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California Home School Laws

California State homeschool law and requirements

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at the California Department of Education website.

California’s compulsory education law (See EC Section 48200 on the CDE Selected California Education Codes web page) requires each person between 6 and 18 years of age to attend public, full-time day school and requires their parents or guardians to send them unless legally exempt.

To homeschool in California, families have a few choices.

  1. File a Private School Affidavit
  2. Through Independent Study
  3. Through a Charter School

Filing a Private School Affidavit 

A parent offering or providing private school instruction and who meets the requirements of EC Section 33190 shall file an Affidavit. Parents/guardians planning to file for an exemption to school at home should read the Frequently Asked Questions, “Schooling at Home.”

You can file it online here online affidavit form and find further instructions on the California Schooling at Home page.

Through Independent Study

In Independent study, a student is guided by a teacher but usually does not take classes with other students every day. The student works independently. For more information and contact information see the Independent Study and Alternative Programs of Choice

Through a Charter School 

There are many public charter schools that offer more flexibility for students and parents and some that cater to those who are focusing on home-based instruction. You can search for charter schools using the California School Directory or the Charter School Locator.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Since the Affidavit is not available until after school begins, how can parents schooling at home prevent absence notifications from the local public schools?
    • The annually required Affidavit becomes available October 1. Since most public schools open prior to that date, parents/guardians of students not in attendance may be notified of absence. First time Affidavit filers whose children have been attending public schools might consider contacting the school district attendance officer to inform the district of an intent to school at home under EC sections 33190 and 48222.Parents continuing to school at home who filed an Affidavit in the prior year have an exemption from compulsory public school attendance in place until September 30. Should absence notification be received in the new school year, showing a copy of the prior year’s Affidavit to the appropriate school official should re-establish the attendance exemption.

      Parents intending to school at home whose students have been identified as eligible for special education services under an individualized education program (IEP) or identified as truant should communicate directly with the school district to satisfy all requirements before pursuing schooling at home.


  • Am I required to maintain any records while I school my child at home?
    • Yes. EC Section 33190 requires a copy of the Affidavit be kept at the school.EC Section 48222 states:

      “The attendance of the pupils shall be kept by private school authorities in a register, and the record of attendance shall indicate clearly every absence of the pupil from school for a half day or more during each day that school is maintained during the year.”


  • Are there state or local curriculum guidelines or materials a student home schooling under the Affidavit is required to follow?
    • There are no written state or local school district curriculum requirements or guidelines because California’s grade level standards and adopted materials do not apply to students schooled at home under the Affidavit.


  • Is there a course of study I must follow?
    • Because the Affidavit can be filed only by full-time private schools in order to get the exemption under EC Section 48222, a student being schooled at home in California should receive instruction in the various branches of study required in the public schools of the state. The State Board of Education-approved content standards and curriculum frameworks for core subjects that comprise these branches of study are both available on the CDE Standards and Frameworks web page. These standards and frameworks are the foundation for what is taught in public schools and can serve as guides for curriculum in schools outside the public system.


More California Homeschool Resources

Associations | Events | Field Trips | Publications | Resources

Forming a Private School | Laws | Legal Information | Legislation Watch
Private School Affidavit | PSA Sample

About Charter Schools | Charter School List

Private School Satellite Programs | Public ISPs
Online Support | Support Groups | Support Group Lists

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