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


Step 4: Gather the Required Records

You need 2 folders to hold your legal paperwork:

  1. Holds documents a government official (i.e. attendance officer) is legally entitled to see without a warrant or subpoena.
  2. Holds all the other required records.

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Folder 1
 (For government officials)

  1. Copy of the affidavit you are going to fill out soon.
  2. An attendance record. Here’s a page of school calendars I like to use to find one for the year to print. Or you can find something else online or just use a wall calendar. The only things you need to mark are the beginning and ending days of your school year and the days your student is off at least half a day. Private schools do not have a minimum number of days or hours they are required to meet. Public schools are in session 175-180 days, and most homeschoolers aim for around that, but it is not required.
  3. Letter verifying your children are enrolled in and attending your private school. You can use this sample letter and save the letterhead if you ever need to make any other school letters. Save a copy to your Google Drive so you can edit it with your own information.
    NOTE: I have confirmed with HSC that you only need to make this letter ONCE, with the date you first start homeschooling with a PSA, and then just keep that letter in your folder. You do not need to create a new one each year.
  • Optional: Letter for anyone that might challenge your right to homeschool. This is just in case you are feeling particularly nervous and want to know that you have a legal letter to explain to anyone that might not be educated on the legal aspects of homeschooling. It’s long but very detailed. You do not NEED this, but some may feel better knowing where it is in case they do find something that comes up.

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Folder 2
 (Everything else)

  1. List of all “faculty” of your private school, their addresses, and their qualifications. –Yes, being their parent qualifies you. You know your child better than anyone! And are willing to put the work in to learn what you need to know to teach them. You do NOT need a college degree or credential to homeschool! You only need to be “capable of teaching,” which is open to interpretation.
  2. The courses of study you offer. (See below for more info and printable worksheets you can use.)
  3. Immunization records (even if they are blank). Click here for info relating to the laws on immunizations in CA, and how they pertain to PSA homeschoolers. Click here for official info on the CDPH site regarding shots required (if you will be putting your child in public school later).

For 1st graders only, you also need: Report of Health Examination for School Entry or waiver.

Because you are working exclusively with your own children, you are not required to do the TB test and criminal background checks that brick-and-mortar private schools are required to do.

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  • According to the education code, your child’s instruction must “be taught in the English language and shall offer instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of the state” (§48222)
  • There are no legal specifications as to HOW you implement these requirements. Private schools are not legally required to follow state standards, (though you may still choose to).
    So, just like every other private school out there, the choice is yours as to how you teach these subjects.
  • You are required to OFFER everything below, but just like at any school that offers many offerings but not every student is required to take everything…YOUR students are not required to TAKE everything either.
  • Every private school determines its own graduation requirements. You will want to take into consideration not only your own ideas on their education but also your child’s future goals and what prerequisites they may need to fulfill in anticipation of the future.

Grades 1 to 6:

English, math, social sciences, science, fine arts, health, and physical education.

Here is a Google Doc “Course of Study worksheet” for grades 1-6.
Save a copy and fill it in at the start of each year to file with your papers.

Grades 7-12:

Everything from 1-6 plus: Foreign language, applied arts, vocational education, and driver education.

Here is a Google Doc “Course of Study worksheet” for grades 7-12,
Save a copy and fill it in at the start of each year to file with your papers.

Once you have all the above paperwork ready, it’s time to file the private school affidavit!

Click below to go on to step 5!