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.
You live in West Virginia and you’re considering educating your child at home, or perhaps you plan to move to West Virginia and want to continue offering your children the best home-based education; if you want to know how to start homeschooling in WV, you’ve come to the right place! Read on and you’ll find specific details related to home school option in West Virginia, WV homeschooling laws and, to make sure you’ll be informed all the way, a selection of the best West Virginia-related homeschooling websites and an infographic and video to help you create a homeschool that thrives.
This Appalachian state is a great place to start taking full control of your children’s education. It’s got a great natural landscape, plenty of museums and learning centers, and the homeschooling community is quite active, too!
Nature lovers will enjoy hiking and boating in the many WV state parks, such as the Blackwater Falls State Park, near Davis, the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, or the Coopers Rock State Forest, near Bruceton Mills. The steep climbs of Seneca Rocks State Park are a challenge for the experienced mountaineer, and the Cacapon State Park, near Berkeley Springs, offers a great fishing experience.
Art enthusiasts will find something to do in West Virginia, too. The Huntington Museum of Art is a great place for adults and children alike, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, in Charleston, gives you the chance to mix science and arts in a truly amazing educational experience.
History buffs can visit the West Virginia State Museum for a comprehensive look at the state’s history, or enjoy a more discrete cultural experience at the Heritage Farm Museum and Village, in Huntington.
The homeschool statute in West Virginia offers two options: approval or notice.
The first one is mostly based around the decisions of the local school district. You’ll have to seek approval with the local school district, but exactly how this process works is entirely up to each specific district. You’ll then have to provide instruction for at least 180 days per year, and keep attendance and progress records. Compulsory subjects and the assessment procedures are, again, at the local district’s discretion.
The second option means that you’ll have to provide a one-time notice of intent to your local superintendent, on or before the date you’re going to start homeschooling. You’ll need at least a high-school diploma or the equivalent, and you’ll have to provide instruction in mathematics, reading, language, science and social studies. You’ll also need to have your children assessed in grades 3, 5, 8 and 11, either by a standardized test (in or out of the local public school), or by a portfolio assessment. You can find more information on the assessment procedure here.
Homeschooled children may benefit from part-time enrollment in the public school, if the local district allows such option, and they’re also legally entitled to public school special needs services. However, taking part in public school extracurricular activities is not available.
We’re giving WV a C in terms of homeschool friendliness, because the legal requirements are a bit too demanding, and the approval procedure might discourage some. However, there’s really nothing wrong with the WV homeschool laws, and, just like in most other states, they’re made to act as guidelines for the practicing homeschooler.
Homeschooling in West Virginia shouldn’t be too difficult, in spite of the many legal demands. You’ve got a beautiful state to explore with your family, and the local homeschooling community is diverse, active, and willing to help. Get informed and start homeschooling today – it will be the experience of a lifetime!
For any questions regarding homeschooling in West Virginia, feel free to contact us – we’re always ready to help!
Here’s a selection of websites that will help you homeschool in WV:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/WV/ - the official HSLDA website is a great place to find legal information and news related to homeschool in WV
http://www.wvhea.org/ - the official website of the West Virginia Home Educators Association is a great place to get connected with fellow homeschoolers, find out more about how to homeschool in West Virginia, get informed on the WV homeschool laws, and find a local homeschooling support group
http://chewv.org/ - the Christian Home Educators of West Virginia is a useful website for new homeschoolers, with lots of useful advice on how to start homeschooling in WV