Homeschool Q&A: Homeschooling Someone Else’s Child

Posted on Oct 20 2010 in Homeschool Q&A, Legislative by Yvonne Bunn

This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topicsand the answers!

Q. I have looked at the Virginia laws and cannot find any clear word on whether it is legal or not to homeschool someone else’s child. Can you tell me what the law says?

A. The homeschool statute is written to allow parents to teach their own children. § 22.1-254 refers to two other people:

  1. A Virginia certified teacher (known as tutor) may teach his/her own or another parents’ child in a homeschool setting; and
  2. A guardian or other person having control or charge of a child may homeschool the child.

There is not a clear legal provision allowing a person who is not a parent, certified teacher, guardian, or person in charge of a child to teach someone else’s child. The law states the following (emphasis mine):

§ 22.1-254. A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child … [shall] send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

This provision allows a parent to satisfy compulsory attendance requirements by having “…such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent…” as an alternative to attendance at a public or private school.

Parents who are certified teachers may also teach their own children under this provision, known as “the certified tutor” option, instead of the home instruction statute found in §22.1-254.1. See our Certified Tutor Page for more details about this option.

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