First Steps to Homeschooling
Homeschool is legal in California. However, there are several important steps to be taken as you begin. If your student is transferring out of a public school, the steps are especially important to take in the correct order.
Before you bring your child home from school, to be educated at home, you should:
- Prepare. Do some research on what you need to teach, want to teach, and the level your child is currently learning at in each subject. There are so many curriculum options that it can feel overwhelming. However, begin simply, and with the basics. Understand that most children are learning different subjects at different grade levels. For instance, a fourth-grade student could be reading at a 7th grade level, writing at a 3rd grade level, be struggling with 4th grade math, and be a science wiz.
- Protect. Join Home School Legal Defense Association. www.hslda.org
- Plan. Decide whether to join a Private School Program (PSP) like Verity Academy East Bay, or join a Support Group. A PSP files an affidavit with the state/county and holds student records, plus often offers other fellowship and learning opportunities. A Support Group provides activities, field trips, and possibly classes, but does not hold student records. Verity Academy is both a PSP and a Support Group, as you can read about in our Membership Options section. If you do not join a PSP, you must file your own affidavit to be private home educator, and then maintain the state-mandated records for each of your children. *
- Proceed. Notify your student’s former school. Note however, that if a PSP like Verity Academy East Bay files your affidavit and will hold your student’s records next year, the PSP will do this for you after you register! If you file your own affidavit, you must send a letter on your own school letterhead informing the former school that your child is now enrolled in a private school. Request that their records be transferred to the address of your school.
*We strongly advise you to check out the cheaofca.org website and read more about homeschooling in California, especially if you are new to homeschooling or to homeschooling in this state. It is very important that you know what records you must maintain and that you have the learning materials, record keeping knowledge and the legal support prior to bringing your children home to learn.