Homeschool law may NOT the same as the law covering public schools or private schools. In Washington State, for example, public school law is covered in one area, and homeschool law is covered in an entirely different area. It can be confusing! When researching the laws in your state, make sure you are looking at the law that applies to homeschoolers. I frequently see homeschoolers trying to fit their homeschool into a public school law, and it just doesn’t feel right. It’s like the old square peg and round hole! Here is an example from Kelly, asking about Washington Homeschool law.
I’ve sat in on one of your sessions for High School Transcripts. It was very helpful! I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what the requirements were for High School Graduation…..but now I’m a bit confused. I went to the Office Superintendent of Public Instruction website to double check on the requirements…i.e….how many credits necessary in each subject, etc. Is there something new?
~Kelly in Washington
I’m SO glad you wrote! Here is the key: there is a difference between public high school graduation requirements and the requirements for homeschoolers. You are quoting the requirements to graduate from a public high school. As the homeschool parent in Washington, however, YOU get to choose what YOUR graduation requirements are. Homeschool parents can make their own transcript, and award their own homeschool diploma, all within state law.
When you plan for college admission, you are exceeding the academic requirements for graduation from public schools. College admission requires more than high school graduation. If you are following a college prep plan then you are doing more than enough. You can read about college prep academics in this article:
Washington State law requires the 11 subject that are taught within the 12 years of homeschooling. The things that moms often find most surprising: Washington State History is NOT on the list, but Occupational Education IS on the list. It’s an easy class to teach; wait until your child gets a job, count hours on the job, and award credit based on those hours. It’s the easiest class you’ll ever teach
Other things that are required by state law: qualify to homeschool (one parent has one year of college or more, or take a short class) declaration of intent, annual assessment (PSAT, SAT, and ACT count as the annual assessment). You are required to keep records, but they don’t say WHAT records to keep. You are required to keep immunization records with your homeschool records, but you aren’t required to immunize your children LOL!). And finally, you don’t have to turn anything into the state once you have completed the declaration of intent. After that is turned in, you are completely responsible for the education of your children.
You are doing everything right, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a public school. You are a homeschool. Different laws cover homeschools. For more information, check the Washington Homeschool Organization website.
PS. For my out-of-Washington subscribers, please make sure you check the law for your own state. Check with your local homeschool organization for help.