If you’re thinking about homeschooling your kids, there are several things you need to know first.
To start homeschooling in Washington, follow these steps:
- Research and familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Washington.
- Notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notice of intent or a homeschooling application.
- Keep records of your child’s homeschooling progress, including attendance, instruction, and assessment, and provide them to the local school district upon request.
- Provide instruction in specific subjects as required by Washington state law.
- Meet the attendance requirements as set by Washington state law.
- Follow any additional regulations or laws set by your local school district or state.
- Start homeschooling and keep records of your child’s progress.
- Be aware that Washington does not require standardized testing for homeschooled students, but it’s still recommended to evaluate your child’s progress regularly.
- Remember that Washington allows different homeschooling options; it’s important to check with your local school district or the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for specific guidelines.
Washington requires no notification or assessment for homeschooled students. Still, keeping records of attendance and instruction and evaluating your child’s progress is recommended.
Home Schooling Requirements For Washington
Each state within the United States sets its standards for homeschoolers. These rules vary from state to state but generally fall into four categories: academic, testing, religious freedom, and financial.
These regulations require that students be taught a specific number of classes each day or week and meet other educational benchmarks continuously.
Homeschooled students will have to take standardized tests throughout their schooling career. Some states offer these exams as part of the homeschool registration process, while others require them after certain milestones are met.
Many states allow homeschoolers to opt out of some parts of the education system if they choose to do so based on their personal beliefs.
Some states limit how much money can be saved by homeschooling. Other states don’t care what you spend on your child’s education as long as it meets basic guidelines.
Washington is no exception when it comes to homeschooling requirements.
Meet Qualifications To Homeschool
Parents who want to homeschool in Washington must file a Notice of Intent with the Superintendent of the school district where the student lives. After submitting this document, a parent should expect a letter confirming that they have been approved to homeschool their child(ren). Parents may also contact local schools to learn more about filing a Notice of Intent.
Once you’ve received approval from your local school district, you must provide proof of your child(ren) ‘s age before enrolling them in any homeschool program. This includes birth certificates, baptismal certificates, and adoption papers.
The next step involves meeting all the requirements outlined by WA State Education Law. These include teaching all the required subjects, keeping proper records, using only accredited curricula, and participating in one of the following types of annual assessments.
Teaching All Required Subjects
All children in grades K through 12 must complete a full slate of core coursework. These courses cover everything from English Language Arts to Math to Science and Social Studies. Students are expected to learn and apply these skills to real-life situations. Most homeschool curricula have lesson plans that help teachers organize lessons around these topics.
Keeping Proper Records
Every teacher needs to keep track of their progress with each student. Homeschool parents should consider buying a notebook specifically designed for this purpose, including spiral-bound notebooks, binders, and even computer software.
Once completed, parents should keep copies of all paperwork related to their child(ren) ‘s education. This includes transcripts, report cards, field trip forms, and anything else that might prove helpful later on down the road.
Using Only Accredited Curricula
Choosing the right curriculum for your family is one of the most important aspects of homeschooling. While plenty of resources are available to educate yourself about which materials are best suited for your situation, it’s always better to get recommendations from experienced homeschoolers.
When selecting a curriculum, look for something that offers a variety of learning styles. This means finding a curriculum that allows you to adapt to your child’s unique personality. Also, pay close attention to whether or not the curriculum aligns with your family values and religious beliefs.
Participating In Annual Assessments
Most states require homeschoolers to participate in some assessments every year. These exams usually test knowledge gained over the previous school year. They typically involve taking multiple choice quizzes or answering questions presented in written format.
In Washington, homeschoolers must attend either a traditional classroom setting or participate in a virtual environment. Either way, the goal is to assess the student’s ability to read, write, spell, understand language, solve math problems, master social studies concepts, interpret historical events, and perform scientific experiments.
File Notice Of Intent
Parents who decide to homeschool in Washington must submit a Notice of Intent to the Superintendent of the school district where the student lives. This document outlines the curriculum plan for the upcoming school year and provides evidence that the student has passed the appropriate statewide assessments.
Once submitted, the school district will send back a copy of the Notice of Intent and a list of documents needed to register your child(ren) in a homeschool program.
Teach All Required Subjects
After receiving approval from the school district’s Superintendent, homeschooling parents must begin teaching all the required subjects. Depending on the ages of your children, you may have to adjust the amount of time spent on each subject accordingly.
You would want to split up your homeschool schedule like this for two reasons. First, younger children often benefit from shorter periods of intense focus instead of longer blocks of uninterrupted work.
Second, older children tend to lose interest in academics once they reach high school. As a result, it makes sense to divide the workload evenly across all grade levels rather than focusing solely on elementary-level material.
Keep Proper Records
Maintaining accurate records regarding your child(ren) ‘s participation in various activities is extremely important. Whether it’s sports teams, musical groups, clubs, service organizations, or volunteer positions, documenting these accomplishments can go a long way toward helping your child stand out among peers.
Parents should also keep track of their child(ren) ‘s academic performance. This data helps determine whether or not your child is making adequate progress toward achieving the goals outlined in their homeschool curriculum.
Finally, remember to record any disciplinary incidents during the school year. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence if the need ever arises.
What Are The Homeschool Rules?
While homeschooling isn’t illegal in Washington, a few restrictions are still imposed upon parents who wish to follow this alternative method of educating their children.
Under WA State Laws, homeschooled students must attend a “traditional classroom setting” or a “virtual environment” for at least 30 minutes daily.
Students living less than 10 miles away from a public school can walk to school instead of driving. However, those living beyond 10 miles away must ride a bus to school unless their parents obtain special permission from the school district’s Superintendent.
Students are also required to participate in one of the following types of annual assessments:
- Oral examinations administered annually
- Written examination administered annually
- Portfolio evaluation conducted yearly
- Performance assessment is given quarterly