Thursday 23rd of November 2017

Legal Options

Since we are subject to compulsory education laws between the ages of 6 and 18, it is important to make sure you are legal. This section, not intended as legal advice, is to help parents learn about their options. Choose the option that will fulfill the legal requirements and then you can move forward with your education plan.

Homeschooling in California

There are four ways to home-educate your child legally in California. No one way is "more legal" than another. Each family must address these issues independently. Ask other homeschoolers which option they have chosen. As you make your own choices, remember, no decision is set in stone. You can change your mind and try a different option.

1. Private Affidavit Option

With this option you file a private school affidavit (PSA or sometimes referred to as an R-4 form) to notify the State that you have established a private school and are in compliance with the applicable sections of the California Education Code. (If you use a correspondence school headquartered outside of California, you will need to file this paperwork.) You are required to file the affidavit between October 1st and October 15th. You can file the affidavit online at or by calling 916-319-0801 and requesting a printed form.

California Homeschool Network provides complete details. Click the "Just the Facts" section.

Christian Family Schools might be helpful if you are an independent Christian educator.

2. Private I.S.P. Option

Enroll your child in the ISP (Independent Study Program) of a private school or private school umbrella organization. In order to stay small, many local private ISP’s do not advertise. If this option appeals to you, ask around your homeschool group or at a park day, or see the list below.

BayShore School ISP

BayShore School and Educational was created in 1992 to fill the need for a private independent study program (ISP) that would accept California homeschooling families of all faiths, races, ethnicities, lifestyles, and edu-political philosophies. In 2002, BayShore director, Lenore Colacíon Hayes, authored a book on homeschooling children with special needs and other learning differences. BayShore School’s philosophy is to empower each family so they may develop the best approach by which to nurture their children’s education. They do not use a specific curriculum. Rather, they assist families in meeting the individual needs of each child, while staying within the parameters set forth by the California Education Code.

Laurel Springs Academy

Laurel Springs is a WASC-accredited distance learning high school that offers a complete selection of core academic and elective courses required for graduation and admission to college. Laurel Springs emphasizes critical thinking throughout our high school courses so that students are prepared for the rigor of college-level academics.

3. Public I.S.P./Charter Option

Enroll your child in the ISP (independent study program) of a public school (check with your local school district to find out if this option is available), or in a charter school with an independent-study emphasis.

Innovations Academy Charter School

Bayshore Prep

California Virtual Academy

The Classical Academy

Dehesa Charter School

Eagles Peak Charter School

Escondido Charter High School

Greater San Diego Academy

Julian Charter School

Ramona Community School

River Valley Charter High School (6-12)

The Southern California Connections Academy

Many public school districts offer Independent Study Programs (ISPs).:

EUSD Home Education Program
Escondido Unified School District

Mountain Valley Home Study

Mountain View Learning Academy
Alpine School District

Mt. Everest Academy
San Diego Unified School District

New Directions
Poway Unified School District

Santee Alternative School
Santee School District

4. Credentialed Teacher Option

Arrange for your child to be instructed by a credentialed teacher or tutor. This works especially well if you are a credentialed teacher.

The following websites also have excellent information about legal options for homeschooling:
USA: Ann Zeise's A-Z's Homeschooling
United Kingdom: Education Otherwise
Canada: Homeschool Central