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Homeschooling in Washington

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Check out this article to find out what you need to do to homeschool your children in Washington State. You can learn about the laws that govern homeschooling and find useful resources for educating your children.

How Do I Set Up a Homeschool in Washington?

Homeschooling children in the state of Washington is different before and after the ages of 8. Because Washington State only requires that children attend school after they turn 8, you aren't required to submit any forms if you are educating your children at home prior to this age.

However, once your children reach 8 years old, you will need to ensure that you qualify to teach them at home. You have several options to get qualified. You can complete college courses (45 quarter units of credit are required). You may also finish a Parent Qualifying Course or bring in a certified teacher who will help your children for at least an hour every week. The superintendent of your school district can also decide whether or not you are qualified to instruct your children though this option might be more difficult to set up.

After you have proved you are ready to instruct your children, you will need to file a Declaration of Intent with your school district. You will need to supply information about yourself and your children as you complete this form. Be aware that you must file this form every year you are homeschooling, from the time your children are 8 years old to 17.

What Do I Teach?

Washington State requires you to instruct your children in specific subjects, although you're not required to teach each subject individually. They can be taught as an integrated unit of study or in several units. These subjects include:

  • Language arts, including reading, writing, spelling and language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social studies and history
  • Health and occupational education
  • Art and music appreciation

You can use Homeschool Courses from Study.com to help your kids learn more about all of these subjects. These courses are a great way for you to reinforce what you're teaching to your children. They also allow your children to get extra practice answering questions with interactive quizzes and tests. You can use these social studies, science, math and language arts for kids courses to help younger children develop their understanding of these core subjects.

How Do I Check the Progress of My Children?

Your children will be required to complete a yearly evaluation of their education in Washington. This can be accomplished through standardized tests or by having a certified teacher assess the academic progress of your children. The standardized tests you use must be approved by the state. You can find a list of possible tests through the website for Washington's State Board of Education (www.sbe.wa.gov).

Helping your children get ready to successfully complete these exams can be easy with online study guides. Check out these options if you're planning to use the:

You should be aware that these assessments are for your records only though you should keep them. It's important to keep track of test scores, grades and other reports in case your children return to public school. They can also be useful if your children plan to attend college.

How Will My Children Receive a High School Diploma?

The state of Washington doesn't grant diplomas to homeschooled students, but you can provide your children with a diploma of your own. If you're using a packaged curriculum, check with the company to see if they award diplomas. If your children are going to college, you'll have to check with schools to see if these types of diplomas are acceptable. Your children can also take the GED exam to receive this type of credential.

Earning College Credit

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To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

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