Yes, homeschooling in California is STILL legal.
We homeschooled our two oldest children for 3 years in California before moving in 2006 to Utah. To legally home school in California, you have the following options:
You can establish your own private school
You can enroll your child in a charter school
You can enroll your child in an independent-study program
You can hire a state credentialed teacher or tutor
We used the private school option. I chose this method because it left me free to choose the curriculum I wanted to use and plan my own lessons without needing approval or testing. Yes, I am a control freak. But seriously, this was the easiest method for our family. Every October, I completed the Private School Affidavit online, printed up my copy and kept it with my records.
The form asked for information about my “private school” like the name and location of my school, how many students would be enrolled, etc. I was required to keep attendance and teach subjects like reading, social studies, math and science but we were able to choose how to teach them. For complete details on how to fill-out the form visit the California Homeschool Network. They walk you through the process and show you how to obtain a paper version of the affidavit to mail-in if you prefer to not to file online.
I was never hassled by anyone – except when I requested my daughters cumulative file from her short stint in public school. You are legally able to obtain this file, no matter what anyone tells you. However, you may encounter misinformed individuals (like I did) who didn’t feel I was supposed to have access to it. I eventually stopped trying and never had a need for it. Nor did anyone contact me wondering where she was the next year.
Now that I have homeschooled elsewhere, it turns out that homeschooling in California required the least amount of paperwork. Go figure.
An East bay homeshcooling community.
Sacramento Christian Organization of Parent Educators
The Tri-Valley Explorers