Q. Can I begin homeschooling now, even though it’s past the August deadline?
A. Yes, according to the homeschool statute. Parents may begin homeschooling after the August 15 deadline for two reasons: 1) if they move into a new school division or 2) if they decide to homeschool after the school year begins. The Virginia homeschool statute (§22.1-254.1 (B) states:
“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 intentions to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of this section within thirty days of such notice.”
If you plan to withdraw your children from public school to begin homeschooling, it is very beneficial to understand the Virginia homeschool laws and your rights in order to prevent any issues with the school district.
It is recommended that you file a “Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction” with your local school superintendent, in accordance with Virginia Code 22.1-254.1, before giving notice of withdrawal from school. Taking your child out of school before notifying the superintendent could raise truancy concerns.
If your “Notice of Intent” does not include your curriculum description because you are making final curriculum plans, you have 30 days from the initial notice to complete the requirements and fully comply with the law. However, once notice has been given, you are in compliance with the statute and your family should be considered to be homeschooling legally.
As a homeschooling parent, you are NOT applying for permission or seeking approval, but simply notifying the superintendent’s office of your intent to provide for your child’s education in a manner already approved by the Virginia General Assembly. The law does not require a parent to wait for “approval” from the division superintendent before withdrawing a student from a conventional school.
Read more about beginning after the August 15 deadline here.