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Virginia Homeschool Laws

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Explore the laws related to starting and maintaining a homeschool in the state of Virginia with this article. You can learn about all the steps for setting up a homeschool for your children and locate resources that can help you succeed in this endeavor.

Homeschool Criteria

The state of Virginia has set up four different options for parents who wish to homeschool their children. Parents who have a high school diploma or who are certified or eligible for certification as a teacher in Virginia are automatically permitted to homeschool.

You can also verify your ability to homeschool by supplying the state with some form of study program, such as a correspondence course or other type of distance learning option that your children will use to study. Finally, you can speak with your local school district and find out what the educational requirements are for your area. If you can provide proof that you can adequately educate your child about what he or she should know, then you will be allowed to homeschool.

Getting Set Up

You will need to file a Notice of Intent with the superintendent of your local school division every year that you intend to homeschool your children. You must complete this notice by August 15th. This form should include information about what you're going to teach your children, as well as proof that your meet one of the homeschooling options discussed above. You can find this form on the Virginia Department of Education's website (www.doe.virginia.gov).

You must also provide proof that your children have been immunized properly in order to maintain a homeschool in Virginia.

Reporting Progress

Every year that you homeschool your children in Virginia you will need to provide proof that they are meeting certain academic standards. Depending on the age of your child, this could involve meeting score requirements on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT or PSAT. You can help your children prepare for these exams by checking out these online study courses:

These study guides are self-paced and feature easy-to-understand video lessons that can help kids go over the mathematics and language arts concepts they'll be tested on by these exams. Kids can access interactive quizzes and worksheets to measure their readiness for the tests and contact expert instructors if they have questions about what they're reviewing.

Younger children may need to be assessed by a licensed teacher or a person having a master's degree in an academic field that can adequately evaluate the student's achievements. This individual can write an evaluation letter stating that the child is progressing adequately. Report cards from correspondence schools or other educational institutes can also be accepted.

You can check out these homeschool courses to provide kids in different grade levels with extra practice in different subjects. These courses cover the sciences, arts, social studies and more. Younger children can use courses like Science for Kids, English Language Arts for Kids and Math for Kids to go over material they should know at their grade levels.

Other Options

Tutoring

If you are a tutor certified as a teacher in the state of Virginia, you may also homeschool your children. You will need to submit a different form to the superintendent and you can then teach inside or outside of the home. This method of homeschooling does not require yearly tests. Additionally, you don't have to file a yearly Notice of Intent if you homeschool in this manner, you simply have to keep your certification as an educator current.

Religious Laws

There are certain educational exemptions available on a religious basis in the state of Virginia. Removing children from school through these provisions can only be done due to religious reasons and will be at the discretion of the school board. Once a school board has determined that a family has satisfied criteria for removing their child or children from public school for religious reasons, families will not need to follow homeschooling requirements for assessment and will not need to file a yearly Notice of Intent.

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