by Christina Yeager
Deciding to homeschool your children is a daunting task. For some, it may become apparently clear why their child should learn at home, to others...it's a tedious decision. It helps to know where to start and exactly what to do when you are ready to move forward with home education. Here at Homeschooling Heroes, we are culminating information about the laws in each state and passing them on to you! This week, we'll review the regulations for homeschooling in California.
Each state is the U.S. has a very specific set of regulations for homeschooling. If you are thinking about teaching your child at home, you'll need to know the ins and outs of what needs to be done beforehand and during. In this series, Homeschooling Regulations by State, we'll explore information to help with the decision, what to do to get started and what to do correctly to continue.
California homeschooling regulations and laws.
Compulsory School Age
According to California state law, children 6 years of age and up must enroll in a legal school and attend until they are 18 years. If a child is 6 years by September 1st of that year they need to enroll in a public school or any of the homeschooling options below.
Homeschooling can be established as a private school within the home. In order to be in accordance with laws in the State of California, you must file a homeschool affidavit. A PSA or a Private School Affidavit can be filed with the California Department of Education between October 1st and 15th of any given year. The form can be found on their website and must be filed annually.
Private School via Satellite Program (PSP)
A private school that provides curriculum to a homeschooling child is known as a satellite program. The majority of the instruction through a program with a PSP is done at home.
You may decide that hiring a private tutor suits your families needs. A private tutor must be a certified teacher and abide by the recording keeping laws in California and maintain proper instruction. Attendance records, grades, and instruction of 175 days per school year between the hours of 8 am - 4 pm. The tutor may indeed be a parent or guardian as long as they are a certified teacher and can present credentials.
Public School - Independent Study
Enrolling into a public school but choosing to be an independent study means that the child will not be attending school with other children. The child will be studying at home under the direction of a teacher with that school's curriculum. This instruction is not available in all school districts.
Enrolling into a public charter school means that the parent or guardian is now the equivalent of a teacher's aide. There is time required for the student to be on site and participate in activities. Also, immaculate record keeping and testing are needed. The curriculum for each school can differ and some research of such on the parents' part is needed to find the right school for your child. Online classes are a plus!
Formally Withdrawing From Public School
If your child has never attended public school, this will not apply.
When you have a child in public school and wish to homeschool, you'll need to formally withdraw your student. To do this you should notify the local school superintendent's office in your school district. Preferably, if the form of a written letter with your child's name, date of birth, the school they're attending and date in which you want to withdraw them. Don't forget, to file the necessary affidavit mentioned above as well.
Other Important Things To Consider
A maintained attendance record needs to be kept even if it's something as simple as marking a calendar.
Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, and Driver Training are highly recommended to be added to the curriculum.
Instruction of homeschooled children must be taught in English by a capable teaching parent or guardian. Also, a list of any instructors (private tutors), contact information and qualifications should be kept.
Immunization records and/or belief exemptions records should be maintained."
Are you a homeschooler (new or veteran) seeking to share insight? Read our guidelines and then reach out introducing yourself to obtain blogging credentials! And if you're a homeschool parent, be sure to follow the Homeschooling Heroes page on Facebook for tons of resources and insight, and join the Unschool Homeschool group to expand your horizons as to what homeschooling is/can be. And finally, if you're looking for activities to join, we have a group with New Orleans-based activities, which will be expanding to an area near you - so join our group! And be excited about that, because we offer tons of exceptional educational and extracurricular activities for homeschoolers and parents, and can't wait to include you.