Homeschool Laws

The Homeschool Laws You Need to Know

If you want to check the California Education Code for yourself, visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lr/cl/.

Inform yourself of the homeschool laws with the help of the Code and us. California Homeschooling Today is committed to helping you to learn about and follow the California homeschool laws, so you can continue to give your family the education they deserve without worry.

The following is an informative lesson on how to fill out the Private School Affidavit (PSA) required to homeschool. You will be signing the PSA under penalty of perjury, so read it carefully and seriously. Don’t feel intimidated by it, however.

The legality of homeschooling in California was decided, once and for all, on August 8, 2008, by the 2nd Appellate District, California Court of Appeals, in the case of  Jonathan L., et al., Petitioners, v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County,  Cal. Ct. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3 (2008), B192878. If you are removing your child from school, you are not required to notify the local school district, once the PSA is filed. Of course, doing so, may save you misunderstandings and some minor headaches about truancy, etc. If your child has never been in school, you do not have to notify anyone, once the PSA is filed. While the actual statutes regarding homeschooling are somewhat vague, the Appellate Court’s ruling is definitive.


The Private School Affidavit (PSA), which must be filed between October 1st and 15th of the school year, can be found at the California Department of Education Website. If you do not have Internet access, you can obtain the hard copy of the affidavit by writing to the CDE personally at
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Phone: (916) 319-0800

It will be easy for parents to get hung up on some of the terminology and implications set forth in the PSA—but don’t. For instance, in Question #2, unless you are a commercially active private school, which is not a homeschooling family, you will not have a CDS code, so leave the answer blank.

If your name is Smith and you call your school “Smith Academy,” there may be 5 or 10 other “Smith Academies” throughout the state. That is not a problem, either. You can choose a school name that is humorous or original or one that is simply utilitarian. Remember that it will appear on your self-generated transcripts, diplomas, and any other official documents you may someday have to provide, so you may want to avoid something completely foolish or tongue-in-cheek.

For the Address: Put Down Your Street Address—Not a PO Box or PMB
Question #12: Put Co-Educational
Question #13: Put Day Only
Question #14: For “Special Education,” Answer “No”
Question #17: If You Answer “Religious,” a Drop-Down Menu Will Offer
Denominational Choices, Including No Denomination.
Marking This Does Not Affect Anything.
Questions #26 – #36: Put Yourself or Your Spouse as Administrator and Yourself as Principal and One of You as the Custodian of Records, However You Wish to Do So.
Question #40 You Will Probably Check Off “None of the Above.”
Questions #41 – #51: Are Required to be Read and Checked by You Verifying Your Acknowledgement of Your Understanding of the Requirements Discussed.

Once you finish the affidavit, you just need to cut and paste it to your desktop or print it out for your records and then e-mail it to the address shown. You will receive an automated confirmation of receipt to the e-mail address you place in question #8. If you lack Internet access, you can call the CDE at (916) 319-0800 and verify the procedure for filing the Affidavit non-electronically. Let us be the first to welcome you to California homeschooling!

California’s Compulsory Education laws apply to homeschooled students. (Education Code 48010) Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are required to attend school. Check to see when the enrollment date is, depending on the child’s sixth birthday. Parents can comply using one of these ways:

  •  You can establish a private school in your own home (filing the PSA)
  •  You can enroll your children in a private school that offers a satellite program for homeschooling (PSP)
  •  You can employ a private tutor or you can hold a California teaching credential yourself
  •  You can send your child to a public school that offers independent study program (ISP)
  •  You can send your child to a private Independent Study Program (ISP)
  •  You can enroll your child in an accredited online school that is licensed to do business in California
  •  You can enroll your children in a public charter school, run by your school district

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