Do the Michigan homeschool laws seem confusing? It might feel overwhelming to jump into homeschooling, worried over whether you are truly following all the rules you are supposed to be following.
As a dedicated parent, we applaud you wanting to make sure you are doing the right thing for your homeschooled student.
Great news for you: It’s simple! There are only two options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under Michigan’s homeschool statute
Parents who are teaching their own children at home under the homeschool statute are required to use an organized educational program covering the following subject areas:
- writing, and
- English grammar.
The statute does not require parents to notify local government or education authorities that they are homeschooling. The statute specifically notes that parents are authorized to give home instruction. If a nonparent is significantly involved in delivering instruction, HSLDA members may contact us for specific guidance.
Let’s dive deeper into these two options.
First, a little history…
Currently, Michigan is renowned as one of the most free states to homeschool. Michigan doesn’t make homeschool families jump through lots of hoops. And Michigan homeschool students continue to excel academically and to be pursued by colleges and universities.
Yet, did you know that homeschooling wasn’t always legal in Michigan? Check out this video about the history of homeschooling laws in Michigan and the heroes that paved the way for you here in the Michigan.
Is Michigan really more free than other states?
We absolutely have more freedom as homeschoolers than in other states. If you are curious, here is an overview of some of the things that other homeschooling families have to bend over backward to follow in other states. Some states seem to treat their homeschoolers more like criminals than like free citizens.
Where can I find the laws?
The full text of the law regarding homeschooling is found here, from the Michigan.gov site.
You can also read more about Michigan law here at our partner, Homeschool Legal Defense, Michigan Homeschool Law.
What do I do legally if my child has been enrolled in public school?
If your child is or recently has been a student of a Michigan public school, you must officially withdraw them. You can do that by submitting a withdrawal letter.
If your child’s school district requests more information or asks for you to come to the school to fill out paperwork, you are not legally required to go to the school in person. Instead, send a letter of assurance, which explains that the child is to attend homeschool.
If you join MICHN, you get public school withdrawal support: If you run into any trouble while withdrawing, we’ll work with your school. Thousands of Michigan homeschool families have withdrawn from public school to homeschool.
We can connect your family with an invaluable wealth of information and support, so don’t feel alone in the withdrawal process. We’ve been there before many times and are happy to help you at any step in the process!
Do I have to register with the public school if my child has never attended public school before?
Absolutely not. If your child has never attended a public school, do not contact your local school. You are free to begin homeschooling any time. There is no one that you need to get permission from and no forms you need to fill out in Michigan.
Do I have to keep attendance records?
Parents in Michigan who choose option 1 are not required to keep attendance records for each school year, but MICHN offers planning tools and resources if you would like to do so for your own records. Remember, the goal is learning!
What about other types of record keeping?
There are other types of records besides attendance records. While you are not required by the state of Michigan to keep records with option 1, we recommend that you keep a copy of the following items just to cover all your bases:
- A portfolio of work by each student showing what they’ve accomplished in each grade.
- Notes on what textbooks, workbooks and lesson plans you’ve used each year.
- Copies of any correspondence that you’ve had with the public school.
- Test results from tests that you’ve given, though standardized testing is not required.
- Field trips attended, including those taken with support groups.
How does my high school student graduate from homeschooling?
MICHN members have access to high school transcript and diploma templates.
As a parent, you are in charge of graduating your homeschool student. The administrators of a homeschool (the parents) have the ability to determine requirements for graduation, just like private schools do.
When your child has completed what you determine to be your school’s requirements for graduation, you may graduate them and award a diploma. Read more about graduating your high school student.
Michigan Homeschooling Laws Aren’t a Mystery…
Now you’ve gotten an in-depth lesson about the official State of Michigan homeschooling laws! You now know about creating the best homeschool possible for your children and making sure to do so legally.
“Don’t be afraid to give your children the leg up to join the ranks of Mozart, Bach, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Monet, da Vinci, Einstein, Newton, Pascal, Edison, and countless other world-shaking individuals who don’t need introductions other than their familiar last names…” (source)
Let us be there for you!
MICHN believes that parents should be empowered to raise and educate their children as the next generation of leaders. As a MICHN member, we support your family to do just that! Have you joined? If not, check out our membership benefits that are Keeping Michigan Families Free.