Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in California and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in California.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
Private Independent Study Programs
In addition to the private schools operated by one family for its own children, there are a number of other types of private schools that offer homeschooling programs. These schools range from the cooperatives, to for-profit ISPs that file paperwork and collect records for a fee, to site-based day schools that offer independent study, to distance learning programs.
California Homeschool Network Legal Rights Committee
California Homeschool Network's volunteer legal committee doesn't give legal advice, but they can share information about the experiences of other homeschoolers who have asked those same questions, and they can help you understand current homeschool laws and regulations. The CHN Legal Defense Fund was established in 2000 to benefit families who do not qualify, for any reason, for assistance from one of the other legal services organizations.
Immunization Waiver
This is the California School Immunization Record form. Page two allows for waiver of immunization requirements.
California Homeschool Network (CHN)
California Homeschool Network is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the fundamental right of parents to educate their children.
The Private School Option
Children are exempt from compulsory attendance if they "are being instructed in a private full-time day school by persons capable of teaching." (§48222) A private school has been defined as "any school, whether conducted for profit or not, giving a course of training similar to that given in a public school at or below the twelfth grade, including but not limited to schools owned or operated by any church." (Vehicle Code §492.) This broad definition includes home-based private schools as well as...
Sample Paper Affidavit
Provided by Homeschool Association of California.
A New Charter for Homeschooling?
Discusses some of the issues relating to homeschoolers in North Carolina placing their children in public charter and virtual charter schools for some or all of their education. Using examples from Alaska, California, and other parts of the country, author Dr. Karen Palasek examines why homeschooling parents need to be informed about the implications of this type of enrollment.
Special Situations
This article takes a look at the effect of California law on certain special circumstances, including withdrawing your child from school mid-year, homeschooling after a divorce, contact by truancy officers, contact by Children's Protective Services, welfare benefits, and communities with curfews.
California Department of Education
The website for the California Department of Education.
California Education Code, Section 51220, 51220.5, 51221, 51225.3
Required Courses of Study-Course of Study, Grades 7 to 12. Lists the requirements for grades 7 to 12, including English, reading, social sciences, foreign language, physical education, science, mathematics, fine arts, applied arts, vocational-technical education, automibile driver education, and other studies. Section 51220.5 addresses the requirement of a course in parenting skills for grades 7 or 8, along with the requirements for exemption. Section 51221 adds the teaching of conservation (wis...
California Education Code, Section 44237
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This section pertains to private schools requirement of submission of criminal record summary information.
California Education Code, Section 51745, -51749.3 51747.3
Authorized Classes and Courses of Instruction-Independent Study. Provisions for independent study.
Public School Independent Study Programs
Enrolling your child in a public school independent study program is the legal equivalent to enrolling him in public school. These are the "home study" programs offered by many school districts. Public ISPs vary widely from school to school in the level of control they exert over their students and the services they offer. These programs can be appealing for a wide variety of reasons.
California Education Code, Section 48200
Admission-Persons Included. Section relating to compulsory education requirements.
Tutoring
Parents with a valid teaching credential can act as tutors for their children, or parents may employ a credentialed teacher. However, tutors and parents who choose to tutor their own children must fulfill all of the requirements of §48224.
Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

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The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
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Home Education: A Homeschooling Classic
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