Welcome! We have some suggestions for those considering Homeschooling. First, pray about it! Homeschooling can be for everyone, but remember, it may not look the same in your home as it would in another home. According to Washington state law, your child has until the age of 8 before being required to "do school". If leaving public school, take time to transition and discover new things. Read together, play board games, take field trips, go on nature walks, and just plain play! Learning comes from all around us. Welcome to homeschooling!
1. WHO is a great resource to begin homeschooling in Washington. - If your child(ren) are currently in public school, you will need to formally withdraw your child(ren) from their school. The school will either have a form or your may write a signed and dated letter stating that you are withdrawing them. If they are 8 or older, you will also need to file a declaration of intent to homeschool with the superintendent. This is not the case if they will be doing online public school, private school, or a public school co-op as these are not considered homeschooling by WA law. - If your child is not currently in public school, and is 8 or older as of August 31, you will need to file a declaration of intent to homeschool with the superintendent of the school district you reside in. The district office will either have a form or you may use the one here: http://www.cfhe.net/wa-homeschool-law.html -The parent/guardian needs meet ONE of the qualifications:
Either 45 college quarter credit hours (about 24-30 semester hours, or one year full time college work) in any subject;
Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington has an online option, here.
OR hire a teacher to supervise;
OR gain superintendent approval.
2. Take some time to figure out what your homeschool style is and what educational philosophy you prefer. Check out classical education, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Easy Peasy, etc. Follow this link to get the scoop on different philosophies and methods. This article can help you make decisions about curriculum. If you have questions or want to chat with someone, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to be a sounding board.
3. Do not try to recreate the public school environment. The way public schools are run is for the convenience of teachers and crowd control, not because those methods have been proven to be most effective for helping children learn and learn to love learning. You can tailor your educational environment to the needs of your family. Enjoy that privilege! Make the most of it, seriously. In the long run, you and your children will be better off if you leave public school educational strategies in the public school. t 4. Remember that you do not have to do this alone! Trade books and movies with friends. Options include the CFHE Library (an exclusive benefit for members), the Used Curriculum Sale or at a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. Stay connected by seeking with other homeschooling families online, come to Mom's Night Out, find (or start) a co-op, or join a community like CFHE. We have a great group of parents! Find one that fits your family. Many are listed here under Online or Co-ops. Find community to stay encouraged by attending the CFHE Annual Homeschool Conference.
5. Get outdoors! Encourage your child to get exercise by climb a tree, sledding, hiking, biking, etc. You might also want to grab a few books or study materials together to learn outdoors! Best of all, you can count outdoor activities as phy. ed.
6. Learn something new with your child or children. Find videos online, learn how to make origami, have someone teach them to knit, make crafts from found objects, learn how to draw, explore space, learn to bake something new or help your kids make their own videos. Ok. Let's be real... maybe your children can help you make a video.
7. Read the Bible regularly and pray often. Be sure to stay hydrated and well rested. It is important to remember that we are NEVER alone and we can find comfort in the Lord when things get hard. ( Matthew 11:28).
8. Stay encouraged! Some of your families may enjoy doing school at home and choose to continue, and others will not. That is absolutely okay. We are here to support you! We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. You have the blessing of trying out homeschooling with no obligations or pressure.
9. Test annually and keep records. How and when during the year is up to you. If you need help finding testing resources, let us know.