Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in Virginia
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
VHEA-announce
List intended to distribute the Virginia Home Education Association's free biweekly updates, in order to disseminate legislative and other time sensitive information. This list is announcement only. VHEA's Legislative Reports report on legislative matters that could affect homeschooling, offering information on pending legislation.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
HSLDA's Position on Tax Credits Generally
Although a credit or deduction could be helpful for homeschoolers, HSLDA opposes any tax break legislation that could come with governmental regulations. Homeschoolers have fought far too long and much too hard to throw off the chains of government regulation that hinder effective education and interfere with liberty. It would be inconsistent and foolhardy to accept tax incentives in exchange for government regulation. However, HSLDA supports tax credits that promote educational choice without threatening any regulation of homeschoolers. - See more at: http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200504150.asp#sthash.tvLv2ItR.dpuf
Together We Stand Free
Details the importance of support alternative educational choices, including private schools and vouchers, along with homeschooling.
Home Education Tax Credit? No, Thanks!
Before supporting a home education tax credit, we homeschoolers need to fully understand the legislation and its potential to benefit or harm us.
Safeguarding Home Education Freedoms at the Local Level
While many parents may not have the opportunity to influence legislation regarding home education on the state level, there are ways to be involved on a local level.
When the School Division Asks Too Much
Explains how some homeschoolers have empowered themselves and effectively handled requests for tables of contents of books or other items that are beyond the legal requirement in Virginia.
Should You Homeschool Another Person's Child?
Imagine this situation: You are happily homeschooling your children. Your sister-in-law has said many times that she would love to be able to homeschool her children too, if only she and her husband didn’t have to work full-time. She wonders if perhaps you wouldn’t mind including her children in your family’s homeschooling. She would file the Notice of Intent with the local superintendent, but you would do the actual instruction in your home. You tell her you’d be happy to—the more the merrier! But—is it legal? Can you, under Virginia state law, homeschool a child who is not your own?
Social Security's New Home School Flow Chart
For some years, the Social Security Administration has permitted home schoolers to receive benefits in some cases. The agency used a fuzzy test involving several different factors. New documents from the Social Security Administration indicate that the agency has a much better defined policy in place now.
Answering the CPS (Child Protective Services) Questions
Transcript of a talk given by Edwin Schuster of the Virginia Child Protective Services about the relationship between homeschoolers and CPS. The text is presented in question and answer format. Includes the rights that families have when contacted by CPS.
Handling It Ourselves
With a little support and encouragement from each other, homeschoolers can effectively respond to superintendents’ offices that overstep their bounds.
Keeping Homeschooling Private
Homeschoolers have been vigilant in protecting their rights, rising to the occasion when they discover threats to clamp down on their activities. Discusses some of the criticisms by opponents of homeschooling, along with the examples of some legal fights in Connecticut and Montana.
Homeschooling and Child Abuse: No Connection
Recent news stories have highlighted several isolated cases of child abuse and presented them as indicative of problems in the homeschooling community, because they happened within families who claimed to be educating their children at home. Some of these reports have suggested that federal or state regulations requiring background checks and monitoring of homeschooling families would minimize such cases of child abuse. However, there is no need for intrusive regulation of the homeschooling community. Child abuse is a societal issue that occurs in all education settings.
State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities
This is a list of states that have addressed issues of homeschooler participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law
Twenty years ago, home education was treated as a crime in almost every state. Today, it is legal all across America, despite strong and continued opposition from many within the educational establishment. How did this happen? This paper traces the legal and sociological history of the modern home school movement, and then suggests factors that led to this movement's remarkable success.
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
Evidence of Progress
Will Shaw answers the question, "What happens if the local school division rejects the test, results of the test, or the portfolio?"
How to Suppress Homeschooling
The education establishment has realized that the socialization issue will be seen for the red herring that it is, and has searched for other means to suppress homeschooling. Two new strategies have emerged, and these pose real threats to homeschooling. The first strategy is to argue that homeschooling needs some form of accreditation. A number of reasons have been offered: it eases the transition back to the public school for those homeschoolers who go back, it is the basis for awarding a recognized diploma, and it makes it easier to provide homeschoolers access to public school programs and facilities such as science classes, libraries, sports, etc. But accreditation is simply another word for conforming, and the desire to not conform is the fundamental reason for choosing to homeschool. Homeschoolers as a group will not be seduced nor will they be tricked by the false promises of accreditation. The second strategy for suppressing homeschooling is one that is much more likely to be successful, and it is to drastically limit homeschoolers’ access to public higher education. In this, the education establishment has discovered its only effective weapon against homeschooling.
Stand for Freedom
Some veteran home educators seem to take a firm stand on principles that others don't even recognize as issues. Is it that they are just stubborn, rebellious, or cantankerous? Probably not.
The Religious Exemption: Past, Present, and Future
Virginia offers a unique option to families who have religious objections to complying with the compulsory attendance statutes: the religious exemption. Explore the history of this exemption and consider the possibility of it being under threat today.
Featured Resources

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Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo
Only children don’t have to share bedrooms, toys, or the backseat of a car. They don’t have to share allowances, inheritances, or their parents’ attention. But when they get into trouble, they can’t just blame their imaginary friends. In Only Child, twenty-one acclaimed writers tell the truth about life without siblings—the bliss of solitude, the ache of loneliness, and everything in between.In this unprecedented collection, writers like Judith Thurman, Kathryn Harrison, John Hodgman, and Peter ...
The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School
This book shows how school is not necessary for a child to gain learning, socialization, or motivation. It offers a look at radical unschooling, a way of educating children without coercion, curriculum, or control. This look at a child who grows from childhood to adulthood with the experience of self-direction is a celebration of the success of unschooling. Covers topics such as parenting, self-discipline and self-motivation, socialization, and more. 
Montessori Method
This book is Montessori's own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to "free a child to learn through his own efforts".
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It
Confused and intimidated by the complexities of homeschooling, many sincere parents never get past the "thinking about it" stage. Now Lisa Whelchel - herself a homeschooling mother of three - introduces fifteen real families and shows how they overcome the challenges of their unique homeschooling situations. This nuts-and-bolts approach deals with common questions of time management, teaching weaknesses, and outside responsibilities, as well as children's age variations, social and sports invol...
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space.