How to Homeschool in Michigan

This information is not legal advice and should not be used as such. You should verify all requirements with the government agency in your area before you begin homeschooling. You may find contact information in the links below.
  • In Michigan, homeschooling is known as "home school".
  • Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 6 through 18.

From the United States Department of Education

Home schooling satisfies the compulsory attendance law if "the child is being educated at the child's home by his or her parent or legal guardian in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar." MCL §380.1561(3)(f).

Parents or guardians that register their home schools must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree to be qualified to teach their children. Families whose religious beliefs preclude the teacher certification requirements are exempt. MDE: Home Schooling in Michigan, July 2016.

The annual reporting of a home school to the MDE is voluntary. It is not required unless the student has special needs and is requesting special education services from the local public school or intermediate school district. MDE: Home Schooling in Michigan, July 2016.

A home school may operate as a nonpublic school, but under this option the home school must be in compliance with the approved nonpublic school regulations . MCL §380.1561(3)(a) and 4.

The Michigan Department of Education annually requests information from nonpublic schools on the number of students in each grade, teacher qualifications, courses of study offered, and assurance that the nonpublic school complies with the criminal history check requirements that are compiled to create the Nonpublic School Membership Report. MCL §388.555; Sheridan Road Baptist Church v Department of Education, 426 Mich 462, 472, n 5; 396 NW2d 373 (Michigan Supreme Court, 1986) and Clonlara, Inc v State Board of Education, 442 Mich 230, 242, 501 NW2d 88 (Michigan Supreme Court, 1993).

Homeschool students may participate in state assessments. Any student may contact the resident school district and take the test administered at that school district. MCL §§380.1279g and 388.1704b.

A homeschool student's assessment scores will be reported individually to the student. Nonpublic and Home School Information, 2016-17.

Homeschool students may enroll in "nonessential elective courses," such as band, drama, art, physical education, music, computer, and Advanced Placement courses at the resident public school. MCL §388.1766b. Snyder v. Charlotte Public School District, 365 N.W.2d 151 (Mich. 1984).

The Michigan Virtual School is an online technology-based program to expand access to middle and high school courses available to home-school students. The online courses range from general study to Advanced Placement, and are also available during the summer. A pricelist is available online. Nonpublic and Home School Information, 2016-17.

Permission for participation in interscholastic activities is at the discretion of the local public school district. MDE: Home Schooling in Michigan, July 2016.

Private School Option:

A private, denominational or parochial school is defined as "any school other than a public school giving instruction to children below the age of 16 years, in the first 8 grades as provided for the public schools of the state, such school not being under the exclusive supervision and control of the officials having charge of the public schools of the state." Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) §388.552.

Nonpublic schools (a private, denominational, or parochial school) may participate in the following accreditation programs: Michigan Association of Nonpublic Schools or North Central Association. Nonpublic and Home School Information, 2016-17.

Nonpublic schools satisfying the compulsory school attendance statute must be approved by the state. MCL §380.1561(3)(a).

If a nonpublic school claims an objection to teacher certification based upon a sincerely held religious belief, the minimum education requirements for teachers are waived. People v. DeJonge (442 Mich. 266).

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the nonpublic school act (MCL §§388.551 et seq.; Michigan Statutes Annotated 15.1921 et seq.) did not require a nonpublic school be in session for the number of days required for public schools. Clonlara, Inc. v State Board of Education (442 Mich. 252).

Nonpublic schools must provide courses of mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies, in every grade. Nonpublic and Home School Information, 2016-17.

English must be the basic language of instruction in any nonpublic school. This mandate does not prohibit religious instruction in a foreign language, classes to become conversant in a foreign language, or bilingual instruction to assist limited English-speaking students. MCL §380.1151.

Nonpublic schools are prohibited from utilizing textbooks and learning materials that promote or foster physical or mental stereotypes. MCL §§37.1401 and 37.1402.

Children enrolling in school or in grade seven for the first time must present a certificate of immunization, a statement of exemption based on a physician's recommendation or a religious conviction. A school administrator must not admit a student unless he or she has received a minimum of one dose of immunizing agent against each disease specified or is exempt. MCL §§ 333.9208, 333.9215 and 380.1177.

Contact Information

Michigan Department of Education
P.O. Box 30008
608 West Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373-1833
Fax: (517) 241-0496

Source: United States Department of Education - Michigan State Regulations

From the Michigan Department of Education

Michigan parents have the right to home school their children. Home school education is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

Intent to Home School Notification

The annual reporting of a home school to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is voluntary.

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.

Curriculum / Textbooks

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.

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.

Required Subjects

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.

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, home-schooled 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.

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).

Dual Enrollment Public School

Home-schooled students may enroll in nonessential elective classes at the resident public school subject to the district’s enrollment policy.

Interscholastic Athletics

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 visit the MHSAA website.

Special Education

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Michigan Home Schooling Links

Source: Michigan Department of Education

Updated 29 December 2021

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