How to Homeschool in Missouri + FREE Hours Tracker

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Are you interested in learning how to homeschool in Missouri and looking for information about getting started? Look no further! My husband and I have lived in Missouri most of our lives, and we are now homeschooling our children here.

I’ll help you take a look at the Missouri homeschool laws, age requirements, state mandated subjects, and more in this post. Plus, if you need an easy homeschool hours tracker printable, I’ve got you covered.

Are you interested in learning how to homeschool in Missouri and looking for information about getting started? Let's take a look at the laws of homeschooling in the Show-Me State, age requirements, state mandated subjects, and more.

Homeschool in Missouri

Unlike some other states, Missouri is one of the most laid back states that you can homeschool your children in. Although there are no teacher certification requirements or notification requirements, there are a few state laws to be mindful of.

While this is an overview of Missouri homeschool law, it is not intended to be legal advice.

Missouri’s Definition of Homeschooling

Homeschooling in the state of Missouri is defined as schooling that has the primary purpose of providing faith-based or private education. The compulsory attendance age is 7, and a child is considered to be of school age until 17 years old.

In Missouri, you can have up to four unrelated children “enrolled” in your homeschool. They also consider a homeschool to be a system that does not charge fees or receive tuition.

Teaching Requirements for Homeschooling in Missouri

Missouri requires a school year to have 1,000 instructional hours. Within those hours, there are specific subjects (you’ll hear these referred to as “core” subjects) that must be taught for a minimum of 600 hours:

Language Arts
Reading
Math
Social Studies
Science

These subjects should be taught at the child’s developmental age. And, of those 600 hours, 400 must occur at the primary homeschool location.

Simply stated, of all the above “core” subjects, you want to make sure you complete 400 of those at the place where most of your homeschooling occurs (which, most likely, is at your home). You can fill the other 200 hours at home as well, or they could be completed during field trips or at a local co-op instead.

You might also hear these hours referred to as “core-home” hours and “core-away” hours.

What about the other hours required to get to that goal of 1000? Those can be attained by any “non-core” subjects, or your electives. Think music, P.E., art, foreign language, etc.

This might seem overwhelming, but once you get into the groove, it’s not so bad! Make sure to grab my free resources at the end of this post to help you keep track of your homeschool hours each month.

Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschooling in Missouri

Like every state in the U.S., there is some form of a recordkeeping requirement for homeschool students. Although these records do not have to be turned in or monitored by an umbrella school, any child from age 7 to 16 must have homeschool records kept.

When you homeschool in Missouri, you’ll need to begin keeping records when your child is 7 years old at the beginning of the school year (July 1st). If they are not 7 by July 1st, you don’t need to keep records until the following year.

The exception would be if you have a child who was already enrolled in public school before the age of 7, and then withdrawn to homeschool. You would need to keep records for them from the time of withdrawal on.

The following homeschool records must be kept per Missouri law:

  • A plan book or written record of activities completed and subjects taught
  • A portfolio with samples of academic work
  • A record of evaluations of academic progress

These records can be in the form of a daily log, planner, samples of your child’s work (kept in a file folder), and/or academic evaluations (if applicable).

High School Records

While records are not legally required for a child over the age of 16, many parents who homeschool their children in Missouri continue to keep records and create transcripts suitable for use in college, employment, and trade school applications. Educators homeschooling high school coursework may find the state high school graduation requirements useful, especially if they plan to apply to in-state schools.

How Long Should I Keep Homeschool Records?

It’s wise to keep your records for at least 2 years for each of your kids; you can read about how I create my homeschool portfolios in this post. If you are homeschooling high school, it’s recommended to keep records for all of those years indefinitely.

Do Homeschool Records Get Evaluated in Missouri?

There are no routine record checks or portfolio reviews when you homeschool in Missouri. However, if there is ever a legal challenge against your homeschool, you’ll want to be organized and able to show evidence of learning in your homeschool.

Missouri Homeschool Hours Tracking

When you homeschool in Missouri, it’s also a wise idea to keep a daily log of time/hours your kids spend in each subject. This way, if there is ever a legal case challenging your kids’ home education, you will have documentation showing you have meet the hours requirements.

Not sure how you are going to get all of those 1000 hours accounted for? It’s easy when you realize learning is occurring all the time, even outside a “typical” homeschool curriculum! Here are some ideas you can use to inspire you, that you can log in addition to your regular curriculum.

Language Arts

Writing letters, creating poems, Night Zookeeper activities.

Reading

Personal reading time, family read-alouds, audio books and ebooks.

Math

Measuring ingredients while baking, weighing produce and calculating prices at the grocery store, tracking allowance, putting together puzzles.

Social Studies

Local cultural events and festivals, map reading, visit to the fire station, family history lessons, learning how to navigate from one place to another.

Science

Any nature study and discussion, nature walks you take as a family, cooking, cleaning with natural products.

Music (non-core)

Music lessons, online music instruction, music practice, choir at church.

P.E. (non-core)

Organized sports practice, physical activities with other homeschoolers, playing at the park or playground, online P.E. classes.

Art (non-core)

Coloring and painting, crafting, visiting an art museum.

Religious Instruction (non-core)

Sunday school classes, AWANA, personal devotions, family Bible study, prayer time.

Life Skills (non-core)

Meal planning and prep, learning how to do chores, animal care, elder care, infant care.

Keep in mind that there are no requirements for the amount of time per subject. You just need to make sure you’re getting in your 600 core hours (which includes 400 core home hours), and this can be split up between the core subjects however you’d like. The other 400 hours can be core or non-core – whatever works best in your homeschool!

Details of When to Start and Stop Homeschooling in Missouri

As mentioned above, the compulsory school age in Missouri is 7-17; however, if you enroll your child before their 7th birthday, then the laws do apply to them. Beyond 16 years of age, your child is no longer under the compulsory laws.

A benefit of homeschooling in Missouri is if you determine that your child of any age has earned 16 credits toward getting their high school diploma (one credit equaling about 120 hours of instruction in one subject), then he/she is exempt from the compulsory school laws.

Do I Need to Notify the School District to Homeschool in Missouri?

A lot of parents are deciding to homeschool their children who are still enrolled in public or private school. If this is your case, then I highly recommend that you send a withdrawal letter to the local school district.

According to the law, the parent or guardian has the option to provide notice to the recorder of deeds before September 1st of each school year, but this is not required.

The only time notification is required if is you withdraw your child from a school they are already enrolled in. In this case, all you need to do is send a letter to the school’s administration stating that you will now be homeschooling.

FHE (Families for Home Education) is a great resource for Missouri homeschool families, and they have a sample withdrawal letter on their website you are free to print and use.

Even though your child will no longer be a student at the local elementary, middle, or high school, this doesn’t mean they miss out on public school access (if you would like them to have it). By law, Missouri is required to allow homeschooled students to enroll part-time in public school and participate in activities (if the student is taking at least two seat-time classes at their local school). 

The Missouri DOE (Department of Education) also states that public schools must give homeschooled students access to gifted programs.

Homeschool in Missouri Groups and Resources

There are many homeschool groups and programs available in Missouri. Here are a few you’ll want to check out and bookmark.

If you're looking for more opportunities to connect with other homeschooling families, co-ops, and groups in your specific area, Homeschool Hall has created a comprehensive, FREE Homeschool Directory that is super helpful. Homeschool clubs, tutors, curriculum stores, and sports are also listed, so you can find almost anything you need to support your homeschooling.

Grab Your Free Homeschool Hours Log

Homeschooling in Missouri is relatively easy to get started thanks to its relaxed home education laws. To help with your recordkeeping, download my free homeschool hours tracker to help keep you organized.

Simply click below to subscribe, and I’ll send a printable and digital template to your inbox. Print and use each month, for all of your kids, or easily keep track at the tips of your fingers!

And I would love to hear from you in the comments: are you homeschooling in Missouri? What are your favorite resources and activities? What advice would you give to new homeschool parents?

Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.

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7 Comments

  1. Cheryl Stahlman says:

    I homeschool my four kids in Missouri. I love the Abeka curriculum. For me it keeps everything in order and explains everything so well! I would say to any new homeschooling family, Find what works best for your family.

  2. Barb Ragan says:

    Thank you for all of this information and resources!

  3. Missouri Homeschooler here! Thanks so much for this post!

  4. This page has been so helpful! This will be our first year homeschooling and I am so thankful for resources like this that help us new-to-homeschooling-moms figure out what we’re doing! Thank you!

  5. Thank you for all the information. We are fairly new to homeschooling and still finding what works best for us. I appreciate the overview of laws explained plainly and the ideas for how to meet those requirements.

  6. Genevieve Masterson says:

    We homeschool two in Missouri, since the very beginning of their school days. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed by the 1,000 hours requirement, but when you think creatively, it’s not so hard to reach it. There’s a lot of flexibility.

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