When you choose to be a homeschooling family, it's important to stay in the know! Laws regarding homeschooling (and all other things!) are frequently changing and it's part of our responsibility to stay aware of proposed changes. Every time there is a proposed change, we are given the opportunity to weigh in on how that can/would affect us and our homeschoolers. We are our own faculty. No one fights for us, but us.
The section of the Revised School Code that addresses home schools is located in the
Michigan Compiled Laws under MCL 380.1561.
Right to Home School
Michigan parents have the right to home school their children. The law requires a parent or
legal guardian of a child from the age of six to sixteen to send his or her child to school
during the entire school year, except under certain limited circumstances (MCL 380.1561).
The law was amended in 2010 to increase the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to
18 for a child who turned 11 after December 1, 2009, or who entered grade six after 2009.
The exceptions include, but are not limited to, sending a child to a state-approved nonpublic
school or educating a child at home in an organized educational program.
Who May Home School
Home school education is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. The parent
assigns homework, gives tests and grades these tests. The issuance of report cards,
transcripts, and diplomas are the responsibility of the home school family (based on internal
standards). If home schooling continues through grade 12, the parent issues a high school
diploma to the graduate.
The annual reporting of a home school to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is
voluntary. It is not required unless the student is requesting eligible special education
services from the local public school or intermediate school district. It is recommended the
parent first submit a completed Nonpublic School Membership Report to MDE if special
education services will be requested. This form is available on the Michigan home school
website - www.michigan.gov/homeschool. Before special education services are established,
the school will contact MDE for verification that this process is complete. The home school
must register each school year to continue services. A list of registered home schools is
provided to intermediate school district superintendents each December and March or by
It is not required that a parent inform their local school of the decision to home school,
however, it is suggested. Failure to do so may result in the student being marked absent
and the involvement of the truancy officer. Notification may be a phone call or a written
note to the district. Keep in mind that a written note can be placed in the student’s school
record indicating when the student has withdrawn from the school district.
A parent or legal guardian who home schools his or her child is not required to hold a valid
Michigan teaching certificate, permit, or occupational authorization.
A parent or legal guardian reporting to MDE must have a minimum bachelor’s degree to be
approved unless they claim a sincerely held religious belief against teacher certification
(People v DeJonge). Reporting is required if the parent or legal guardian is seeking eligible
special education services for their child(ren).
Course of Study
Instruction must include mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies in all
grades; and the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Michigan, and the
history and present form of civil government of the United States, the State of Michigan, and
the political subdivisions and municipalities of the State of Michigan in grades 10, 11, and 12.
Home-schooled students may enroll in nonessential elective classes at the resident public
school subject to the district’s enrollment policy.
Home school families are responsible for purchasing the textbooks and instructional
materials of their choice. School districts are not required to provide curriculum, textbooks,
or materials to home school families.
Parents are encouraged to maintain student records of progress throughout the year. These
records will assist school personnel with placement should the student enroll in a public or
nonpublic school. The granting of credits and placement of students is solely determined by
the receiving school. If a student attends a home school and returns to a public school, the
public school generally reevaluates the students for grade placement and the transfer of
There are no required tests for a home-schooled student. The parent is responsible for
administering tests based upon the curriculum they use. Although not required, homeschooled
students may participate in state testing at their local public school. These tests
are managed by MDE and are administered at no cost to a home-schooled student. For
further information, contact your local public school.
The supervision and control of interscholastic athletics are the responsibility of each local
board of education. Most local boards have adopted policies as proposed by the Michigan
High School Athletic Association. Please contact the appropriate local school district or the
Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) at (517) 332-5046 or MHSAA website -
Home school students may obtain a work permit through their local public school.
There are no public funds available for home schooling.
MDE’s website provides additional information on home schooling that includes legislation,
the registration form, and instructions. You may access this information at the Michigan
home school website - www.michigan.gov/homeschool. For additional information on home
schooling, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay informed! Always be on the lookout for propsed changes to these laws and famiilarize yourself with what they mean to you!
Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger
The Michigan Homeschool Family Network