Homeschooling My 6 yo

Posted by Jen Garrison Stuber

Email of the Day:

Hello. I’m new and nervous about homeschooling. Nervous because I want to make sure I’m following ‘the rules’ correctly and I don’t want to fail my daughter.

My daughter is 6. And I’ve not enrolled her in kindergarten this year or for next. I’d like to homeschool her but don’t know where to start. And, yes, I understand that she’s not 8, but she’s learning so quickly already. I’ve heard that my school district has a home computer learning program that I could utilize in lieu of teacher ‘verification’. Are you familiar with this? If so, I’d love to know how to sign up. And if I’m understanding correctly, I ‘qualify’ to teach her based in my bachelors degree. Yes?

Again, I’m so very green but eager. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Answer:
A couple of precepts/definitions:

1) Homeschooling in WA law is very narrowly defined as being provided “by a parent, educating his or her child only.”
The program through the school district is not homeschooling, it’s public school at home, and thus public school laws, not homeschooling laws apply if you enroll in the online school.

2) Compulsory attendance laws apply to children 8-18, plus 6 and 7 year olds who are enrolled in a public school. This is why homeschooling laws don’t apply until she is 8. If you enroll in the public school at home program, the public school laws, including compulsory attendance, will apply unless you formally withdraw her.

3) There is no “teacher verification” in homeschooling, unless you are hiring a teacher to provide over sight as your method of qualifying to homeschool. Because you have more than 45 college quarter credits, you qualify to homeschool your daughter by way of those credits, and do not need to hire a teacher, take a parent qualifying course, or gain superintendent approval (the other three ways to qualify).

Come to Convention. It’s two days of workshops (including Intro to Homeschooling), seminars (including a homeschool styles panel), hundreds of curriculum vendors, and tons of family activities (all of which your daughter is a perfect age for).

I have included a piece below that goes into more detail about getting started (though none of this applies until 2019 or 2020, when your daughter turns 8. Between now and then, you remain free to pursue her education as you please.

Let me know as you have further questions, or want to kick things around.
Warmly,
Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair

Getting Started Homeschooling: The Quick and Dirty Guide