How To Homeschool

The Basics of Starting to Homeschool!



In California, Kindergarten is not required.  Children that are  are 6 years old by Sept 1st (and younger than 18) need to be enrolled in a public school, private school, or have a private tutor with California teaching certificate.   Specifics can be found in California's Education Code 48222 and 48224.  Additional information can be found on California Homeschool Network


This leaves home & hybrid educators with the following options;

- if you are a credentialed teacher, you can tutor your children.

- you can join or start a PSP (Private Satellite Program) by filing a PSA.

- you can join an Independent Study Program within a Public School or Public Charter School.

We explore these options below:



People use this option to ensure that they can Design & Personalize Their Child's Education.  This provides the most freedom to educate your child as you believe it is best for them.  You can still take classes at places like HuckleBerry and other learning centers.   We call this a Hybrid Education; some of the learning is in the home, some of it is outside of the home in your community, some of it may be done with tutors or online programs, some of it may be done using Master Classes....   You get to Design The Experience for your child!

You can join an organization that has filed the PSA, and has some expertise that they will use to guide your child's learning.   These are called Private Satellite Programs (PSP), meaning that they are Private Schools that have filled out the PSA paperwork.  If you choose this path, you will work with this PSP to create your child's learning plan, and they will file any necessary paperwork and maintain your files.   They will provide varying levels of support to you, depending on the organization that you join.   Perhaps they will provide reports cards and transcripts.   Perhaps they will provide a level of educational support and coaching.   You need to determine the level of support that you want, and then ensure that the PSP provides that support.  There is almost always a charge associated with joining an existing PSP.    PSP's are generally not WASC accredited, although they can be.   They generally do not require any testing, although they can provide this service.

There are generally no problems at all moving from a PSP into a brick and mortar Public School, as long as your child's education includes education in math, reading & writing.


HuckleBerry has created their own PSP called iDEAcademy, which stands for Individualized Education for All.   We believe that education is best when it is individualized to the student, and when the student is given the time and the tools to find and develop their passions.  Contact us here to find out more about iDEAcademy!

You can start your own private school by filling out a Private School Affidavit (PSA).   You do this online between October 1-15.   It's no problem if you start learning earlier than October 1, and fill out this form in October.   If you choose this option, you will have to file and maintain the proper records & complete your own transcript. 


SPECIAL NOTE:   6/30/2020:  Due to recent California Legislation signed into law by Gov Newwom prohibiting children from bringing their funding with them to their school of choice, most California Charter Schools will not be able to accept new students for the 2020/2021 school year.


Many people choose this option.   You can join the Independent Study Program offered by your local Public School, or you can join one of the many Public Charter Schools that support our area.   (See list below)


When you join a Public Charter School's Independent Study Program, you get a lot of support!

  • A credentialed teacher is assigned to your child.   This teacher can help you create your yearly learning plan, tell you about curriculum, and help you determine how you approach your child's education.   Note that not all of these teacher's have home schooled their own children. 

    • You may find that not all of the teachers match your needs.   You are normally able to request particular teachers, or request to switch if you find that a teacher is not a good match for your needs.

  • You will meet with your teacher once every 20 days where your learning record will be updated, samples of work will be reviewed and collected for a learning portfolio, attendance records will be signed, and any other requirements determined by the charter school.

  • Instructional Funds.   All of the charter schools in the list below offer funds for your use.   These funds are to be used for your child's education and can be used for classes, curriculum or educational products.  You may purchase a computer, a telescope, a microscope, etc.   You may enroll in dance lessons, music lessons, math tutoring, classes at HuckleBerry or any other educational experience that your school has approved.   All of the charter schools will list their approved vendors on their websites.  Note that these are public funds, and therefore you many not use the funds for religous curriculum.

    • If you want to use funds for educational purposes that are not yet approved by your charter, you can contact the charter to put in a request for vendor approval.

  • The charter school will request your child to be tested annually as they would be in public school.   Remember that you are in a public school when you are enrolled in a public charter school.  

    • Public Schools have opt-out abilities related to testing.  See your charter school for more information on their opt-out policies.

  • Charter schools may have additional testing or requirements.   Be sure to ask about all requirements before you sign up to make sure it is a good fit for you.

  • Some charter schools are more child-led than others.  Be sure to ask about this if it is important to you.

    • Child-led schools allow more freedom in subjects you teach for each age, and how fast your child must accomplish their learning.

  • Most charter schools are WASC accredited. (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)   This means that they have been evaluated to have the required level of quality in their program and in their record keeping.  You can easily move your child into a regular public school later on, and colleges will acknowledge that your child has been held accountable to state standards of learning.    

    • We have never seen any problems with home schooled children, irrespective of how they are educated, having any problems moving into the public school system.

  • Some questions to consider asking your charter school:

    • What tests are required to take?

    • What is required by the school in terms of hours or days of work?  

    • How does grading work, are grades required?

    • How available is your assigned teacher?

    • What records do you have to maintain / create, and what records does the charter school maintain / create?

    • Are you allowed to use curriculum that you create, or that you prefer?

    • Are you required to use common core certified curriculum?

    • Is the learning plan parent-directed or state-directed?   How much of the plan can you control, and how much is controlled by state requirements or this charter school's requirements?

    • What level of funding is made available, and what can it be used for?  (what percentage must be "core" and what percentage can be "non core")


Charter Schools in our area:

Academy of Arts & Sciences

Blue Ridge Academy - Currently NOT accepting new students.

Compass Charter Schools

Excel Charter School

Golden Valley Charter School

Gorman Charter School

Granite Mountain Charter School

iLead Charter School

Sage Oak Charter School

Sky Mountain Charter School

Summit Charter School