Homeschooling Guide for KC Parents
Homeschooling in Kansas City Guide
Easily navigate homeschooling your children with our complete Homeschool Guide!
There are so many things to consider – the best homeschool programs, virtual & online homeschool programs, homeschooling requirements, do I need an accredited homeschool program….the list goes on & on.
So, let us help you find all the answers you need to have a successful homeschooling experience with your family. Find all the info you need below:
Homeschooling Tips: How to Homeschool
As many families are thinking about school plans for next year, a growing number of families will choose to homeschool.
If you are one of them, here are a few tips to get a jump start on your homeschooling year:
- Talk with your kids.
Explain to them why you’re choosing to homeschool. Depending on the ages of your kids, this will look different. For a younger child, you may be playing together and say, “I’m so excited that we are going to spend more time playing and learning together at home.” With an older child, explain that you are eager for him to have extra time to pursue a passion of his. This will be an ongoing conversation throughout your child’s school years. Be sure to include your kids in the planning process so they can take ownership too. Our family has made posters with everyone’s reasons and we hang them in our school room.
- Develop relationships with another homeschool family or co-op.
These people will be your mentors and support system. Take the opportunity to learn from someone else’s experiences, ask lots of questions and develop allies.
- Visit a homeschool convention, used book sale, information night, or another event.
The Midwest Parent Educators convention offers a vendor hall and a variety of speakers. Take time to peruse the vendor hall and, if your kids are old enough, have them look with you. Listen to the speakers and absorb all that you can. Don’t buy anything on the first day. Think it over and come back the next day. Something I learned: it’s worth the cost of shipping if you decide to get something after the conference rather than buying a bunch of stuff that you don’t end up using. If you can’t make it to the convention, several libraries and co-ops will host events throughout the spring and summer to help you get started.
- Get a planner and start writing everything you do with your kids.
Better yet, get them in on the process and discuss it at the end of each day while you write. If they’re old enough, have them do the writing. We’ll talk about why later, just do it!
Homeschool Curriculum Ideas:
There are so many options when choosing the best homeschool curriculum for your family. Our homeschool expert Brigette gathered the best K-12 curriculums, depending on what your child’s needs are.
Homeschool PE & Other Activities
Whether you want to meet new homeschool families at homeschool PE or you’re looking for homeschool band groups, there are tons around KC.
The homeschooling requirements vary by state, so check your state website. You can find a summary of homeschool requirements by state & what laws apply to your family.
Homeschooling requirements for Missouri state when your child reaches their 7th birthday, they must adhere to Missouri’s compulsory attendance laws. You must also teach at least 100 hours per semester & maintain certain records of your child’s schooling. You can find more info about Missouri homeschool requirements on HSLDA’s website.
Homeschooling requirements for Kansas have low regulations and classify your homeschool as a private school. There are a few more requirements for homeschooling families in Kansas, so be sure to check Kansas requirements so you are complying with state laws.
Common Homeschool Questions
Before you start homeschooling, there are common questions most families have. We gathered our homeschool families together to get answers to your questions!
How much does it cost to home-school?
The cost to homeschool can vary greatly depending on how many children you’re educating, if it’s 100% virtual or in-person, or if there are teachers/tutors to guide your child. Or will the parent be guiding the student directly?
“Expect anywhere from $300 to $700 per year depending on how many courses you’re doing,” according to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
If you’re looking for ways to save on homeschooling, try these ideas:
- Utilize your local library as much as possible. MCPL offers tons of School Resources!
- Rent your textbooks instead of purchasing them.
- Take advantage of free homeschool resources
What qualifications do you need to homeschool your child?
In Missouri, parents are not required to have specific qualifications or credentials to homeschool their children. There are statutes on how much time must be spent on homeschooling.
“Parents are required to provide 1,000 hours of instruction each year. At least 600 of those hours must be in the five reading, math, social studies, language arts, and science, and at least 400 of those 600 must occur “at the regular home school location.” according to the Coalition for Responsible Homeschooling.
In Kansas, there is low regulation for homeschoolers. There are no state-mandated subjects and no specific qualifications for parents. According to HSLDA, “You are required to teach your child for about the same period of time as the public schools. That’s usually 186 days.” You can find more about homeschool laws in Kansas online!
Can you start homeschooling at any time?
You can begin homeschooling at any time during the school year. You can leave at any time if your child has academic problems, issues with other students, or another issue.
Many families choose to leave in-person schooling during the semester change, but it is doable at any point in the school year.
Do you get paid for homeschooling your kids?
The short answer is no, the government does not provide direct payments for homeschooling your children. While it’s a bummer you don’t get paid to homeschool, you can find financial assistance and grants at the state level depending on your income and location.
Do you get a tax credit for homeschooling?
There are no federal tax credits for homeschooling. According to Forbes, “There are no federal income tax breaks for homeschool parents. Homeschool parents may not claim the educator expense deduction, nor can tax-favored funds from a 529 plan be used to pay expenses for homeschool students.”
Speak with your tax specialist regarding state tax breaks. Some states allow for deductions and credits for certain expenses, but the tax code changes, so it’s always smart to be updated.
Libraries in Kansas City
Libraries are one of the best things for homeschool activities. So we gathered all the kids’ activities and programs at each Kansas City library around town – every library in the KC metro!
Explore what the libraries near you have to offer now…
Back to School as a Homeschool Family
If you’re wondering what “Back to School season is like for homeschooling families, it is nothing like the craziness of heading back to public (or private) schools.
While everyone else is rushing to pick up school supply lists, find backpacks, and prepare little ones for the emotional adjustment of entering school – we are lucky to just be able to continue life as is.
As you consider making some major changes in your educational journey, be sure to consider all parts of homeschooling. If you choose that route, consider what time of year you will begin.
Most families tend to withdraw their child or children at the end of the year to avoid any chaos with planning and major changes.
Another favorite time to start a homeschool journey is in between semesters. Again, there is less going on and families can make what I call a “clean break” from public school and an easy transition into homeschooling. If you are planning to go the homeschool route at any point, our guide will help you navigate!
Be sure to check out some of the online resources for curriculum ideas and beyond: