Q. How can I homeschool since I do not have a high school diploma, but a GED?

A. Regrettably, a GED is not accepted as a high school diploma for home instruction.* There are two ways a parent who does not have a high school diploma or who has a GED can homeschool according to §22.1-254.1(A).

First, you can use a correspondence or distance learning program as explained in option (iii). You must provide proof that you have enrolled your student in a correspondence course or distance learning program—a welcome letter from the company or a cancelled check or credit card receipt is acceptable.

Or you may choose option (iv), where a parent may provide “evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.” You may file a Notice of Intent (NOI) form, check option (iv), and include a letter with the NOI form, or you can simply write a letter stating that you are complying with the option (iv) of the homeschool law as referenced above.

Your letter should include a statement explaining why you, the parent, are able to teach your child. It does not need to be complicated; you do not need to explain your philosophy of education or why you are not happy with your child’s educational situation. Simply explain in your own words that you know your child better than anyone else, you know his needs and learning style, and you will be able to provide individualized instruction and curriculum based on your child’s specific needs.

It is important that your letter be well-written with good grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Writing a letter does not automatically result in a positive response. The superintendent must make a subjective judgment on your ability to provide an adequate education based on the way your letter is written. Be very careful and proof your letter. The superintendent should respond to you in writing.

For both options, you must also include a list of subjects (spelling, math, science, history, etc.) you plan to teach the coming year. This is for informational purposes only; the law does not give the superintendent authority to approve or disapprove your curriculum choices.

Although this may take more time and scrutiny, this is a successful way for parents to homeschool. Please call HEAV at 804-278-9200 if we can assist you or if we can clarify this information with your superintendent.

*Note: If you do not have a diploma but your spouse has a high school diploma, you can file under option (i) with the spouse’s diploma. The spouse should sign the NOI form.

Regards,

Yvonne, HEAV