Washington Homeschooling Laws
Homeschooling in Washington can be achieved in two ways:
- Establishing a home study program under the Washington homeschool statute.
This option requires parents to ensure that:
i. The instructor is qualified
ii. Submit your notice of intention to homeschool
iii. Include the mandatory subjects in the homeschool program
iv. Provide instruction for the required period of time
v. Assess the student’s progress every year
- Homeschooling under a church school or a private school
Under this option, families must:
i. Enroll the homeschool under a private school that is approved
ii. Observe the school’s requirements and rules set in place for the extension programs
The general requirements for all homeschooling families include:
- Submitting your notice of intention to homeschool
- Ensure the parent/tutor providing instruction is qualified
- Include the mandatory subjects in the homeschool program
- Maintain proper and accurate homeschool records
This page provides more information on the requirements to homeschool in Washington including:
- Requirements to Homeschool in Washington
- Submit a Notice of Intention to Homeschool
- Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers
- Requirements for Graduation
- Switching from Homeschool to Public School
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Washington
The education laws in Washington require every child who is 8 years and above to attend school; either in a public school, private school or a homeschool. Families who decide to homeschool their children have the freedom to choose between the two legal homeschooling options. Each method has specific requirements that must be observed.
- Homeschooling under the statute on homeschools
Ensure one is qualified to homeschool by:
- Having college level credits of at least 45 quarter units
- Completing the qualifying course for parents to homeschool in Washington
- Be available for at least 1 hour weekly meetings with a certified teacher
- Obtaining an approval from the superintendent of local school as a qualified instructor
Submit your notice of intention to homeschool
- The notice must be submitted to the superintendent of schools in your district every year the homeschool program is intended to continue. It must be submitted before 15th of September or in 2 weeks of starting a semester, trimester or school quarter in a public school.
- The notice must have the name of the child, the age of the child and which specific qualification to homeschool among the above has been fulfilled.
Provide instruction in the mandatory subjects
o The subjects that must be taught include reading, spelling, writing, math, language, social studies, science, art, history, music appreciation and health.
o Provide instruction for at least 180 days in a school year or at least 1,000 hours.
o Maintain accurate records
o Have an annual assessment of the child by using either:
o A certified teacher to assess the student’s academic progress
o Having a qualified person administer a nationally standardized test to the student
- Homeschooling under the umbrella of a private school
o Enroll the homeschool under a private school that is approved
o Observe the school’s requirements and rules set in place for the extension programs
Notice of Intent to Homeschool in Washington
Families starting a home study program for their child must submit their notice of intention to homeschool. The notice may be filed whether the child is starting out as a homeschooler or being transferred from a public school so as to avoid any truancy issues. The notice of intent form is available at the office of the superintendent of schools in your district where it should be returned after filling.
The notice must include the name, address and age of every child in the homeschool as well as a statement indicating whether the homeschool program will be supervised by a certified teacher. It must be submitted before 15th of September of every homeschooling year and for those starting the homeschool program in the middle of the year; the notice must be submitted within the first two weeks of a public school semester/quarter.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Washington
The education laws in Washington require accurate records to be maintained by homeschooling families including specific paperwork. These records are beneficial when returning to public or private school after homeschooling, applying to colleges, universities, and workplaces, as well as the military. Some of the things the parents are required to include in the child’s file are:
- Records on immunization
- Results of annual standardized tests taken by the student
- Any other relevant information the educational activities taken during the homeschool period
Parents are advised to create a homeschool portfolio which keeps track of the child’s academic progress through the years and acts as keepsake of the moments shared together with the homeschooler while learning.
Requirements for Graduation in Washington
Homeschooling parents in Washington decide when their student will graduate and award their own diploma. The law only requires the student to have covered the mandatory subjects earlier stated to graduate, the criteria used is entirely up to the parent. Students who wish to join colleges or universities after high school should have their parents research on the minimum requirements to join those institutions to guide creating the homeschool curriculum. It is important to understand how credits are assigned to specific courses especially if your child wishes to join a college after high school; some colleges require specific credit hours to admit new students.
It is also recommended to inquire from local schools on the requirements for graduation for high schoolers in public schools for comparison and to ensure your homeschooler’s credits are relevant and relatable to those of other students from public schools.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Washington.
Diploma requirements in Washington
High schoolers in Washington must complete 24 credits to graduate and receive a diploma. Every district may have additional requirements.
Parents in Washington have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in Washington
|The education law in Washington does not require students to take any test as a requirement to graduate.
There is no law in Washington that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Washington high school transcripts
The transcripts awarded should have information on particulars of the student, the scores on standardized tests taken, attendance records, credit history by title of subjects, grades awarded in each credit and the overall grade in every semester as well as the credit totals.
Parents in Washington can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Washington
|Students must complete 4 credits in English, 3 credits in science with 2 laboratory sciences, 3 credits in mathematics, 3 credits in social studies including the history of the World, the U.S and civics, 1 and ½ credit in physical education, ½ credit in health education, 2 credits in fine arts, 2 credits in world language and 1 credit in technical and career education. Furthermore, every student must study the history and government of Washington as a course.
Many parents in Washington choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Washington
Students who are 19 years and above but do not have a high school diploma are eligible to take the GED. They must not be enrolled in a public school while taking the test.
The same requirement is applicable to students in homeschool as to students in public school. Homeschool students who are 16 years to 18 years who wish to take the GED must submit a notarized statement or a letter for homeschool students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Washington
Every school in Washington has different rules and guidelines in enrolling students from homeschools. It is the duty of every parent to inquire from the school the requirements they must meet to have their students enrolled in that particular school. Most schools may require the homeschool records to assist in appropriate placement of the child while others may require the child to take a placement test. The decision on how homeschool credits and grades will be transferred for high school students lies with each specific division.
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Washington
Have other questions about homeschooling in Washington? You may find the following pages helpful.