When and where does MHA offer Information Stations?
Information Stations are held on an as needed basis. But don’t worry, one can be quickly and easily set-up whenever somebody expresses interest. Just contact MHA.
Do I need to provide test scores?
The state of MN requires all homeschool student to be tested annually. As you can see on the LOI form, all you need to provide to the district is the information about what test you will be using, the tester and the location. You do NOT need to provide scores to the district. More information can be found on our Yearly Testing page.
What tests fulfill the state requirement?
The state requires a nationally-normed achievement test covering a wide variety of subjects. Some commonly used tests include the Iowa Basic Skills Test, the California Achievement Test (Terra Nova) and the Stanford Test. Many homeschoolers use other tests such as the Peabody, which is administered verbally. You can find out more information on our Yearly Testing page. Feel free to also contact your local district to make sure you are using an approved test, which can vary from district to district.
Where do I find curriculum?
Everywhere! Locally, places such as bookstores and teacher supply stores and libraries. The internet is a great choice. Reviews of lots of different curricula can be found at Homeschool Reviews. And don’t forget to ask your fellow homeschoolers on the MHA yahoo group; it’s easy to post a question and see what others have to say. Here are a few more ideas on how to get started.
Can I just talk to a real live homeschooler?
Yes! Just contact us and one of our volunteers will be happy to call and offer support.
Do I need to have curriculum set and ready to go before I begin homeschooling?
No. In fact it is often a good idea to spend some time figuring out how you and your student work best and then find supplies and curriculum that fits your style. There are plenty of learning opportunities and resources available through libraries and the internet so don’t worry if you do not have a big full curriculum right away–you can still learn. Here are a few of our recommendations.
Do I need a college degree to homeschool?
No, all that is required is that you are the parent.
When can I withdraw my kids from school?
Anytime. Once you have taken your child out of school, a Homeschool Letter of Intent needs to be completed and turned in within 15 days.
At what age do I need to start reporting my children as homeschooled to the school district?
By October 1st of the school year after they turn 7. If you are withdrawing a student under 7 in order to homeschool we suggest communicating with the district that you are aware of the law and will be turning in your Letter of Intent when your child meets the age requirement.
How much does homeschooling cost?
As much or as little as you like. Depending on the materials you choose, homeschooling can be inexpensive or cost a great deal. Purchased curriculum packages, tickets to performances and various homeschool classes can add up quickly, but there are also plenty of low cost options. There are several “homeschooling on a shoestring” themed books that may help provide ideas on cost saving practices and don’t forget to visit the MHA Used Book Sale every Spring to find reduced price curriculum.
What is “aid to non-public schools” and should we use it?
Each year homeschoolers are offered the option of turning in receipts for homeschool materials and being reimbursed for up to a certain amount from the school district. A form is mailed to you from your district at the beginning of each school year. It is a personal decision whether to participate in this program but make sure to read the requirements for what materials will and will not be eligible for reimbursement if you choose to participate. Find out more about the reimbursement at the bottom of our Tax Info page.
How do I advertise with MHA?
We offer vendor tables at our annual conference in September and packet advertising at both the conference and the Used Book Sale.
What about MN homeschool legislation? Who would I contact?
If you’re not sure who represents you, you can easily find out by going to the Minnesota “District Finder.” This website provides pictures and contact information for the people who represent you at both the state and federal level. It also provides the numbers of the districts you live in. To find out who is running for office in any of your state or federal districts, go to “Find a Candidate Filing” at the website maintained by the Minnesota Secretary of State. There you can obtain the names, party affiliations, and contact information for all of the candidates that have filed for election.
Do I need to continue to report my child to the school district even after the child reaches the age of 17, simply to maintain that child’s eligibility for the PSEO program?
No. The reporting requirements end at age 17, and reporting has no impact on PSEO eligibility.
What about graduation requirements and documentation?
Minnesota homeschoolers, just like Minnesota private schools, are able to create and follow their own graduation requirements. It’s important to keep in mind that homeschools do not have a central office where records of the student’s work are kept on file for future reference– this responsibility lies with the parent, and later in life, the child. Having several copies of transcripts and diplomas for students who may need them in the future is highly recommended.
How do I report if my family is traveling or living in another state for a period of time?
Minnesota laws do not address this specifically. There is a group for families that homeschool while traveling the US and their website (http://familiesontheroad.com/
What About Socialization?
Unless you never leave your house, socialization will happen. Many homeschoolers see this type of socialization with people of all ages, in real life situations such as talking to your librarian and grocery store clerk, as more useful for our kids. And between homeschool classes, friends and gatherings, there is never a short supply of opportunities in our homeschool community to be around other kids.
Read more about socialization on our blog.