In Virginia, parents/guardians must ensure that a child attends school in compliance with the state compulsory attendance law as specified in §22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia when the child has reached his/her fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and has not passed his/her 18th birthday. Parents/guardians who believe that a child is not mentally, physically, or emotionally prepared to attend school may inform the school board that they want to delay school attendance until the following year if the child has not reached his/her sixth birthday on or before September 30.
The compulsory attendance law permits a child subject to that law to attend a private or public school or receive an education through alternatives to school attendance outlined in state law unless the child is excused from attendance by a local school board, as stated in §22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.
Home instruction or home schooling is one alternative to school attendance. In Virginia "any parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a child" may provide home instruction as prescribed by §22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.