Washington Homeschool Law

WASHINGTON: MODERATE REGULATIONS

Required Attendance Age

The state of Washington requires your child to attend school from the age of 8 to 18 years old. Legal schooling options include:

  • public school
  • private school
  • homeschool
  • an umbrella school

(see legal reference #1 and #2)

NOTE: The Washington homeschool law only applies to children 8 years old and older. However, If your child is under the age of 8 and has been officially enrolled in a public school you must formally withdraw your child in order to homeschool. 

NOTE: A child is considered a “part-time student” if they receive services from the school district but do not enroll in public school. This includes any child who participates in sports or music through the school district, or any child who uses a public school program to learn at home. (see legal reference #3)

Notify The School District

The Washington Homeschool Law requires you to submit a Declaration of Intent to your local school district superintendent’s office every year that you homeschool. Every year after your child turns 8, until they are 18, you must send a Declaration of Intent to your local school district by September 15th.

NOTE: Send the Declaration of Intent on your child’s 8th birthday no matter what time of year it is and never file a Declaration of Intent for a child who is under the age of 8 (click here to learn more).

NOTE: The law does not require you to meet with anyone from the district to announce your decision to homeschool or to file your Declaration of Intent.

(see legal reference #5)

If You Need To Withdraw Your Child

If your child is currently attending public school than you need to officially withdraw them before beginning to homeschool. First send a Declaration of Intent to your local school district superintendent. Then fill out and send an official withdrawal form to your child’s school.

Washington Homeschool Law

Qualify

The Washington Homeschool Law requires you to meet 1 of the 4 following qualifications in order to homeschool:

  1. 45 college level quarter credit hours (30 semester credit hours).
  2. Completion of a parent qualifying course in home-based instruction (sign up for a qualifying course through Washington Homeschool Organization).
  3. Allow a certified person to oversee your homeschooling; this person must meet with your child 1 hour/week to supervise and evaluate your child’s educational progress.
  4. Get approval from the Superintendent of your local school district as someone who qualifies to homeschool.

(see legal reference #4)

Days of Instruction

The Washington Homeschool Law requires you to teach an average of 1,000 hours/year for grades 1-12, which translates into 180 days/year. For Kindergarten the requirement is an average of 450 hours/year.

(see legal reference #6)

Required Subjects

The Washington Homeschool Law requires that you teach the following 11 educational subjects as part of your homeschool curriculum;

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Spelling
  4. Language
  5. Math
  6. Science
  7. Social Studies
  8. History
  9. Health
  10. Occupational Education
  11. Art and Music Appreciation

(see legal reference #7)

Testing

The Washington Homeschool Law requires homeschool students to participate in yearly testing. You have 2 options in fulfilling this requirement:

  1. Have your child take a Standardized Achievement Test administered by a qualified person.
  2. Have your child evaluated or assessed by a certified person.

NOTEThe test results from either option above do not need to be sent to your local school district. They are for your personal records only.

(see legal reference #8)

Keep Records

The Washington Homeschool Law requires you to keep the following records of your homeschooling:

  • Annual test scores or assessment reports
  • Immunization records
  • Any other records relating to your child’s educational/instructional activities

The purpose of keeping records is for your own personal benefit. If you ever choose to enroll your child in a public school they will ask to see your records. You can keep your records in any way that works for you.

(See legal reference #9)

Washington Homeschool Law

Immunization Laws For Washington Homeschoolers

The state of Washington does not require homeschoolers to immunize unless they are part of a public or private homeschool extension program.

The state of Washington will only ask to see your immunization records if you choose to enroll your child in a public school. Students educated at home as part of an umbrella school must present proof of immunization or exemption to that private or public school.

Helpful Websites For Washington Homeschoolers 

For local support and information visit these Washington homeschool websites:

Office Of The Superintendent Of Public Instruction

Washington Homeschool Organization

Legal References

  1. Extension programs for Private Schools: RCW28A.195.010 subsection 4 (a-e).
  2. Required Attendance Age: Revised Code of Washington 28A.225.010 subsection 1 (a-f).
  3. Definition of a part time student: RCW28A.150.350 subsection 1-d).
  4. Parent Qualifications: RCW28A.225.010 subsection 4 (a-c).
  5. Declaration of Intent: RCW.28A.200.010 subsection 1 (a).
  6. Hours of Instruction: RCW.28A.195.010 subsection 1.
  7. Required Subjects: RCW.28A.225.010 subsection 4.
  8. Testing: RCW28A.200.010 subsection 1(c).
  9. Record Keeping: RCW28A.200.010 subsection 1(b-c).
  10. Decisions left to the parent: RCW.28A.200.020.

This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.