State Law: Idaho

Idaho compulsory school attendance age

Idaho law requires children to attend school from time they are 7 at the beginning of school in their district to their 16th birthday.

Unlike some other states, there is no “graduation” exception. So if your child graduates from your homeschool program before his or her 16th birthday, he or she is still subject to compulsory school attendance until he or she turns 16.

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 Idaho 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.

Withdrawing your child from his or her current school

If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.

We invite you to become a member of HSLDA to receive specific advice about withdrawing your child from school and starting to homeschool. Local schools may have specific forms or withdrawal procedures. HSLDA members are eligible to receive individualized advice about whether complying with those procedures is advisable or required. HSLDA members can also use the sample letter of withdrawal for Idaho available in Member Resources to correspond with school officials.

We generally recommend that any correspondence with authorities be sent by “Certified Mail—Return Receipt Requested.” Keep copies of the withdrawal letter and any other paperwork or correspondence, and any green postal receipts, for your personal records.

Note: If your child has never attended a public or private school, this section does not apply.

Complying with Idaho’s homeschool law

Idaho does not require homeschool parents to possess any particular qualifications, obtain school district approval, or test their children. If your public school district asks for information about your homeschool program, you are not legally required to furnish it. These are the steps to homeschool legally in Idaho:

1. Select an instructor. 

Under Idaho law, you can teach your children yourself. Alternatively, you can have another family member, relative, or unrelated person teach your children.

2. Teach the required subjects. 

You must teach your children subjects that are commonly and usually taught in the public schools of Idaho.

The importance of recordkeeping

You can find Idaho’s specific recordkeeping requirements, if any, above. Regardless of what state you live in, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.