Is it legal? Am I qualified? Where do I start? Your basic questions answered here!

Why home education?
There are a variety of reasons parents choose to homeschool their children. Among them are:

  • The ability to individualize their course of study, adapting instruction to each child’s learning style and unique interests or needs
  • The advantage of one-on-one teaching time
  • Greater opportunity to guide the development of their children’s character, passing along cultural heritage and moral or religious values
  • A flexible schedule allowing more time for children to learn at their own pace, more time for hands-on activities and field trips, and accommodating parent’s work and vacation schedule
  • Opportunity to improve social skills through more contact with people of all ages including adults
What about socialization?

First, what actually IS socialization? “Teaching children the rules of society” and “Learning how to mix appropriately with others” are two succinct definitions. That is what parents do naturally! But don’t children need to be around their age-mates in order to know how to get along with others?

“The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be ‘socialized’ is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and childrearing today. There is ample research that indicates that because home schooled students are exposed to a wider variety of people and situations, they learn to get along with a variety of people, making them socially mature and better able to adjust to new situations.” (Dr. Raymond Moore, in The Hurried Child)

Studies have shown that “home schooled children had consistently fewer behavioral problems…because they tend to imitate their parents while conventionally-schooled children model themselves after their peers.” (Dr. Larry Shyers, “Comparison of Social Adjustment Between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students” quoted in Home Schooling …the Right Choice by Chris Klika)

That being said, groups of home educators exist in every major city and in most smaller ones throughout California. Many homeschoolers are actively involved in a local group, enjoying field trips, science fairs, and other activities with their friends. Generally there will be students of varying ages participating together in these events. Co-op classes are available in many areas, and often these classes will be set up with a smaller grade range, more like a traditional classroom.

Beyond homeschool groups, most Christian home educators are actively involved in their church, specialized classes, clubs, local sports or other activities where children interact with other children and adults. Whether it is Little League or scouts, piano lessons or volunteering at a library, robotics club or science camp, homeschoolers typically are exceptionally good at finding outside activities that provide plenty of socialization opportunities!

Am I qualified?
The California Education Code specifies that teachers in a private school must be “persons capable of teaching.” Therefore, no credential is required to meet legal standards.

Parents do not need to know everything in order to teach. The example and enthusiasm of the loving parent in learning along with their children will motivate and encourage them. Teachers’ manuals sold by many curriculum publishers usually offer a wealth of information to help teach the material. Support schools provide parents with various helps. A tutor may be retained if desired for particularly difficult subjects such as advanced math.

Is private home education legal in California?
  • The California Education Code does not specifically mention homeschooling; until about 2008, homeschooling wasn’t even recognized in California law at all! California’s home educators generally operate under the private school laws (Ed. Code 48222) or the state credentialed teacher exemption from public school (Ed. Code 48224).
  • Some families choose to establish a private school in their own home, filing a private school affidavit with the State Department of Education and complying with the same rules and regulations for educating that apply to any other private school in California. Other families enroll in an Private school Satellite Program (PSP) that serves homeschooling families; this option may be offered by a brick-and-mortar private school or a private school that exclusively serves homeschoolers. Christian Heritage School would be considered a PSP in the latter category. [Some public schools in California operate under a charter and cater to homeschoolers, but these are still public schools, not private.]
  • Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) exists to defend the parent’s right to educate their children at home. We highly encourage membership in HSLDA whether you join our school or not. As a benefit to CHS, please use the link at right to apply for a new membership.
  • Family Protection Ministries (FPM)is the only full-time organization working in the state capitol monitoring all legislative and administrative actions and advocating in behalf of private home educators and parents. Please click on the link to their website at right as well as this FPM Fact Sheet to learn about their work and do what you can to support this critical ministry.
Can my high schooler return to public school?
In most cases, public high schools in our area only accept credits for classes taken in an accredited high school program. Accreditation is given to a program where all students are being taught the same curriculum among other criteria outside the scope of private home education, and in no way attests to the quality of the program. Because homeschools are generally NOT accredited schools, there is the very real possibility (likelihood) that your local public school will NOT accept homeschool-earned high school credits for transfer. Some public high schools will not accept credits from online public charter schools either. Therefore, it is possible that home educating during any portion of high school may require a commitment to continue through graduation. Many private Christian schools do, however, accept homeschool-earned credits, but that is completely dependent on each school’s policies. Consider carefully.
Can homeschoolers get into college?
Many private colleges are actively recruiting homeschoolers and more and more public colleges and universities are smoothing the entry path for homeschool students. Our students do very well in college. After all, most home educators teach their children to work and think independently; critical thinking is often stressed. These are some of the prized qualities of a good college student. Be sure to check out the “Does Homeschooling Work?” section below and find encouragement in the partial list of colleges and universities attended by students from our school as well as occupations some of them have entered.
What's the difference between private homeschooling and charter school?
Charter schools are public schools. Each charter school may be set up with a unique model: some are brick-and-mortar classroom schools with more parent input on how the school is run; others are storefronts that cater to working students; and others may offer specialized courses such as focus on performing arts. The most common format in this area is the homeschool model: supporting homeschooling families with curriculum, Education Specialists (teachers) who oversee the school subjects and work that is done; they may offer classroom education up to four days a week. But no matter what model the charter school follows, it is a public school, subject to public school regulations.

Private homeschools may be as small as one family teaching one student at home or as large as several hundred homeschooling families joining together for support and accountability under a Private School Satellite Program (PSP). In either case, a Private School Affidavit is filed with the state and they comply with the California Education Code sections that relate to private schools. Those sections do not mention homeschooling, however they do not exclude it either.

Where do I start?
For more information on Christian Heritage School and the guidance we offer, check the Read More sections of the slider pages above, then continue to Christian Heritage School Registration section.

Click this for more general “getting started” information from Home School Legal Defense Association.

Click this to read ten “getting started” articles from The Teaching Home magazine (older but still good).