Truth About Homeschooling in VA – Virginia Homeschool Laws

By Dr. Jon

State laws change from time to time and though we try to keep the laws up-to-date at all times please check with the department of education for any changes that may have occurred.

There are many reasons to seriously consider homeschooling: you’re in control of what your children are learning, you get to decide how much time you want to spend on different subjects, you can adapt the material to suit your children’s needs, and you don’t have to worry about your children dealing with schoolyard bullies.

Whether you’ve already made this decision or you just plan to, we’re here to show you how to homeschool in VA. We’ll help you make full use of the educational potential of Virginia, let you in on the Virginia homeschooling laws, and offer you a diverse range of useful online homeschool resources that will guarantee your homeschooling success. Use the infographic and video below to help you create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschooling in VA

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The Old Dominion

The first colony in British America, Virginia boasts plenty of history and culture – it’s definitely a great place to start homeschooling your children.

Nature lovers will have a great time exploring this beautiful Mid-Atlantic state. Hike through the Grayson Highlands State Park, enjoy the beautiful views of the Kiptopeke State Park, or go boating on the Smith Mountain Lake – you’re bound to find something to suit your taste.

If your children are into art, they’ll love the many museums and galleries Virginia has to offer. The Workhouse Arts Center, in Lorton, the Williamsburg Art Gallery, and the McGuffey Art Center, in Charlottesville are just three of them – and you’ve also got two dedicated Children’s Museums in Portsmouth and Richmond.

History buffs will love the Historic Jamestowne, in Williamsburg, and the Frontier Culture Museum, in Staunton. More recent history is also well represented in places such as the National Museum of the Marine Corps, in Triangle, and the Virginia Holocaust Museum, in Richmond.

Homeschooling in VA: Requirements

Virginia homeschool laws give you three options if you plan to homeschool in Virginia: operating under the homeschool statute, teaching as private tutor, and invoking religious exemptions.

The first option is also the most demanding. By August 15 of each school year, you’ll have to send in a notice of intent to the division superintendent, in which you’ll specify the list of subjects to be taught and proof of your qualifications (in this case, at least a high-school diploma). You’ll then have to offer at least 180 days or 990 hours of instruction, and have your children evaluated either via standardized tests, or by an education specialist. The assessment results must be reported to the division superintendent by August 1 of each school year. You’ll also have to keep immunization records, and be able to provide them to the division superintendent, if required.

The second option is available to parents holding a state teaching certificate. In this case, you’ll only need to send in a one-time notice of intent, and provide 180 days or 990 hours of instruction. There are no assessment requirements and no compulsory list of subjects. Just like with the first option, you’ll have to keep and be able to produce immunization records.

The third option allows you to operate without any legal constraints, if you claim – and receive – religious exemption from the local superintended. There are no homeschool requirements whatsoever in this case, but the immunization provisions still apply.

Part-time enrollment in the local public school and participation in extracurricular activities are all at the local district’s discretion, but the Virginia homeschool requirements don’t allow homeschooled children to benefit from public school special needs services.

Virginia Homeschool Friendliness Grade

Virginia gets a C, mostly because the homeschooling in Virginia requirements are a bit more demanding than the average. However, serious homeschoolers won’t find it difficult to get by, and the legal requirements also act as guidelines for the beginning home educator.

Conclusion

Though the homeschool laws in Virginia might be a bit demanding, homeschooling in VA should be a great experience. You’ve got some freedom in choosing how to go about homeschooling your children, and you’ve got a great homeschooling community right at your fingertips.

Get connected today by joining a homeschooling support group, and start homeschooling your children in the beautiful Old Dominion. For any questions related to homeschooling, feel free to contact us – we’re always here to help you!

Resources

Here’s a selection of websites covering the homeschool laws in VA and help on how to homeschool in Virginia:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/VA/ - the official HSLDA page has everything you need to know about VA homeschool laws, as well as plenty of local news and information

http://vahomeschoolers.org/ - the official website of the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is a great place to find info on VA homeschooling laws, as well as resources, events, and tips on how to start homeschooling in VA

http://heav.org/- the Home Educators Association of Virginia is a Christian organization open to homeschoolers of all faiths. It’s a great place to find anything you need about homeschooling in Virginia, including a comprehensive guide on how to get started

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