California Home-Based Private School

LEGAL HOMESCHOOL OPTION #1: Turn Your Home Into A California Home-Based Private School

Notify The School

Parents who choose to turn their home into a California Home-Based Private School must file an affidavit with the Superintendent of Public Instruction between October 1st and October 15th. This affidavit must be filed every year that your home operates as a private school.

NOTE: If you have specific questions about filing your affidavit I would suggest you read through HSLDA’s detailed instructions on filing an affidavit.

NOTE: If you choose to begin homeschooling at a random time within the school year then ignore the filing date of October 1st-15th and send in your affidavit right away.

After you have filed an affidavit with the Superintendent then you will need to send an enrollment confirmation letter to your child’s schoolThis is an official letter from your new private school (i.e. your homeschool) notifying your child’s public school of their enrollment.

NOTE: Send the enrollment confirmation letter even if your child has just turned 6 years old (the legal requirement age) and has never enrolled in a California public school.

(see legal reference #1)


In order to operate as a California Home-Based Private School a parent must simply be “a person capable of teaching”. The state of California can not regulate what qualifies a parent to be a capable teacher. If you feel you are capable of teaching than you qualify.

NOTE: The affidavit form will not ask for any specific teacher qualification information.

California Private School “employees” are required to submit their fingerprints for a criminal background check when they apply to work at a private school. However if you are the parent or legal guardian of the children you are teaching than no background check is necessary.

(see legal references #2 and #3)

Days Of Instruction

The only wording in the California state law regarding specific hours of instruction simply refers to California Home-Based Private School as “full-time day school”. It is up to the parent to decide how many hours count as “full-time” as long as all the other regulations for private schooling at home are met.

California Private School At Home

Required Subjects

The state requires all California Home-Based Private Schools to teach the following 7 educational subjects, in English, as part of their homeschool curriculum:

  1. English including literature, speaking, reading, listening, spelling, handwriting, and composition.
  2. Mathematics including concepts, operational skills, and problem solving.
  3. Social Studies including anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Also including a study of the history, resources, development, and government of California. As well as a study of the United States of America including the American economic system, our relation to the environment, use of natural resources, etc..
  4. Science including biology and physical science with an emphasis on the processes of experimental inquiry and on the place of humans in ecological systems.
  5. Visual and Performing Arts including dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
  6. Health including individual, family, and community health.
  7. Physical Education including physical activities that improve the health and vigor of body and mind (must be at least 200 minutes per 10 school days).

(see legal references #4 and #5)

Keep Records

Parents who operate a California Home-Based Private School must keep a record of their child’s attendance in a register. This record needs to show each of your child’s absences throughout the school year that were half a day or longer. You must also keep record of the subjects you teach and the names, addresses and educational qualifications of any “faculty” (if applicable). 

(See legal reference #6)


The state does not require California Home-Based Private Schools to test their students.

Legal References

  1. Filing an affidavit: California Education Code 33190.
  2. Private School Teacher Qualification: California Education Code 48222.
  3. Criminal Background Checks for Private School Employees: California Education Code 44237 b(4).
  4. Required Subjects: California Education Code 51210.
  5. Private School Teaching of Required Subjects: California Education Code 48222.
  6. Record Keeping: California Education Code 48222 and 33190 (f:1-3).

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.