Compulsory school attendance begins when your child turns 5 and continues until your child completes one of the following:

  • turns 18,
  • obtains a high school diploma or GED, or
  • completes a program of regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in public schools to children of the same age.

If your child turns 5 during the school year, you can have him or her excused from the attendance laws for that school year. To do that, send your superintendent of schools a written request before that school year begins. HSLDA members may use our attorney-designed sample exemption request below.

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 Maryland 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.