Homeschooling in Virginia: How to begin

by Kathy Kuhl     Though I work with families across the world, I often hear from parents here in Virginia who want to begin to homeschool. Today I offer some advice for these Virginians. Next week I’ll have some general tips for beginning homeschoolers with children who learn differently.

In Virginia, to homeschooling legally, you must notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool. This “Notice of Intent” doesn’t have to be done with a form, though some school districts provide one. (Some county’s forms ask for more information than the law requires you to give.) You can send in a letter or use the sample forms linked below, as long as you meet the requirements of the law.

Virginia has two state homeschool organizations, Home Educators Association of Virginia and the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. Both have excellent websites. Their websites have good advice on submitting your notice of intent. (See the links at the end of this post.) I’ve been a member of both organizations for many years, and have written for both groups’ magazines.

Homeschool Law in Virginia

Remember, when you submit a notice of intent, you are not asking permission to homeschool. You will not be obtaining a teacher’s license.

You can read the Virginia homeschool statutes here, as of 2/27/2020.

Here’s a good explanation of the homeschool law in Virginia. It has lots of helpful links embedded in it, from the Home Education Association of VA. (BTW, I am not a lawyer, and neither this nor the websites should be construed as legal advice.) As an introduction to the law, I particularly like this flow chart.

How to Begin seminars, webinars and videos

There’s lots of helpful information here on HEAV’s site on beginning homeschooling in general. HEAV also gives excellent seminars and webinars on “How to Begin” and other topics. The first day of their annual convention always has workshops for beginners.

Our other state organization, The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, has great resources as well. They do a great job keeping up on legislation that affects homeschoolers in Virginia. I like their video introduction to homeschooling.

Here are the Virginia Department of Education Guidelines for Home Instruction.

What about hiring someone to teach my child?

Some parents want to find tutors to homeschool their children. In Virginia, you may hire a tutor who is a certified teacher, but then you aren’t officially homeschooling. You fall under Virginia’s “certified tutor provision,” as described here. Requirements are different.

If you’re considering homeschooling and you have a child who learns differently, sign up at left above to get my blog posts. I also recommend you sign up for my newsletter. Newsletters come out about twelve times a year, while the blog is weekly.

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