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What you need to know about homeschooling in California

Posted at 1:24 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 17:38:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- It's almost time for kids to head back to school, and that may have some parents considering their children's options. 

In California, parents have many options, including educating children at existing private schools, through a charter or independent study program, or by opening a private home-based school.

But make no mistake; it’s a big undertaking. The State of California requires those choosing to homeschool their children to file a private school affidavit.

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Parents must provide all curricular, instructional and other materials. State rules also require parents to keep track of their children’s attendance.

Another factor to consider is college. The state urges parents schooling at home to learn about student admission or eligibility at specific colleges and technical schools.

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For parents considering homeschooling, it’s also important to know that the alternative diploma equivalencies for students who don’t attend public school are the GED or the California High School Proficiency Exam.

Other Options

Statewide, many public schools offer independent study or home-based study as an option. California also has a growing number of charter schools.

Independent Study

As far as independent study, a student is guided by a teacher but typically doesn’t take classes with other students every day. Click here for more information on independent study.

Charter Schools

Many charter schools offer more flexibility for students and parents. Some even cater to those focused on home-based education. To search for charter schools, click here.

Pros and Cons

For parents thinking of homeschooling, it's important to know the pros and cons. Check out the list below from Calvert Education or click here for the full list. 


  • Having a more direct role in your child's education 
  • Using vacations and other activities as part of homeschooling
  • Providing greater freedom in your child's education 
  • Less distraction from other students
  • The ability to pursue your child's own interests


  • Less time each day to yourself
  • Less daily interaction with peers
  • The need to purchase curriculum
  • Most schools don't allow homeschooled children to participate in sports
  •  Possibly fewer resources than a public school