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Homeschool Law

An overview of legal requirements to homeschool in Missouri.
Under Missouri law, a homeschool is a school that:
Has the primary purpose of providing private or religious-based instruction.
Enrolls pupils between the ages of 7 and 16 years. (No more than four students can be unrelated.)
Does not charge or receive tuition, fees, or other remuneration.

To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these requirements:

1. Teach the required subjects for the required period of time 👩‍🏫

You must provide your child with at least 1,000 hours of instruction every school term.
600 of the 1,000 hours of instruction must be among all of the following core subjects:
reading 📖,
math 🔢,
social studies 🗺️,
language arts 📝, and
science 🔬.

These subjects must be taught consonantly with the child’s age and ability. Of those 600 hours, among the core subjects, 400 must occur at the “regular” homeschool location, which is not defined in law.
HSLDA strongly recommends that you keep a daily log showing the hours of instruction you give your children every day. Although this is not technically required, it’s the very best way to prove you really provided each child with 1,000 hours of instruction.

2. Maintain records for all children under age 16 📋

If you are homeschooling a child who is younger than 16, you must maintain (but do not need to submit) the following records for the child:
📓 A plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and educational activities engaged in. This requirement can be satisfied by keeping a planner, that includes activity, subject and hours of instruction.
📝 Samples of your child’s work.
✒️ Academic evaluations. (These could be regular tests in the various subjects, annual standardized tests, etc.)

Alternatively, you can maintain “other written, credible evidence” that is equivalent to the three types of records listed above.
Always have on hand at least two full years' worth of records (unless you are just starting out).
During a child’s elementary and middle school years, you should always have on hand at least two full years' worth of records. For a high school student, the records (for all 4 years) should be kept indefinitely.

DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice. Please consult with a lawyer and/or the Missouri statute to ensure you are complying with the law.

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