When your child has reached his or her 7th birthday by the start of the school term, you must begin complying with Missouri’s compulsory attendance law.
As the homeschool parent, you have the ability to choose the date on which your family’s annual “school term” begins. However, this date would apply to all students in your family and must not be changed throughout the duration of your homeschool.
If you decide to begin your child’s education before their 7th birthday in a formal way—providing regular instruction, keeping a logbook, and keeping track of topics of instruction—it is best to stay in compliance with all of Missouri’s homeschooling guidelines from that point forward, even if your child has not technically reached the age of compulsory attendance.
Similarly, if you've already enrolled your child in a public school at age 5 or 6, he or she must obey the compulsory attendance law immediately until you formally request in writing that your child be dropped from that school’s attendance rolls.
Once your child reaches his or her 17th birthday, he or she is no longer subject to any of the compulsory attendance laws.
If you determine that your child of any age has earned 16 credits toward high school graduation (with a credit being at least 100 hours of instruction in a subject), he or she is exempt from the compulsory school laws.
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 Missouri 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.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.