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Q:

How can I legally homeschool in Minnesota?

A:

  • Children must receive instruction from the time they turn 7 until they turn 17, unless they have graduated.
  • The following subjects must be taught:
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Literature
    • Fine arts
    • Math
    • Science
    • History
    • Geography
    • Government
    • Health
    • Physical education
  • An initial report must be filed to the Superintendent by October 1 of the first year after the child turns 7. If you move to a new school district, you must file a new report by October 1. You must also file within 15 days of withdrawing a child from public school. This report must provide the child's name, date of birth, address, and the name of the annual test to be given. It must also include information on immunizations (whether given or exempt) when the child turns 7 and again when the child is in 7th grade.
  • In subsequent years, a letter of intent to continue homeschooling must be filed by October 1, noting any changes to the initial report.
  • Being your child's parent legally qualifies you to teach your child in the state of Minnesota.
  • If being your child's parent is your only legal qualification for teaching, standardized tests must be administered annually. Test results should not be submitted to the school district.
  • Records must be kept of subjects taught, materials used, and standardized tests given. This information need only be made available to county attorneys under certain circumstances.

Please do not submit information to the school district if it is not legally required. Doing so makes it easier for districts to request or demand this information of all their homeschooling families, which erodes our rights as homeschoolers.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) offers an analysis of the Minnesota homeschool laws which should help you get started. If you have further questions, you can email us at info@hopemn.org.

Q:

What if I'm homeschooling a special needs child? What are the additional requirements?

A:

Here's what the law says as of May, 2014:

If the results of the assessments in paragraphs (a) and (b) indicate that the child's performance on the total battery score is at or below the 30th percentile or one grade level below the performance level for children of the same age, the parent must obtain additional evaluation of the child's abilities and performance for the purpose of determining whether the child has learning problems.

This means if your child's standardized test scores fall within this range, you need to have him evaluated to determine if he has learning problems. Period. End of sentence. State law does not currently spell out the who, where, when, or how of this evaluation. Nor does it require you to submit any test results or evaluations to the school district.

Q:

How did HOPE begin?

A:

In early 2011, a homeschooling family moved to Bruno from the Twin Cities. The mom began reaching out to other homeschoolers in the area, hoping to start a group similar to what they'd been involved with in the Cities. She connected with a couple other movers and shakers, and that got things moving (and shaking). A group of ladies met for lunch at Jan & Gary's restaurant, and the decision was made that we could, indeed, start a homeschool group in Pine County.

After much prayer and many long meetings lasting late into the night, we emerged with a framework for supporting area homeschoolers. HOPE held its first group meeting in June of 2011, a picnic at St. Croix State Park.
 

Q:

Where is HOPE?

A:

HOPE serves homeschoolers in Pine, Aitkin, Kanabec, Isanti, and Chisago counties in east central Minnesota. Our meetings are generally in the Sandstone area.

Q:

What does HOPE stand for?

A:

HOPE is an acronym for Helping Other Parents Educate. Our goal is to help parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their children. As homeschooling parents, we desire to come together with other believers to support each other in homeschooling.

This group is rooted in core Christian beliefs and practices. We choose to focus on what we have in common as members of the body of Christ, rather than denominational differences. With that in mind, anyone is welcome, regardless of religious practice or belief. We have no desire to cause anyone discomfort or force our beliefs on anyone else, but we do reserve the right to unabashedly give glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Q:

What is the age range of kids involved in HOPE?

A:

We serve children from preschool through high school. We have several students in each age range, and plan activities for all ages.

Q:

How do I join the homeschool group?

A:

Click the link at the upper right to request membership. From there, you will be taken through an online registration process which involves:

  • applying for access to the member side of this website
  • filling out the current year's registration form including an acknowlegement of our beliefs and policies
  • payment of the annual registration fee

Your application for access to the website must be reviewed and approved, which may take time. If you do not have access within 2 days of your registration, you may email the administrator.