Beginning in the school year during which your child is or will be 5 by September 30, you must start following Virginia’s compulsory school law.

Your child can be exempted if he or she is (or will be) 5 by September 30 but will not be 6 by September 30. Notify your school board that you do not want your child to attend school until the following year because the child is not yet mentally, physically, or emotionally ready. Send your notification in writing and keep a copy. The school board is required to exempt your child.

Once your child reaches his or her 18th birthday, he or she is no longer required to obey the school laws.

If a child graduates from high school and receives a high school diploma or the equivalent, or if a child gets a passing score on the GED or other equivalency test approved by the Virginia Board of Education, school attendance laws no longer apply, even if he or she has not yet turned 18.

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 Virginia 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.