The Law

Email of the Day:
In talking in another group, I was discussing why I love WA homeschool laws and was told that WA is too strict and sounds awful. Literally she said “ewww your state is going off my list of places i will ever live”. Talk about a punch to the gut. I love WA. I appreciate our homeschool laws. I dont think the requirements are hard or awful. I guess maybe I an weird for liking these things….. — feeling sad.

I explain our law and the protections it provides.
Consider two scenarios — you’re in front of a judge here and have to explain how you’re homeschooling legally; you’re in front of a judge in ID and have to explain how you’re homeschooling legally.

Most people consider ID to be “freer” — but their law says you have to “cause the child to be instructed in subjects commonly and usually taught in the public schools of the state of Idaho.” Potentially, this means in ID, you would need to demonstrate that your kids are at “grade level” and, if they adopted it, following the CCS. While that is unlikely, it does leave a lot of discretion to one particular judge. Their IDHW can continue to investigate you if you don’t “provide refuting evidence consisting of either curriculum, test scores, lesson plans, or description of educational efforts, etc.”

Here, you go in to court, show that you qualify, that you declared, that you’re covering the 11 subjects (but the law specifically protects as your right, “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,” additionally, “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,” AND, in the case that your test or assessment scores are low, provides that if, “as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiency.” You are charged with providing a “a sufficient basic educational opportunity” in WA. And you have a road map if you need to demonstrate that you’ve done that, that is completely divorced from whatever way the wind is blowing in the schools.