. Families who qualify for either of these programs can subtract education-related expenses when filing income tax returns.
- Homeschool instructions cost 95% less than public school education.
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
There are no regulations to be followed when choosing a homeschool curriculum. Minnesota has an established curriculum for public schools that doesn’t apply to homeschool instructions.
Instructors must ensure the student is learning the required subjects and that the minimum number of hours are met. Below is a list of popular homeschool curriculums to get your search started:
- Alpha Omega Publications
- School House Teachers
- Abeka Homeschool
- ABC Mouse
- Adventure Academy
- Calvert Homeschool
Your local library is also great to find books and resources for free and at discounted costs.
The instruction style is up to the parents to decide. Instructors can choose the type as long as the student receives the required amount of instruction hours for their grade and takes the subjects needed.
The state requires that parents keep a record of all the classes given to the student; this includes workbooks or any other form of documentation that validates the student is receiving education.
Additionally, homeschool instructors must keep scorecards for their children’s tests.
Record-keeping And Testing For Homeschooled Students
Instructors should keep and submit to the county’s attorney the following information:
- Schedule for all classes given
- Record all work completed by the student
- Tests administered, including:
- Nationally normed standardized tests, assessed annually.
- Supplemental tests, assessed by the instructor at home.
- Additional assessments for underperforming students.
Nationally Normed Standardized Tests
Instructors should arrange the application of these tests via the University of Minnesota. The university is responsible for the statewide testing program, including homeschool education. Instructors can request one of the following:
- Iowa Tests Of Basics Skills (ITBS) Grades K-2
- Iowa Tests Of Basics Skills (ITBS) Grades 3-8
- Iowa Tests Of Educational Development (ITED) Grades 9-12
- Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) Grades K-2
- Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) Grades 3-8
- Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) Grades 9-12
Homeschooling and Special Education Services
Children with special needs can receive homeschool instruction. Parents will follow the same process we have already explained. There are no additional steps required.
Homeschooled Students And Public School Access
Homeschooled students can participate in public school activities such as sports or any other extracurricular activity.
There are no specific requirements in place for homeschooled students to graduate. It is up to the instructor to decide when the student has achieved the required knowledge.
Field Trips For Homeschooled Students
Some preferred destinations for field trips include:
- Gammelgården Museum
- International Snowmobile Hall Of Fame
- Warden’s House Museum
- Anoka County historical society
● Outdoor activities
- Myre-Big island state park
- Carley state park
- Whitewater state park
- Minnesota zoo
Homeschool Associations, Groups, and Co-Ops
Here we have a list of groups, associations, and co-ops available for parents who homeschool in Minnesota.
- HERO Homeschool in Forest Lake
- Heppner’s Legacy Homeschool Resources, in Elk River
- FEET Homeschool Coop, in Buffalo
- Twin Cities Homeschoolers for the Arts, in Apple Valley
- Heritage Christian Academy, in Maple Grove
As you can see, homeschooling in Minnesota is a great option. Parents can get tax subsidies and will spend less money when compared to public schools. Students can participate in field trips and enjoy extracurriculars at any public school.