California Homeschooling: How to File a Private School Affidavit, Step by Step Instructions


STEP 2: Do you need to file an affidavit for your child yet?

Kindergarten is not mandatory in the state of California, and most homeschooling advocates do not recommend filing an affidavit for kindergarten. There’s no reason for it. Instead, wait until the law kicks in.


You can DO kindergarten with them at home, if you like. That’s entirely up to you…see my article “Research says to Delay Academics” for some more info to consider. Also, my 12 part series on Homeschooling the Early Years gives some great alternative options on how to get started without a jump into early academics…

No need to even think about filing an affidavit until the year your child turns 6 years old.

Compulsory education doesn’t come into effect until your child reaches 6 years of age. Until then, you do not have to file the affidavit.


But it can be a little confusing to figure things out the year your child turns 6: What school year DO I start filing??

So I made a simple flowchart to make it very easy for you. Start with the top left box…


So, for example, I have a child that has a November birthday. She did not make that Sept 1 cut off. So the year she was 5, nearly 6…I did not have to file for her. Good thing, too, because at the beginning of that school year I had a 2-month-old. I was SO not ready!! So I waited until the following year to start filing the affidavit for her.

Special circumstances:

If you are withdrawing a kindergartner from public school partway into the school year…and that child would have turned 6 during their kindergarten year in public school…Technically kindergarten is optional in California, but if your child was in the system and would have turned 6 while in the system (which is the age at which school becomes mandatory), it’s possible that the school system might cause problems for you. Probably a good idea to go ahead and file the affidavit in this situation, even if your child won’t be 6 by the Sept 1 deadline. Only because they have been part of the system, things are a bit different.


So let’s assume now that you have decided that you DO indeed need to file an affidavit…

WHAT IF YOU FIRST NEED TO WITHDRAW A CHILD FROM SCHOOL???

(Maybe your child is older? Or was previously enrolled in a public kindergarten?)

You HAVE to formally withdraw your child from their former school or your child may be seen as truant. To do this, you will have to notify the school. It is recommended that you send a letter because then you have a paper trail to prove that you did go through the official process to notify the school.

You can use this letter (Once open in Google Drive, choose File>Make a copy), edit your copy with your info, and use it to withdraw your child from their former school. Or write something similar, just make sure you have a date on it, and all the same info.

ALSO: MAKE SURE TO READ THE IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE SECOND PAGE OF THIS FILE.

Save it. Edit it. Print it (just the first page). Send it.

And THEN:

Use this letter (again, File>Make a copy) to request your child’s records be sent to their new school (which is going to be your home, soon-to-be private school).
MAKE SURE TO READ THE IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE SECOND PAGE. OF THIS FILE.

If for some reason your child’s former school wants to see a copy of your affidavit: They don’t need to see it, and they shouldn’t ask. But occasionally there are officials that are very misinformed and persistent on this subject.

The affidavit for the current school year is not available to file online until after Oct 1 each year.

So if it is the beginning of the school year, before Oct 1, it will not yet be available for the current school year. You can tell them this, but if they persist, you can use the online form to file the affidavit for the previous school year. This will give them the official paperwork that they are seeking and (hopefully) satisfy them.

JUST REMEMBER that you will STILL have to file your affidavit for the CURRENT school year on Oct. 1, per usual!!!


NOW, before you can move on to step 3…

What’s the date?

The date is important here. If you are wanting to file for a new school year, at the beginning of the school year…there’s a specific date time frame to file. Outside of that time frame you just file.

This flowchart makes it super easy for you to figure this out:


Next question: Kindergarten or 1st grade?…CLICK PAGE 3 BELOW TO MOVE ON TO STEP 3…