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Some families come to homeschooling organically, slowly, over time, after researching it thoroughly. Others are thrust into it due to a variety of circumstances. There are several alternatives to public school such as public school charters or independent learning via a Private School Affidavit (PSA). There is no testing, no follow up from the government, and no other reporting. Join the HSC Discussion Group on Facebook and join us for our free Homeschooling 101 sessions via Zoom (link). 


1. Unenroll them from their current school (by email or in writing). Make sure to get acknowledgement. 

2. Establish your own Private School​ by speaking it into existence and then later, file a PSA  during the October 1-15 filing period. If after 10/15, file same day after unenrolling. (As of 2023, the CDE makes the form available beginning August 1, so file between Aug 1 and October 15 each year.)  *English and Spanish line-by-line filing instructions are here. If you decide over the summer to homeschool that fall, the PSA isn't filed until October 1-15. After October 15, private schools can be established at any time of year, and if you decide to homeschool at that time, you will file the PSA after unenrolling. 


3. Keep a few things on file (click here) to be compliant with being a private school. 

4. Begin educating your children according to the schedule and educational methods you have chosen.

It's that simple. Parents can unenroll their children from public school at any time of year and create a private school, the October 1-15 PSA filing period is for established schools only. The PSA is available to file all school year long otherwise except from mid June to August 1. 

*(For California only, check with your own local or state homeschool organization if you don't live in California.)

If you have decided to hire a teacher full time, this is not homeschooling, it is educating your child with a tutor under the "credentialed teacher exemption" to the CA compulsory education law. You should check with your homeowner's insurance about liability and ensure that you are complying with all local and employment laws, and your teacher should ensure they are complying with business tax law. Also note that using this exemption means your child is not enrolled in a school, so we generally recommend that families create a private school and not use the credentialed teacher option regardless of how their children are being educated so that they can eventually graduate from a school.

  • Don’t attempt to replicate school at home

    • The world is our classroom, having to stay home/isolated is not typical

    • Let go of expectations, you don’t have 30 students, you are a facilitator of learning and your child’s parent, not a traditional “teacher”

    • It’s going to be messy, and that’s ok, you don't have to have a set schedule/plan on day one

    • Don’t worry about gaps, everyone has them, so aim for an overall education based on future life/career goals

  • Ask your children what they’d like to learn

    • Trying doing “real life” (cooking, chores, gardening, sewing, fixing things, etc.)

    • Also, read, play, invent, make, build, sing, dance, experiment, have fun!

    • This document has loads of resources for those who are suddenly homeschooling

  • Learning doesn’t only happen with a book at a desk

    • Try something different, think outside the box, your kids will learn no matter what you end up doing

    • Self-directed and hands on learning is the best kind, so what is your child passionate about?

  • Be flexible

    • Working parents: Share duties so each parent has focused work time 

    • Use the internet or games as a tool, but don’t feel guilty if you need to rely on them at times to get things done

    • Academics and learning doesn’t have to take place only during regular school hours, make the schedule work for you

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