This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topics–and the answers!
Q. The military has transferred our family to a foreign country. Should we continue to comply with the homeschool laws in Virginia since we still have a home here?
A. All military families located in the U.S. must comply with the homeschool and compulsory attendance laws in the state in which they reside. If the military has relocated your family to a foreign country, you are no longer under Virginia homeschool laws because you do not reside in Virginia. According to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, you are also NOT under the authority of the foreign country’s compulsory education laws. You simply choose a curriculum and begin homeschooling.
When a military family lives in a foreign country, the Department of Defense (DoD) does not have regulatory authority over your homeschool or any private school a family may choose to use. Military parents are not required to seek approval from the DoD to homeschool. The DoD is friendly toward homeschoolers, and DoD schools often provide free services for military homeschooling families (classes, library, etc.).
NOTE: This does not apply to homeschooling families who move to a foreign country because of business opportunities or because they are missionaries. These families are under the attendance laws of the foreign country in which they reside.