Minnesota’s education code explicitly recognizes that a child’s parent is primarily responsible for ensuring that the child acquires the knowledge and skills essential to effective citizenship. In order to homeschool legally, you will need to follow these guidelines.
1. Ensure that the instructor has the required qualifications.
In order to teach children in Minnesota, a person must be “qualified.” Parents teaching their own children are automatically qualified. If someone other than a parent is teaching the child, he or she must have one of the following qualifications:
- hold a Minnesota teaching license in the field and grade taught,
- be directly supervised by a licensed teacher,
- successfully complete a teacher competency exam,
- provide instruction in a school that is accredited or recognized by the state board, or
- hold a baccalaureate degree.
2. Teach the required subjects.
The required subjects are
- fine arts,
- health, and
- physical education.
While there is no specific requirement in Minnesota law for how often each of the subjects must be taught or at what grade levels, HSLDA’s general recommendation is that each of the required subjects be taught at an age-appropriate level every year during the elementary and middle school years, and at least once in high school.
3. Keep good records.
Minnesota law requires that you maintain documentation indicating that the required subjects are being taught and proof that the tests required have been administered. This documentation must include class schedules, copies of materials used for instruction, and descriptions of methods used to assess student achievement. This information can be required by a county prosecutor in accordance with the law. HSLDA members who receive such a request from their school superintendent or county prosecutor pursuant to records requests should contact us immediately.
HSLDA also recommends that you keep records of attendance, information on the textbooks and workbooks used, and student work samples. You should maintain these records for at least two years. If your child is in high school, you should maintain these records for all four years of high school.
4. Evaluate your child annually.
You are required to test your child annually using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement test. The test and the testing location must be agreed on by you and the district superintendent. If your child scores at or below the 30th percentile or one full grade below children of the same age, you must have your child evaluated for learning difficulties. You should maintain your achievement test results in accordance with the recordkeeping requirements described above.
If your homeschool is accredited by a recognized Minnesota accrediting association, you are not required to test the children. For more information about accrediting your homeschool, see here.
5. Notify your school district that you are homeschooling.
After your child reaches the age of 7, you must submit notification to the superintendent of the district in which your child resides by October 1 of each school year, or within 15 days of withdrawing the child from public school.
The first notification you submit should report
- the name, date of birth, and address of each child being taught,
- the annual tests you intend to use (if required),
- the name of each instructor, and
- evidence of compliance with teacher qualifications (if applicable).
- You must also report immunization compliance for each child reaching age 7 and then again in the 7th-grade year.
In each subsequent year until your child turns 16, you must provide a letter of intent to continue homeschooling, listing any changes in the required information. (If you begin homeschooling a child after the age of 16, you must submit a letter of intent to continue until the child turns 17.) Members can access a sample letter of intent below.
If you move out of your school district, you must notify that district within 15 days of moving.
HSLDA has provided our members with user-friendly forms below for complying with Minnesota’s homeschool law. Questions about the forms or complying with the law? HSLDA members may contact our legal team.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.