California Homeschooling Requirements
Enlightium Academy is an approved private Christian school that is accredited by Cognia and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) that has served homeschool, online, and co-op school students in K-12 since 2003. As K-12 education policies are different in each state, it is a parental responsibility to check on their state’s homeschool requirements and fulfill them as applicable. To assist parents with this process, Enlightium provides basic information about each state’s requirements. Parents are also encouraged to review their state’s requirements at hslda.org/legal and/or the California Department of Education, as educational policies are subject to change over time.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and Washington D.C.; however, with a freedom to educational opportunities comes a responsibility to understand and fulfill legal requirements. This can be worrisome, yet you’re not alone in this endeavour. Enlightium Academy is here to help!
Please, note that the resources below serve as a starting point for your family; it is important that you research California homeschooling requirements.
California’s Homeschooling Requirements at a Glance
There are three homeschooling options in California. Families with students enrolled at Enlightium Academy can choose Option 1: Homeschooling as a home-based private school. The below guidelines are based on option 1.
Notifying the State
Parents will need to submit an affidavit to the state between October 1 and October 15 of each school year, or parents can submit it as soon as possible if they miss this deadline.
Upon enrolling at Enlightium Academy, parents are provided in the Enlightium Parents app links and a resource to assist with submitting this affidavit.
The California Department of Education requires 175 days of instruction each school year; each school day must have at least three hours of learning. Enlightium’s school calendar has 180 school days (210 days with summer school). Additionally, students have access to the courses 24/7 for most days of the school year, including weekends and holidays.
The Department of Education requires that instruction be taught in the English language. At Enlightium Academy, courses are instructed in English with the exception of some World Language courses such as French and Spanish, which may be partially taught in English.
Ages five or younger:
Students are not required to attend school, but can enroll in primary school at Enlightium Academy to have a head start and be ready for Kindergarten.
Aged six on or before September 1:
They must attend school during that academic year; this includes homeschooling with Enlightium Academy. Students must continue their education at a school of their parents’ choice until they turn 18 years old or graduate.
The California Department of Education requires teachers to be “capable of teaching”.
As a part of Enlightium Academy’s dual accreditation, Enlightium teachers are state and/or ACSI certified. A number of our faculty members have Masters and Doctorate degrees in their fields. The teacher-led support packages are available for students in grades 3-12. Learn more at our Teachers page.
Enlightium Academy also offers parent-led options for grades PreK-2 and for students in grades 3-10 Bronze support package. Under the parent-led option, parents act as teachers while Enlightium Academy provides grading and guidance support.
The California Department of Education requires students under option 3 to be instructed in subjects taught in public school.
After you enroll/re-enroll and before your student starts courses at Enlightium Academy, your student’s counselor will send you an email with a recommended course schedule consisting of core courses and, if applicable, courses that fulfill Enlightium’s graduation requirements. Your student can also select from Enlightium’s elective courses.
The California Department of Education does not require a standardized test for homeschooled students. However, Enlightium provides multiple assessment options to help you see how your student is progressing per given grade level:
- Grades 3-8: IXL diagnostic assessments
- Grades 3-10: Stanford 10 standardized assessment
- Grades 9-12: Guidance for college-preparatory assessments such as the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT
Keep a portfolio
The California Department of Education requires the following be documented:
- Attendance - Enlightium provides your family with weekly progress reports. You can screenshot the details in these emails to show attendance.
- Immunization records or an exemption for personal beliefs.
- A list of courses being studied - Enlightium families can use the list of courses provided via email by their counselor.
- A list of instructors and their qualifications - Upon being assigned courses, families receive a welcome each from each of their course’s teachers. These emails can be used as evidence.
- The instructors’ addresses - Parents can use Enlightium’s main office address which can be found in the footer of Enlightium Academy’s website.
You may need to provide your state with additional information, so please keep a digital record every year you are enrolled at Enlightium Academy which should include:
- Curriculum information and samples - Enlightium provides its families with both curriculum overviews by grade level and samples by course.
- Academic plans - Enlightium Academy counselors provide them during the registration process - Primary School (PreK-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12).
- Grades - Enlightium provides report cards for all students after quarters 1 and 3 and report cards/transcripts at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
- Test scores - This can include occasional screenshots of test scores and/or standardized assessment scores.
- Academic Awards - Enlightium provides qualifying students with certificates for Honor Roll, Scholar’s List, Dean’s List, and the Presidential Award.
- Social/Competition Achievements - Enlightium holds social events and competitions throughout the school year, such as art competitions and spelling bees.
Enlightium Parents App with Group for California Families
Enlightium Academy has an app and desktop platform for families of currently enrolled students. Within this app is a group just for families living in California to inform and support each other in fulfilling your state’s homeschooling requirements.
Your family will be automatically added to this group upon enrolling at Enlightium and downloading the Enlightium Parents app (which is provided upon enrollment).
Ready to Enroll at Enlightium Academy?
- Explore Enlightium Academy’s website or watch this video about online homeschooling.
- If you have any questions:
- Chat with a team member
- Call (866) 488-4818 option 2
- Ready to enroll? Click here to start the enrollment process and select the blue button near the top of the page.
Enlightium Academy is a private Christian online school that serves homeschooling families by offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher supported, and affordable education from the comfort of your home. For any other questions about Enlightium, please call (866) 488-4818, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com.
Sources reviewed in June 2021: