Homeschoolers need to know what subjects to teach, what science projects need to be explored, which literature covers each grade…and how the law applies to homeschool families!
Washington state has a very accommodating system for homeschoolers, I believe. Parents are acknowledged as perfectly competent teachers for their children, which I thoroughly appreciate. We are not required to meet with a public school representative, we are not required to submit work samples to a public school, and we are not required to associate with public schools on any basis.
We are required to prove our competence as a teacher, keep records of work samples and curriculum used, keep attendance, and file an Intent to Homeschool form every September.
If you have not gone over the legal requirements for Washington state homeschooling, and you’re kicking around the idea of homeschooling…or if you have already bought all your curriculum and are jumping in with two feet…here’s what you need to know!
I) The legal requirements for homeschool parents are:
To qualify to homeschool you must fulfill one of the following:
- Have earned 45 quarter units of college level credit.
- Attend a Parent Qualifying Course.
- Work with a certificated teacher who meets with your student on the average of an hour a week.
- Be deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of your local school district.
II) Also, the deadline for the Intent to Homeschool form is September 15th. So you need to get on this if you haven’t already!
The intent to homeschool form “It informs the school district that they are no longer responsible for the education of your child(ren). It protects you from any truancy prosecution.” (who.com) You need to get the form which you can download right here, and send it to your Superintendent’s office. Which begs the question: where on earth is your local Superintendent’s office??
Here is a list of every single Superintendent office in the state of Washington and their contact information. You will need to get the form from your local Superintendent office, fill it out, and hand it to them. That’s it!
III) More information about the form, for anyone with questions:
This article was originally published by the reputable Washington Homeschool Organization
For the Declaration of Intent Form, click here.
Home-based instruction — Duties of parents.
Each parent whose child is receiving home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010(4)shall have the duty to:
(1) File annually a signed declaration of intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction. The statement shall include the name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction. Each parent shall file the statement by September 15 of the school year or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with the superintendent of the public school district within which the parent resides or the district that accepts the transfer, and the student shall be deemed a transfer student of the nonresident district.
Parents may apply for transfer under RCW 28A.225.220;
Q 1. Why file a declaration of intent?
A. 1. A declaration of intent form is required by law for homeschooling children between the ages of 8 and 18.
2. It informs the school district that they are no longer responsible for the education of your child(ren).
3. It protects you from any truancy prosecution.
Q 2. Who files the declaration of intent?
A. The parent or legal guardian of the student who will be homeschooled files the declaration.
Q 3. Do I ever file a Declaration of Intent for a child under 8 years of age?
A. No. We do not declare any children under the age of 8. Read more here.
Q 4. When do I start declaring and how often do I file a declaration of intent?
A. The first declaration is filed on the 8th birthday of your child, regardless of the time of year. We declare every year after that by September 15th.
Q 5. Where do I get a declaration of intent? Where do I file it?
A. Contact the superintendent of the school district in which you reside and request a declaration of intent. The declaration must be filed with the superintendent of your school district. Your district may choose to forward your form to another department. However, once filed with the superintendent of your district, you have met the obligation of the law. Your district’s mailing address will typically be on the form. It’s not necessary to have your form stamped “Received” by the district. Also, there is not obligation on the part of the district to mail the form to you each year.
Q 6. My district’s declaration of intent asks for more information than is shown on the above prescribed form. Do I have to provide it?
A. No. Any information you provide that is not on the above form is optional. We recommend that if your district’s declaration is not in compliance with the required format, that you print and submit the above form. For further clarification, please read “Declaration of Intent – Let’s Be Clear.”
Q 7. What does, “Supervised by a person certificated in Washington State.” refer to? Do I need to be supervised by a teacher?
A. No, you are not required to have a supervising teacher. Having oversight of a supervising teacher is one of the four ways you may qualify to homeschool. In this case, the parent is not considered the supervising certificated person. IF you are qualifying to homeschool by using the services of a supervising teacher you must check that box on the declaration of intent. You do not need to supply any information about that teacher.
Q 8. Do I need to provide proof to the school district that I am qualified to homeschool?
Q 9. Do I need to meet with district personnel concerning my decision to homeschool or to file my declaration of intent form?
Q 10. Is there any provision in law that allows a school district to refuse a declaration of intent filed at any time?
A. It’s important that a parent first meets one of the four qualifications to homeschool. Once qualified, there is no provision in law that allows a school district to refuse a declaration of intent filed at any time.