So what are the legal requirements to homeschool in the state of Ca?
In all cases the list of subjects that must be taught are for 1-6 grades English, Math, Social Science, Science, visual and performing arts, physical education and health. For grades 7-12 the above are required along with foreign language, drivers education, applied arts and vocational education offered. Students in grade 7-8 must take one semester of parenting, health and self esteem studies.
Also children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school.
There are four options
1. File an R-4 online, http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/rq/ between October 1st and 15th.
When you file and R-4, you are in essence becoming a private school. The requirements are that you keep a copy of all students immunization records, a list of staff with a statement of what makes them ”capable of teaching” and attendance and that you offer education in the core subjects with a list of courses. If your child has been in another school you are also supposed to send a letter requesting the child’s cumulative records, you are not responsible for getting it though as often they are not actually sent. If you are going to teach students who are not your own children you also need a tuberculosis certificate and a criminal record summary for each teacher. You can also obtain a print copy of the R-4 and send it in to the state, not the local district anymore. Students in private schools do not need to take state test and can be issued a diploma on completion of the schools requirements a list of which must be kept.
2. Homeschool through a private cover school. Some can be found at http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/CaliforniaCovers.htm
These school let you be part of a private school but all of the instruction is done at home. They keep the records and issue the diploma. Each school is run a little differently some do not do much more than that while others provide online or mail in classes, available teachers for questions, support staff, service for special needs children, curriculum development for specific children or help with selecting a course of study.
3. Join a charter school offering an independent or Homeschooling option. They keep the records, provide services and funding. For a list go here http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/CaliforniaCharterList.htm.
4. Homeschool under the tutor option. To do this the primary teacher must have a Ca teaching credential and must provide tutoring in the required subjects between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, 175 days a year. No notification is necessary.
So what possibilities are there for alternative ways of educating our children?
As we look at the options of how to school our children, may I suggest that we filter them through the words of the prophets and the only method that should be used is one that leaves the content and the method of instruction up to the parents. It is not the place of the government.
Any system, therefore, which forcibly takes from the parents the power to control what their children are taught, and who teaches them, is contrary to the Lord's plan. It deprives parents of their most sacred stewardship and takes the child away from those who are most deeply concerned with his welfare. No state employee whose purpose in teaching is to get gain can be expected to serve the interests of the child as well as the parents who render their service without compensation. More especially this is true when the teacher is prohibited by law from instilling faith in the child... Since state-financed education is one of the principle doctrines of communism, those who accept it have adopted much of the socialist program... It is a widely recognized fact that public schools and universities are the foremost advocates of socialism because they teach it both in theory and in practice. (The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil, p. 135-136.) H. Verlan Andersen
The Lord holds parents personally accountable for the teaching of their children and if they fail to discharge this duty properly, the sins of the children rest upon the parents (D&C 68:25, 2 Nephi 4:4-6). If parents are to be held accountable, then they must be given the right to control what is taught to their children and who teaches them. Both of these rights are denied under the typical laws providing for public schools. (The Book of Mormon and the Constitution, p. 185) H. Verlan Andersen
Now with this in mind what forms of education are there?
Charter Schools- Charter schools are set up to provide students and parents more choices in education and are a government run alternative to traditional public schools. There are currently 4 charter school options that cover Yuba county and allow independent study working mostly like this. An Educational Specialist oversees each student visiting with them from once a week to once a month, according to the needs of the students. At these meetings the teacher collects sample work, attendance and records what the student has done. Funds are allotted to the students which can be used to purchase supplies from approved vendors (this is usually a very wide variety of catalogs and locations), and classes can be taken through tutors, private companies, community resources and the schools. State tests must be taken and one is supposed to follow the state standards. Some of the charter schools arrange field trips, have resource centers where supplies can be checked out for as long as they are needed.
Community Resources in Education, Camptonville Academy or CORE http://www.coretca.org/
922 "G" Street, Marysville
Classes four days out of the week such as recorder, PE, upper level maths, sciences, SAT prep, Western Expansion, Sign Language, Grammar, Yuba and Sutter Parks and Rec classes paid for. Also private tutoring from Sylvan’s or other private tutors who teach music, sewing, horseback riding etc.
Covers Yuba, Sutter, Placer and Nevada Counties.
This school gives funds based on student need, some need more so they get more, some less. Same restrictions in content. A supervisor meets with you every 5 to 20 days based on need.
Twin Ridges Home Study Charter School. www.twinridgeshomestudy.org
Closest Site is Beale Air Force Base, serving students on and off base they offer Spanish, writing, drama and art. Classes are less expensive than other charters. They set up field trips regularly for students to attend.Offers a computer and many software programs. The centers offer curriculum that can also be checked out, other centers are in Nevada City, Truckee, Auburn.
Teachers meet monthly with students to get their report, usually at the learning site or other public place, can meet at students homes.
Children get $1000 for curriculum, felid trips, enrichment classes, tutors and other lessons.
South Sutter Charter http://www.sscs.cc/
2452 El Centro Blvd.
East Nicolaus, Ca 95659
Pretty laid back,openly address the silliness of the STAR testing. Parent choice very new like how Horizon was ten years ago. Centers in Camp Pollock, and Elk Grove are very specific such as oil painting, colonial life, Shakespeare, Fashion Design, gardening, dessert making, yoga, biology, algebra, career explorations, mountain men of America etc.
Teachers meet every 20 days with students for report.
Covers Sutter, Butte, Colusa, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, and Yuba counties.
Children get $1600 in funds per year.
Horizon Instructional System www.hiscs.org
2800 Nicolaus Rd., Ste. 100, Lincoln, CA 95648-9660 (800) 338-8003
Learning centers in Auburn, Roseville, Elk Grove, Grass Valley, Placerville, Sacramento and Lincoln. Also has a Lincoln Montessori 5 day a week school. Learning centers have classes from 1 to 5 days a week covering music, art, history, science, history, math, sewing, acting, lego engineering. Tutoring, private classes, field trips are offered. They have science fairs, and music recitals. Warehouse of lending supplies in Lincoln resource center.
Children get $1000 for curriculum and classes, etc.
Other charters are-
Charter Academy of the Arts, http://www.mcaa.mjusd.k12.ca.us/
1919 B Street ● Marysville, CA 95901 ● (530)749-6157
7th through 12th grade site based Charter school that focuses on the arts such as drama, media, art, and music.
High School continuing education for Yuba County, 1917 B Street
Marysville, CA 95901, 530-741-6128
Cooperative Schools-This is when a group of (usually) moms set up classes for there students together. For instance when I was in high school there were five families (about 23 kids) that met together every Fridays we would do a science experiment, a geography lesson and sometimes music or memory recitals, put on plays, do art projects, outdoor games, have a formal tea party, hold graduations and socialize. Other groups do a more formal school where everyone involved studies the same history, science etc and a parent teaches and does projects for the subjects 1 to 5 days a week. Some groups just take field trips once a month together others do once a week park and socializing times.
Tutors-This is the method that the upper-class used up to 150 years ago. A tutor is employed to teach the students the subjects set forth by the parents. Today tutors can come to your house to teach, college students often make good tutors and this works well for areas a parent may not feel comfortable teaching, for instance if your child has reached calculus and you do not feel confident teaching this subject a math major from the local college can be hired to come and help your student. There are also tutoring centers which usually focus on keeping the children at or above the state standards in reading, writing and math. Mentors can also fall under this category.
Cottage or Mom Schools-This is when one mother teaches several students who are not her own children in her home. She may teach just part of the subjects like history and science or she may teach all of the required subjects, in essence becoming a small private school.
Classes-Students may be enrolled in individual classes in the community, in other schools, in college or with private instructors. For instance if a parent does not feel comfortable teaching math then the child may take one of the math classes at the charter school. Or if the child wants to earn dual credit he may take a class at the college. Clubs are also a good resource here, for instance there are debate, mock trial and applied science clubs with annual national and statewide competitions
Online, Video and Computer Schools-These schools can be taken as a complete curriculum or just one class at a time. Some of these are videos of a private school and then the videos are offered or a streaming video online is watched. In some cases the teacher is available for questions, to give and grade assignments and to spend one on one time via instant messenger, email, letters or phone calls to give the student further direction. BYU has a 7th grade and up program where the student either does the work and participates in the discussions online or via mail and then the teacher gives feed back on the work. Liahona Schooling also offers LDS education in this way with every subject taught from an LDS perspective, http://www.liahona-homeschooling.com/. Calvert is a private school with many courses offered via video, and some for 7th and up offered via streaming video. K12 is a computer based school based on the core sequence.
Apprenticeships- These are usually used for vocational training or visual, performing and applied arts. For instance when I was in high school I became an apprentice to a horse trainer and had hands on experience breaking and training horses. If a student has an interest in being an engineer or a businessman one can often find someone who is willing to take the student on as free labor in exchange for training about the field.
And last, but not least Homeschool- All of the above can be used as part of a homeschool, but this can also include direct instruction from the parents, family projects and trips and really whatever the parents and students deem worthy of their time. It is education that originates from the home. Often people view this as the parent directly teaching and lecturing, the students filling in worksheets and taking tests, while this is one method it is only one, but we will get further into all of the ways of teaching children in the next class.