How to Homeschool in California

If you plan to embark on the exciting journey of homeschooling in California, you're in good company. Well over 200,000 students in California are homeschooled — more kids than in any other state! This article will help better acquaint you with everything you need to know by providing the following:

  • An overview of California homeschool laws
  • An introduction to homeschool groups in California
  • A description of how Moving Beyond the Page can help you get started
* This page does not contain legal advice and is not an endorsement of any homeschool groups listed. (see disclaimer)

California Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in California offers a variety of options to best fit your family's needs. Deciding on which option to pursue depends mostly on the amount of flexibility, independence, and structured support you want. The four options can be found below.

Credentialed Teacher/Tutor
Do you have a teaching credential at your child's grade level? Have a trusted tutor in mind with the right grade level and content credentials? Then this option might be for you. Here are the basics:
  • Requires basic subjects: math, reading, social studies, and science
  • Leaves you free to determine specific content
  • Requires the least amount of record keeping
  • Requires at least 3 hours of instruction per day for a minimum of 175 days per year
  • Specifies that instruction must occur between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
Private School Affidavit
The Private School Affidavit (PSA) officially withdraws your child from public school, making you the official teacher and administrator of your own private school. While this might sound daunting, it gives you plenty of flexibility, and there are several websites available to help you with the record keeping and requirements. Here are some details about the PSA option:
  • Requires basic subjects: math, reading, social studies, and science
  • Leaves you free to determine specific content
  • Requires some record keeping
  • Requires you to file a PSA with the CA Department of Education between October 1st and 15th every year
For more information about requirements regarding the PSA, follow this link.

Private School Satellite Program
The PSP option will vary widely depending on the private schools in your area. With this option, a private school has filed its own affidavit and will perform the administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on teaching. By signing up for a satellite program, you become a teacher for the private school you choose. The private school will then provide some support in curriculum and activity planning, record keeping, and administration. With the PSP option, it is important to remember the following:
  • Tuition fees may apply.
  • You are responsible for purchasing books and supplies.
  • You will have the support and assistance of the school.
  • You may be subject to certain additional requirements.
The best way to determine if this option is for you is to explore the available private school satellite programs in your area. You may find one that is the perfect fit! For a list of available programs, go here.

Independent Study Programs
The ISP is a great option for parents who intend to homeschool only one child or keep students out for only a year or two. With this option, your child remains enrolled in either a public or charter school but receives instruction from you. You will be considered a teacher's aide and have a credentialed teacher assigned to advise and monitor you and your child. It is important to remember the following:
  • Materials may be available on loan.
  • Support systems, structure, and curriculum flexibility will vary across school sites.
  • Religious material may not be taught until after the school day.
  • You must agree to have your child tested in accordance with school policy.
As with the PSP program, with the ISP program it is important to research specific options available in your area. With the right teacher supervising your independent study program, this could be the perfect option for you!

This website provides helpful information for finding charter schools in your area that may offer ISPs.

To find out if your local public school district offers ISPs, you will need to contact the school district. To find contact information, follow this link and input information about your county and school district.

Homeschool Groups in California

Homeschooling your children is a daunting task, but there are many groups and organizations in California to help you out. Here are some organizations you may want to look into.

Homeschool Association of California
HSC provides support on every level. From workshops and seminars to legal advice to community networking, the Homeschool Association can be a great resource for you. Be sure to check out their County and Special Contacts page, which can help put you in touch with experienced homeschoolers in your area.
Private and Home Educators of California
This website provides helpful articles and legal advice as you begin and continue the journey through homeschooling.
Christian Home Educators of California (CHEA)
CHEA is a statewide group that provides information and resources to Christian homeschooling families. They also host an annual homeschool convention.
If you would like to recommend a new link or let us know about a problem with an existing link, please contact us

NOTE: You can find a wealth of local and state groups offering homeschooling advice and support on sites such as Facebook and Yahoo Groups. You can search by city or county, religious preference, homeschooling philosophy, and more. You will need a free account on these sites to join one of their groups.

A Homeschool Curriculum for California

Moving Beyond the Page is a homeschool curriculum that exceeds the requirements for homeschooling in the state of California. All of the Moving Beyond the Page packages cover science, social studies, and language arts, and we offer a range of math programs as well. The California legal requirements are only a starting point, and our curriculum utilizes a range of educational strategies that are designed to foster a love of learning in children including:

  • Hands-on activities,
  • Differentiated options, and
  • Independent projects.

Moving Beyond the Page encourages critical thinking and creativity while encouraging your child's unique learning style like no other curriculum on the market. If your child is a hands-on learner, a gifted learner, or a creative free-thinker, then you should look into Moving Beyond the Page for your child.

Choose an age level to continue:

Disclaimers

Any information about the laws in your state is provided to help you understand your legal requirements to homeschool in your state. It should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. This information was not compiled by a lawyer. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under. If you have questions, you should seek the advice of a lawyer that operates in your state.

Moving Beyond the Page does not endorse any of the homeschool groups that are included in these pages. They are provided only for your benefit. You should research any group to ensure that they align with your family's goals and philosophies.