Minnesota Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in Minnesota

How do I start homeschooling?

To start homeschooling in Minnesota parents must:

  • Submit a Letter of Intent to homeschool every year
  • Meet the required qualifications (5 ways to do this)
  • Provide instruction in the required subjects
  • Choose your ideal homeschool curriculum
  • Participate in standardized tests every year
  • Maintain records (tests, scores, completed lessons, etc)

Modify™ can help you with your tracking, portfolio and record keeping. Download the app today.  

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Homeschool Laws

According to Minnesota Statute 120A.22, “Every child between seven and 17 years of age must receive instruction unless the child has graduated. Every child under the age of seven who is enrolled in a half-day kindergarten, or a full-day kindergarten program on alternate days, or other kindergarten programs shall receive instruction. Except as provided in subdivision 6, a parent may withdraw a child under the age of seven from enrollment at any time.”

Per the Minnesota Department of Education, parents may create private schools in their home for their children. However, “State standards set for public schools do not apply to nonpublic schools – whether regular private schools or homeschools. Therefore, the Minnesota Department of Education nor local school districts certify or validate any nonpublic or homeschool, diploma or transcript.”

Minnesota currently recognizes only one accrediting agency, the Home-Based Educators Accrediting Association, for accrediting homeschools. Homeschools do not need to be accredited. However, one benefit of being accredited is being waived from a requirement for a nationally normed achievement test for each student ages 7-17 each year” (Minnesota Department of Education).

There is some funding available to families: “Like other nonpublic options, these schools are predominantly financed by the parents. However, Minnesota does have Nonpublic Pupil Aids that parents may claim by September 15 of each year through their public school district superintendent’s office.”

In addition, “Minnesota offers a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit for qualified low-income families, as well as an education cost subtraction (tax deduction) for many other families for up to $2650 in expenses. See the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Individual Income Tax Fact Sheets on the K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit and Qualifying Home-School Expenses to learn about Minnesota’s K-12 education tax credit and subtraction to determine whether some taxes or taxable income can be reduced.

Additionally, Minnesota home-schools may be exempt from state sales tax on some items. Complete the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Certificate of Exemption. For more information on what items may be eligible for state sales tax exemption, contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue” (Minnesota Department of Education).

Homeschool Requirements

Even though Minnesota does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Minnesota homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:

  • Begin homeschooling by age 7.
  • File the required Initial Registration Form for Unaccredited Schools by October 1 of the first year or within 15 days of withdrawal from public school.
  • File the required Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide Instruction by October 1 each year thereafter.
  • Provide instruction “in at least the following subject areas: basic communication skills including reading and writing, literature, and fine arts; mathematics and science; social studies including history, geography, economics, government, and citizenship; and health and physical education. Instruction, textbooks, and materials must be in the English language. Another language may be used pursuant to sections 124D.59 to 124D.61” (120A.22, subdivision 9).
  • Complete annual assessments, if applicable.
  • Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.

Required testing:

Based on 120A.22, subdivision 11, annual assessment is required when you are homeschooling according to these guidelines:

  • “(a) Each year the performance of every child ages seven through 16 and every child ages 16 through 17 for which an initial report was filed pursuant to section 120A.24, subdivision 1, after the child is 16 and who is not enrolled in a public school must be assessed using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement examination. The superintendent of the district in which the child receives instruction and the person in charge of the child’s instruction must agree about the specific examination to be used and the administration and location of the examination.
  • (b) To the extent the examination in paragraph (a) does not provide assessment in all of the subject areas in subdivision 9, the parent must assess the child’s performance in the applicable subject area. This requirement applies only to a parent who provides instruction and does not meet the requirements of subdivision 10, clause (1), (2), or (3).” In other words, you do not have to submit annual assessments if you “hold a valid Minnesota teaching license in the field and for the grade level taught; are directly supervised by a person holding a valid Minnesota teaching license; or successfully complete a teacher competency examination.”

Homeschool parents are eligible to order tests from the University of Minnesota Statewide Testing Program. You can also consider checking with other organizations, your physician, or your school district’s special education office.

Testing Results:

“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” (120A.22, subdivision 11).

Record Keeping

The Minnesota education laws mandate that homeschooling parents keep detailed records of their homeschooling program. Documentation must include:

  • Proof that all required subjects are being taught
  • Proof that annual standardized tests have been administered to all homeschooled students
  • A copy of your schedule
  • A description of all assessment methods
  • Copies of all instructional materials

Although not required by the MDE, many homeschooling parents like to keep portfolios of their children’s work each year which not only serves as an assessment tool, but also makes delightful keepsakes for years to come. You can share this task with your students by asking them to periodically choose some of the favorite work samples and projects. For a more detailed description of homeschooling portfolios and some great how-to information, please visit our Homeschool Portfolios page.

Graduation requirements

Minnesota diploma requirements:
Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.

Minnesota high school testing requirements:
Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.

Minnesota high school transcripts:
Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.

Minnesota high school course credits:
Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.

GED eligibility:
Must be 19 years old and not currently enrolled in high school or be 17 or 18 years old, not currently enrolled in high school, and apply for an age waiver. For more information please visit the MDE Adult GED page. Must bring a valid, current government-issued ID to the test site.

Modify™ helps homeschoolers to keep all necessary records and transcripts. 


Home-Based Educators Accrediting Association
Nonpublic Pupil Aids
Initial Registration Form for Unaccredited Schools
Letter of Intent to Continue to Provide Instruction

Note: All information on this site is provided with no guarantee of accuracy. Modify™ is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or outdated information, or for the results yielded through use of this information.

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