Minimum Course of Study and Curriculum Development

Curriculum Development 

To educate your student at home, you will need a plan of action: a curriculum. There is a wide variety of approaches to educating at home – from personal instruction in each subject by a parent, to hiring tutors, or purchasing online curriculums or enrolling in virtual schools. 

Many parents purchase workbooks with age appropriate material and have their students complete worksheets. Many similar resources can be found online. 

Ultimately, as their Home Study educator, you are responsible for making the decisions about what specific topics your student will be studying and what methods you will use to teach them. 

We recommend gathering from as many resources as you can find – start by searching the internet for home school curriculums for the age of your student. Join home school communities on social media, and indicate on your enrollment form that you want to join our mail list which can share important events and information within the Vermont Home Study community. 

Compile your goals, curriculum and resources, and create a plan for your student that works for your family. You should have an idea of what times you will study what topics, and how you will structure your student's time in study, and what materials they will use to learn. Don't be afraid to adapt your plan as your student learns, changes, and grows. Having a structured plan that is still flexible is great approach to learning.  

Minimum Course of Study (MCOS) 

The Minimum Course of Study (MCOS) is a document that we require to show us what specific skills and topics you will be working on in each of the required categories: math, science, reading and writing, history/civics/government, and literature. Students under 13 need to study art, physical education and health as well. 

While you should have the plan and materials that will determine how long and how profoundly those topics are covered, we only need to know the scope of your student’s educational plan for the year, and not the methods. 

The Minimum Course of Study can be submitted online as a standalone document here, as part of your enrollment packet, or printed and mailed.

Samples of the Minimum Course of Study (MCOS) 


MCOS Exemption 

16 VSA §166b(k): A VT home study program that has successfully completed the last two consecutive school years of home study with any enrolled child, provided those two years fall within the most recent five years, shall not thereafter be required to submit an annual detailed outline or narrative describing the content of the minimum course of study.  

Home Study Enrollments must be received or clearly postmarked by midnight, August 1, to be considered complete year for purposes of the MCOS exemption. The student must not have been withdrawn during the school year, for this to be considered a school year.  

An MCOS must be submitted for each child who is 12 years old at the time the enrollment (even if the student is eligible for the exemption). See 16 V.S.A. §166b (k). Please note that the EOYA must accompany the enrollment forms to be eligible for the exemption, for all years except 2021-2022. 

The MCOS exemption is extended to all students in a family. If one student earns the exemption, then all of the students in the family receive the exemption. The same applies for students who lose the exemption. If one student in a family loses the exemption, then all students in the family lose the exemption.