California Homeschool Law


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Homeschool has never been officially recognized as a legal schooling option in the state of California. However California families have been educating their children at home for decades using other legal schooling options.

Required Attendance Age

The state of California requires your child to attend school from the age of 6 to 18 years old. If you live in California and you would like to educate your child at home instead of sending them to public school then you have 4 legal options:

  1. Turn your home into an official private school.
  2. Enroll your child in a private school independent study program (also called a Private School Satellite Program).
  3. Hire a private tutor or teacher.
  4. Enroll your child in a public school independent study program (charter schools offer these as well).

(see legal reference #1)

Requirements For The 4 Legal Homeschooling Options

Each of the 4 legal options for educating your child at home have different requirements. Click on the links below to read what the California Homeschool Law is for each legal option.

Private School At Home

A Private School Independent Study Program

Hiring a Private Tutor or Teacher

A Public School Independent Study Program

If You Need To Withdraw Your Child

If you need to withdraw your child from a public or private school in order to begin educating them at home than follow these 4 steps in order:

  1. Decide which legal option you will use to educate your child at home (choose from one of the 4 listed above).
  2. Follow the appropriate procedure (depending on what option you chose in step #1) to notify the school that you have chosen a different school to educate your child (instructions on notifying the school district are found in each of the links above).

    NOTE: If you have chosen to turn your home into an official private school than you will need to fill out an enrollment confirmation letter after you have filed an affidavit but before you send in a withdrawal letter.

  3. Send in a withdrawal letter to let the school know that you will be “transferring” your child to another school on a specific date. You can send it in by mail or take it in person.

    NOTE: Do not mention the word “homeschooling” remember it’s not officially recognized by the state.

  4. Keep you child home on the date that you specified in your letter.

    NOTE: You can withdraw your child and begin homeschooling anytime of the year as long as you follow these steps in order.

  5. Send in a Student Records Request Letter to request your child’s records from the school.

    NOTE: This step is optional if you are not turning your home into a private school.

Immunization Law For California Homeschoolers

The California immunization law does not require children who are educated at home to receive vaccinations.

(see legal reference #2)

Helpful Websites For California Homeschoolers

For local support and information visit these California homeschool websites:

California Department of Education

California Homeschool Network

The HomeSchool Association of California

Legal References

  1. Required Attendance Age: California Education Code 48200.
  2. Amended Immunization Law: California Senate Bill 277 (120335 b,f).

This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.

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