How do I start homeschooling?
We're so glad you asked! In WV, legal homeschooling begins with a notice of intent
to your county superintendent or county board. At that point it is legal to home educate. How do you then start educating your child? Begin by educating yourself - on curriculum
, learning styles
, and what support
is available in your neck of the woods. In fact, we have a complete section of this website devoted to the new/prospective homeschool parent. Just choose the "Getting Started" tab in the top menu.
Where can I find out about homeschooling kindergarten?
Much of the information about kindergarten can be found in our preschool section under the "Helps" tab. Specifically for compulsory age requirements or information about re-entry into public school, visit the FAQ page here
. For additional help, see the "Getting Started" tab.
Can I remove my preschooler from a public school program and begin homeschooling?
Yes! Please read the summary of the law pertaining to removal of a child from a WV program here.
Can I start homeschooling mid-year?
Yes, but the person(s) providing the instruction must present a notice of intent
to the county on or before the date of removing the child from public school. The instructor must then obtain an assessment
at the end of the year and present the results to the county by June 30 if the student is completing grades 3, 5, 8, or 11. The parent keeps the assessment on file for at least three years for all other grades.
I haven't received approval from the county yet. What do I do?
Approval is not needed if you are homeschooling under WV Code 18-8-1(c)(2). You have permission to homeschool by state law if you follow the requirements of the law including the necessary notice of intent and year-end assessment. Additional details can be found on our WV law page
and throughout our website.
Does CHEWV provide curriculum?
CHEWV does not provide curriculum but we do provide pointers as you gather up your books and supplies! Visit our curriculum page
for more information.
Is the public school required to supply curriculum?
This question is addressed in the WV Law pertaining to homeschooling:
"(3) This subdivision applies to both home instruction exemptions set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection. The county superintendent or a designee shall offer such assistance, including textbooks, other teaching materials and available resources, all subject to availability, as may assist the person or persons providing home instruction. Any child receiving home instruction may upon approval of the county board exercise the option to attend any class offered by the county board as the person or persons providing home instruction may consider appropriate subject to normal registration and attendance requirements."
Please note - "the county shall offer assistance.....all subject to availability…." Many public schools use the "subject to availability" clause as a reason for denial of resources to homeschoolers. Most homeschoolers do not request resources from the public school, so this request to the county may be unusual. Upon request, counties who have available resources will loan the student books. But teachers' books or answer keys are not provided, making it sometimes difficult to use the public school curriculum. The reason is simple - usually only one teacher's book has been ordered for that year and, of course, the public school teacher is using it.
Are services like speech therapy, vision testing, hearing, etc., included in the portion of the law that states the public schools "shall offer assistance, textbooks, other teaching materials and resources subject to availability?"
An argument could be made that assistance like those you suggest, "based on availability" might be included in the "assistance" mentioned in the law. The truth is that this isn't tested and so counties do whatever they want subject to "availability." It's not certain that IDEA related disability and IEP type services are intended, although a reasonable argument might be made to that effect. For assistance in these matters we recommend the services of HSLDA - www.hslda.org
Can someone else homeschool my child?
Under WV Code 18-8-1 (c)(2), the homeschool instructor does not have to be the parent. The instructor does have to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Other requirements are outlined in the law
Are homeschoolers readily accepted into colleges?
When CHEWV first started in 1990, homeschooling was not well known or understood. But it has grown and now homeschoolers are known as spelling bee champs, award winners, and high academic scorers. Although homeschooled students cross a wide range of abilities, colleges now know that homeschoolers succeed just like (or better than) other students. So yes, homeschoolers are generally accepted into colleges on the same basis as other students. A handful of schools still make it more difficult for homeschoolers while a few colleges now actively recruit homeschoolers! Read more about college admissions here.
My high school student just wants to be done. Can we just take the TASC test and be finished?
High school graduation
from any school - public, private, or homeschool - requires completion of all credits and requirements of the school. The diploma represents completion, and a transcript is the accepted way to list the credits earned with the grade for each. Conversely, the TASC test is a high school equivalency test for students who do not finish high school and do not earn a high school diploma. Get more information in our article, Need the GED/TASC?
Do homeschoolers do okay in life? Can they be successful?
Just like any other group of students, homeschoolers vary widely! Homeschoolers are just "regular kids" doing school under the direction, supervision and jurisdiction of their parents. However, homeschool statistics in West Virginia and nationwide are quite impressive! "Homeschooling in West Virginia,"
sponsored by CHEWV, is a recent study about homeschoolers. "Homeschooling Grows Up,"
sponsored by HSLDA, is a study on homeschooled adults. Both might provide surprising and reassuring statistics to calm your fears.
Do homeschoolers have to take a test?
Students being homeschooled under WV Code 18-8-1(c)(2) must be assessed annually using one of four assessment options. Two of those options specifically involves testing. But testing is not the only option. Full details are in our assessment
Annual assessments should be stored in your records for at least three years and submitted to the county when the student completes grades 3, 5, 8, or 11 only.
What About Socialization?
Socialization is a major reason why parents homeschool! Does that surprise you? Homeschool families usually feel that they are providing much healthier social opportunities. But if you fear that homeschooling will stunt your child's social skills, you may be interested in this article.
If my child was given an assessment test in the public school and then I remove the child to homeschool, can I use the public school assessment to satisfy the legal requirements of either submitting the assessment by June 30 for grades 3, 5, 8, or 11 or keeping the public school assessment in my files for three years as a valid assessment?
Possibly. Since situations vary, it is advisable to get advice from legal counsel. We recommend membership in HSLDA, a legal group that has been supporting and defending homeschool families for over 30 years. (CHEWV members get a $20.00 discount on HSLDA membership fees.) For other assessment options, see our menu above.
CHEWV has been so helpful to us. Can we help CHEWV or make a donation?
Since CHEWV functions entirely by volunteer labor, we are grateful for those who support us! The costs incurred by the organization (brochures, website, WV studies, etc.) are paid through member fees and donations. We are thankful for those who join with us
for $15.00 a year. But we are especially grateful for those who believe this work is so important that they contribute more
- because it all goes back into service for homeschool families. We are a 501(c)(3) so donations
are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Is there a discount to join Home School Legal Defense?
CHEWV membership is $15.00 and our members receive a $20.00 discount on HSLDA membership. Members can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the HSLDA discount code.