If you’re based in California, and you’re looking to homeschool your children, you have a plethora of options available to you.
Homeschooling is a popular option in California, with 8.6% being taught this way.
There are various online programs, both accredited and non-accredited, that can support you and your family on your homeschooling journey.
Below, we will delve more into what you need to know about homeschooling in California, and we’ll share some of the best programs available to you.
Homeschooling In California Requirements
In the state of California, you have the right to homeschool your children, but there are certain rules you must follow.
One of these rules is that if your child is six years or older, they must be enrolled in a legal school.
You must file an affidavit to remove your child from public school and begin homeschooling instead, and after filing this affidavit, you must take responsibility for providing your child with all academic materials.
Whether you choose to teach your children yourself or hire someone else, the important thing to bear in mind is that the person doing the tutoring must be capable of teaching.
You have a few options to choose from when homeschooling in California:
- Send your child to a public school offering independent study
- Enroll your child in a public charter school
- Enroll your child in a private school offering a satellite program – PSP
- Get a private tutor for your child or obtain California teaching credentials to tutor your child
- Set up a private school in your home to tutor your child
Whichever method you choose, you need to ensure your child receives lessons in English. It’s also imperative that you cover the main academic areas that would be covered in public schools. These are:
- Math, English, Science, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, P.E, and Health for children in grades 1 to 6; and
- Driver’s Education, Applied Arts, Foreign Language, and Vocational Education, as well as the above subjects, for grades 7-12.
Whichever method you choose for homeschooling, record-keeping is vital. You are required to keep some simple records related to:
- Attendance records
- Immunization Records or Waivers
- Faculty details and qualifications
- Courses being studied
- A copy of your PSA – Private School Affidavit
Further reading: The best homeschooling programs in Florida
The 10 Best Homeschool Programs In California
Now we understand what’s required to homeschool in this state, let’s take a look at some of the best homeschool programs in California that are available to support you and your family:
California Connections Academy is an online public school offering tuition-free learning to students in grades TK-12 – they’ve been in operation since 2004, helping families achieve homeschooling for almost two decades.
It’s a part of the Connections Academy family of schools, which offers online schooling options in many states across the U.S.
Their mission is:
“California Connections Academy Schools educate to empower compassionate global citizens by leveraging 21st century education resources on behalf of students who need a more personalized approach to learning to maximize these students’ potential and meet the highest performance standards.”
The California-based academy aims to provide a personalized learning experience tailored to each student’s needs. This is achieved through a combination of state-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, and high-quality technology tools.
The online format allows students to learn at their own pace, making it a suitable choice for those who require a flexible schedule.
The school emphasizes strong parent-teacher-student collaboration, ensuring that students get the support they need.
In addition to the standard curriculum, California Connections Academy offers various extracurricular activities and clubs to enhance the learning experience of students.
And, as an accredited homeschooling program, families can rest assured that their children are receiving a quality education.
You can request a free guide to this school from the website, and when you’re ready, you can easily enroll online.
California Virtual Academies (CAVA) is a network of accredited online public charter schools catering to students in kindergarten through 12th grade across the state of California.
Offering a tuition-free education, CAVA provides families with an alternative to traditional schooling while ensuring a comprehensive and high-quality learning experience.
Being fully aware that every student has their own unique needs and learning styles, CAVA provides individualized learning plans. This approach ensures that students are met at their current level and are provided with a curriculum tailored to their specific needs.
Students at CAVA are taught by state-certified teachers who are trained specifically in online instruction. These teachers work closely with students and parents, offering real-time instruction, feedback, and support to ensure academic success.
CAVA’s curriculum covers core academic areas, including mathematics, science, English language arts, and social studies.
Additionally, students have access to a variety of elective courses, allowing them to explore varied interests and potential career paths.
An additional benefit of CAVA is that all nine California Virtual Academies for grades K–12 are fully accredited. This ensures that the education provided meets established standards of quality and is recognized by colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.
Blue Ridge Academy is a reputable public charter school that offers tuition-free education to students from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade.
Strategically serving the communities of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Kern Counties, the academy stands out for its commitment to flexible and personalized learning experiences.
With a myriad of unique and dynamic programs, Blue Ridge Academy is designed to cater to the diverse needs and aspirations of its student body.
The institution takes immense pride in its ability to tailor education in a manner that best suits each student, ensuring they are well-equipped for future academic and life challenges.
The dedicated staff and comprehensive curriculum underscore the academy’s vision of nurturing well-rounded individuals in a supportive and adaptive learning environment.
If you’re looking for a homeschool program with spirituality at its heart, then Sonlight could be a good option for you and your family.
Sonlight is a distinguished literature-based homeschooling curriculum that integrates Christian values into its educational approach.
Catering to students from preschool through high school, Sonlight’s methodology emphasizes the importance of comprehensive reading and storytelling as central to the learning process.
With carefully curated book lists, study guides, and supplemental materials, the curriculum offers families a holistic and engaging approach to education.
The Christian perspective infused throughout the curriculum ensures that students not only receive academic knowledge but also build strong moral and ethical foundations.
Renowned for its flexibility, Sonlight allows parents to tailor the educational experience to meet the unique needs and interests of their children, fostering a lifelong love for learning and a deep understanding of subjects through the lens of faith.
One further advantage of this program is that you can request a sample of the instructor’s guide before you buy to make sure this is the right option for you.
Springs Charter Schools is a prominent network of charter schools dedicated to fostering a personalized educational experience for students in California.
With a commitment to innovation and flexibility, Springs Charter Schools offers a variety of programs tailored to meet the diverse needs of 21st-century students.
“Our mission is to empower students by fostering their innate curiosity, engaging their parents, and promoting optimum learning by collaboratively developing a personalized learning program for each student.”
From homeschooling and hybrid models to in-person classroom instruction, the institution ensures that each student receives an education that aligns with their learning style and aspirations.
The school’s dedicated educators, comprehensive curriculum, and robust support systems collaborate to nurture an environment where students thrive academically and personally.
Recognizing the importance of real-world experiences, Springs Charter Schools also emphasizes hands-on learning, project-based assignments, and community engagement.
With its student-centered approach, Springs Charter Schools stands as a beacon of educational excellence, preparing students for both academic pursuits and life’s challenges.
Springs prides itself on parent involvement and being more accountable than public schools.
They are a free charter school, which makes it a great option for all families, regardless of their income and background.
iLEAD Exploration Hybrid is a pioneering educational program under the umbrella of the iLEAD Schools network.
They offer personalized, WASC-accredited learning to students in TK-12th in Orange, Los Angeles, Bernardino, Kern, and Ventura counties.
There are no fees, making it a great option for all families.
Embracing a student-centered philosophy, iLEAD Exploration Hybrid seamlessly merges traditional classroom instruction with online learning, offering students a dynamic and flexible educational experience.
Their mission is:
“The mission of iLEAD Hybrid is to empower learners to become conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world. In this process we inspire them to become creative thinkers and leaders with a lifelong love of learning.”
At its core, the program emphasizes project-based learning, fostering critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration among students.
This hybrid model ensures learners benefit from face-to-face interactions with educators and peers while also leveraging the advantages of digital resources and self-paced online study.
iLEAD’s commitment to nurturing leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and a global perspective ensures that students are not only academically equipped but also prepared to navigate the complexities of the modern world.
With its innovative approach, iLEAD Exploration Hybrid stands as a testament to the possibilities of blending traditional and modern teaching methodologies for holistic student development.
Cabrillo Point Academy is a distinguished public charter school located in Orange County, offering tuition-free education to children from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade.
Their mission is as follows:
“The mission of Cabrillo Point Academy is to develop the individual gifts of students in San Diego County and adjacent counties to become critical thinkers, responsible citizens and innovative leaders prepared for academic and real-life success in the 21st Century. The mission will be accomplished through quality, personalized, standards-based education, which could include online coursework, offline textbook work, and unique hands-on and experiential learning experiences facilitated in partnership with students, parents, staff, and community.”
Dedicated to excellence in education, the academy emphasizes flexibility and personalization, ensuring that every student receives an education tailored to their own aspirations and needs.
With a variety of unique and dynamic programs, Cabrillo Point Academy is adept at catering to diverse learning styles and requirements.
The institution’s commitment to providing personalized learning experiences is evident in its approach, allowing students to thrive academically and personally.
Taking immense pride in its ability to adapt and innovate, Cabrillo Point Academy stands as a beacon of modern education, fostering an environment where students are both challenged and supported in their educational journey.
Epic Charter School is a free, leading public charter institution committed to redefining the educational experience for students.
Recognizing the diverse needs of modern learners, Epic provides a tuition-free, flexible approach to education, enabling students to learn in environments best suited to their individual needs.
Predominantly known for its online and blended learning models, the school leverages state-of-the-art technology and innovative teaching methodologies to deliver a comprehensive curriculum.
Their mission is as follows:
“Fulfilling every student’s individual potential by personalizing an educational plan that focuses on school and family partnership to achieve optimal student performance.”
Epic’s team of dedicated educators works closely with students and parents, ensuring personalized learning paths that cater to each student’s strengths, interests, and aspirations.
The school’s commitment to flexibility does not compromise academic rigor, ensuring that students are well-prepared for both higher education and future career paths.
By blending the benefits of virtual learning with the support and structure of traditional education, Epic Charter School stands at the forefront of modern education, offering a dynamic and responsive approach to teaching and learning.
9. Sky Mountain
Sky Mountain Charter School is an innovative educational institution dedicated to providing personalized learning experiences for its students.
Operating within the framework of public charter schools in California, Sky Mountain offers a tuition-free education that is tailored to the individual needs and aspirations of each student.
Their mission statement is:
“We believe in honoring individual education choices. We commit to providing an innovative public education for students, their parents, and teachers by empowering them to create learning opportunities which develop responsible and contributing members of society.”
Recognizing the importance of a flexible and adaptable educational approach, Sky Mountain provides families with the tools and resources needed to create a learning environment best suited to their child’s unique strengths and interests.
With an emphasis on parents being included, the school allows parents to be involved and take an active role in their child’s education, fostering a collaborative and supportive learning community.
The school’s curriculum is both comprehensive and adaptable, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded education while also having the freedom to explore areas of personal interest.
With a dedicated team of passionate educators and support staff, Sky Mountain Charter School stands as a testament to the possibilities of a modern, flexible, and student-centered approach to education.
10. Sage Oak
Sage Oak Charter School is a pioneering educational institution renowned for its commitment to providing individualized learning experiences for its students.
As a tuition-free public charter school operating in California, Sage Oak places paramount importance on flexibility and personalization, ensuring each student’s educational journey aligns with their unique needs, strengths, and aspirations.
Their mission is:
“Educating students through a personalized and collaborative learning approach, empowering them to lead purposeful and productive lives.”
With a student-centered approach at its core, Sage Oak recognizes that every learner is distinct, necessitating a tailored educational plan.
The school’s dedicated educators collaborate closely with families, ensuring that the curriculum remains adaptable and relevant to each student’s evolving requirements.
The holistic approach at Sage Oak not only emphasizes academic rigor but also fosters the development of well-rounded individuals equipped with critical thinking skills, creativity, and a deep sense of community.
If you are based in California, and you and your children need to move away from public school, it’s possible to homeschool in this state.
Once you’ve selected your preferred homeschooling method and filed for your affidavit, you can choose a homeschooling program that best suits the needs of you and your family.
With so many to choose from, there’s an option for every budget and every type of learner.
You may also like: The best homeschool programs in Georgia.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days a week should I homeschool in California?
There are no set rules on how many days a week you have to homeschool your children in California, but you are expected to homeschool for 175 days a year.
How many hours a day do you have to homeschool in California?
Students should receive at least 3 hours of schooling per day when being homeschooled in California.
How do I choose a homeschool program in California?
It’s important to consider the needs and values of your family. For example, do you require a program based on Christianity, or are you looking for a more secular approach?
You need to consider your budget when choosing a program. Luckily, there are many programs in California that are free.
Finally, consider whether you want an accredited homeschool program or whether a non-accredited program will suffice.
It’s beneficial to read testimonials and talk to other parents to aid you in making the right decision.
Does it cost money to homeschool in California?
The cost will vary for homeschooling in California, depending on which program you choose. There are some programs available that are free of tuition costs.
For paid programs, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 upwards each year for one child.