Monday, November 9, 2009

California Homeschooling

Since Hunter is going to be of kindergarten age next year, I was looking into the homeschooling laws in California, preparing myself to see what I was getting into. I was a little nervous about this because, last I checked, California was given a "red" grade - that is, considered to be one of the most oppressive states in the nation on homeschooling!

However, I was very thrilled to discover that California's status is now that of "yellow", which was a welcome relief and a huge blessing!

Green - States requiring no notice: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact.
Yellow - States with low regulation: State requires parental notification only.
Orange - States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.
Red - State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).

This map and explanation are from, a wonderful, wonderful organization dedicated to protecting the right of parents to educate their children. Anyway, I found out that in California there is no specific statue for homeschooling, however, you have several options, including enrolling in a public school satellite program, enrolling in a private school satellite program, being taught by a certified tutor, or (the option most families take and the option I am definitely going to take) by qualifying as a private school and filing an annual private school affidavit.

Yes, homeschools are, in pretty much every state, considered to be private schools. California's only requirements for private schools is that they have to keep attendance, teach in English, the teacher must be "capable of teaching" (which they never define, which I thought was pretty funny), and lastly, you have to file a private school affidavit with the superintendent of public instruction between October 1 and October 15 each year (pretty small time period, isn't it?).

There are no other requirements except that you must “offer instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools.” (English, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Science, Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education).

Sounds pretty simple and straight-forward, doesn't it?

Compulsory attendance does not begin until first grade (age six by December 2) so it'll be nice not having to worry about the superintendent until then.

This is in no way meant to constitute legal advice, so definitely don't take it that way. What you can do is check out Home School Legal Defense Association's website and see what your state is like.

" ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." 
1 Peter 3:15-16

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