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Virginia homeschoolers, can we get clarification on this?

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I was not aware that you had a set number of hours per day and time of year that you have to homeschool. I read it on a website, and then checked the VADOE website myself to see if it's accurate.



I know some other states require a certain number of hours. I can understand the reasoning to a point.


But during the same time of year?

I thought as long as I did 180 days, I could homeschool whatever months I chose (like summer).



This is what the VA dept education says. I bolded the parts to which I'm referring.


§ 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

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You know I'm concerned about this to. I just checked the laws just to verify and this is exactly what it says. I opted my K son out of school this year but I will have a K and 1st grader next year so I need this clarified as well. I like having a year round schedule with 4 days a week but reading this makes me a little weary. How are we suppose to know how many hours of instruction is given for regular school??????? I'm hoping to get some answers as well!!!


Thanks for posting this info!!

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This must be rather new because I thought I had read the law in its entirety when I started 10 years ago.


Honestly, I don't follow that sort of thing. Clearly it takes less time to teach one student something than 30, and I'm not going to make my child suffer just because the public school cannot do better. It really makes one wonder about the intellect of these law-makers.


I don't see the public school as my authority in education, and I certainly do not intend to model my education after theirs.


Since my children have always tested in the top 5 %, I have never once heard from the city in the ten years I've homeschooled.

Edited by nestof3
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I've known homeschooling parents who literally would not take their children away from the "school room" during "school hours" because of this, but I've never heard of it actually being applied to homeschoolers. Especially since literally ANYTHING you are doing could legitimately be called SCHOOL.


Kids playing at the park? Recess. Walking the dog? Biology. Grocery shopping? Consumer math. Laundry? Home economics. ;)

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Guest Virginia Dawn

I'm wondering how new this is, too. I've been schooling in Virginia for 17 years. In all that time there has never been any question about the hours or days that we teach. We do an odd schedule of Tuesday- Saturday, and often take days off that the public schools don't and vice-versa. We also do some extra-curricular activities during school hours.


Plus, with all those commas, you can easily read "OR provide for home instruction" to be separate from the specific time requirements. ;-)


Anyway, I do excercise caution by keeping my kids within boundaries during school hours. They play in the back yard and don't ride their bikes until later in the day. I've never had any questions or problems.

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I agree with you all.


Further on the site it says that the school day is 3hrs for K and 5.5hrs for everyone else, not counting lunch and recess.


Surely a lawmaker would have sense enough to know that it simply doesn't take that long when you have 1-on-1 or even 1-on-4 teaching.


I have never heard of a school system inforcing this, so I'm not going to get worked up about it. I had also planned on doing year round school, and I'm not changing my plans.


Dawn is correct. The school board IS NOT a model to me.

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When I was in NY I had to tell in each quarterly how many hours of education I provided. I can't remember how much it was supposed to be now, but I remember that I personally along with everyone else I knew took as 'equivalent' hours. I didn't need to actually school that many hours to cover the material, and believe me we covered it. I always finish our materials (except for science and history in the early stages). I consider myself to have fulfilled the law because my children got the equivalent of that many school hours, actually more IMO. HTH

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Thanks Pam.


I haven't heard about people being called on this, but if I do, I'm going to count everything the school does- waiting in line to potty, waiting for lunch, taking attendance, passing in homework, changing classes, assemblies, plays, passing notes, daydreaming out the window, shooshing the other kids... you get the picture. :001_smile:


Not that I don't take my dd's education seriously. I do. In fact, I think I need to scale back with my k'er. We do a lot.

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We year-round school as well simply because that works for us. But that's why I also don't worry when the odd week rolls around in which we don't get much done. Shoot, by Sept we will have completed two grades worth of grammar and three of math in 13 months, and a year each of history & science (for my middle schooler.) :lol:


Since we're only req'd to report Language Arts and Math anyway, I'm of the opinion that the county can go float a duck if they think we need to school on their schedule.

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It's been on the books as long as I've been homeschooling. The law says you're supposed to do 180 days and mentions the hours, but THEN it doesn't say a thing about maintaining records in that part or in the homeschooling part of the law. How are they going to know if you don't have to keep records on hours and days? Technically they can't ask for proof because the law doesn't require that you track that or submit it. The only way they can legally question your homeschool is if you don't file or fail to show progress (asssuming you're not doing religious exemption). The only documents you have to submit is your notice of intent and assessment information.


Ages ago I asked Yvonne Bunn of HEAV and one of the HSLDA attorneys that I know personally, and they both said not to worry about it. If you are worried about the days, put an "X" on the days in a calendar that you homeschool so you can count them up at some point. One year I did that, and it was well over 180.


There are some counties that are tougher than others, but the majority are very happy to leave us alone and focus on other issues (like the SOLs).

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I wouldn't stress too much over this. The ps where in live have been in session anywhere from 180 to 187 days. Last year they were scheduled to go for 185, but with snow days they would have gone for an additional 5 days. At the end of the year the school board decided after all was said and done that they had met the required number of hours. Not to mention, the private school (accredited by the state) one ds goes to starts a week later and ends a week earlier than the ps here. They also take much longer breaks - 1.5 weeks at Thanksgiving, 2 wks at Christmas, 2 wks at Easter, and a short break in Feb. Of course they don't get alot of the other days off the ps kids get; but, they are also in session 2 more hrs/day than ps. They base their school yr on number of instructional hrs, not days.



We'll be bringing our dss back home next yr and I'm planning on 180 days. (Yea!! - We put them in 3 yrs ago and they're finally comin' back.)







“Standard school day†means a calendar day that averages at least five and one-half



instructional hours for students in grades 1 through 12, excluding breaks for meals and recess, and a minimum of three instructional hours for students in kindergarten.



“Standard school year†means a school year of at least 180 teaching days or a total of at least 990 teaching hours per year.









Here is a link to their website.















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