Sooner or later, homeschoolers will go through many of the same stages and struggles. Here are some questions that we find get asked most often.
Yes. In Washington it is legal to pull your child out of school at any time, for any reason, no questions asked. You will need to formally withdraw. If the child is 8 or over, you will also need to file a declaration of intent to homeschool with the school district.
Homeschool requirements vary from state to state. Here is what you need to know about homeschooling in Washington State:
WA State Homeschool Law
The law requires homeschoolers 8 and older (no requirements for under 8) to be taught all the same subjects you see in public school- reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education art and music- over the course of their homeschool education. This does NOT mean that all subject need to be taught all at once or all in one year. Nor do they need to be taught separately or even in a curriculum. It is up to you to decide in what way and how extensively your child will be trained in those areas.
Keep in mind, the law states:
“all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent”
In Washington, for ages 8 and older you are required to have 1,000 hours of education per year. (Remember, until they are 8, there are NO requirements whatsoever. ) In a public school, this is broken down into 5 1/2 hours a day for 180 days. This might seem like a lot to do at home, but these hours do NOT need to look like public schooling. Your child does not need to be sitting at a desk for 5 hours a day.
On average we have 5,840 waking hours a year. For families who are reading, playing, exploring, cooking, etc. on a regular basis, having discussions and going places, you are sure to meet 1000 hours of “education” in that time.
You also are not required to keep track of these hours or prove them to anyone.
The law states:
“legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.”
So don’t worry if some of your “hours” are maybe a little nontraditional!
Yes! Homeschoolers have the option to do things like sports, band, and other extracurricular activities right along with public school students. They can also go to specific classes, like PE at the public school, or in later grades just go for math or science, but they will need to be enrolled part time.
State law ensures that any homeschooled child has the same right to courses and resources– and at the same level and quality- as a public school student. The best part is that while enrolled part time, you retain your homeschool status and your control over their education.
Probably not. Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling does not usually mean your child sits at home all day by themselves. Most homeschoolers have just as much, if not more, contact with others and the real world than public school students. Especially in Whatcom County where we have SO many resources and activities for homeschoolers. View Event Calendar
Our favorite social event for homeschoolers? Park Day!
Only if you are part of a partnership program or have signed up for specific resources through the public school.
All About Partnership Programs
Running start is a great program that many homeschoolers take advantage of. We are working on adding information on Running Start. In the meantime, you might find this helpful:
Washington Homeschool Organization- information on Running Start
No problem, you can re enroll your child in public school at any time.
This gets a little trickier as you reach high school because they may not accept the work you’ve done at home as credits toward graduation. If you know you are going to just temporarily homeschool your highschooler, you should make specific agreements with the school on what they will accept and get it written and signed on paper to ensure your child can smoothly jump back in.
Didn't get your answer?
Ask your question in our facebook group, it is full of seasoned (and new!) homeschoolers and you are likely to find someone who has been in your shoes at one point.