Homeschooling in Seattle: Starting Points

General

Washington Homeschool Organization
http://www.washhomeschool.org/
“The Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) is a statewide, non-profit membership organization. Its mission is to serve the diverse interests of home-based education in Washington State. WHO is nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and non discriminating in its views of homeschooling and participation in its activities.”

This is THE resource that will tell you about the law, qualifying to homeschool, Running Start, printing out your Declaration of Intent (DOI) starting at age 8, and much more.

Print Resources

Anything by John Holt: How Children Learn, How Children Fail, Learning All the Time, Teach Your Own

Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert
http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog

Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves by Alison McKee
http://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Our-Children-Unschooling-Ourselves/dp/0965780627

Home Education Magazine
http://homeedmag.com/
Home Education Magazine provides focused and extensive coverage of homeschooling and the issues of importance and concern to homeschooling families, advocates, and supporters. HEM has also been turned to as a source of information about homeschooling by legislators, educators, researchers, and the media.

Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson
http://www.amazon.com/Family-Matters-Homeschooling-Makes-Sense/dp/0156300001
The author of Snow Falling on Cedars is also a Washington state public school teacher who chose to homeschool his three sons.

Local Homeschooling Groups

Seattle Homeschool Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SHGgeneral/
http://www.seattlehsg.org/wp/
“Seattle Homeschool Group’s mission is to provide independently homeschooling families with tools, information, support, and activities. Examples include the newsletter, field trips, potlucks, weekly get-togethers, and more. There is no one particular religious or philosophical belief in the group, just nice folks with a variety of interests and personalities.”

Newcomer contact: Tera Schreiber, seattlehomeschoolgroup@gmail.com

West Seattle Homeschool Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WestSeattleHomeschoolGroup/
“West Seattle Homeschool is a neighborhood gathering of homeschooling families. Its mission is to provide independently homeschooling families with support and activities in the West Seattle area. There is no one particular religious or philosophical belief in the group, just nice folks with a variety of interests and personalities.”

South Seattle Homeschool Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/south-shg/
“South Seattle Homeschool is a neighborhood gathering of Seattle Homeschool Group. Just like SHG, there is no one particular religious or philosophical belief in the group, just nice folks with a variety of interests and personalities. We have a weekly local park day and organize other activities on occasion.”

Seattle Homeschoolers on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/seattlehomeschoolers/
“Are you a homeschooling family in Seattle? Join and connect with other families to further develop community.”

Seattle Unschoolers on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/196093957110003/
“This is a page for the general Seattle area unschooling community – radical unschoolers, academics-only unschoolers, those on the path to either and those interested in either but are not in a place of adopting either for themselves.”

Local Resources

Family Learning Program – Southwest Teen Life Center, West Seattle
http://www.flphomeschool.org/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SEAhomeschoolSWCC/
Meets Wednesdays from 10:45 am – 2:15 pm and Fridays from 9:30 am – 2:15 pm. “This group is for Seattle area homeschoolers interested in participating in a dynamic family learning program that began February, 2011 at the Southwest Teen Life Center in West Seattle — our central gathering place for families to learn, play and build community. We are not affiliated with any organized religion or public school. SWTLC is located at 2801 Southwest Thistle Street, Seattle, WA 98126.”

Vashon Wilderness Program – Vashon Island
http://www.vashonwildernessprogram.org/
“VWP has been igniting relationships between self, community and the natural world since 2007. Our nature immersion programs for youth ages 4-17 cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the more-than-human world we all share. We emphasize nature as teacher, and offer skills development, ecological knowledge, and awareness practices that inspire, empower and transform the lives of our students and their families.”

Quiet Heart Wilderness School – Edmonds, WA
http://www.quietheart.org/
“Quiet Heart is a wilderness education program designed to enhance students understanding of the natural world, and instill in them a sense of stewardship toward their planet and its creatures. Through exploration of nature, as well as the sharing of knowledge and lore of the Ancestors, Quiet Heart students gain a sense of comfort and respect for the natural world of which they are a part. Led by experienced instructors, students will find courses and programs on topics such as primitive and survival skills, edible and medicinal plants, animal tracking, wilderness navigation, awareness skills, team building and problem solving. Quiet Heart’s various programs range from “Through the eyes of a Naturalist” our preschool program, “OWLE” for 8 to 15 year olds, and many other family programs and courses. Quiet Heart is all about learning by doing and having fun.”

Wilderness Awareness School – Duvall, WA, with programs in Seward Park
http://wildernessawareness.org/youth/
“Wilderness Awareness School’s Youth Programs for ages 4-18 strive to foster young people’s understanding and appreciation of nature, community and self. We offer a variety of camps and courses during the summer and school year for children and teens.”

Frog Hollow School – Capitol Hill
http://froghollowschool.com/
“Frog Hollow School is a one day a week writing program for homeschoolers. Frog Hollow offers two separate classes for ages seven through twelve, one on Wednesdays in Carnation and one on Fridays in Capitol Hill, Seattle. Frog Hollow is also now offering classes for teens. Frog Hollow is also sponsoring three free talks about teaching writing.”

C.A.S.T. – Seattle Children’s Theater
http://www.sct.org/School/Classes
“Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. We investigate how SCT Mainstage productions develop, from design and rehearsal into performance. We attend performances of all age-appropriate SCT Mainstage plays and actively explore their themes through drama games and exercises, as well as through discussion and group work. We also compare the process of developing and performing professional plays at SCT with our own art and science projects.”

Three Dragons Academy
http://www.threedragonsacademy.com/
“Three Dragons Academy is…an innovation in elementary arts education, a part-time academy for full-time learners: ideal for fans of alternative education -such as homeschooling, unschooling and part-time schooling.”

Loyal Heights Homeschool Classes – Ballard
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoyalHeightsHomeschool/

Math ‘N’ Stuff – Seattle (Roosevelt Way NE)
http://mathnificent.com/store/

Ada’s Technical Books – Capitol Hill
http://seattletechnicalbooks.com

Park Days!
Please check with the respective groups before attending – many are fair-weather park days, and we’d hate for you to come and find no one to play with because it was too rainy for us that day! Joining the respective yahoo groups and/or Facebook groups listed above will keep you in the loop!

Seattle Homeschool Group – Tuesdays starting around 1 p.m., alternating between Wallingford Park and other nearby parks (mostly on the North end). Join the SHG list for further information.

South Seattle Homeschool Group – Wednesdays starting around 1 p.m. at Genessee Park.  Join the mailing list to be kept apprised of location changes (particularly on rainy days or in the summer when  it often moves to a beach!).

Family Learning Program – Wednesdays from 10:45 am – 2:15 p.m. and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. at Southwest Teen Life Center. This isn’t really a “park” day, but it is a gathering place for homeschoolers. Feel free to come, even if you’re not taking classes! There is a playground, indoor open gym, lending library, drop-in clubs (check the website for the schedule!) and just all-around nice place to meet other homeschooling families and let our kids play together. (http://flphomeschool.org)

Alternative Learning Environments (ALEs)

Cascade Parent Partnership Program
http://www.homeschool.seattleschools.org/
“CASCADE Parent Partnership Program is a public education hybrid program designed to enrich the learning of children whose parents are their primary educators. CASCADE provides families the opportunity to choose from a wide selection of classes and workshops which provide direction, support and supplements to parent facilitated learning at home. These classes include a wide variety of science classes, Writer’s Workshop, Pottery, Spanish, Personal Fitness and many more for grades K-8, as well as a broad selection of high school classes with access to Running Start and other college readiness programs. CASCADE supports families seeking a variety of educational resources and alternative means of learning. While our program is tailored to each family’s individual learning goals, CASCADE provides a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.”

H.O.M.E. Program - Renton
http://home.rentonschools.us/
“H.O.M.E. stands for Homeschool Opportunities for Merging Education. The H.O.M.E. Program is just that. We offer resources and support from the Renton School District, and all of our incredible families help support each other with homeschool ideas and information. As an Alternative Learning Experience – Parent Partnership Program, we work with our families to help create a written student learning plan individualized for each child.”

Columbia Virtual Academy (CVA)
http://www.cva.org/
“Columbia Virtual Academy (CVA) offers an alternative approach to educating students through our partnership of Washington public school districts. With the guidance of a Washington State Certified CVA teacher, a parent or guardian can be highly involved in customizing an educational program for his or her student’s unique learning style and needs. CVA’s personalized approach provides the flexibility to accommodate diverse family circumstances, and ensure quality while meeting state educational standards.”

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA)
http://www.k12.com/wava
The Washington Virtual Academies uses curriculum and services provided by K¹² programs of Monroe Public Schools (grades 9-12), and Omak School District (grades K–12) allow learning to happen at home, on the road, or wherever an Internet connection can be found. While attendance, teacher interaction, and daily lessons are conducted online, our lessons use physical materials and offline tools as well.

Web resources
Discount School Supply
https://www.discountschoolsupply.com/

Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op
http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/

Rainbow Resources
http://www.rainbowresource.com/

TED-Ed
http://ed.ted.com/
“Lessons worth sharing.”

Khan Academy
https://www.khanacademy.org/
“For Free. For everyone. Forever.”

Unschooling Conversations – the blog of Marcia Miller
http://marcialmiller.com/
Marcia is a long-time homeschooler with a background in teaching elementary level math – she also teaches at both the Family Learning Program in West Seattle and at Loyal Heights’ homeschooling program. Her blog is a great resource, and she is just a super all-around nice lady!

Types of Homeschooling
http://www.homeschooldiner.com/guide/intro/main.html
“A listing and brief description of various homeschooling approaches, popular methods, and philosophies and a review of the different types of instructional materials that are available in the US.”

Life Learning Magazine (digital magazine)
http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/index.htm
“Life Learning Magazine is a unique and ground-breaking digital home education magazine. Founded in 2002, it is recognized and trusted as the leading unschooling magazine in the world.”

Things my family has tried and liked:

Pandia Press
http://www.pandiapress.com
Pandia Press products provide me with a great structure to start from. Their lessons all include fun, hands-on activities. I feel like they give me a great road map from which to draw inspiration – inspiration for books to check out from the library, films to watch, and subjects to investigate. They also have a really nice try before you buy option, where you can download a sample of any ebook. (Also, they have GREAT customer service! I lost two ebooks during an iPad malfunction, and they sent me fresh links to re-download! I was so happy!).
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Life, Level One
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earthy & Space, Level One
History Odyssey Ancients, Level One

Discovery Education Streaming PLUS
https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/discovery-education-streaming-plus/?c=1
From HSBC: “Discovery Education streaming Plus is probably the most extensive and feature-rich educational video streaming service in the world. It’s much like having the entire DVD selection of your local public library available to you from the convenience of your home, 24/7/365.”

Reading Eggs
http://readingeggs.com/
Online subscription-based phonics program that we really enjoy. Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op usually has a good group buy.

DreamBox Learning
http://www.dreambox.com/parents-overview
Adaptive online subscription-based math program that we enjoy. Check Homeschool Buyer’s Co-Op for a group buy deal.

Math Mammoth – Light Blue Series
http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete-curriculum.php
We’re just barely scratching the surface of this math curriculum, but I really like it so far. Having all the grade levels at once makes me feel like I can customize the math experience wherever my kid is at or interested at the moment.

I’m constantly adding resources to this page, so if you see something missing, please comment or email me and I’ll be sure to add it!

9 thoughts on “Homeschooling in Seattle: Starting Points

  1. What a great list Chessa! The only thing I suggest (for what its worth) is that I would take out the piece about SHG skewing to the northend. We identify very much with SHG, and we are very much a southenders. One person once described the park days as “monday,” “tuesday,” “wednesday,” park days — noting that everyone was welcome regardless of geography. I thought that was insightful, and I do know folks who travel to a particular park day for a variety of reasons. Additionally, with south park days happening for over 7 years (almost every week) and West Seattle Park days, and the FLP at SWCC (started by SHG’ers), and the teen group meeting all over King County – I don’t think SHG is a “north end” group any longer. Most of the foilks who birthed SHG lived in the northend, but most of those kids are now in college. Have a great time sharing!

    • Thank you, Tera! I added that link and fixed the SHG skewing comment. I think I was mostly confused because SHG park day is always north end, and it’s really my only contact with SHG so far. I don’t tend to leave West Seattle much these days! :)

  2. Great list. be careful though when including “homeschooling” through the public school… There is no such thing. It’s public school at home… as the CVA and WASA mentioned above. If participating in those programs you are considered a public school student and therefore fall under public education law, not homeschool laws. I would also include home school legal defense as a resource for legal questions. Christian Heritage is another resource.

  3. As a homeschool parent of 23 years, I have recently opened my own Learning Center to aid in High School Students and graduation accreditation. After my own daughter was not allowed into a Seattle college because her graduation from WHO was not accredited. She had to retake 2 full years of High School courses in a regular setting before they would allow her to enroll. Now, I have found a solution. Academy NW, a private school/homeschool extension program. I am a certified teacher with ACSI and am able to teach homeschoolers and they receive accreditation for those high school transcripts. To learn more, check out my website at http://www.psac.us

    Oh, and Washington Virtual Academy is a Public School program that allows part time enrollment. Just because your student is at home learning through their program, does not mean you are considered a homeschool parent. I know, I went that way with my high schooler. I got credits for my son that way. I was humiliated by my Homeschool support group for even considering the use of Public Schools and calling myself a “homeschool” parent.

  4. ¡Hola! My name is Amanda and I’d like to let you all know about an exciting new business opening in Seattle this month in Wallingford. We will offer Spanish classes for middle school students; there is a daytime program specifically geared to home schooled students that are interested in learning Spanish and prefer a class setting, rather than a computer program. We also have after school programs for middle schoolers and Spanish classes for parents. I would love to get the word out to interested families so that they know this is an option when considering how to help their student become bilingual. If you or someone you know might be interested, please visit: http://www.vamonosspanish.com for more information. You can also send an email with any questions to: info@vamonosspanish.com

    ¡Gracias!

    Amanda Reichert
    Vámonos Spanish Center
    Director/Teacher

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