Beginning when your child turns 6, you must start complying with Maine’s compulsory school law for that child. 

If a child is 5 and is enrolled in a public school, the child must attend that school during the time it is in session unless the child is withdrawn.

Once your child reaches his or her 17th birthday, he or she is no longer required to obey the school laws. Additionally, there are three ways your child can be excused from following the school laws before turning 17:

  • By graduating from high school,
  • By attending an accredited college full time with the approval of the Commissioner of Education, or,
  • If, after turning 15 or completing 9th grade, his or her parents and the local school board agree to release him or her from further school attendance. 

HSLDA believes that a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient to demonstrate that a child has completed a secondary education. However, even if your child is beyond compulsory school attendance age, there may be situations where you would want to continue to follow the requirements of a home education option recognized under Maine law until your child graduates from high school (filing a home education notice, keeping attendance and other records, etc.).

These records may be requested in some situations, such as obtaining a driver's license if your child is a minor, enlisting in the military, applying to colleges, or demonstrating eligibility for Social Security benefits. If you are a member of HSLDA and would like additional details, please contact us.