Virginia Homeschool Laws
Under Virginia Homeschool laws, a Virginia homeschool is not considered a school. Regardless of this “law” you can still homeschool. Clearly someone needs to get rid of that law because it is confusing and probably just hasn’t been changed in the old books.
To homeschool your child in this state there are some rules and guidelines to follow but they aren’t too ridged. Virginia is fairly flexible when it comes to homeschooling and just over 40,000 parent’s homeschool their children. You also have four options to choose from. There are gray areas involving attendance and there doesn’t seem to be much in place as to how many hours or what curriculum to follow. Just make sure you select a curriculum to follow and always keep great records handy.
Education in the state of VA starts at age 5 and high school should be completed by age 18. After your child is 18, they don’t need to follow school laws. If your child receives a high school diploma or GED before their 18th birthday they also don’t need to comply with school laws in VA.
Virginia Homeschool Laws – Getting Started
Notice of Intent to start home instruction
Under the Home Instructions Statute, parents need to submit a letter of intent to document the fact that they plan on homeschooling their child. If you plan on homeschooling your child for the following year, you must submit this to your local school board division to the superintendent by August 15th otherwise, you will have to wait until the next year to start homeschooling. This doesn’t have to be an official form, but the school boards have one if you need something to follow.
Withdrawing your child for school and high school diploma/GED
If you want to start homeschooling during the school year you should formally withdraw and provide a notice to your county school board. Obviously this doesn’t apply if your child has never attended public school, but if you are beginning to homeschool and your child is five years of age you should let your school board know of your intent to homeschool.
Also in the state of Virginia, a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient enough to demonstrate that a child has completed their secondary education requirements.
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, attendance laws no longer apply, even if the child is under 18 years old.
Four options for legal Virginia homeschooling
You have some options if you want to homeschool your child in VA. You can either homeschool under homeschool instruction, with a religious exemption, with a certified tutor, or homeschool under a private school – either at the school or at home.
Option one: homeschooling under home instruction:
- Make sure you have one of the four home instruction qualifications
- File an annual notice with your school superintendent
- Provide an evaluation of your child, annually
Option two: Virginia homeschooling with a religious exemption:
- Send the religious exemption application notice/letter to your school superintendent
- Get a reply letter to your religious exemption letter from the school board
- Exempt any additional children
- You may need to reapply the next year
Option three: certified tutor homeschooling
- Have a certified Virginia teacher who has a license and the superintendent needs to approve him or her as a tutor for your homeschooling situation
- Once a tutor is approved, he or she can tutor your child along with their own children if they want to
Option four: Virginia homeschooling with a private school
- VA law allows private school students to attend school without physically being present at the school
- Make sure your child is attending the same number of hours a day and days in the year just as public schools in Virginia
- If the private school student is receiving instruction at home it has to resemble what they are learning at the private school
Virginia Homeschool Laws – Record Keeping
So you are in compliance with the VA homeschooling laws make sure you keep any correspondence with the superintendent of your county school system regarding your homeschooling. You should always keep your student attendance records, work from your student, textbooks, projects, grading policies and anything that is pertinent to your homeschooling activities with your child.
You also need to make sure you keep results from a standardized test and any evaluations or assessments that you give your child. This shows academic progress of your child, as well as proof they are being homeschooled and these, are submitted annually, by August 1st.
Virginia Homeschool Curriculum
Here’s a recommended Virginia homeschool curriculum.
Virginia Homeschool Attendance Policies
You do not have to keep attendance records however it is advised to do so; as long as your child is attending homeschool it is best to keep these records. Make sure you are following the state compulsory laws regarding age of attendance.
Virginia Homeschool Vaccine Laws
According to Virginia Homeschool vaccine laws, your child is supposed to be vaccinated; a superintendent may request the homeschool vaccine records. This is kind of a gray area so contacting the Virginia Department of Health and Human Services is best.
VA Dept. of Health & Human Services: (804) 864-8055
Virginia homeschool laws are a little tougher than many other states, but it is easily accomplished so long as you do your reading and understand the state laws.
If you want to homeschool your child in Virginia you should, of course, follow all Virginia homeschooling laws and regulations. Make sure you are giving them standardized tests as these have to be submitted annually. Also, keep good records and make sure you have everything ready to submit the progress and testing reports to your superintendent on August 1st – the previous school years information. If you have any further questions or specifics you want answered check out the VA homeschooling official laws below.
Visit the official Virginia Homeschool state resource here.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.