State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Michigan and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Summaries and Explanations of Michigan Homeschooling Laws
Nonpublic & Home Schools
This information is provided by the Michigan Department of Education.
Legal Issues in Michigan
A brief history of the legal situation regarding home schooling in Michigan.
Home Education Options Under Michigan Law
A basic summary of the options available to home educating parents in Michigan. Discusses Michigan's compulsory school attendance law, home educating under execption (3)(a) as a non-public school, home educating under execption (3)(f) as a non-public school, the Michigan Department of Education's position on the exemptions, and the role of local and intermediate school districts.
Michigan Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Michigan. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Michigan.
Michigan Statutes Pertaining to Home Education
380.1561 Compulsory attendance at public school; enrollment dates; exceptions.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every parent, guardian, or other person in this state having control and charge of a child from the age of 6 to the child's sixteenth birthday shall send that child to a public school during the entire school year. The child's attendance shall be continuous and consecutive for the school year fixed by the school district in which the child is enrolled. In a school district that maintains school during the entire calendar year and in which the school year is divided into quarters, a child is not required to attend the public school more than 3 quarters in 1 calendar year, but a child shall not be absent for 2 or more consecutive quarters. (2) A child becoming 6 years of age before December 1 shall be enrolled on the first school day of the school year in which the child's sixth birthday occurs. A child becoming 6 years of age on or after December 1 shall be enrolled on the first school day of the school year following the school year in which the child's sixth birthday occurs. (3) A child is not required to attend a public school in any of the following cases: (a) The child is attending regularly and is being taught in a state approved nonpublic school, which teaches subjects comparable to those taught in the public schools to children of corresponding age and grade, as determined by the course of study for the public schools of the district within which the nonpublic school is located. (b) The child is less than 9 years of age and does not reside within 2-1/2 miles by the nearest traveled road of a public school. If transportation is furnished for pupils in the school district of the child's residence, this subdivision does not apply. (c) The child is age 12 or 13 and is in attendance at confirmation classes conducted for a period of 5 months or less. (d) The child is regularly enrolled in a public school while in attendance at religious instruction classes for not more than 2 class hours per week, off public school property during public school hours, upon written request of the parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis under rules promulgated by the state board. (e) The child has graduated from high school or has fulfilled all requirements for high school graduation. (f) 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. (4) For a child being educated at the child's home by his or her parent or legal guardian, exemption from the requirement to attend public school may exist under either subsection (3)(a) or (3)(f), or both.
388.553 Private, denominational and parochial schools; teachers, qualifications, examinations.
No person shall teach or give instruction in any of the regular or elementary grade studies in any private, denominational or parochial school within this state who does not hold a certificate such as would qualify him or her to teach in like grades of the public schools of the state: Provided, however, That any person who shall have taught in any elementary school or schools of the standard specified in this act for a period of 10 years or more preceding the passage of this act, shall, upon filing proof of service with the superintendent of public instruction, be entitled to a certificate by said superintendent of public instruction in such form as he shall prescribe, to teach in any of the said schools within the state: Provided further, That teaching in such schools shall be equivalent to teaching in the public schools for all purposes in obtaining a certificate: Provided further, That the teachers affected by this act may take any examination as now provided by law and that the superintendent of public instruction may direct such other examinations at such time and place as he may see fit. In all such examinations 2 sets of questions shall be prepared in subjects ordinarily written on Saturday, 1 of which sets shall be available for use on Wednesday by applicants who observe Saturday as their Sabbath: Provided further, That any certificate issued under or by virtue of this act shall be valid in any county in this state for the purpose of teaching in the schools operated under this act: Provided further, That any person holding a certificate issued by the authorities of any recognized or accredited normal school, college or university of this or other state shall be entitled to certification as now provided by law: Provided, however, That teachers employed in such private, denominational or parochial schools when this act takes effect shall have until September first, 1925, to obtain a legal certificate as herein provided.
Home School Laws from HSLDA
Find the laws pertaining to home education for all 50 states and U.S. territories.
388.555 School investigation and examination; failure to permit, cause for suspension.
The superintendent of public instruction by himself, his assistants, or any duly authorized agent, shall have authority at any time to investigate and examine into the conditions of any school operating under this act as to the matters hereinbefore set forth and it shall be the duty of such school to admit such superintendent, his assistants or authorized agents and to submit for examination its sanitary condition, the records of enrollment of pupils, its courses of studies as set forth in section 1 of this act and the qualifications of its teachers. Any refusal to comply with provisions herein on the part of such school or teacher shall be considered sufficient cause to suspend the operation of said school after proceedings taken as stated in section 4 of this act.
388.551 Private, denominational, and parochial schools; etc.
The superintendent of public instruction has supervision of all the private, denominational, and parochial schools of this state in such matters and manner as provided in this act. The superintendent of public instruction shall employ assistants and employees as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this act. The number of assistants and employees is subject to the approval of the state administrative board. The salaries and expenses shall be paid by the state treasurer from the fund designated in this act at the time and in the manner as other state officers and employees are paid. The superintendent of public instruction may remove any appointee under this act at any time that the superintendent of public instruction considers advisable. It is the intent of this act that the sanitary conditions of the schools subject to this act, the courses of study in those schools, and the qualifications of the teachers in those schools shall be of the same standard as provided by the general school laws of this state.
Case Law and Legal Opinions
Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
In Pierce v. Society of the Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the creature of the state."
Clonlara v. State Board of Education (1993)
In 1993, the Michigan Supreme Court in Clonlara, Inc v State Board of Education (442 Mich 252) ruled that the Nonpublic School Act did not require a nonpublic school to be in session for 180 days required for public schools.
Reid v. Kenowa Hills Public Schools (2004)
On March 2, 2004, the Court of Appeals of Michigan affirmed a trial court grant of summary judgment for a school district finding that Michigan statutes do not require public schools to allow home schooled children to participate in extracurricular athletics.
People v. DeJonge (1993)
The DeJonge case approached the quest for the right to homeschool from a religious convictions standpoint. The ruling essentially granted a state-wide religious exemption from teacher certification to all parents who are opposed to teacher certification on religious grounds.
Snyder v. Charlotte Schools (1984)
Snyder v Charlotte Public School District held that private school students have a statutory right to enroll in “non-core” classes at public schools.
Sheridan Road Baptist Church v. Department of Education (1984)
The Nonpublic School Membership Report (Form SM4325) is an annual report used by the Department. Information requested on the form includes the number of students in each grade, teacher qualifications, and the course of study offered. Use of the form is authorized by section 5 of the Nonpublic School Act, and was approved by the Michigan Supreme Court in Sheridan Road Baptist Church v Department of Education.
Government Publications
Teacher Certification Requirements for the State of Michigan
This Department of Education document lists the basic requirements to become certified to teach in the state of Michigan.
Michigan Department of Education Information on Nonpublic and Home Schools
This document is published by the Department of Education and is designed to assist homeschooling parents with their questions regarding home education in the state of Michigan.
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