Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Michigan Homeschooling Laws - Current as of 07-2016

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.

Reporting Process 
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 - 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 emailing 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.

Teacher Requirement 
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. Student Records 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 credit.

Required Testing 
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 -

Work Permits
Home school students may obtain a work permit through their local public school.

There are no public funds available for home schooling.

Additional Information 
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 - For additional information on home schooling, please email

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

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