Homeschooling families have four legal options
1. Establishingyour own home-based private school.
2. Enrolling in a private school that offers independent study. (PSP)
3. Using a public school independent study program (ISP) or charter school that caters to homeschoolers.
4. If you have a credential, using the tutorial option.
Option 1 Private School Affidavit (PSA)
When you file the Private School Affidavit, you withdraw from school and request their school records. As the administrator/teacher, you must keep the required records, but the record keeping requirements are not burdensome.
Although the state mandates that certain subjects such as reading, social studies, math, and science be "taught," when you file the Private School Affidavit, you have freedom in deciding what specific topics are covered and how and when to cover them. If your elementary school daughter wants to learn a topic that is usually taught in high school, she can.
This option has a great scope of independence and freedom to share your child's education. Financial outlays are controlled by you.
You bear responsibility to adhere to all private school laws and maintain records. Support systems must be sought out, but California Homeschool Network has a list of support groups and local contacts.
Option 2 Private School Satellite Program
A PSP is a private school which has filed an affidavit. When you sign up, you become a teacher in that school. The administrator will remind you to turn in the required attendance records and course of study.
Things to consider about this option:
Administrative matters as required by state law for private schools are handled by the private school.
Compare services and prices, and how long the school has been in existence. Ask for references.
The parents pay for all books and learning materials
Tuition fees vary widely.
Curriculum guidelines, administrative supervision, and/or record-keeping vary depending on the school.
If you register with a public school ISP or Charter School, your child is still in public school. You are considered a teacher's aide and will be assigned a credentialed teacher to oversee your program. You will need to keep records required by the program in which you enroll. Your freedoms to choose what to study, depends on the program's policies and your assigned teacher.
Most charter schools offer a "budget" for a wide variety of curricula as extra curricular classes such as music or dance lessons, Tai Kwon Do etc.
Support systems are offered to varying degrees.
Parents are asked to sign a contract agreeing that they will allow their child to be tested. If the parent opted out of testing, the student may not be allowed to re-enroll the following year.
The requirements of ISPs and Charter Schools are subject to the dictates of state and local authorities.
There are moderate to heavy restrictions through compliance with curriculum guidelines, supervision, and record keeping, depending on the school.
No religious materials or any religious instruction is permitted.
A parent with a California teacher's credential may teach his/her child under the private tutorial exemption. Parents can also hire a credentialed tutor for their child. Instruction must be for at least 3 hours a day for 175 days in a year, between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00.
Just as there are 4 options for homeschooling, there are many, many homeschooling companies offering all kinds of different programs. Homeschooling can help a student who is struggling in school and falling behind. Homeschooling is great for a student who is ahead of the school curriculum. Homeschooling is great for challenged students. Homeschooling is great for many, many kinds of students.
Well, hope that helps some. Please write to me and ask any questions.