Guide to Homeschooling in California
Whether you are new to homeschooling or a seasoned homeschooler moving to California, there are certain things you should consider. To help parents who want to homeschool their children in the state, Power Homeschool has created a guide dedicated to starting your homeschool in California.
California Homeschooling Laws and Requirements
Homeschool is legal in California, just like it is in every other state. However, it does have some very specific guidelines that parents need to be aware of. Currently, there are several ways parents can provide home educations to their students.
- File a Private School Affidavit to establish a private school in your home.
- Enroll in a private school satellite homeschool program.
- Hire a certified private tutor or get the credential yourself.
- Participate in public school independent study.
- Enroll in a private school satellite program or charter school.
- Enroll in a public charter school for homeschoolers.
The California Department of Education has detailed instructions on how to legally provide an at-home education in California using one of these methods.
Although the California Department of Education requires families to file any reports, it is always a good idea to keep detailed records. Power Homeschool uses an online parent portal that allows you to download attendance, progress reports, and course materials.
Homeschool Standardized Testing in California
In California, the standardized test requirements will depend on the homeschool route you choose. However, some parents choose to have their students participate in standardized tests, whether it is mandated or not. The student’s results can be used to track progress, ensure your curriculum is comparable to other schools, and prove eligibility for post-secondary education or job eligibility.
California Homeschool Graduation Requirements
Parents who homeschool their children in California should begin to explore their student’s next step earlier than peers do in public schools. Look into specific colleges, technical schools, and potential employers and what their requirements are for student admission or eligibility.
At-home private schools set their own graduation requirements. Private and public school independent study students earn a diploma from their school. Students can also take the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) to earn the equivalent of a public school diploma.
Homeschooling Groups and Support in California
One of the reasons homeschooling has been on the rise is the number of resources and support groups available to homeschool parents and students. California has no shortage of homeschool associations, support groups, and co-ops.
Homeschool associations are available to provide support, legal advice, and other resources for families that choose at-home education for their children. California has three statewide homeschool associations.
- California Homeschool Network (CHN) is a secular homeschool association. Membership perks include discounts for events and publications, quarterly newsletters, access to their Facebook group, store discounts with ID cards, and updated information about homeschool regulations in California.
- HomeSchool Association of California (HSC) offers information and legal advice to every homeschooler, whether they are a member or not. However, members do receive additional resources, such as discounted registration to the annual conference and special access to events.
- Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA) is a non-profit that provides information, support, and training to homeschoolers based on Christian values. Members receive free or discounted registration to the annual convention, newsletters, and discounted membership to HSLDA.
In addition to homeschool associations, many parents choose to join homeschool support and co-ops. Usually created by several parents, these networks allow parents to share information, advice, and resources. Both group types can usually be found on Facebook with a simple search of your city or region. Homeschool support groups offer regular activities for parents and students, such as field trips, book clubs, and other special events. Co-ops are typically more focused on academics and may offer weekly learning opportunities. In co-ops, parents often alternate teaching either general subjects or have a more specific focus like STEM or fine arts.
Both homeschool support and co-op groups are available based on students’ age and interests as well as family values. These networks are also great ways for students and parents to meet other homeschool families in their area.
How to Get Started Homeschooling in California
If you are considering homeschool for your child, you are probably wondering how to get started. California has more factors to consider than most states. First, you will need to decide on the method of at-home education that will work best for you and your family. Based on this decision, your next steps may be different.
If you choose the at-home private school route, you will need to select a homeschool curriculum or create one yourself. Power Homeschool’s online K-12 curriculum has many resources for parents and students to make the transition process as easy as possible. For more information, contact us at 800-941-8100.
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California Homeschool Field Trips
Homeschoolers have more flexibility around schedules, which means they can take more time to go on field trips. Since California is one of the largest states in the United States for both population and geographical area, there are many destinations to choose from. The following are just a few examples of the many field trip options available to California homeschoolers.
- Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento: Students can view some of the finest pieces of art in the world and create their own with various guided tours and kids’ programs.
- California State Capitol in Sacramento: Tour the California State Capitol building, learn about the state’s history and government, and discover how the youngest members of society can help improve California.
- Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco: This museum remembers an artist that continues to impact our culture today. Exhibits share the story of Walt Disney as well as his original sketches, creative process, and much more.
- Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito: Homeschoolers have let their imaginations run wild with various programs, events, and activities. The museum’s exhibits provide STEM-focused experiences to even the youngest learners.
- Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County: Visitors of this national park have no shortage of activities for the whole family.
- Fresno Zoo in Fresno: With almost 200 different species, the Fresno Zoo is a great field trip for animal lovers to learn about natural habitats and environment conservation.
Greater Los Angeles Metro
- USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena: Learn about the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands through rotating exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities.
- The Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles: With the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia, this museum will be a favorite for young performers or play writes. View costumes, props, photographs, and scripts from some of the most famous films and TV shows in American history.
- Kidspace Children’s Museum in Los Angeles: Made up of mostly outdoor exhibits, programs, and monthly events, Kidspace encourages children to explore natural environments, investigations, and artistic expressions.
- San Diego Air & Space Museum in San Diego: As one of the largest aviation museums in the nation, young explorers can tour exhibits and galleries and attend special events and summer camps.
- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido: Young learners get to use their natural curiosity to learn about new concepts and ideas through hands-on exhibits, free and group play, field trip workshops, and seasonal camps.
- The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert: Get up close with various wildlife and plant species with behind-the-scenes tours, petting zoos, hiking trails, and so much more.
- The Sawdust Factory in Upland: As a perfect place for aspiring artists, this field trip allows both kids and adults to explore their creative sides. Make woodcrafts and experiment with colors through field trips, homeschool programs, and other learning opportunities.
We hope this provides homeschool parents and students with resources and information to get started with homeschooling in California. If you have any questions about Power Homeschool’s online curriculum, contact us today!
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web page is for general information purposes only. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and may not contain the most up-to-date information.