Virginia Laws Compared to Other States

New to Homeschooling in Virginia?

Homeschoolers in Virginia are much like homeschoolers in any other state. We are a diverse, dedicated assortment of families who want what is best for our children. We encourage you to connect with your local support groups to make new friends and discover new resources and opportunities for your family.

It is Easy to Comply with Virginia Homeschooling Law

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers encourages you to read and understand Virginia homeschooling laws.

A few good points to know about homeschooling in Virginia:

  • Home instruction is not considered a “school” under Virginia law.
  • You do not need to purchase “legal insurance” to homeschool in Virginia.
  • You do not have to keep attendance records.
  • You do not have to send quarterly progress reports to the school division.
  • We do not have “umbrella schools” to keep our records for us.
  • You do not have to work with a certified teacher.
  • You do have to file annually with the local school division.
  • You do have to test or evaluate the children annually.
  • You do have to submit proof of immunization, if asked.

Children in Virginia between the ages of 5 and 18 as of September 30 of the school year are required to attend school. There is a special provision for children who are younger than age 6 as of September 30 of the school year. Homeschooled children age 16 or older may take the GED if they so choose.

Homeschoolers in Virginia use a variety of different curriculums and approaches, ranging from prepackaged curriculum materials and correspondence schools to child-initiated learning or “unschooling”. The law requires home instruction filers to submit a description of their curriculum. However, this description is for informational purposes only.

Access to public school classes, services, and programs is at the discretion of the local school division. Some school divisions allow homeschoolers to take classes part time, or participate in extracurricular activities, while others do not. School divisions must provide special education services and programs to homeschooled students, but the level of services provided can vary at the discretion of the school division. Homeschoolers in Virginia may not participate in high school interscholastic sports or other activities at this time.

Homeschoolers in Virginia do not receive high school diplomas from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Most students go directly from homeschool to college or career without an official diploma. Parents of homeschooled teens keep their own records and prepare their own transcripts, rather than going through an umbrella school. If your child transfers from homeschool to public school, some homeschool coursework may transfer automatically, while other coursework may not. Read High School Transfer Credit Procedures to learn more about how transfer credit currently works in Virginia.

Some Virginia public schools are experimenting with “virtual schools” or “virtual learning academies” run in partnership with K12, Inc. Students who enroll in these programs full time are considered public school students, rather than homeschoolers, according to the Virginia Department of Education. Read K12, Inc. and “Virtual Learning Academies” to learn more about these programs.

Filing Your Homeschooling Paperwork

You may begin homeschooling your child in Virginia at any time during the school year.

According to the Home Instruction Statute (§22.1-254.1 B) “any parent who moves into a school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall notify the division superintendent of his intention to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of this section within 30 days of such notice.”

To read the complete text of the law: §22.1-254.1 Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction of children.

You have multiple filing options in Virginia. Most families choose to file under one of the four options of the home instruction statute, while others may choose the approved tutor provision or the religious exemption. Each filing option has its own set of pros and cons. Learn as much as possible about each option and decide which one best suits your family’s needs.

If you are moving into Virginia after the start of the school year, please read Starting Homeschooling Mid-Year

Two important notes:

  • Whichever option you choose, if you move to Virginia during the school year, you are required to file with the local school division, even if the school year is almost over.
  • If you move to Virginia during the school year and are filing under the home instruction statute, you are required to test or evaluate, even if the school year is almost over.

If you have questions, please email VaHomeschoolers or call our toll free number (866) 513-6173.

Nothing in this document should be perceived as legal advice. For legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney who is experienced with education and homeschooling law.

Membership Matters

Your membership in The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers supports our efforts to provide information, advocacy, and support to homeschooling families in Virginia. We welcome you to learn more about our Organization and the benefits of membership.

 


  • The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. A financial statement is available from the Virginia Division of Consumer Affairs upon request.


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