In California, there are three legal options under which you may homeschool privately. You are free to choose the option that best meets your family’s needs.

Here are the options:

Option 1: Homeschooling as a home-based private school

In order to operate your homeschool program as a private school, you should follow these requirements:

1. File an annual private school affidavit.

This form must be filed with the California Superintendent of Public Instruction between October 1 and October 15 of each school year. New private schools starting before October 1 can file their affidavit immediately upon withdrawing their student (although they are not required to do so until October 15). New private schools starting after October 15 should file an affidavit as soon as possible.

The private school affidavit may be accessed on the California Department of Education’s website. For detailed information about the form, HSLDA members may click here.

2. Maintain an attendance register.

3. Instruction must be in English.

4. Instructors must be capable of teaching.

5. Provide instruction in the courses commonly taught in the public schools (e.g., language arts, math, science, social studies, health, and driver training).

6. Maintain immunizations records or personal beliefs exemption.

7. Maintain a list of courses of study.

8. Maintain a list of instructors with their addresses and qualifications.

Option 2: Homeschooling with a private school satellite program (PSP)

A private school satellite program is one in which the majority of the instruction is provided at home. The PSP must meet all the requirements for operating a private school, which are listed under “Homeschooling as a home-based private school” above.

Option 3: Homeschooling via instruction by a private tutor

A child who is being instructed by someone with a California teaching credential for the grade level taught is considered exempt from public school attendance. The child must be taught for at least three hours a day, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., for 175 days each school year in the several branches of study required to be taught by the public schools and in the English language. The instructor may be the parent, as long as he or she has the required California teaching credential. Families homeschooling under this option are not required to file private school affidavits or report any other information to the state.