Q. Does Virginia have a law or guideline as to how many hours a day a homeschooler needs to be schooled? Also, how many days of the year count for one school year? Is it the same as the 180 for public school?
A. The law says in part in 22.1-254 (A) that parents shall send a child to a public or private school, have a child taught by a tutor, or homeschool him according to 22.1-254.1 (the homeschool statute). The only time requirement given is “…during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as public schools.” Interestingly, in recent years, public school days and schedules are not the same throughout Virginia–some districts even have year-round school now.
The homeschool statute, 22.1-254.1 referenced above, does NOT require homeschoolers to keep any records of the days and hours parents teach, nor does the homeschool law require homeschoolers to turn in forms or attendance records. Neither does it define “school” as the time spent sitting at a desk and completing worksheets. For most home educators, “schooling” also include field trips, life-skill lessons, music, art, sports, reading, and much more.
Take into account that a typical public school day has quite a bit of unproductive time and may also include times for study hall, physical education, and library visits. With these facts in mind, you should be able to create a homeschool schedule that is reasonable and fits your family’s needs.