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West Virginia Homeschool Laws

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The number of students being homeschooled in West Virginia is on the rise. If you're considering this option for your children, read on to learn about the state's laws and requirements, along with resources to help you get started.

How to Homeschool in the Mountain State

Parents wishing to homeschool their children in West Virginia must notify the local county board of education two weeks prior to removing students from public school. They must also meet several requirements:

  • Schooling must take place at the child's home or a location approved by the county board.
  • The person teaching the child must have a high school diploma (or the equivalent).
  • A plan of instruction for the school year must be presented in advance.
  • The amount of time a child spends receiving homeschooled instruction must equal the time children spend in public school in their county.
  • Annual assessments measuring math, science, social studies, reading, and language arts skills must be performed, with results submitted to the county board.

Assessment Requirements

Homeschooled students must be assessed by one of four methods:

  • Standardized Tests: Students take a standardized, nationally normed test chosen by their parents. The test must be less than ten years old.
  • Portfolio Review: Parents submit a portfolio of their homeschooled child's work, progress and performance to a certified teacher who reviews it, provides feedback and makes any appropriate recommendations.
  • In-School Tests: Homeschooled students take state tests at a local public school. Parents need to arrange in-school testing in advance through their county board.
  • Alternative Assessment: Parents submit an alternative form of assessment, such as the results of a college entrance exam, grades from an online course, or a performance log. Any alternative assessment method must be approved in advance by the county's superintendent of schools.

Instructional Support

In West Virginia, the law dictates that school boards must provide any instructional materials, including textbooks, that are requested by parents. Upon a parent's request, homeschooled students may also attend individual classes at their local schools. When creating a homeschool curriculum, however, parents may utilize a variety of additional resources, some of which are outlined below.

Online Instructional Resources

Online classes and lessons are a flexible and convenient resource for homeschool instruction. Study.com offers more than 100 courses for homeschoolers. All are developed and taught by professional educators, and feature short video lessons, along with quizzes and exams to measure progress. Parents may use entire courses, or choose individual chapters and lessons to serve as supplemental instruction tools. To see what these courses offer, check out a few examples for each of the five subjects in which homeschool students are assessed in West Virginia:

Assessment Area Sample Study.com Online Courses Available
Math 3rd - 5th Grade Math, 6th - 8th Grade Math, High School Geometry
Science Science Experiments and Projects, Middle School Chemistry, High School Physics
Social studies Middle School Geography, High School US History
Reading AP English Literature, Grade 8 Literature
Language arts English Grammar Rules, Middle School Language Arts

Additional Support for Homeschooling Parents

Parents who are considering or planning to homeschool their children may also want to connect with state and local support groups for homeschoolers. These groups offer parents a chance to network and learn from each other, attend conferences and plan group field trips. The West Virginia Home Educators Association website provides information on a number of support groups located throughout the state.

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