Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in Washington
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
Bill Information
Search for and track current pending legislation.
WHO for Homeschooling
The Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) is the state organization for homeschoolers, families operating under the Home-Based Instruction Law. The purpose of this list is to inform and alert. Members are kept abreast of developments, both in the legislature and in the public school system, that affect homeschooling in this state.
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
Stand for Freedom
Some veteran home educators seem to take a firm stand on principles that others don't even recognize as issues. Is it that they are just stubborn, rebellious, or cantankerous? Probably not.
Part-Time Enrollment
A look at the section of the statutes that regulate home education dealing with part-time enrollment of homeschooled children.
Safeguarding Home Education Freedoms at the Local Level
While many parents may not have the opportunity to influence legislation regarding home education on the state level, there are ways to be involved on a local level.
Together We Stand Free
Details the importance of support alternative educational choices, including private schools and vouchers, along with homeschooling.
The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law
Twenty years ago, home education was treated as a crime in almost every state. Today, it is legal all across America, despite strong and continued opposition from many within the educational establishment. How did this happen? This paper traces the legal and sociological history of the modern home school movement, and then suggests factors that led to this movement's remarkable success.
On Jumping Through Hoops
Most books and articles on home education are quick to point out that homeschooling is legal--in one form or another-- in all fifty states. Parents might have to jump through more hoops in one state than in another, but, as long as they're willing to jump through those hoops, they are allowed to teach their own children at home. But are these hoops actually necessary?
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.
State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities
This is a list of states that have addressed issues of homeschooler participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
Record Keeping
Record keeping is often overlooked in conversations about the homeschool law because it is an easily met requirement, and seems to have no great impact. And yet, the very fact that we compile and maintain our children's records, and store them in our homes, is one of the strongest indicators of how truly independent homeschooling is from public or private education in Washington State.
Some Thoughts On How We Got The Homeschool Law We Have
Each state has its own rules and regulations because each state is different. Washington has the kind of law it has because that was the best we could do at the time.
Homeschooling and the WASL
Are my homeschooled kids required to take the WASL? This article answers all your questions regarding testing and homeschooling in the state of Washington.
Declaration of Intent
RCW 28A.200 is the chapter of the law that addresses homeschooling, or home-based instruction specifically. The first section of this chapter, RCW 28A.200.010, is titled, "Duties of Parents." It delineates, as you may have guessed, the responsibility of the homeschooling parent not already outlined in the mandatory attendance law. This article deals with the first duty listed, the declaration of intent.
Homeschooling Litigation: Preparing the Way
The greatest obstacle pioneering homeschoolers faced two decades ago was daunting: in most states home education wasn't legal. This article details five of the most significant cases that have become landmark decisions in the move towards homeschooling freedoms: the DeJonge case in Michigan, the Jeffery case in Pennsylvania, the Diegel case in Ohio, the Triple E case in South Carolina, and the Calabretta case in California.
The Legal Side of Homeschooling: An Overview of the Legal Risks and their Solutions
Families homeschooling for the first time inevitably have questions about legal challenges or threats that they might face from local or state education authorities. Those who do seek an answer to these questions are often faced with a confusing array of laws, policies, and regulations that not only vary from state to state, but also between school districts, and school officials within the same state or district.
Mandatory Attendance
The mandatory attendance laws are where homeschooling, or home-based instruction, is designated as an educational choice and criteria are set.
Alternative Learning Programs and Home Schooling
This article was prepared for North Central Educational Service District's newsletter, Educational Connections in April 2001. It was written in response to coverage of a "Homeschooling Program Workshop" in the January Connections newsletter. It discusses the difference between Alternative Learning Programs and home schooling in the state of Washington.
Alternative Education Programs
There is a relatively new movement taking shape in several states across the country. Public school districts are laying down their battle weapons so to speak, and taking up diplomacy in their dealings with the homeschooling community. A prime example of this new stance is in Washington State where for several years now and often with little or no regulatory authority, local school districts have launched programs specifically targeting the homeschool student. Sometimes called Cyberschool or Parent Partnered Program, the title may include the words Homeschool or Home Education. The advertising is pitched to the homeschooling community and usually only students who have been listed as homeschoolers for at least ninety days may participate. But some homeschoolers are taking a dim view of these programs. They warn that it is a thinly veiled effort to woo them back into the public schools and that it is a poor use of taxpayers' money.
Parent Responsibilities, Rights and Other Laws Affecting Homeschoolers
The second section of this chapter, RCW 28A.200.020, is titled, "Home-based Instruction - Certain Decisions Responsibility of Parent Unless Otherwise Specified." This section of the law is our declaration of independence from the traditional educational philosophy of the "professional educator," and freedom from oversight of a private or public educational institutions. It is a broad description of the parent's rights which make homeschooling the independent, parent directed and controlled process that it is.
Public Alternative Education Programs
A look at the laws and issues governing public alternative education programs in the state of Washington.
The New Face of Homeschooling
As their ranks increase, homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning.
Testing and Compliance
Annual testing is never overlooked in conversations about the homeschool law, and is often the cause of heated discussion. Because testing is such a contentious issue, this article closely examines the law.
Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

Conquering Chronic Disorganization
The real-life stories of chronically disorganized people and the ground breaking, easy-to-learn organizing methods used to end their chronic disorganization in the area of residential clutter, office organizing, paper management, storage, and time management. Conquerings pages includes an extensive index, user-friendly summaries, quick tips, helpful photographs, and a resource section of products and organizations.
The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
This ambitious reference guide lives up to its name. Practically three inches thick--and we're not talking large print here--it's packed with titles, ordering information, and Web site addresses. From where to send away for a kit to make your own Chilean rain stick to how to order a set of Elizabethan costume paper dolls, the book connects families to a world of learning possibilities. Book titles, short synopses, authors' names, publishers, and years of print make up the bulk of the guide. Clas...
TruthQuest History
The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are also writing exercises included in these texts.
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities w...
Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series
Stand amid soaring Douglas fir in the great hall of Glacier Park Lodge or sit in the setting sun and gaze into the Grand Canyon at El Tovar. This beautiful gift book will transport you to the majestic lodges of our national parks to relive the glory of past vacations or plan adventures anew. This book and the PBS television series of the same title (to air in spring 2002) take armchair travelers into these architectural wonders and explore the surrounding natural beauty of our national parks. Lo...