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A Complete Guide To Homeschooling In Washington

Regardless of what state you live in within the United States, homeschooling is completely legal, and more families are making the switch.

More traditional ways of schooling aren’t always the right fit, and homeschooling gives your children more options.

If you live in the state of Washington, homeschooling is legal, but there are a lot of requirements you need to meet in order to do it legally. But don’t panic; we are here to help.

homeschooling in washington

We have put together a complete guide to homeschooling in Washington. So read on to find out everything you need to know before you start.

Requirements For Homeschooling In Washington

As we have previously stated, there are a lot of requirements you need to meet in order to legally homeschool in Washington.

This state is a bit more strict than some of the more relaxed states, but once you know what you need to do, it becomes easy to meet the requirements.

All of these rules and regulations are non-negotiable in the state of Washington, so it’s in your best interest to get as many of these requirements sorted before you actually start homeschooling.

Below, you will find an outline of the main and most important requirements needed for homeschooling in Washington.

Homeschooling Under The Home-Based Instruction Law

The requirements for the Home-Based Instruction Law are as follows:

  • You must complete a Washington State homeschool parent qualifying course.
  • As the parent-teacher, you must have earned 45 quarter units of college-level credit before you start homeschooling.
  • You must receive approval for an eligible home-based instructor from your local school superintendent.
  • For at least one hour a week, you must be willing to meet with a state-certified teacher.

Other Requirements

On top of the qualification requirements, there are also some others you must be willing and able to meet in order to legally homeschool in the state of Washington.

Below, you can find a list of the other requirements. We will go into more detail on these requirements later on.

  • You must file a Notice of intent.
  • You must teach all of the required subjects.
  • You must keep proper records.
  • Students must take part in one of two types of annual assessments.
  • You must teach a minimum of 180 days per academic year (or 1,000 hours).

Homeschooling Under The Private School Extension Program

Alternatively, if you choose to homeschool under the Private School Extension Program, you will have some extra requirements again. These requirements are as follows:

  • You must enroll in an approved school that offers an extension program.
  • You must comply with that extension program’s requirements.

Every Private School Extension Program will have its own rules and regulations, so it is important to do your research before you enroll your children in one of these programs.

Record Keeping In Washington

Record keeping is required in the state of Washington. If you ever decide to re-enroll your child back into public education, these records will help with that transition. They will also help with college applications.

In order to correctly keep records for homeschooling in the state of Washington, you must do the following:

  • Keep a record of each student’s assessment reports and annual test scores.
  • Keep all immunization records on file.
  • Any educational information such as coursework, curriculum, activities, and anything else that falls under this subject.

The recommended way of keeping these records is by having a high school portfolio for each individual child who is being homeschooled. This helps in keeping the records organized and easy to read.

Qualifications For Homeschooling In Washington

Washington State requires the most qualifications in the US in order to homeschool.

Unfortunately, there is no real work around here, and if you can’t meet these qualifications, then you will not be able to legally homeschool your children.

The main qualification you will need in order to homeschool your children is at least 45 quarter units of college-level credit.

Even if you have your high school diploma or equivalent qualification, this will not be enough without college-level credit.

On top of this, you must also receive approval from your local superintendent as an eligible home-based instructor, complete a Washington State homeschool parent qualifying course, and you must meet with a state-certified teacher for at least one hour a week.

If you do not hold these qualifications yourself, you can alternatively use a certified homeschool instructor/teacher instead.

Notice Of Intent

In the state of Washington, you are required by law to file a Notice of Intent when you want to homeschool your children.

This notice must be signed and sent no later than September 15 of each year. If you begin homeschooling when the academic year has already started, you must file this notice no later than two weeks after homeschooling commences.

When it comes to what you need to include in this notice, the following information is deemed satisfactory:

  • Each child’s name and address who is being homeschooled.
  • Each child’s age.
  • Confirmation on whether or not you are using a certified teacher to oversee your children’s instruction.
  • If you are teaching your children, you must state which qualification you hold and provide proof.
  • The Notice of Intent must be signed by the parent.

Other than this, you don’t need to include anything else in the Notice of Intent. This notice should be submitted to your local school superintendent.

Required Subjects For Homeschooling In Washington

In the state of Washington, you are required by law to teach specific subjects in your curriculum.

You are free to include other subjects as well, but you must make sure the required subjects are getting enough attention, too.

The required subjects you need to include in your curriculum in Washington state are:

  • Occupational Education
  • Reading & Writing
  • Spelling
  • Language
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • History
  • Health
  • Art
  • Music Appreciation

None of these subjects are negotiable, so you will have to find time in your curriculum for each of them.

The required subjects are one of the reasons why you need higher levels of education in order to legally homeschool your children.

Homeschooling In Washington

Days Required For Homeschooling In Washington

In the state of Washington, you are legally required to teach over 180 days (minimum). As an equivalent, you can teach over 1,000 hours instead.

This is similar to traditional public school hours, where they also have to learn the same required subjects, so it should give you more than enough time to teach everything.

You are free to decide which days you teach and how many hours a day, as long as you stick to the laws regarding days required for homeschooling.

Standardized Testing In Washington

Standardized testing is required by law in Washington State, but there are two different types you can choose from.

The first type is standardized testing, which is approved by the state board and administered by a certified person.

You can talk to your local school superintendent about this if you have any questions. They will be able to point you in the right direction, depending on your School district.

The second option comes in the form of a Washington state-certified teacher giving an evaluation of each homeschooled child’s progress.

Again, you can talk to your local school superintendent about this to work out what will work best for you and your children.

Graduation Requirements In Washington

In the state of Washington, homeschool graduation requirements differ from that of public schools.

Parent-teachers or certified teachers of homeschoolers are required to administer their own diplomas, and they must decide what the graduation requirements are.

There is only one graduation requirement needed by the state, but it is quite simple. You are required by law to have covered all of the required subjects that we have already mentioned in this guide.

As long as you can provide proof of that (via the high school portfolio), then the rest of the graduation requirements are up to you or the certified teacher.

Transferring Back To Public School

Homeschooling isn’t always a permanent choice for a lot of families, and there may come a time when you choose to re-enroll your kids in public school.

When this is the case, all you have to do in Washington State is research potential schools and set up a meeting with them.

Every school has its own re-enrollment process, and you will be able to find out all the relevant information at these meetings.

Some schools require additional testing or evaluations before your child can re-enroll, and some will need to see the homeschool records you have kept. It really depends on your chosen school.


Homeschooling in Washington is a bit more complicated and strict than in other states in the US. You need additional qualifications as the parent-teacher, and lots of the other factors are very specific.

Use the guide we have created for you here in order to successfully start homeschooling your children today.

Remember, you can talk to your school district or local superintendent if you have any extra questions or queries you need answered.

Simon Lewis

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