Homeschooling in Mississippi
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When we started our homeschool journey six years ago in Mississippi, I had all these questions about how and what was required. I had this image that it had to look like the public school system but was pleasantly surprised that it did not have to look anything like the public school. Mississippi has low regulation when it comes to homeschooling with few requirements. I will cover the few requirements that Mississippi has regarding homeschool and some suggestions regarding high school requirements.

For homeschooling, there is only one option. That option is known as the home study program. It is up to the parent/guardian to decide what type of program to use. Mississippi does NOT require those that homeschool to provide immunization records, teacher qualifications, mandated subjects, or mandatory assessment testing for elementary, middle, or high school. I was blown away when I learned this because it was so different from what I grew up knowing about school. As the parent/guardian, you get to choose what your children learn. The Home School Legal Defense Association (www.hslda.org) is an excellent resource for any homeschooling information.

Requirements:

  • Compulsory age
    • any student age six (before or on Sept 1) to age 17 (before or on Sept 1) of the school year must attend school
    • any student that attended a full-day kindergarten program at age five must follow attendance requirements for homeschooling
  • Certificate of Enrollment/Withdrawal
    • You must file a Certificate of Enrollment form with the school resource officer in the district you live on or before Sept 15th
    • If your child previously was enrolled in a public/private school, you must formally withdraw and then file a Certificate of Enrollment form
    • You can withdraw from a public/private school midyear, but a Certificate of Enrollment form must be submitted at that time
    • Certificate of Enrollment forms can be found at mdek12.org/OCSA/HS
  • Attendance/Recordkeeping
    • Mississippi has NO set number of days for attendance. (Public schools have a set number of 180 days of session.)
    • There is NO requirement for recordkeeping as Mississippi has NO mandated subjects, testing, immunizations, or teacher qualifications
    • It is RECOMMENDED that you keep a record of attendance, descriptions of curriculum, tests and quizzes, and correspondences with school officials
    • It is recommended that you keep records from elementary, middle, and junior high school for at least 2 years and high school records forever
  • High School
    • NO mandated state tests or subjects. (You get to tailor courses to your child’s interest)
    • Transcripts- a summary of classes, grades and credits for all years of high school
      • Create your own or download templates
      • hslda.org has templates and step-by-step instructions on how to create transcripts, record grades, and figure out GPA
    • Courses
      • Many parents choose to either follow the recommended outline of high school courses from public schools and/or college admissions requirements
      • NO mandated courses to complete for homeschoolers



Field Trip Ideas

There are many great opportunities to explore and learn in Mississippi outside of a classroom setting, including zoos, museums, and state parks. Below you will find a list of a few of these field trip ideas. Often you can get together with other homeschoolers through co-ops and/or local groups to plan field trips.

Zoo & Aquariums:

  • Hattiesburg Zoo
  • Jackson Zoo
  • Safari Wild Animal Park
  • Mississippi Aquarium

Museums:

  • Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Museum
  • Mississippi Children’s Museum
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
  • Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum
  • Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
  • And many, many more

State Parks:

List of all state parks can be found at: https://www.stateparks.com/mississippi_parks_and_recreation_destinations.html

Mississippi provides a wonderful opportunity for homeschooling families to grow and learn together. More information can be found at www.mhea.net and www.hslda.org. We are so thankful to be able to spend these years with our children and enjoy this journey of learning together. It is our hope that you enjoy your journey just as much.



Meet the Author


Whitney Hawkins - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Whitney-Hawkins


 

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