Email of the Day: 11 Subjects and Hours of Instruction

Email of the Day:
Is there any specification in the law about how often and how much we need to teach the 11 subjects? Someone on the WA state homeschool Facebook group posted a reference that referred to teaching commiserate with the private schools. It seemed that that referred to a school year and not to actual teaching.


No. You need to cover the 11 subjects over the course of your homeschooling, and the law calls for you to cover 1,000 hours annually. Some of the subjects are obviously elementary subjects (social studies, reading, spelling) and some subjects that schools cover in a few hours total (occupational ed — the day when the police officer parent and the doctor parent and the firefighter parent come and talk about their jobs to the 4th grade).

The way I figure the hours is this:
1,000 hours is 5.5 hours a day for 180 days.
That’s what the schools use, more or less.
There are 8,760 hours in a year.
You spend about 2,920 of them sleeping.
That leaves 5,840 hours to homeschool.
You can’t help but get 1,000 hours done.

The law specifies “all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent.” The homeschool law also states that “the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.”

There is no reason to keep up with the Joneses or the private schools. Rock your homeschool anyway you like.
~ Jen GS