Q. Can a grandparent homeschool his or her grandchild?
A. Although Virginia law does not specifically address this question, under the right circumstances, the law does permit a grandparent to homeschool a grandchild.
If the parents comply with the homeschool statute—for instance, by submitting a Notice of Intent to Homeschool (NOI) and providing a description of curriculum—they are responsible for home instruction. However, the law does not prohibit them from delegating teaching to other people–including a grandparent. The NOI should be signed and submitted by the parent, and contact with the local superintendent should be through the parent.
If the grandparents are the legal guardians, they may choose to homeschool a grandchild, but typically, grandparents are not the legal guardians. Initiating the step to become a guardian is a serious legal procedure. The parent must give up his or her parental rights before a judge, and it may not be easy to reverse this decision in order to regain custody at a later time.
A “person having control or charge of a child” is vague, but may work in some situations. Legal counsel would be helpful in clarifying the terms and legal precedence.
If the grandparent is a Virginia certified teacher, he or she can teach another person’s child, their own child, or a grandchild according to §22.1-254 (A), known as the “certified tutor option.” The teacher or tutor must write a letter to the superintendent and show evidence of current Virginia teacher certification. You can find an explanation of the certified tutor option on our website.