How to Homeschool in Virginia: 2024 Unbiased Guide

Looking for an unbiased homeschool resource that doesn’t have a hidden agenda? You’ve come to the right place to learn how to homeschool in Virginia.

To homeschool in Virginia, a parent or guardian should become familiar with Virginia homeschooling laws and regulations. Families must decide on a curriculum that fits their needs and be prepared for the self-discipline required to maintain a robust academic schedule.

Home helping homeschooled daughter

How to Homeschool in Virginia

Homeschooling in Virginia is regulated by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Here are the steps you can follow to homeschool your child in Virginia:

  1. Notify the VDOE of your intent to homeschool: Virginia law requires that you notify the VDOE in writing of your intent to homeschool your child. You can do this by completing and submitting the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction form, which is available on the VDOE website.
  2. Develop a plan for your child’s education: You will need to develop a plan for your child’s education that outlines the subjects you will cover and the materials you will use. This plan should be tailored to your child’s needs and should be in line with the state’s Standards of Learning.
  3. Provide instruction: Once you have notified the VDOE and developed a plan for your child’s education, you can begin providing instruction to your child at home. You should keep records of your child’s progress and be prepared to provide evidence of their progress to the VDOE if requested.
  4. Administer standardized tests: Virginia law requires that homeschooled students in grades 3-8 and 11 take the state’s standardized tests in English and math. You can arrange for your child to take these tests at a public school or through a homeschool testing service.
  5. Submit an annual report: Virginia law requires that you submit an annual report to the VDOE outlining your child’s progress and achievements. This report should include a summary of your child’s academic progress, as well as any standardized test scores or other evidence of their progress.

It’s important to note that homeschooling laws and regulations can vary by state, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements in your state.

Homeschooling with a private tutor

Free Virginia Homeschool Programs

Virginia provides free homeschooling resources to its students. Parents have the choice between part-time and full-time programs, all of which feature free educational materials.

Elementary and high school students can now access online classes that are tailored to their specific needs for quality education.

The Virginia Department of Education’s testing resources and guidance counselors are available to all program participants, who can use them for information about educational topics in the state.

Virginia families can take advantage of free homeschooling programs, offering an economical and convenient way to learn from home.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an excellent source of information on homeschooling regulations in Virginia, offering webinars and articles that can help parents understand the homeschooling process.

Between 2019 to 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.

Does Homeschool Have to be Accredited in Virginia?

In Virginia, homeschooling is an educational alternative that offers parents and students more flexibility than public schooling. This choice does not require accreditation, however, many families are choosing this option to make sure their study meets high standards.

Accreditation can give homeschool diplomas validity, so graduates can be sure their education will be accepted by universities and employers.

While not legally required, parents usually prefer that their homeschooled children are accredited, which shows that they have been educated to a high level and met certain academic standards.

67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.

Virginia Accredited Homeschool Programs

To be accredited, homeschools must provide proof of enrollment and attendance, maintain detailed grade records, administer approved annual standardized tests, have a qualified supervising teacher, and stay informed of curriculum changes.

Private schools that are accredited need to be compliant with local laws and include the admissions policies regarding compulsory attendance in the regulations for compliance with the state.

An accredited homeschool gives parents the ability to provide their children with a high-quality education in the comfort of home.

Boy at home studying

Create a Designated Learning Place

Homeschoolers should have a specific area set aside for learning, to help establish a daily routine and provide an environment where their child can concentrate on schoolwork.

A dining table is an ideal spot for studying. It’s easily cleared off at the end of each day which allows it to be used for eating as well.

You can also provide your child with their own desk in their bedroom for added privacy and the opportunity to decorate it. Whatever you decide, be sure to create an environment that helps them focus on learning.

Over 300 million students were homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay On Track with a Daily Schedule

Sticking to a daily schedule for homeschooling has many advantages; here are some of them:

  • Establishing a daily routine can help homeschoolers prioritize tasks, complete more in less time, and improve productivity. Families with multiple students or other outside commitments may particularly benefit from this strategy.
  • Effective time management begins with planning. A daily schedule makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done and when, and prevents feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Allocating specific blocks of time to tasks can help your family stay organized.
  • Homeschooling can provide a sense of structure and regularity, especially beneficial for kids accustomed to attending a traditional school. This can make them feel safer and more prepared to learn.
  • Families can benefit from daily schedules to stay accountable and meet their homeschooling objectives. This is important for those who tend to be easily distracted or delay their tasks.
  • Having a daily schedule in place can facilitate better communication among family members, helping to avoid misunderstandings and building a stronger bond between them.
Homeschool Calendar

Ease Into It

Homeschooling for new parents can be a big shift, so it’s crucial to not apply excessive pressure from the start. It is best to ease into this transition and move forward at a steady pace.

Homeschooling parents can begin with just a few basic supplies and then build on their resources as they get more confident with the homeschooling process.

When it comes to homeschooling, there are numerous options, so you should find one that works best for your family. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with different techniques; the less stressed you feel, the more successful your learning experience is likely to be.

Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.

Involve Your Child in Setting Learning Goals

Involving your child in homeschool assignment planning and curriculum scheduling is important for several reasons:

  • Offering students a sense of importance and ownership in their education will provide them with motivation and boost engagement.
  • Involving them in the homeschool process will help them feel that they are part of it, rather than it being done to them.
  • Getting your child involved in the homeschooling decision-making will give you a better understanding of their likes, talents, and shortcomings; allowing you to modify the learning environment to better accommodate them.

Generally, having your kid involved in homeschooling planning is key to a successful experience for everyone.

Mom and children looking at a globe.

Explore Other Ways of Learning Outside the Classroom

Homeschooled kids have an advantage as they can explore many educational possibilities not found in a regular school. This helps them gain a diverse range of knowledge and experience, resulting in a more comprehensive education.

In many cases, homeschoolers benefit from strong connections in the community. These relationships can open doors to new learning opportunities, such as classes and workshops taught by experts or members of the community.

Parents who homeschool their children should seize these chances to broaden their kids’ education.

Homeschooling families can give their children a very enriching education by exploring different learning techniques.

Children learning at a museum

Reach Out to Other Homeschool Families

Homeschooling can be difficult, especially for families without a support system. Luckily, there are various ways to make connections with other homeschoolers and build a community. One way is by connecting with local homeschooling organizations.

Homeschool groups can provide emotional support, practical advice from experienced homeschoolers, and opportunities for field trips and social interactions.

Joining an online forum or Facebook group is an excellent way to network with other homeschool parents.

Joining a parenting group can be helpful for exchanging resources, asking questions, and obtaining advice from parents who have the same experiences.

Making connections with other homeschooling families can help parents lessen the feeling of isolation and build a supportive environment for their kids.

When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.

Can Homeschooled Students Play Sports in Virginia?

Though the

Though the Virginia High School League (VHSL) requires student-athletes to be enrolled in the school they wish to represent, there are still ways for homeschooled students in Virginia to participate in public school sports.

In Virginia, homeschoolers have access to a variety of sports programs at private schools and associations, providing them with multiple options for athletic participation.

(VHSL) requires student-athletes to be enrolled in the school they wish to represent, there are still ways for homeschooled students in Virginia to participate in public school sports.

In Virginia, homeschoolers have access to a variety of sports programs at private schools and associations, providing them with multiple options for athletic participation.

Homeschooled boys playing soccer

How to Homeschool When Both Parents Work

Virginia parents who opt to homeschool their children have to be creative with balancing work and school, as it is a difficult task.

With some ingenuity, it’s possible to work and homeschool at the same time. Let’s examine some pointers to help you achieve it.

Prior to February 2020, just 68% of parents who had homeschooled their children said it had been a success.

Get Your Childcare Involved

Some parents are lucky enough to have assistance in homeschooling while they’re away at work due to childcare.

When it’s not achievable or budget-friendly for all households, one should think outside the box to devise a plan that fits everyone’s needs.

Boy doing schoolwork

Delegate Chores

Involving your children in household tasks is an effective method to reduce the strain you may be facing between work and homeschooling. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about responsibility.

It’s prudent to be mindful of your child’s abilities. A five-year-old probably won’t be able to do the laundry, but they can lend a hand with things like dusting or laying the table.

As they age, give your children more chores. By involving them in household tasks, you can reduce your work while teaching them essential life skills.

Before the epidemic, 69% of homeschooled children expressed a desire to continue their studies in this manner for the upcoming school year.

You and Your Spouse Work Alternate Shifts

Balancing homeschooling with both parents working can be difficult, especially if you and your partner have alternating shifts. Here are some strategies to help make it work:

  • It’s important to organize your week in advance by creating a schedule that includes all of your work hours and other responsibilities. This will help you plan effectively for homeschooling.
  • Make use of online materials: Utilizing online components like lesson plans, videos, and virtual excursions can be a great way to supplement your kid’s schooling when you are not able to be with them in person.
  • Be flexible with your homeschooling: If your daytime commitments don’t make 9 to 3 schooling feasible, think outside the box. For instance, you can do lessons at night or at the weekend. Or, break up the day into shorter chunks of time for educational activities.
  • Ask for assistance: Don’t be scared to look for support when you need it. This could involve employing a tutor or nanny to aid with home-based instruction while you are busy, or requesting the aid of relatives and friends.
  • Homeschoolers should be aware that it’s okay to take breaks. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling will help ensure that commitments are met on both fronts.

Homeschooling can be a tricky task if both parents are working. But it can be done with the right amount of planning and creativity, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.

Girl doing schoolwork on the computer

Take Advantage of Online Curriculums

Homeschooling is a great option to personalize your child’s education, yet it can be difficult to fit work and school into one schedule. To make it easier, why not opt for an online curriculum?

Structured learning programs can assist your child in their development and ensure concentration while you are away.

Furthermore, online learning can be tailored to your child’s individual requirements, making it convenient to discover a course that suits their distinctive learning approach.

In their children’s upcoming academic year, 54% of parents who were homeschooling before February 2020 were likely to do so full-time.

Assign the Child Solo Activities to Do While You’re at Work

Parents in Virginia who teach their kids at home must find ways to keep their children entertained while they are working. One way is to assign independent curriculum projects.

Tasks such as reading assignments, research projects, and math and writing exercises may be included.

It’s essential to select activities that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level.

If your child attends childcare, ask your provider to remind them to complete their homeschooling tasks daily.

Proper planning can help your child become independent and accomplish tough tasks during the workday.

Homeschooled girl doing school work

Allow Yourself Flexibility and Grace

Balancing a job and homeschooling can be difficult for parents, so it’s vital to give yourself some leniency and kindness while managing these duties.

Striving for perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to disappointment. Focus on the successes, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Keep in mind that your kids are observing you, and will take after you. By displaying a positive outlook and openness to change, they’ll be more likely to do the same.

Balancing work and homeschooling can be difficult, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to impart valuable lessons to your children. Show them how to be adaptable and graceful in any situation, setting them up for victory down the line.

The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).

Virginia Homeschool Curriculum Requirements 

In Virginia, parents of homeschooled children are allowed to decide on their own curriculum. However, the state mandates instruction in all major academic subjects which include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Physical education

Homeschooling offers families the opportunity to tailor their teaching style to their child’s interests and learning abilities.

By customizing the curriculum, parents can homeschool their children in Virginia to great success.

Parent writing a letter of intent to homeschool

Letter of Intent to Homeschool in Virginia

To homeschool their children, parents in Virginia must submit a Letter of Intent to the local superintendent of schools, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

This letter is key in the homeschooling journey, serving to remind parents of their duties and to make sure that they meet the educational standards set out by the state.

Through the Letter of Intent, families are able to document their homeschooling goals and progress.

Thus, it is an essential part of homeschooling in Virginia.

The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.

Is the Virginia Homeschool Curriculum Free?

More and more Virginia families are selecting to homeschool their children for different reasons. One of the biggest worries for these homeschooling families is the cost of curriculum, however, there are lots of free homeschool materials and resources accessible on the internet.

If you look online, you can find many free homeschool materials, including lesson plans, worksheets, and full curriculum kits.

Homeschooling families can often access discounts or free memberships from educational organizations.

Spending some time and energy can make it possible to homeschool your children without draining your finances.

Older girl sitting holding a jar of money

How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool in Virginia?

Homeschooling fees in Virginia vary based on the materials and resources used. Online courses and curricula rates can range from free to a few hundred bucks per course. Families opting for physical materials and resources might need to spend between $500 and $1,500 yearly.

To supplement learning, some families decide to hire tutors or instructors, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

Families can homeschool without added expenses by taking advantage of free options like public libraries and online learning sites.

In Virginia, the cost of homeschooling is generally lower than regular school tuition fees.

Even though there may be additional expenses, many families find it beneficial to customize their children’s education according to their needs and interests.

A safe environment was cited as the main motivation by 50% of parents who homeschool their children.

How Many Days Are Required for Homeschool in Virginia?

Although the state of Virginia does not require attendance for a certain number of days or certain hours of the day for homeschooled students, it’s advisable to maintain a consistent and structured schedule that is in the child’s best interest.

A consistent schedule will help your child feel comfortable and confident with their homeschooling experience.

In addition, a structured schedule will help ensure that your child is receiving a well-rounded education.

It is important to remember that each child is unique and will learn at their own pace. As a result, it is important to be flexible and adjust the schedule as needed.

However, overall, it is best to maintain a consistent and structured schedule when homeschooling your child.

Homeschooling months of the year

Virginia Homeschool Record Keeping 

As a homeschooling parent in Virginia, it is important to keep accurate records of your child’s educational progress.

Not only will this ensure that you are meeting the state’s homeschooling requirements, but it will also give you a way to track your child’s progress and ensure that they are getting the education they need.

There are a variety of different ways to keep homeschool records in Virginia.

You can maintain a portfolio of your child’s work, keep a daily log of their activities, or use an online tracking system.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to include information on the subjects your child is studying, the materials you are using, and any assessments or projects that have been completed.

Here are some things that are important to keep a record of during the homeschooling years:

  • Test results
  • Samples of your student’s academic work
  • Documentation of the type of curriculum being provided to your child
  • Dialog with state and/or school officials
  • Attendance records

A good rule of thumb is to save these records for at least two years or longer if required.

By taking the time to properly record your child’s homeschooling journey, you can help them stay on track and succeed.

Test results, extracurricular activities, and socialization were mentioned as reasons for homeschooling by 14% of the parents.

Virginia Homeschool Graduation Requirements 

The state of Virginia does not have a specific homeschooling requirement in place for a student to graduate. Graduation standards are set by the parents as the facilitators of their child’s education. Once the student accomplishes the expected milestones set forth by the parents, they will graduate.

HS diploma

Virginia Homeschool Diploma 

For homeschooled students in Virginia, earning a diploma can be an even greater accomplishment. Homeschooled kids don’t have the structure of a regular school schedule, so they have to be self-motivated and disciplined to do well. A high school diploma is a symbol of hard work and dedication.

Earning a diploma shows that they have what it takes to set goals and achieve them.

In addition, a diploma for Virginia homeschoolers can open up new opportunities, such as colleges and scholarships.

For homeschooled students, a high school diploma is an important milestone on the road to success.

How Does a Homeschooled Student Get a Diploma?

Parents in Virginia who homeschool their children have the unique opportunity to be the sole provider of their child’s high school diploma. This means that they get to decide what criteria must be met in order for their child to earn the diploma.

Of course, parents will want to ensure that their child meets all the necessary requirements for graduation, such as taking required courses and passing exams.

However, they also have the freedom to tailor the curriculum to their child’s interests and learning style.

As a result, homeschooled students often emerge with a well-rounded education that prepares them well for success in college and beyond.

Before COVID-19, 42% of parents said they wished their kids had more freedom to pursue their hobbies.

Are Homeschool Diplomas Valid?

The homeschooling movement has been growing steadily recently, as more parents opt to educate their children at home. While homeschooling can provide a number of benefits, there is one potential drawback: homeschool diplomas may not be as recognized by colleges or employers.

Some institutions may require additional testing or coursework for homeschooled students, so students should be prepared to take some tests to show their level of academics.

It’s not uncommon at all for homeschooled kids to be more academically advanced than their peers who attended a public school, so in the long run, homeschoolers are quite capable of holding the advantage.

However, it is important to note that homeschool diplomas are becoming increasingly common and should be accepted by most colleges and employers.

As of February 2020, at least 9 million Americans had been homeschooled at least once.


Although the information in this article was researched with the utmost integrity and sincerity, it cannot be held legally liable or expected to take the place of legitimate legal advice for your specific situation.

Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.