Homeschool law may not be the same as the law covering public or private schools. In Washington State, for example, public school is covered in one area of the law, and homeschool law is covered in an entirely different area. It can be confusing! When researching the laws in your state, make sure you are looking at the law that applies to homeschoolers. I frequently see homeschoolers trying to fit their homeschool into public school law, and it doesn't feel right. It can be like the old square peg and round hole!
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While homeschoolers are not expected to meet the public school graduation requirements, they can be used as a meaningful guideline for parents.
I disagree with you concerning occupational education. The purpose is to prepare students for an occupation. If they have a job, it is only considered for work experience credit, which can apply to flipping burgers (410 hrs. for 1 credit, as defined in the state law) or something more. For a more meaningful credit, students can explore various occupations (listed as career exploration), serve in an internship or apprenticeship, as well as enrolling in a vocational program. For some students, this may lead to a vocation aside from college.
Then there is also accounting, keyboarding, etc. which are also considered occupational education.
I'm a homeschooler and will be graduating in a couple years... Do these guidlines still stand? Do they apply to me?
Yes, this still applies. You can read more about Washington State Homeschool law here:
WOW! I wish I would have known this sooner! I would have written out my son's graduation requirements so much differently to begin with. Thankfully we still have two years to restructure to more fit the direction we're preparing him for, along with three more children that will benefit from this information.
So blessed by you... thank you!!!
Thank you Lee for all your information. Our son just graduated(HomeSchool)last week and is heading off to college!The information you provide on HomeSchooling is invaluable! You truly are a blessing to Washington State HomeSchoolers. Have a safe and restful summer!
God Bless you!
Thank you for this info...SO helpful! I have a daughter whose HS academic career was interrupted significantly with her battle with depression. We've patched her coursework together over the past couple of years and she is heading into her senior year and I was getting worried about graduation reqs. This information was the reassurance I needed. Blessings for your efforts!
It happens so often, in our complicated world! Lee also wrote about how to cope in a "worse case scenario" homeschool: What If ? Homeschool High School Without Fear
Assistant to The HomeScholar
I have been seeing that the high schools are changing their graduation requirements for different graduating years. For example, in our district, by the time my son graduates in 2023, he would be required to have 29 credits through the high school. While I know he only needs 24 per WA law, I keep seeing different requirements going around for fine arts and PE credits. I initially saw only 1 credit of each was required and now I'm finding 2 of each of those. Which is correct so I can make sure to have the correct number of credits for those required classes? Thanks so much!!!
Thanks for your comment! You identified a really important point - all homeschool parents must watch homeschool current events and laws for changes.
In her article Know Your State Homeschool Law, Lee says,
"As you are reading the law, remember what it does not say. Searching for the law that applies to “high school” may not give you the information you need. The public school law may be reported in the newspaper, but that doesn't mean it applies to you. And even though it may specify requirements for public school graduation, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a quality education. Always keep in mind when looking over laws and educational requirements for your area, that public high school requirements are not usually enough for college admission. Many homeschoolers exceed the expectation of public schools, because they are invested in the academic success of their children."
Check Lee's article for helpful state-by-state homeschool law links.
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Hi Lisa! Robin is absolutely correct - you only need to follow homeschool law graduation requirements, not public school graduation requirements. Now you see why - they change all the time, and it's hard to keep up with! While public schools must follow those laws, but homeschools and private schools can determine their own graduation requirements for those classes. I hope that helps! This is the link to the article that Robin suggested for you https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/know-your-state-homeschool-law