HOMESCHOOLING IN MS FAQ'S
FAQ’s about Home Educating in Mississippi
Yes, home educating in Mississippi under the Home School Law is very favorable. However, as with all freedoms, we need to guard it well. Although home school is recognized in Mississippi, there have been moments when the legislators or the Department of Education have sought to change the laws, as we know them. Let us not forget the hours spent by many lobbying at the Capitol and in calling and writing our legislators, the fruits of which allow us the freedoms we enjoy today.
Any parent may home educate their child. A parent’s constitutional right to home educate comes from the fundamental constitutional principle of the freedom of parents to direct the education of their children. Parents with religious convictions also have the right to home educate because of free exercise of religion. These provisions are set forth in our U.S. Constitution and are upheld by Mississippi law.
Home education can begin at any time and at any age. However, once a child has reached the age of 6 a Certificate of Enrollment must be filled out and mailed to the Attendance Officer of the county in which you reside.
It is best to inform the principal in writing when you are removing your child from school. Avoid unnecessary meetings or phone calls. Tact is required in presenting a Christian testimony especially if a school official is not familiar with the Home School law. Of course, if it is in the middle of the school year, be sure to return textbooks and other materials after the letter has been sent. Be informed of your rights, but avoid a “stand-up-for-your-rights” attitude. If you have trouble, make it an opportunity to educate the official about the nature and concerns of home education. Do your homework. Be prepared to answer common questions such as, “But what about socialization?”
Parents who wish to enroll their child in public or private school after home educating are responsible for all documentation. The Department of Education has stated, “[It] will not offer an opinion as to the student’s grade level, achievement level or appropriate academic placement.” The student is often evaluated and tested to determine the appropriate grade level or credit, and high school students may be required to repeat courses to earn Carnegie units or credits. For example, to enroll your student in Clinton High School, the student must take and pass an achievement test for the grade just complete
Who is responsible for the records and cost of home education?
The parents are responsible for all costs, materials and recordkeeping. A lesson plan book recording each day’s work is an excellent tool for documentation. It need not be extensive or complicated, but should be kept consistently. Lesson plans for several children can be put on one week’s planning page.
How does my child finish his high school education through home schooling?
Completion of a high school home school program does not entitle the student to a regular high school. If a regular diploma is required a student may enroll in correspondence school or receive a diploma through curriculum companies offering accredited programs. Students can contact the GED office for information on GED testing. In any case, good documentation is imperative.