There are four legal options for homeschooling legally in California. These options are detailed completely:
- On the California Homeschool Network (CHN) website here and
- On the Homeschool Association of California (HSC) here.
However, from my experience, families in the Central Valley tend to homeschool in one of 2 ways:
- By filing a private school affidavit (formerly called the R-4), declaring their home a private school (parents educating their own children don’t need to go through the background checks and fingerprinting hoops which regular private school teachers must jump through to educate at a private school. And private schools can legally have just 1 or 2 students.)
- By signing up with a program: Either a local homeschool charter (ISP), private school satellite program (PSP) or virtual (online) school.
NOTE: Many people want to join a homeschool program because they worry less that they will get taken to court on truancy charges. They also like to have somebody tell then what the kids should be learning when. Many people join a program their first couple years to “get their feet wet” and then go off on their own when they feel more confident.