In a vibrant homeschooling state such as Virginia, it’s not surprising to discover that there is a statewide organization dedicated to empowering and supporting Virginia homeschoolers. In fact, Virginia is fortunate enough to have two such homeschool associations.On this page, you will learn more about each of those Virginia homeschool association options, the specific missions of each, and why joining one or both of these organizations might be beneficial during your homeschool tenure.
Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)
HEAV was organized in 1983 as a faith-based system of support for families choosing to home educate in Virginia. According to the HEAV website, the purpose of their homeschool organization is to:
- Help and encourage parents to fulfill their God-given rights and responsibilities to educate their own children;
- Provide information and advice to homeschooling parents regarding home education and family life;
- Support and protect the rights of parents to teach their children at home through legislative initiatives and contact with representatives in the Virginia General Assembly and United States Congress;
- Educate the general public, educators, and elected officials through personal contacts, the media, lectures, seminars, workshops, conventions, and newsletters concerning the benefits of home education and the Constitutional right of parents to educate their own children;
- Provide information to home-educating parents, the general public, the media, and elected officials regarding the Virginia Code, pending legislation, and court cases as they relate to homeschooling;
- Direct interested parents to local homeschool support groups for support and encouragement;
- Assist homeschool support groups by providing information, resources, leadership workshops, and training seminars.
Members of HEAV receive subscriptions to all HEAV communications, discounts on HSLDA membership, Teacher ID cards, as well as specific discounts on homeschool resources from companies partnering with HEAV. Each year, HEAV also sponsors a Virginia homeschool convention with workshops, an exhibit hall, and a used curriculum sale.
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (VaHomeschoolers)
Ten years after HEAV was formed, a core group of homeschoolers were concerned with the faith-based exclusivity of that organization and decided a statewide association was needed that would appeal to a more diverse and broad population of homeschoolers in Virginia. Originally called Virginia Home Education Association, it changed its name to VaHomeschoolers in 2004. According to the VaHomeschoolers website, the goal of the inclusive organization is “providing homeschooling support to our members, as well as accurate information about homeschooling to Virginia’s families, school divisions, legislators and policymakers, the media, and the community at large.” The resources of the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers are available at no cost — membership is not required to obtain benefits from the association. However, they gladly accept donations to help defray costs and actively accept volunteers willing to help keep the organization vital.
Why Join a Homeschool Association?
While it is unlikely that you will run into any kind of legal issues related to homeschooling in Virginia, being aligned with an advocacy organization is beneficial in the instance that you do. Both HEAV and VaHomeschoolers provide up-to-date information on laws that may affect homeschoolers in the state and guidance on dealing with the VA homeschool laws and remaining compliant. Other resources that state homeschool associations often provide to homeschool families can include:
- information on how to get started homeschooling in the state
- a list of state support groups
- educational and recreational events for homeschooling families
- newsletters/emails designed to keep families informed about state homeschool information
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling Virginia
Have other questions about homeschooling in Virginia? You may find the following pages helpful.