Want to know the best state to homeschool in? I stand behind California’s options for homeschoolers specifically and schooling in general. Though there isn’t specifically a homeschooling option, there are many ways for families to homeschool legally in California. In fact, I think because there isn’t a specific category for homeschooling, it actually allows for greater choice and options. In California, there is the public school option and the private school option. That’s it. So you may wonder how homeschooling fits in. Within the public and private school options is an ‘off site’ option that basically caters to homeschoolers.
Within the public school option, you can homeschool through services provided by the local district, county or charter school. Each provides curriculum (in the form of funding or physical materials) and support in the form of assistance and oversight. Through the public school option, you meet with a certified teacher once a month and turn in samples of school work. Often school and state standardized tests offered and sometimes required.
Through the private school option, you can sign a private school affidavit with the State Department of Education. Or, you can go with a private school that specifically caters to homeschoolers. Those private schools charge anywhere from a small fee, providing minimal services, to substantial fees, providing curriculum, tutoring, classes and support.
Because California offers so many options for families, I feel that it is one of the best states to homeschool in. You can have minimal oversight with the state by filing a private school affidavit or you can receive state funding to supplement your homeschool by going with the charter school option.
While there is a big debate as to whether charter schools are good for schooling in general, my position is that I support parent choice and increased schooling options. I maintain that we homeschool using the public school system. We do not ‘public school at home’ but maintain great freedom in how we educating our children, supplementing religious material independent of our school funding. If there is doubt as to whether this can still be called homeschooling, I venture to offer a redefinition of the term ‘homeschooling’.
Don’t forget to check out the playlist to see other participants from across the country who are sharing their thoughts about homeschooling in their state: