California Homeschool Laws and Requirements
by Berkeley :)
California Homeschool Laws Question
Hello, I live in Berkeley, California and I am having some difficulty getting started in a homeschooling program for my 5-yr-old son. I recently met with the Independent Studies Department Director (of the Berkeley School District) and spoke with her about my desire to homeschool my son. I felt that the Director was very kind, and warm and seemed to genuinely welcome us into her program. She told me that I simply had to register my son into the Berkeley School District before we could get started. When I attempted to do so, I was told (at the admissions/registration office) to register my child into a public school, and ask the permission of the Principal of the assigned public school, at which point the option of homeschooling sounds like it's at the Principal's discretion. So I politely informed the Independent Studies Department that I chose not to register my son at this time, although still very interested in homeschooling and I appreciate how kind their office has been to me. I need information on the process of getting started in a homeschool program, California homeschool laws regarding everything that relates to homeschooling, how to ensure I choose the right program for my family, etc. Thank you for making this information available. Berkeley :)
I love that your name is Berkeley and you live in Berkeley, CA! You have four options to choose from to meet California's homeschool laws and requirements. You will find a summary of the California homeschool laws compliments
of HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association).
IF you choose to file as a private school, you will find the form you need to fill out on the California Dept of Ed website. The CDE website says that private schools file the form every school year starting October 1st.
As far as choosing a homeschooling program or curriculum that fits with your family. The only thing I would advise, is to not do "school at home". Many new homeschooling parents mimic what traditional schools do; most of us went to public school ourselves, so that's all we know.
Unit studies are great for young children - Five in a Row is one that I have used for three out of four children so far. It's hands-on, easy-to-use and stress-free for you! The last time I went through FIAR, we used some free lapbooks from homeschoolshare.com to go along with our units.
There are other great homeschool programs as well; you will find hundreds of homeschool reviews on my website to help you narrow the choice. I know it seems daunting, but you will find a perfect match! :)
I hope this helps! Don't give up - many parents successfully homeschool their children in the state of California!
You will also find lots of support groups in California; I encourage you to find one you like. Connecting face-to-face with other homeschooling parents will provide much needed encouragement and moral support as you begin this new and exciting educational journey.
Wishing you many blessings this year!