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Homeschooling With Disabilities: Legalities & Procedures To Know

By June 5, 20233 Comments

We know and support a growing number of families who are homeschooling with disabilities. If you’re just beginning the journey (or exploring the possibility), here are some legalities and procedures to know.

Homeschooling with disabilities in Kansas

Kansas has no additional requirements for homeschooling children with special needs.

The same steps apply for getting a homeschool started. You must officially register your homeschool with the state department of education and formally withdraw from the current school, if applicable.

(See our templates for writing a withdrawal letter here.)

What if my child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

Many experts, including the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), advise homeschoolers to be a little more detailed in documentation when taking a child who has an IEP out of school.

When your child is formally un-enrolled from the former school and officially enrolled in your homeschool, the IEP is no longer in effect.

dyslexia resources for KC-area homeschoolers

If you want, you can state that in your withdrawal letter. It could just say “The IEP signed on _______ (date) is no longer applicable to ___________ (child’s name) . __________ (Child’s name) is now enrolled in _________(name of your school) on ________, YEAR.”

At any time, you can rewrite an IEP for your homeschool. It can include whatever goals you wish: physical, academic, life skills, spiritual, communication, social, etc.

We also highly recommend homeschoolers of special needs children to join HSLDA. They can also advise you on the legal aspects of an IEP. (And when you join MPE, you can get a $15 discount off your annual HSLDA membership!)

Homeschooling with disabilities in Missouri

Missouri also has no additional legal requirements for homeschooling a child with special needs. You can read the steps to starting a homeschool in Missouri here, including three requirements:

  1. Tracking your child’s work samples
  2. Keeping a record of periodic assessments
  3. Documenting 1,000 hours of instruction during your set school term

What if my child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

The Families for Home Education in Missouri (FHE) explains that parents in Missouri must revoke consent for IEP services in writing, when removing their child from the current school.

According to IDEA 2009 revisions, the school must then provide you with written notice about their intentions for your child.

You can see FHE’s sample IEP release letter here.

Resources for those homeschooling with disabilities

Take heart – you have many resources available in your journey!

One of them is PossAbilities, a pediatric therapy clinic run by Jean Wetherilt. Jean is our struggling learners coordinator, a veteran homeschool mom, and an occupational therapist. (She also helps coordinate the special needs track for our annual homeschool conference.)

Wendy Hanson, an MPE member, is responsible for starting one of the resources on this list: a Facebook support group. You can read more about her story here.

We have updated this blog post, originally published in December 2020, for timeliness and detail.

Shanxi Omoniyi

Shanxi Omoniyi (@ShanxiO on Twitter) is MPE's online content director. A homeschool alumna, Shanxi graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in journalism and English. Her company, Wordspire Media, helps businesses and nonprofits share their stories through content marketing, social media management, and email marketing.


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