Washington State

Under Washington state law RCW 28A.225.010 education is compulsory for children 8 or older, OR if the child has been officially enrolled in public school. Washington does requires (RCW 28A.225.010) that homeschoolers teach the following 11 subjects: reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation. However, the subjects do not have to be taught separately, and the state does not require a timeline or schedule to be submitted or adhered to, other than to meet the requirements of a yearly evaluation. Each year the student must be evaluated according to law RCW28A.200.010, in the form of:

    * A standardized achievement test that has been approved by the State Board of Education
    * OR a non-test assessment administered by a Washington State certified teacher who must be currently working in the field of education.

The tests are confidential and only the parent receives a copy, the Washington Homeschooling Organization (WHO) keeps a list of the individuals who may administer the tests, or non-test evaluation.

Both the tests and results are required to be kept per RCW 28A.200.010 but does not specify in what form they be kept (Original or photocopy), they are not required by any state agency and parents do not have to share them. However, the records can, and probably will be requested by a school administration if parents later decide to enroll their children in formal schooling, be it public, private or university. The state requires immunization records in accordance with law, and requests that further records be kept on instructional and educational activities.

In order to start homeschooling parents must annually file a Declaration of Intent to Provide Home Based Instruction RCW 28A.200.010 and be state qualified to homeschool (RCW 28A.225.010).

In order to qualify to homeschool the guardian, parent or tutor must fulfill ONE of the following: RCW 28A.225.010 (4)

    * Proof that applicant has earned 45 quarter units of college level credits.
    * Attended a Parent Qualifying Course. (Recommended even if you already qualify.)
    * Meet with a Washington State certified teacher who meets with the student regularly, on average an hour a week.
    * Meet annually with a local school district superintendent and be deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction.

The declaration of intent may be obtained and must be returned to the superintendent of the school district in which you live, or the district to which the student would transfer too. Information that is required is the child(ren's) age, name, guardian's name, address and the method by which the parent qualifies to homeschool. If using a supervising certified teacher their name may also be required. Any other information may be added at discretion and is not recommend by the Washington Homeschool Organization. The declaration does not limit the student's ability to use public school facilities or activities in the case of part-time enrollment (ALE), and it is generally understood to be a liability document seeking to protect the parent and students from truant laws, as well as the school body who are no longer held responsible for the child's education.

Though undocumented, it is generally agreed that Washington State has stricter requirements than most states but that assessment and interpretation of qualifications are usually fairly lax with respect to the requirements.

RCW 28A.200.020 states that parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction shall be subject only to those minimum state laws and regulations which are necessary in ensuring that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children receiving such instruction. Therefore, 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 except for matters specifically referred to in Chapter 28A.225 RCW.

The state legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction of a classroom education. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.