Guide to Homeschooling in Minnesota
Choosing to home educate your child is a big decision. If you are thinking about homeschooling in Minnesota, there are certain things to consider before making the switch. Power Homeschool’s Guide to Homeschooling in Minnesota highlights the requirements, necessary record-keeping, support groups, and more!
Homeschool Laws and Requirements in Minnesota
While homeschool is legal across the United States, each state has its unique homeschool laws and requirements. For this reason, parents who are considering homeschool for the first time should research their state’s requirements. To homeschool in Minnesota, parents must submit an initial report to the school district’s superintendent, followed by an annual letter of intent to continue homeschooling. Other things parents will need to consider are the required subjects, standardized testing, and detailed record keeping.
For more information about legally homeschooling in Minnesota, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Minnesota Department of Education provide detailed guidelines, instructions, and FAQs about home education in the state.
In Minnesota, a homeschool parent must keep thorough records of each child’s education. First, parents must submit a letter of intent, which includes information such as each child’s name and birthdate, homeschool address, and annual tests they plan to use. Parents should keep copies of the letters of intent on file. Parents much also keep records of the following:
- Proof that the required subjects are covered
- Results of annual assessments
- Immunization records
- Copy of the homeschooler’s schedule
- Course material and examples of coursework
- The curriculum being used for instruction
Power Homeschool makes record keeping easy through the online parent portal. The system automatically generates grades, transcripts, progress reports, and attendance. Parents can also access coursework and materials.
Homeschool Standardized Assessments in Minnesota
Minnesota homeschool laws mandate that children participate in annual standardized assessments. Parents can use the results of these tests to make sure their students are on track with their traditionally taught peers. Homeschoolers have several options when it comes to standardized assessments, including the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS). High school students should consider taking the ACT or SAT if they plan to attend college after graduation.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Minnesota
Like most other states, homeschool parents are responsible for establishing the graduation requirements of their students and issuing their high school diplomas. We recommend that a parent sets the graduation requirements based on what the student plans to do after high school.
Many colleges, universities, trade schools, and employers will provide their admissions guidelines for homeschooled students. Parents should begin the discussion about what their students plan to do after graduation early, so the student can meet these requirements throughout high school.
Homeschool Support and Groups in Minnesota
Homeschoolers in Minnesota are fortunate to have a variety of support that offers resources, tools, and advice to homeschoolers. Minnesota families are lucky enough to have two statewide homeschooling associations:
- The Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance provides support and information to Minnesota homeschoolers. The secular organization offers tax information, book sales, blogs, events, and so much more!
- The Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) is a faith-based organization that offers a variety of resources as well as hosts an annual convention, graduation ceremony, and workshops.
Joining a homeschool association offers a plethora of benefits and allows homeschoolers to connect and network. In addition to these organizations, Minnesota has a slew of homeschool support groups and co-ops. Homeschool support groups are organized by parents and can either meet in person regularly or communicate online, sharing tips, advice, and stories. Most support groups are regional and allow parents and students to meet other homeschooling families in their area.
Similar to homeschool support groups, co-ops are usually organized by parents; however, they offer more academic benefits than support groups. Homeschool co-ops allow students to learn in a group setting and socialize with their peers. Some co-ops are general, while others focus on certain subjects or provide instruction based on religious beliefs.
Whatever your family is looking for, you are sure to find a homeschool support group or co-op in Minnesota that fits your family’s needs. Most of these groups have Facebook pages or websites, so they are easy to find online. The following are just a few examples of the homeschool support groups and co-ops in Minnesota:
- Home Education Youth (HEY)
- Epiphany Catholic Homeschool Organization (ECHO)
- Rochester Area Association of Home Educators (RAACHE)
- Southmetro Christian Home Educators (SCHE)
- Willmar Area Scholars at Home
- Home Educators for Excellence (HEdFEx)
- SELAH Homeschool Group
- Planet Homeschool
- Kingdom Builders Co-op
- Heritage Homeschool Academy
How to Start Homeschooling in Minnesota
Parents who are considering homeschool for the first time will likely have a lot of questions about how to get started. First, you should research the laws and requirements to ensure you can legally homeschool your student, no matter where you live. In Minnesota, you will need to submit paperwork to the school district superintendent. It is always a good idea to formally withdraw your student from their current school, whether it is required or not.
Before submitting your paperwork, you should select a homeschool curriculum that meets all of Minnesota’s subject requirements. Power Homeschool is a K-12 online curriculum with a variety of courses available to homeschool students. Our program also comes with tools and resources for both parents and students to be successful with homeschooling.
Homeschool Field Trips in Minnesota
Field trips have been used to enhance the education process long before homeschooling was legalized. Today, one of the benefits of homeschool is the freedom and flexibility to go on more field trips than the traditional classroom allows for. Minnesota has many different destinations to choose from when deciding on your next field trip, but the following are just a few examples to give you an idea.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area
- Minnesota History Center in St. Paul: Learn about Minnesota’s history through collections, exhibits, and educational programs. Topics cover indigenous communities of the state, influential and famous Minnesotans, and much more!
- Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul: Homeschoolers can explore wildlife species from around the world. With a variety of educational and family programs, students can explore their love for nature, study different ecosystems, and learn about conservation.
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis: By touring galleries of artwork, homeschoolers can learn about culture and history through paintings, sculptures, pottery, and much more. Each month, the MIA hosts an event for families to make art and meet local artists.
- Three Rivers Park District in Plymouth: With archery, art and nature education, educational farming, and many other activities, the Three Rivers Park District provides fun enrichment activities for the whole family.
- Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Two Harbors: Located right off Lake Superior, this park provides a variety of activities and scenic trails for nature walks. Visitors can also hike up the Day Hill to tour the historic lighthouse.
- Lake Superior Marine Museum in Duluth: Learn about the history of Lake Superior and the maritime culture through ship cabin replicas, and steam engines. Located at Canal Park, visitors can also go to the Harbor Lookout to watch ships come into port.
- Duluth Children’s Museum in Duluth: Young learners can partake in educational play through hands-on exhibits and interactive programs. Exhibits include a life-size board game, STEM stations, and a children’s theater.
- Runestone Museum in Alexandria: With artifacts found in Minnesota, this museum is a great place to learn about the region’s history, including the Middle-Age Nordic explorers, Scandinavian Heritage, and Fort Alexandria.
- Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji: With over 70 hands-on exhibits, children can practice gaining an appreciation for an array of scientific topics. This science center offers educational programming, including demonstrations, science clubs, and more.
- Niagara Cave in Harmony: Exploring the Niagara Cave is a great way to enhance any geology lesson. With gemstone mining and a guided tour, students of all ages will enjoy learning about one of Earth’s fascinating formations.
- Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona: This museum features marine artwork from famous contributors, such as Monet and Picasso. Guided tours and youth programs are available for students of all ages.
Power Homeschool hopes that this guide to homeschooling in Minnesota provides you with the necessary information and resources to get started with home education. Please contact us if you have any questions about how Power Homeschool can help you jump start your homeschool journey.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web page is for general information purposes only. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and may not contain the most up-to-date information.