How to Homeschool in Washington

While a quick search of homeschool laws might leave you feeling overwhelmed, Washington's homeschool laws are actually rather simple. The first thing to know is that education is compulsory only for students already enrolled in a public school or children eight years and older. If you plan to begin homeschooling your child and he or she is under eight years old and has never been enrolled in public school, then you are ready to go! If your child has been enrolled in public school or is nearing (or passed) that eighth birthday, read on for more information, including the following:

  • Overview of Washington homeschool laws
  • Introduction to homeschool groups in Washington
  • Description of how Moving Beyond the Page can help you get started
The state of Washington also supports alternative learning environments that operate through schools and school districts, but they are not quite homeschooling and not quite traditional schooling. Learn more here.

* This page does not contain legal advice and is not an endorsement of any homeschool groups listed. (see disclaimer)

Washington Homeschool Laws

When planning to homeschool, there are several requirements you should be aware of:

  • Homeschooling parents must provide a Declaration of Intent to Homeschool.
  • Parents must qualify to homeschool (there are 4 main ways to do this).
  • You must teach the 11 required subjects: reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation.
  • Your child must take yearly assessments (there are a couple of options here).
  • You must keep records of your child's education.
Declaration of Intent
The Declaration of Intent to Homeschool is an important document that informs your child's school district that you will be taking responsibility for your child's education. It must be filed each year by September 15 with your district's superintendent. The following links will provide you with further resources:

Ways to Qualify to Homeschool
In Washington, you must meet at least one of four possible qualifications to homeschool. To qualify, a parent must fulfill one of the following:

  • Have earned 45 quarter units (30 semester units) of college-level credit
  • Have attended a Parent Qualifying Course (courses that specifically address home instruction — options provided here)
  • Work with a certificated teacher who works with the student for a minimum of one hour per week
  • Be approved by the school district superintendent as suitably qualified to provide instruction to your child.
Yearly Assessments
While your child will be required to participate in annual testing, you do still have some options about how to test your child, and the records of your child's scores are part of your records. No one else is required to see them! Below is a list of assessment options:

  • Non-test assessments — a Washington State certified teacher who is currently working in the field of education writes an assessment of the student's academic progress
  • Standardized testing — a qualified individual administers a standardized achievement test approved by the State Board of Education (administrators in your area can be found here)

Homeschool Groups in Washington

Homeschooling your children is a daunting task, but there are many groups and organizations in Washington to help you out. Here are some organizations you may want to look into.

Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO)
This statewide organization provides support for new and veteran homeschool families alike. WHO hosts a convention every summer for its members and provides several activities and enrichment opportunities throughout the year.
Washington Home Educator's Network (WHEN)
This public group offers a wealth of resources and discussion opportunities to explore homeschooling in Washington state. *Note: you will have to sign in with a free Yahoo account to join this group.
Eastside Homeschool PTSA
This organization serves all families in Eastern Washington state. They provide resources, activity opportunities, and support for all your homeschooling needs.
Family Learning Program
The Family Learning Program (FLP) is a secular learning and community-building environment for homeschooling families in Seattle and beyond. Based in West Seattle and partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation since 2010, our program offers a wide variety of classes, clubs, and community-building opportunities which complement diverse homeschooling methods.
Loyal Heights Homeschool Program
Loyal Heights Homeschool Program (LHH) is a community of homeschooling families who gather each Wednesday to learn and play. We offer classes and social activities from September to June and a chance for families to play and connect with other homeschoolers. Please join us; we look forward to meeting you!
If you would like to recommend a new link or let us know about a problem with an existing link, please contact us

NOTE: You can find a wealth of local and state groups offering homeschooling advice and support on sites such as Facebook and Yahoo Groups. You can search by city or county, religious preference, homeschooling philosophy, and more. You will need a free account on these sites to join one of their groups.

A Homeschool Curriculum for Washington

Moving Beyond the Page is a homeschool curriculum that exceeds the requirements for homeschooling in the state of Washington. All of the Moving Beyond the Page packages cover science, social studies, and language arts, and we offer a range of math programs as well. The Washington legal requirements are only a starting point, and our curriculum utilizes a range of educational strategies that are designed to foster a love of learning in children including:

  • Hands-on activities,
  • Differentiated options, and
  • Independent projects.

Moving Beyond the Page encourages critical thinking and creativity while encouraging your child's unique learning style like no other curriculum on the market. If your child is a hands-on learner, a gifted learner, or a creative free-thinker, then you should look into Moving Beyond the Page for your child.

Choose an age level to continue:

Disclaimers

Any information about the laws in your state is provided to help you understand your legal requirements to homeschool in your state. It should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. This information was not compiled by a lawyer. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under. If you have questions, you should seek the advice of a lawyer that operates in your state.

Moving Beyond the Page does not endorse any of the homeschool groups that are included in these pages. They are provided only for your benefit. You should research any group to ensure that they align with your family's goals and philosophies.