In the state of Virginia if your children have already attended public school in the past, and you want to homeschool them under the religious exemption provision, then you have to send a letter to the local school board requesting permission &/or stating your intentions. This frees one from all government interference with testing and curriculum approval and also allows one to educate one’s children according to biblical standards. Below you will find the letter I wrote to my local school board in order to obtain religious exemption in the state of Virginia. We were granted Religiously Exempt status a week later.
Link to the Letter at H.E.A.R.T.H. Inc. that I used as an example for writing my own.
Hint: Do not copy anyone else’s letter.
Write your own letter according to your own beliefs.
& The Date
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing to let you know that we intend to homeschool our children in accordance with the religious exemption statute 22.1-254(B)(1). Our children, Tommy and Jamie, have attended public school in the past. We have recently felt the Lord’s calling upon our hearts to repent of this practice and mend our ways. We believe that the Bible, God’s Holy, Living Word instructs us to take responsibility for their education ourselves.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Our job as parents is to give our children the religious and educational foundations they need in order to grow into intelligent, productive, Christian men.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
One of the methods that God instructs us to use in home education is to teach our children His Word, and right principles of living throughout the day. The above verses specify that we should teach when we sit together at meals or for fellowship and when we work at our daily labors. The last phrase specifically commands us to make evening and morning devotions a time of family education.
Ephesians 6:2-4 Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Children are obliged to honor their parent’s traditions and their parent’s values. God promises children who follow this teaching that they will have long lives filled with abundance. When our children attended public school they learned many philosophies and traditions that conflicted with the principles they were being taught at home. This put them in a position where they had to choose between believing what the teachers were saying or believing in the Word of God. You can imagine that this was very uncomfortable for them. Children especially, should not be put in the position where they must choose success in school or eternal salvation. Yet this is exactly what was happening to them.
1 John 4:4-6 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Our children know that God is their savior and that they have an obligation as Christians to share their convictions with others. When they heard the teachers teaching worldly philosophies, they could immediately discern that “the spirit of truth” was not in the words they heard. They were hearing words with the “spirit of error”. While they knew they should respect their elders, specifically the teachers, they also knew that what they were learning was at times, directly contradictory to God’s Word. This lead to some heartfelt frustration on their part. Reconciling their spiritual beliefs with a public school curriculum became a heavy burden for them to bear.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
This tells us that even though a public education may seem like a doorway to worldly wisdom, God sees it as a foolish use of our intellectual resources.
Additionally, God teaches us that as Christians we are called to be separate from the world. We live in the world, but we are called to live separate lives, with Christ at the center.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
In this passage we see the doctrine commanding us to live separate lives. We are told that in order to be received by God that we must first “come out from among them, and be separate”. We feel that it is impossible for our children to lead separate lives while attending public school.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
As Christians, we aspire to experience the perfect will of God. When we are affected, or even consumed by the world and its sexual lusts, temptations, and vanities we are essentially wasting our time. God warns us that the satisfactions of this world are temporary. They will pass away. Yet when we keep ourselves from conforming to the world we are actively investing in our eternity. Certainly, eternity is much more important to our family than the temporary enticements from the world.
1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
Psalms 144:11-12 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
In public schools our children are compelled to interact with “strange children” who do not have the same biblical priorities that they do. Without meaning to do so, these other children expose our children to wickedness that they are not equipped to handle. Teachers and other school leaders are not able to be everywhere at once. Misbehavior, horseplay and inappropriate items brought from home fall through the cracks. In order for our sons to grow up as strong healthy plants we need to protect them from this type of worldly temptation to wickedness, which we feel unable to do while they attend public schools.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
This passage teaches us to avoid the types of temptations that our children have faced in public school. Jesus died for us, for our sins, in return we desire to keep his commandments and to follow his teachings. We want to be the peculiar people referred to above; living soberly, righteously, denying worldly lusts and being zealous of good works. The conditions in public schools cause our children to stumble spiritually and prevent them from living out their convictions in the wholehearted manner that God expects from us.
Finally, we believe that religion and education are inseparable.
Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Proverbs 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
When we give our hearts and our will over to God as we understand him, we are filled with a desire to learn more about Him through His Word. Because of the separation of church and state, public schools are unable to offer this type of comprehensive education to our children. In order to teach them in the way that God has commanded, we must educate themselves, at home.
Mr. & Mrs. Brad & Mary