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Homeschooling in Virginia
by Kathy Kuhl
Though I work with families across North America and in Europe, I often hear from parents here in Virginia. Often, these parents have never homeschooled before. 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. (A few 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 at the links 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. These websites both have information and good advice on submitting your notice of intent, as you’ll see in the links below.
Remember, when you submit a notice of intent, you are not asking permission to homeschool, and you will not be obtaining a teacher’s license.
Here’s a good explanation of the homeschool law in VA, with 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.
There’s lots of helpful information here on HEAV’s site on beginning homeschooling in general. HEAV also gives seminars and webinars on “How to Begin” and other topics.
And 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 especially like their video introduction to homeschooling.
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.