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I want to homeschool next year, don't understand the law in WA

435 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SJLove
My 1st grader is struggling with the insanely strict discipline and lack of challenge in public school. They took away his recess for a MONTH because of his "acting out" in class. He is bored because they refuse to let him go more than one grade level up for reading, even though he finished 2nd grade reading in Kindergarten so he's basically redoing all the reading work he did last year.
I've come to the conclusion I want to home school him next year but I don't know what I need and I don't understand the laws regarding homeschooling in my state (Washington) and how to take him out of public school.
Can anyone walk me through what I need to do to make this dream a reality?
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Hi DiD! I used to live where you live now (if you still live where I used to live, if that makes any sense at all)...there are several very active HSing groups there, and I'd suggest getting in touch with them. I wonder which school your son is at...

Anyhow, the rules in Washington are confusing, but the local groups are the ones who tell you how things REALLY work.
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From what I gathered, I have to formally withdraw my son from school, and then the school year after he turns 8 I have to file a form about my intent to homeschool, and I "qualify" to homeschool him because I've taken 1 year of college and then he just has to get standardized tests but I don't give them to anyone, I just hang onto them in case he ever goes back to school.
Strange. And I would talk to the groups in my area but we're not religious and I'm always afraid I'm going to catch fire in churches.
And where did you use to live? I haven't moved, I'm still here in Vancouver.

Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital
And I would talk to the groups in my area but we're not religious and I'm always afraid I'm going to catch fire in churches.
Bwa ha ha. Roasty Toasty!

I'll PM you.
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It's really no big deal in WA! I think this state is one of the easier ones for sure!

Since he's been enrolled in school already you DO need to file the "intent" form regardless if he's 8 or not. That's what I was told since my son went to public K and they already had him in the system. Had to file so they knew where he went... (If he had NOT already been enrolled then I would not have had to file the intent form until he was 8 yrs old.)
You don't have to do the standardized tests until they are older either-I don't have to do anything for 1st grade this year.
Here's the WA state website:

I know there are lots od hs groups around Seattle so hopefully there are some in your area.
good luck
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I already feel like I'm in over my head. If I had to take a course to qualify, I'd have to include reading "A Time To Seek God."
All the qualifying courses are offered at churches.
Am I the only one totally wigged out by that?
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I know they offer the qualifying course at community colleges. I've seen it advertised in the community classes sections so you should check in your area.
However, I've never heard of anyone taking it because the "'had" to, just because it was an informative class.
I've had no issues at all with religious issues being mixed w/ hsing either in support groups or generally up here so hopefully you'll find a broader base of support once you start looking into it more.
Check out this link for OPT.

They have qualifying courses for homeschooling parents at, I believe, a couple of college locations on the west side.

They also offer a correspondence-style qualifying course that dh and I took last year. It is NOT religious, nor do you need to read any religious-type books!! We decided to take the qualifying course just to learn all we could about hs in Washington state. We both have the college credits needed without it, but felt we could use the additional info.

We are waaaaaaaaaaaaay over on the east side of the state and 90 miles away from the nearest qualifying course classroom location. So, for us, the correspondence course was the way to go!

It was easy to do. They send you the materials, you read them, listen to the cassette tapes (I wish they were on CD instead
: ) and write some reports. DO plan on giving yourself the time to do this, however! Since a lot of info is on cassette tapes, we found we couldn't listen to them in the car. It would have saved us some time to do so! Return all the stuff and they send you a certificate of completion. You need never take another course again.

Also, conact FLO, they are a wonderful organization:
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Breathe IN, breathe OUT.

I have found that the WASHS laws are pretty verbose for not so difficult a concept.

You file a letter of intent with your school district when you w/d your son. You keep it or a copy thereof with you when you go to cool edu stores so that you get the nifty educator's discount.

If there is anything you liked about your son's school, you have the right to retain it, such as him continuing with art or music classes, organized sports, etc.

As far as qualifying to homeschool, you can do it it a number of ways. I noticed you said "if you had to take the course," which leads me to believe you can blow it off, just as I did. Here in Pierce County, they just had it at the school district offices last year. Totally secular. If you have any college, you pretty much "test out."

Annual testing.
The kids can ignore the WASL. When they are older, the homeschooled children do have to take an annual test, but the test is chosen by you from a third party source and the scores are sent to you, not the state. Pretty much, WA is just making sure that you know where your children are in terms of their progress.

I really like homeschooling here in WA, and I have not found the religious aspects of other groups to impede me at all. I would suggest every google or other search you do, you include the term secular. That's what I have had to do to get the information I want. While I am a Lutheran, I am also a scientist at heart. Religious life is not our educational focus at all.
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go to the family learning organization. They offer qualifying courses via distance learning, and they have an assessment you can do and send into hem, so no testing.
this has the parent qualifying course. I think you said you have the college you need, though?
I live in WA and this is how I did it:
My oldest ds was in 1st grade and I decided to homeschool, so I attended this seminar which lasted two Saturdays

A week later, I called the school and said "My son's last day will be Friday." I filled out the declaration of intent to homeschool (which can be printed out or you can call and they will mail it to you) and mailed it in.

Once my son turned 8, I filed a DOI, which has to be done yearly, and I ordered an annual test from the family learning organization website. He took it, they mailed back tghe results, and that's it.

It's pretty easy.
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