Homeschooling in West Virginia & Homeschool Laws


You may be considering homeschooling your children in West Virginia, but don’t know where to start regarding West Virginia homeschool laws. This guide will walk you through what you need to know to successfully set up your own homeschool program in West Virginia. We’ll cover the history of homeschooling in West Virginia, current laws, required filings, curriculum and testing choices, high school transcripts, extracurricular activities, graduation requirements, and special education services.

History of Homeschooling in West Virginia

At the close of the 19th century, home education in West Virginia was rare, largely due to the Compulsory Attendance Law, which mandated public school attendance. In 1919, the law was amended to allow for home education, with permission from the county board.

In the early 1980s, homeschool education began to gain national attention. In 1983, West Virginia passed measures intended to aid Christian schools, inadvertently facilitating easier home education. The introduction of a portfolio review in 1994 ensured appropriate assessment for special education students.

In 2003, the “four-year rule,” a regulation requiring persons providing home instruction to have four years of education beyond their child’s grade level, was removed. The Homeschool Modernization Bill passed in 2016, making significant strides in assessment requirements and standardizing academic expectations under West Virginia homeschool laws.

Today, West Virginia is considered a homeschool-friendly state, with relatively relaxed regulations. The homeschool community has expanded to thousands of families, supported by thriving networks of statewide homeschool groups.

Current West Virginia Homeschooling Laws And Regulations

West Virginia homeschool laws ensure that children receive a proper education outside of the traditional public school. West Virginia homeschool laws are designed to balance the flexibility families seek in West Virginia homeschooling with the state’s interest.

Here’s an overview of key aspects of West Virginia homeschool laws.

  • Children must commence their formal education by their compulsory school age. Alternatively, compliance with compulsory attendance age becomes mandatory upon enrollment in a publicly supported kindergarten program.

  • Parents must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to homeschool to their county board. The NOI must include basic information such as the name and age of the child receiving home instruction, the address of the West Virginia program, and appropriate instruction. Get the Letter of Intent here.

  • West Virginia homeschool laws require certain subjects, including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health, and physical education. The requirements for the appropriate subject areas may vary depending on the child’s abilities and grade level.

A parent or legal guardian must maintain records of satisfactory academic progress and teaching materials. West Virginia offers parents the choice between two assessment options for demonstrating their child’s academic progress:

  • Children must participate in a test approved by the state in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. The test results are not required to be submitted to the county superintendent but must be kept for three years.

  • Alternative assessment measures include a certified teacher or someone with a similar qualification to review a portfolio of the child’s work.

How to Set Up a Homeschool in West Virginia

In West Virginia, you have three legal pathways for homeschooling: 

  • Obtain approval from the local school board;

  • Notify the school board or county superintendent of your intent to homeschool; 

  • Participate in a learning pod, also initiated by notifying the school board or county superintendent. 

Setting up a homeschool in West Virginia involves a series of steps designed to comply with state laws and ensure that children receive an appropriate education.

  • First, familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for homeschooling in West Virginia.

  • Before beginning to homeschool, you must submit a Notice of Intent to your local county superintendent. This notice should be submitted annually, at least two weeks before you plan to start homeschooling.

The NOI must include:

  • The child’s name and age.

  • The address of the homeschool.

  • Assurance that the child will receive instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

  • Assurance that the homeschool will comply with the law’s requirements.

  • The parent’s assurance they have a high school diploma.

West Virginia does not require homeschooling families to use a specific curriculum, offering flexibility to design a curriculum that meets state requirements and the child’s educational needs.

You need to conduct assessments in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. If opting for standardized testing, ensure the test is approved by the county board. For portfolio reviews, a qualified person, should conduct the review.

By following these steps, you can set up a homeschool in West Virginia that complies with state laws and supports your child’s educational development.   

Maintaining Your West Virginia Homeschool

Once you have successfully set up your homeschool in West Virginia, it’s crucial to maintain compliance with the county board and keep your homeschool running smoothly. Here are the key aspects of maintaining your homeschool:

1. Annual Notice of Intent

  • Submit your NOI annually to your local school board at least two weeks before the start of each school year.

  • Include all required information, such as your child’s name, age, homeschooling address, and assurances of compliance with state laws.

2. Curriculum and Instruction

  • Ensure that your chosen curriculum covers the required subjects: reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

  • Adapt and adjust your curriculum as needed to meet acceptable progress.

3. Assessments

  • Conduct the required assessments in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11, using either standardized testing or portfolio review.

  • For standardized testing, use a state-approved test and submit the results to the county superintendent upon request.

  • For portfolio reviews, have a qualified person review your child’s portfolio and provide a written narrative of acceptable progress.

4. Recordkeeping

  • Maintain detailed records, including attendance, curriculum materials, samples of school work, and assessment results.

  • Keep annual assessments for at least three years after completion.

  • Consider retaining additional records, such as correspondence with the school board and proof of compliance with homeschool laws, for at least two years.

  • For high school students, keep all records and documentation indefinitely to support higher education and professional pursuits.

5. Ongoing Education and Support

  • Stay informed about any changes to West Virginia’s homeschooling laws.

  • Engage with local homeschooling support groups to share resources, experiences, and opportunities for socialization.

  • Pursue ongoing professional development as a homeschooling parent or legal guardian to enhance your teaching skills.

By following these guidelines, you can maintain a successful and compliant home instruction in West Virginia.

West Virginia Homeschool Reporting Requirements

West Virginia’s homeschool statute mandates the retention of annual assessments for homeschool events for three years. While this is the minimum requirement, preserving additional key records for your homeschool include:

  • Attendance Records.

  • Details on Textbooks Used.

  • Samples of Your Student’s School work.

  • Correspondence with the county board.

  • Portfolios and Test Results.

  • Any Documents Demonstrating Compliance with Laws.


In West Virginia, homeschooling is referred to as home instruction, and the state has specific testing requirements for homeschooled students. Here are the key points regarding the state testing program and requirements for homeschoolers who receive instruction in West Virginia:

Homeschooled students must be assessed annually with an academic assessment. This assessment can be conducted through one of four options:

  • Students can take a nationally normed standardized achievement test administered by a qualified individual.

  • A portfolio of the student’s work can be reviewed and evaluated by a certified teacher.

  • Persons providing home instruction can choose an alternative academic assessment approved by the county superintendent.

  • A licensed psychologist can provide a professional opinion by conducting an academic assessment.

The results of the annual assessment must be submitted to the county superintendent by June 30th of each year. If a standardized test is chosen as the alternative assessment, the student must achieve score within the 23rd percentile in each of the subjects to demonstrate acceptable progress. If the student fails to achieve the minimum required on the standardized test, the homeschooling program may be placed on a one-year probationary period.

It is essential for homeschooling parents in West Virginia to comply with these testing requirements to ensure the continued legal operation of their home instruction and testing program and to provide evidence of their child’s acceptable progress for the county board.

Funding Your West Virginia Homeschool

In West Virginia, homeschooling is primarily funded by the families. While there may be some states that provide limited funding or resources for homeschoolers, West Virginia primarily operates on a model where families take on the financial responsibility for their homeschooling endeavors.

Federal Tax Breaks

Homeschooling families may be eligible for certain federal tax benefits to help offset educational expenses. One option is a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows money to grow tax-free when used for qualified education costs. Homeschool parents might also be able to deduct a portion of mortgage interest or rent if part of the home is used regularly and exclusively for homeschooling. Finally, tax credits or deductions could be available for required books, supplies, equipment and curricula used for a homeschool curriculum and instruction. To learn more about these potential tax advantages, homeschooling families should review the information and resources provided by the IRS.

Immunization Requirements in West Virginia

West Virginia does not typically require homeschooled students to provide proof of immunization. Immunization requirements apply to students attending public school or private school. However, it’s crucial to verify the current regulations as they may change.

West Virginia State Graduation Requirements

A child receiving home instruction does not accrue credits within the public school system. However, in accordance with WV law, public school is obligated to recognize and accept credits earned through a home instruction program when a student enrolls in a West Virginia public school.

Persons providing instruction within a homeschool setting have the authority to confer a high school diploma upon completion of the program. This diploma holds legal standing, affirming that the recipient meets the definition of possessing a high school diploma or equivalent.

Importantly, pursuant to WV law, no institution of higher learning within West Virginia can discriminate against a person based on the child’s education or the origin of such student’s academic assessment. This provision ensures equitable treatment for individuals who have completed their secondary education through homeschooling when seeking higher education, post secondary degree, or employment opportunities.

West virginia Homeschool Charters

West Virginia does not have traditional homeschool charters in the same way that some states have charter schools. Homeschooling in West Virginia is typically governed by homeschooling laws that outline the requirements for a person providing home instruction.

Local West Virginia Homeschooling Resources

It is important to note when homeschooling West Virginia does not operate any state-funded online schools specifically for homeschoolers, there are numerous national online curriculum providers available to homeschool families. West Virginia does have a very vibrant network of homeschooling support groups, cooperatives, other teaching materials, and community resources for families pursuing home instruction:

  • Christian Home Educators of West Virginia is the oldest and largest statewide homeschool advocacy and support group. They provide an annual convention, legislative monitoring, activities, and resources for Christian homeschoolers.

  • West Virginia Home Educators Association is an inclusive statewide association serving all homeschoolers regardless of faith or educational philosophy. They offer legal support, a resource center, clubs, and discounts.

  • Almost every county has its own local County/Regional Homeschool Groups providing co-ops, field trips, park days, sports teams, and opportunities for social interaction.


These organizations are invaluable resources for homeschooling families across West Virginia. They offer curriculum guidance, shared resource libraries, used book sales, testing services, field trips, and peer networks of support. Connecting with these local groups is highly recommended.

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