Getting Started on Your Homeschool Journey
There is so much information about homeschooling that it can seem overwhelming. We've gathered information to help you make your homeschooling decision and to inform you about laws and other legal issues. Here you'll find research and statistics that support the notion that homeschooling provides specific advantages to children and families. And we'll help you take the first steps on the road of your own homeschooling adventure.
Why Homeschool?
The first step to homeschooling is making your decision to home educate your child. It is important to become informed and knowledgeable about some of the main concerns you may have. Explore these areas of our website to learn more about the initial decision to homeschool.
How to Begin
You've decided to homeschool your child! But what comes first? For many parents, knowing where to begin in the homeschooling process can be confusing. Although there seems to be so much information available, it may be hard to get your questions answered. We've put together some resources to start you on your journey, giving you the information and motivation you need to successfully begin to homeschool in Minnesota.
Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
History of Homeschooling
How did homeschooling start? When did it become legal? Who were the key players in making homeschooling the social movement it is today? The story of the history of homeschooling in the United States is a compelling tale of dedication, innovative ideas, and personal conviction and sacrifice. We have put together a history of this educational and social phenomenon, hoping it will inspire you to learn from the early and more recent pioneers of home education in America.
What's Popular
124D.09 Postsecondary enrollment options act.
Subdivision 1.Citation. This section may be cited the "Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act." Subd. 2.Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote rigorous academic pursuits and to provide a wider variety of options to high school pupils by encouraging and enabling secondary pupils to enroll full time or part time in nonsectarian courses or programs in eligible postsecondary institutions, as defined in subdivision 3. Subd. 3.Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms ...
102A.26 Enforcement and Prosecution
Subd. 3.Notice to parents. The superintendent must notify the parent, in writing, if a child is alleged to be receiving instruction in violation of sections 120A.22 and 120A.24. The written notification must include a list of the specific alleged violations. Subd. 4.Fact-finding and mediation. If the specified alleged violations of the compulsory attendance requirements are not corrected within 15 days of receipt of the written notification, the superintendent must request fact-finding and medi...
171.39 Exemptions.
(a) The provisions of sections 171.33 to 171.41 do not apply to any person giving driver training lessons without charge; to employers maintaining driver training schools without charge for their employees only; to a home-school within the meaning of sections 120A.22 and 120A.24; or to schools or classes conducted by colleges, universities, and high schools as a part of the normal program for those institutions. (b) Any person who is a certificated driver training instructor in a high school dr...
Non-accredited, Nonpublic School Full Report
The person or nonpublic school in charge of providing instruction to a child must submit a Full Report to the superintendent of the school district where the child resides. Information in the Full Report must be submitted by October 1 of the first school year the child receives instruction after reaching the age of seven; with 15 days of when a parent withdraws a child from public school after age seven to provide instruction in a nonpublic school that is not accredited by a state-recognized ac...
Pupil Immunization Record
The Minnesota Department of Health issues this form to record childhood immunizations.
121A.15 health standards; immunizations; school children
Subdivision 1.School and child care facility immunization requirements. Except as provided in subdivisions 3, 4, and 10, no person over two months old may be allowed to enroll or remain enrolled in any elementary or secondary school or child care facility in this state until the person has submitted to the administrator or other person having general control and supervision of the school or child care facility, one of the following statements: (1) a statement from a physician or a public clinic...
120A.24 Reporting.
Subdivision 1.Reports to superintendent. (a) The person or nonpublic school in charge of providing instruction to a child must submit to the superintendent of the district in which the child resides the name, birth date, and address of the child; the annual tests intended to be used under section 120A.22, subdivision 11, if required; the name of each instructor; and evidence of compliance with one of the requirements specified in section 120A.22, subdivision 10: (1) by October 1 of the first sc...
Minnesota Statutes Regarding Home Schools
A comprehensive list of all statutes that pertain to home schools in the state of Minnesota.
Initial Report To Superintendent
This pdf form is the form homeschoolers fill out when they first begin homeschooling AND when their child reaches age 7. (Note: If your child is under age 7 but was previously enrolled in public school, you may need to file this form upon removing them from school.
Annual Report to School District
In the summer of 2011, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Homeschool Mandate Reduction bill, improving homeschool reporting and strengthening homeschooling rights in Minnesota. Minnesota law does not specify how home educators should write their annual report, only that it is due by October 1 each year and certain information must be communicated. MÂCHÉ encourages you to use one of these forms or to write your own letter instead of any documents a local school district may send because those u...
144.3351 Immunization data.
Providers as defined in section 144.291, subdivision 2, group purchasers as defined in section 62J.03, subdivision 6, elementary or secondary schools or child care facilities as defined in section 121A.15, subdivision 9, public or private postsecondary educational institutions as defined in section 135A.14, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), a board of health as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, community action agencies as defined in section 256E.31, subdivision 1, and the commissioner of h...
Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide Instruction
Submit a Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide Instruction to the superintendent’s office in the school district where the parent/legal guardian resides. Complete the information using this form or a written or electronic format of your choice. Information in the Letter of Intent must be submitted by October 1 of each year after a Full Report has been filed in the same district. If you have moved, you must file a new Full Report.
Minnesota Department of Education
This is the official website for the Minnesota Department of Education.
Homeschool Full Report
This is a suggested form from the Minnesota Department of Education to submit a Full Report to the superintendent's office in the school district where the parents/legal guardians reside.
Minnesota Education Tax Credit & Deduction
Minnesota has two programs—the education tax credit and the education tax deduction (also called a subtraction)—to help families pay expenses related to their child’s kindergarten through 12th grade education. Both programs lower the taxes you must pay and may even provide a larger refund when you file your Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return.
Resources
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
The Homeschooling Revolution
A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It
Confused and intimidated by the complexities of homeschooling, many sincere parents never get past the "thinking about it" stage. Now Lisa Whelchel - herself a homeschooling mother of three - introduces fifteen real families and shows how they overcome the challenges of their unique homeschooling situations. This nuts-and-bolts approach deals with common questions of time management, teaching weaknesses, and outside responsibilities, as well as children's age variations, social and sports involvement, learning disabilities, and boredom. Seeing a wide variety of successfully homeschooling families in action will give parents the confidence to make their own dream of home-based education a reality.
Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days: Share a Day With 30 Homeschooling Families
From a bedroom community in Nebraska to a farm in Vermont, from families who rely on workbooks to those who have sworn them off, this in-depth examination of the lives of homeschoolers covers a wide range of people and methods. When author Nancy Lande started homeschooling more than 10 years ago, this is the book she wanted that didn't exist. What better way to create your homeschool than reading about others and picking and choosing the styles that appeal to you? Lande has corralled a variety of homeschoolers and, with some deft editing, allowed them to speak for themselves. Every chapter features a different household on any given day. Many of the writers are mothers, but a stay-at-home dad and several children tell their tales as well. Their detailed descriptions start in the waking hours of morning and get down to the nitty-gritty information of everyday life in a homeschool: how moms fit in showers, how chores are divvied up, how reading and research are gently initiated, how parents set aside time for themselves.

These writers invite the reader into their homes and advise, "Don't mind the mess." Their passages are often funny and unflinchingly honest. They aren't embarrassed to tell you they whipped out SpaghettiOs for a hurried lunch or stole a peek at CNN while ignoring the chaos in the playroom. Some of the families have created highly structured school environments within their homes, with desks and sharpened pencils. Others promote freestyle learning, with their children sprawled across the house working on projects or reading in between walking the dog, playing games, and riding bikes. The majority of families here live in Pennsylvania, the author's home state, but one writes from as far away as Scotland, another lives on a mountain in Alaska, and yet another checks in from a college town in Texas. Their learning logs, reading lists, and journal entries, along with family photos, help illustrate the book. The quilt they piece together is a great service to those wondering how to approach homeschooling. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

Kingdom of Children : Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

More than one million American children are schooled by their parents. As their ranks grow, home schoolers are making headlines by winning national spelling bees and excelling at elite universities. The few studies conducted suggest that homeschooled children are academically successful and remarkably well socialized. Yet we still know little about this alternative to one of society's most fundamental institutions. Beyond a vague notion of children reading around the kitchen table, we don't know what home schooling looks like from the inside.

Sociologist Mitchell Stevens goes behind the scenes of the homeschool movement and into the homes and meetings of home schoolers. What he finds are two very different kinds of home education--one rooted in the liberal alternative school movement of the 1960s and 1970s and one stemming from the Christian day school movement of the same era. Stevens explains how this dual history shapes the meaning and practice of home schooling today. In the process, he introduces us to an unlikely mix of parents (including fundamentalist Protestants, pagans, naturalists, and educational radicals) and notes the core values on which they agree: the sanctity of childhood and the primacy of family in the face of a highly competitive, bureaucratized society.

Kingdom of Children aptly places home schoolers within longer traditions of American social activism. It reveals that home schooling is not a random collection of individuals but an elaborate social movement with its own celebrities, networks, and characteristic lifeways. Stevens shows how home schoolers have built their philosophical and religious convictions into the practical structure of the cause, and documents the political consequences of their success at doing so.

Ultimately, the history of home schooling serves as a parable about the organizational strategies of the progressive left and the religious right since the 1960s.Kingdom of Children shows what happens when progressive ideals meet conventional politics, demonstrates the extraordinary political capacity of conservative Protestantism, and explains the subtle ways in which cultural sensibility shapes social movement outcomes more generally.

Should I Home School?: How to Decide What's Right for You & Your Child

Have questions about homeschooling? This book has the answers. The information in this book will help you decide if homeschooling is right for you and your child. 

Homeschool Open House
Personal insights from 55 families worldwide about a real day of homeschooling. Includes homeschool illusions, family culture, learning and family style, parenting strategies, chores and organization, family management, personal empowerment, decision making, change flexibility, resources, and questions to consider before deciding to homeschool. A private tour of homeschooling homes and reflective thoughts from families. Also includes five year follow-ups from families in HOMESCHOOLING: A PATCHWORK OF DAYS.
Homeschoolers' Success Stories : 15 Adults and 12 Young People Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives
Despite their growing numbers, many homeschoolers still find their experience somewhat isolating. This collection of short biographies aims to alleviate some of that loneliness. While the stories profile modern-day homeschool grads and students, famous homeschooled personalities from the past are offered up early in the book for historical inspiration. John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, photographer Ansel Adams, poet Robert Frost, and songwriter Irving Berlin join the long list dug up by author Linda Dobson. And just in case there were any doubts that fame has eluded today's homeschooled, Dobson throws in actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Love Hewitt, the Hanson singer siblings, and conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr. The people whose stories are told here are successful entrepreneurs, Ivy League students, and athletes, such as Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor and U.S. ski team member Todd Lodwick. But to Dobson's credit, she unearths a healthy array of "regular folk" as well. Their stories are no less interesting and, most importantly, they dispel the notion that homeschooled children are over-the-top achievers and freaks of nature. Among the subjects here are an Arkansas state trooper, a private chef, an art gallery owner, and a Cost Guard Reserve seaman.

Each chapter begins with a photo and yearbook-style sketch of the personality, complete with favorite areas of study and a memorable quote. The biographies are short and insightful, with the author often injecting her own thoughts. Dobson, the mother of three homeschooled children, has written numerous books on the topic (The Homeschooling Book of Answers and Homeschooling: The Early Years, among them) and is a news editor and columnist for Home Education Magazine. In her casual, succinct writing style, she brings to life personalities that have little in common beyond their method of education. Some were taught at home completely; others for only a few years. They offer advice, warnings, and fond memories. And their overriding message is that homeschooled people are just as diverse and interesting as the students found in traditional schools. "We are not alone," is the cry heard from these pages. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American education and suggests solutions for revitalizing the system — prescriptions that run counter to current trends.
They're Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate

For many people, their schooling was uncomfortable, tedious, and sometimes a waste of time and energy. This book offers the idea that the public school system is tragically flawed and that we are able to do better for our own children. Sam Sorbo, mom of three and wife of actor Kevin Sorbo, took the leap into homeschooling and found the joy and success she was seeking. Included are strategies for working parents, those who are scared to take the leap, and anyone who wants the best for their children. 

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Featured Resources

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A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
Now you can realize the joy filled homeschool of your dreams! This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason's writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason's books were soon republished for a new gen...
Reading Made Easy
Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Re...
Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child
Understanding your child's learning style can help with challenges in learning, improving outcomes in reading, writing, and behavior. This book offers strategies for understanding your child's learning style and presents tools that you can use to bec...
Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School
If you’ve ever felt that your child wasn’t flourishing in school or simply needs something the experts aren’t supplying, you’re ready to become a "guerrilla educator." this books explains what’s wrong (and what’s useful) about our traditional schools...
Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families
For a comprehensive guide to home-based education, that does not promote any particular curriculum or religious view, this is one book parents should buy! Parents will appreciate practical advice on getting started, adjusting to new roles, designing...