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The tutoring option for homeschooling is perfectly legal.

College to Homeschool Mom: State Teacher Credentials Don’t Count

by Mike Smith • November 5, 2019

There is more than one way to homeschool in California—a fact apparently lost on community college admissions officers who initially refused to enroll the son of an HSLDA member.

Aiden Krist studied at home under an instructor who holds state teaching credentials and who also happens to be his mother, Kristina Krist.

This arrangement—homeschooling via a private tutor—is perfectly legal, but fairly unusual.

Rare but Legal

The rarity may explain in part why officials at the college said they could not accept Aiden unless they saw proof his mother had established a legitimate homeschool by filing an affidavit.

Most homeschool families in California operate as a home-based private school, which requires them to file an affidavit with the state superintendent of public instruction every year.

There is no such requirement, however, for families who homeschool through a private tutor.

Unfortunately, the legal counsel for the community college didn’t see it that way. Their insistence that the Krists produce evidence of an affidavit was not only wrong, but ironic. Until the 2008 In Re Jonathan L. case confirmed the legality of private schools at home, many officials argued the only way to homeschool in California was through a credentialed tutor.

Asking for Help

Kristina knew she was in the right, but still needed an advocate. So she reached out to Home School Legal Defense Association.

I immediately sent a letter to the community college explaining in detail the compulsory education law in California as it applies to homeschooling, pointing out the options available and why Kristina’s teaching credentials are enough. Once the college received the letter, officials there accepted our explanation.

Experience matters. For over 35 years, HSLDA has been defending the right of families to homeschool in the Golden State. For more details about the history of this ongoing struggle, you can read my book, The Battle for Homeschool Freedom in California, which is available at our online store.

And if you’re not a member, but want to support our work in defending freedom, why not sign up today?

Mike Smith


Mike Smith is an attorney, speaker, and homeschool movement leader with over 30 years of passionate advocacy for homeschooling families. Read more.

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