Membership-homeschool reality-stunned woman on telephone

A Scary Look at an
Alternate Homeschool Reality

by Anne Miller

Finally, you’re ready for the first day of homeschooling.

You sent in the proper documentation to the division superintendent, the Department of Health, and the Department of Social Services. Finding your college diploma was impossible, but your alma mater was happy to send a copy of your college transcript for just $25, and Dr. Brown had Jimmy, Sarah, and Colin’s vaccination records ready for pick up in just two weeks. Thankfully your teacher certification was up to date because of the two classes you took over the summer—easy peasy!

Description of Curriculum

Assembling the detailed description of curriculum took just a few hours and even though Jimmy’s math book hasn’t arrived, the publisher was happy to send the table of contents and a scope and sequence. Setting up a spring testing time for the state-mandated Family Life curriculum didn’t take too long either.


What a relief to have this new teacher planner app to record the days and hours of instruction for the three kids – printing reports to send in at the end of the year will be so simple. Now if there was just an easy way to prepare for the SOL testing!

Testing and the SOLS

Jimmy’s just starting kindergarten at age five, so the Stanford Achievement will work for him in March; Sarah’s in eighth grade so she’s got to be ready for the writing test in March, but has until May to prepare for the other tests; Colin’s in eleventh grade, so his first SOL tests are in October and December, but he has until March and May for the other SOL portions.  

You definitely have found the online sample SOL tests helpful and hope your children will be able to continue homeschooling next year. MaryJane at co-op had to stop homeschooling because her kindergarten-aged son only scored 37th percentile on his standardized achievement test. It was so sad. Two families at church also are desperate to homeschool, but they know their struggling learners wouldn’t be able to score at the 40th percentile, so tearfully they hope the new IEPs issued at school will bring their children up to grade level.

Driver’s Education

You are so grateful you are able to homeschool, although this has been a tough year for Colin. He would love to get his driver’s license, but he’s not willing to give up homeschooling to attend the local high school full time, so he’s resigned himself to waiting until he’s 18. You’ve heard they may allow homeschoolers to use a driving school, but the $425 cost may be prohibitive for your single-income family.

He also had an opportunity to work at Chick-Fil-A—it’s only five blocks from your home–but because of daytime curfew laws, he cannot walk to work in the afternoon because he may be picked up by police as a truant.

Financial Aid for College

Colin also plans to submit applications to William & Mary, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech this fall; he has a 1550 on his SAT’s, but needs financial aid. Since they won’t recognize his homeschool diploma or transcript—and even though he’d be eligible otherwise—he cannot be considered for scholarships and will have to take out student loans. It’s frustrating, but you know you’ll find a way to help with tuition costs.

Thankfully, this is NOT how we homeschool in Virginia today! But our freedoms have been hard won, and every scenario above—and many others—could have been our homeschooling reality. Since 1983, HEAV’s government affairs team has worked with families and school divisions, as well as with legislators, the Department of Education, school boards, and other homeschool organizations to promote and protect homeschooling freedoms. 

We are in this together! 

When you join HEAV, you join a team of homeschoolers who have banded together to invest in the work needed to protect our freedom to educate our children at home. Team effort keeps our homeschool freedoms strong!

If you’ve always wanted to join and have wondered about the benefits, check out  the membership benefits and levels here.

For as little as $45/year, you help provide these services for ALL homeschoolers:

  • An open phone line for homeschool counseling questions 
  • Online consultants providing accurate information on Facebook  
  • Lobbyists at the General Assembly, ready to step in and defend our rights
  • Watchmen and women to monitor county school board meetings

Plus, members receive exclusive benefits of their own, such as:

  • Exclusive member discounts 
  • Monthly member message and download gift 
  • Free 50-word classified ad in the Virginia Home Educator 
  • The knowledge that YOU are helping to keep homeschooling free 
  • Free Teacher I.D. Cards 
  • Earlybird registration & discounts for HEAV events 
  • Free SAT/ACT test prep from e-knowledge 
  • $15 HSLDA discount

Have questions about membership? Visit the website, give the office a call at 804-278-9200, or email


The first homeschool statute passed in 1984.This is a compilation of just some of the bad legislation changed or defeated.

  1. 1993 – Vaccination records must be sent to the Department of Health and Social Services
  2. 1984–2006 – College diploma required under Option i
  3. 1981- Only certified teachers should be allowed to homeschool
  4. 1984–2012 – Detailed description of curriculum required
  5. 1989 – Mandated Family Life (sex ed) curriculum and testing required
  6. 1989 – Reporting required for days and hours of instruction 
  7. 1999–2000 – SOL (Standards of Learning) testing required
  8. 1984–1993 – Kindergarten children must be tested
  9. 1984–1993 – Students must score at or above the 40th percentile
  10. 1984–89 – Parents must stop homeschooling and send child to school if test scores fall below 40th percentile
  11. 1984–1999 – Procurement of a driver’s license would be tied to attendance at school
  12. 1984-1999 – Parents cannot teach driver’s ed curriuculum
  13. 1984–2003 – Parents cannot teach behind-the-wheel driver’s ed
  14. 1996 – Daytime Curfews proposed
  15. 2009 – Homeschool diplomas and transcripts are not recognized for financial aid in state schools
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