Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can anyone homeschool in Mississippi?
A: Yes. Any parent is permitted by law to teach his or her own children in a home instruction program. The state has a minimal amount of regulation that families must follow to legally homeschool. A legitimate home instruction program is defined as one that is not “operated for the purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law.”
Q: What kind of paperwork does the state require?
A: On or before September 15 of each year, parents are required to submit a certificate of enrollment for each child age 6-17. (If you have children older or younger, you are not required to submit a certificate for them.) The certificate of enrollment is available online to print and complete. It includes names, address, and telephone number of parents and children, dates of birth of children, and a “simple description of the type of education the children are receiving.” You are not required by law to give your child’s Social Security number. The card must be returned to the school attendance officer.
In the event the child has been enrolled in a public school, he must file a Certificate of Enrollment with the local attendance within 15 calendar days after the first day of the school year for the school district where the child resides. If the decision to homeschool the child is made during the school year, they may at that time enroll the child in a legitimate home instruction program and send the certificate of enrollment to the school attendance officer, even though they missed the September deadline.
Parents, guardians, or custodians of a child who are found in violation of this law are given 10 days after receiving a written notice to comply with the law.
Q: Do I have to wait until the beginning of the next school year to take my children out of their current public or private school to start homeschooling?
A: No. If you wish to teach your children at home, you may begin at any time, but you must always send the completed certificate of enrollment for each child.
Q: Does the curriculum I use have to include state-approved textbooks?
A: No. You may choose the curriculum that best suits your children’s individual educational needs.
Q: What subjects am I required to teach?
A: Since the repeal of the law in 1984, there are no state requirements for subjects that must be taught.
Q: What days and what hours are my children required to be in homeschool?
A: There is no state requirement for homeschool programs.
Q: Do I need a high school diploma, college diploma, or teacher certification to homeschool?
A: No. The state has no educational attainment or certification requirements for parents who teach their children in the home.
Q: Do my homeschooled children have to take standardized tests?
A: No. State law does not require standardized testing.