The Compulsory Age Cutoff for 6 y/o and Homeschooling Kindergarten by Sue Duncan
The compulsory attendance laws require that your district superintendent be notified where all children between the ages of 6 years old and 18 years old are being “educated.” This is the COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE in Ohio.
If you have a child who will be 6 years old by September 30th, you may be required by your school district to file a notification of intention to home educate for that child – or enroll that child in the public/private system. For other districts, the child must be six years old by August 1st in order for you to file or enroll.
CHECK WITH YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE REGARDING THEIR COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE CUT-OFF DATE FOR SIX-YEAR OLDS. (It is not necessary to have any conversation with your district other than to inquire regarding the compulsory school age date for 6 year olds.)
Why is this important?
If your district’s cutoff date is August 1st – and your child turns 6 on August 15th – you will NOT need to file your notification of intention to home educate until the following school year. (E.G… child turns 6 y/o on 8/15/2001 – you would file next fall- 2002-2003 school year.)
If your district’s cutoff date is September 30th – and your child turns 6 on August 15th, you WILL need to file your notification of intention to home educate for the current new term. (E.G. child turns 6 y/o on 8/15/2001 – you would file for this school year, 2001-2002.)
If your district’s cutoff date is September 30th (or August 1st) and your child turns 6 years old on October 14th…or any day after September 30th…you would NOT need to file your notification of intention to home educate until the following school year. (E.G. … child turns 6 y/o on 10/14/2001 – you would file next fall, 2002-2003 school year.)
Importantly, it is suggested that you do NOT file for a child for whom you would not be required under the law to do so…that is, a child who will not be eligible under your district’s 6 y/o cutoff date.
WHY NOT? Should you file for a 5 year old, for example, be advised that you will also be required to fulfill ALL the requirements under the home education regulations, including assessment, even though this child does not meet the compulsory attendance requirements. Should you decide you have made a mistake and wish to no longer continue to homeschool the 5 y/o, but wait until the next year to begin formal homeschooling, the district will still require an academic assessment of the work done. The following school year would be considered a “subsequent” year and such assessment would be required in order for you to be in compliance with the regulations for continuing home educators.
AND, homeschooling KINDERGARTEN does not count in the eyes of the public school system as an approved program. Kindergarten in Ohio must be “approved.” A child who homeschools kindergarten is not necessarily automatically eligible for first grade in the public system. (Private schools would certainly have their own requirements in this regard.)
In the public system, there is in place a process of review and interview which must be followed if a child is to be homeschooled for age 5 (Kindergarten ) and then asks to be placed in the first grade in public school.
So…A WORD TO THE WISE…do not file if it is not required. You certainly may homeschool that child if you choose to do so, but why jump through Ohio’s official hoops when doing so may have unnecessary consequences?
Prepared by S.M.Duncan , June, 2001 (Do not reprint for publication or distribution with prior permission)