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COVID-19: School Closures and Homeschooling

by Scott Woodruff • March 26, 2020

Recently Governor Northam announced that schools would be closed at least through the end of the current academic year. What does it mean for current and prospective homeschool families? Here are six points to consider.

First, it means an incredibly unique opportunity to tell your friends, neighbors and family members about the homeschool lifestyle. The best message is, “You can do it!” While homeschooling feels totally normal for those of us who live that way, for folks who don’t, it can—like many other unfamiliar things—feel somewhat intimidating.

Second, you may know parents who want their child to remain enrolled in public school for the duration of the closure, but desire to become more involved in their child’s education in the interim. HSLDA has practical resources to help a family in that situation.

Third, you may know a family who wants to transition from public schooling to homeschooling. HSLDA has resources to explain how to withdraw their child from public school and thereafter comply with Virginia homeschool law.

Fourth, some families homeschool by operating under the private school option where the child is enrolled in an online private school. Some Virginia-based online private schools may have suspended operation in response to Northam’s order. If your online private school is still operating, however, and you want to know how school closures impact how many hours of instruction you must provide for your child, feel free to call us.

Fifth, families who homeschool under the other options—home instruction, certified tutor, and religious exemption—should assume that the best path is to continue to meet all the requirements that apply to the option they have chosen just as before the school closures.

Finally, the governor’s order did not necessarily close co-op type homeschool arrangements. On the other hand, if COVID-19 is a fire, its only fuel is social interaction. If we remove the fuel, the fire will go out. For the homeschool movement—which thrives on social interaction—this will be a time of sacrifice.

Scott Woodruff

Senior Counsel

Scott is a seasoned attorney and homeschool advocate with decades of involvement in homeschool legal issues and cases. Read more.

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