Kansas compulsory school attendance age
When your child reaches his or her 7th birthday, you must begin complying with Kansas’s compulsory attendance law.
Once your child reaches his or her 18th birthday, your child is no longer required to obey the school laws. A child can be exempted at age 16 if a simple process is followed, mostly involving the consent of the parents.
Please note: when you enroll your child in a public school, he or she is subject to compulsory attendance law immediately, no matter what age he or she is, until you withdraw him or her from public school.
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 Kansas 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 Kansas 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 Kansas’s homeschool law
In Kansas, your homeschool will be treated as a private school. There are two ways to do this.
Option 1: Homeschooling as a non-accredited private school:
To homeschool as a non-accredited private school, you’ll need to follow these legal requirements:
1. Register your private school.
Choose a name for your school. Register the name and address with the State Board of Education, and keep a copy of that registration for your personal files.
You must only register your private school’s name once, when you start homeschooling.
Note: Always refer to your homeschool as a private school when dealing with officials.
2. Select competent instructors.
Your child’s teacher(s) must be “competent.” That includes you, if you are teaching your child directly.
3. Teach for the required period.
You are required to teach your child for about the same period of time as the public schools. That’s usually 186 days.
4. There are no required subjects (but here’s what most schools teach).
There are no specific subject requirements in Kansas law. However, most schools teach (at a minimum):
- English grammar and composition,
- civil government,
- United States and Kansas history,
- patriotism and the duties of a citizen,
- health, and
5. Plan and schedule your instruction.
The law requires that your instruction be planned and scheduled.
6. Test your student periodically.
Option 2: Homeschooling as a satellite of a private school:
In the case of In Re Wilms, a Shawnee County court ruled that a family operating their homeschool program as a satellite of—and accountable to—a local private school board was in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws. This suggests that it would be possible for families in other counties to operate in a similar manner.
Members can contact HSLDA for more detailed guidance about this potential option.
The importance of recordkeeping
You can find Kansas’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.