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Washington State Homeschool Graduation Requirements

July 29, 2016

washington state homeschool graduation requirements
Washington State Homeschool Graduation Requirements

Homeschool law may not be the same as the law covering public or private schools. In Washington State, for example, public school is covered in one area of the law, 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 public school law, and it doesn’t feel right. It can be like the old square peg and round hole!

Here is the key: there is a difference between public high school graduation requirements and requirements for homeschoolers. As a homeschool parent in Washington, you get to choose what your graduation requirements are. You can create your own transcript and award your own homeschool diploma, all within state law.

When you plan for college admission, you will exceed 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: 9 Easy Steps: High School Graduation Checklist

Washington state law stipulates 11 required subjects to be taught in your homeschool curriculum. Moms often find it most surprising that Washington State History is not on the list, but Occupational Education is on the list. Occupational Education is an easy class to teach. Simply 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 Washington state homeschool requirements include:

    • qualify to homeschool (one parent has one year of college or more, has taken a short class, agrees to work with a certified teacher, or is deemed  qualified by the local school district)
    • submit a declaration of intent to homeschool
    • annual assessment (PSAT, SAT, and ACT count, or you can choose a non-test assessment by a certified teacher)
    • required to keep records, but they don’t say which 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 this is turned in, you are completely responsible for your child’s education.

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.

If you don’t live in Washington, please make sure you check the law for your own state.





Please note: This post was originally published in August 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.






  1. Carolyn says:

    While homeschoolers are not expected to meet the public school graduation requirements, they can be used as a meaningful guideline for parents.
    I disagree with you concerning occupational education. The purpose is to prepare students for an occupation. If they have a job, it is only considered for work experience credit, which can apply to flipping burgers (410 hrs. for 1 credit, as defined in the state law) or something more. For a more meaningful credit, students can explore various occupations (listed as career exploration), serve in an internship or apprenticeship, as well as enrolling in a vocational program. For some students, this may lead to a vocation aside from college.
    Then there is also accounting, keyboarding, etc. which are also considered occupational education.

    September 5th, 2009 at 5:26 am

  2. Kandis says:

    I’m a homeschooler and will be graduating in a couple years… Do these guidlines still stand? Do they apply to me?

    March 5th, 2012 at 11:18 pm

  3. Lee says:

    Dear Kandis,
    Yes, this still applies. You can read more about Washington State Homeschool law here:

    March 6th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  4. Stephanie says:

    WOW! I wish I would have known this sooner! I would have written out my son’s graduation requirements so much differently to begin with. Thankfully we still have two years to restructure to more fit the direction we’re preparing him for, along with three more children that will benefit from this information.
    So blessed by you… thank you!!! :)

    May 25th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  5. Jo Anna says:

    Thank you Lee for all your information. Our son just graduated(HomeSchool)last week and is heading off to college!The information you provide on HomeSchooling is invaluable! You truly are a blessing to Washington State HomeSchoolers. Have a safe and restful summer!
    God Bless you!

    June 19th, 2016 at 7:57 pm

  6. Lee says:

    Thank you Jo Anna!!! I appreciate your encouragement!

    June 20th, 2016 at 10:15 am

  7. Sue King says:

    Thank you for this info…SO helpful! I have a daughter whose HS academic career was interrupted significantly with her battle with depression. We’ve patched her coursework together over the past couple of years and she is heading into her senior year and I was getting worried about graduation reqs. This information was the reassurance I needed. Blessings for your efforts!

    August 29th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

  8. Assistant to The HomeScholar says:

    It happens so often, in our complicated world! Lee also wrote about how to cope in a “worse case scenario” homeschool: What If ? Homeschool High School Without Fear
    Assistant to The HomeScholar

    August 29th, 2016 at 3:18 pm

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