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Basic Homeschooling Guide

Items to do prior to starting your homeschool instruction

Select your curriculum. (See the links page for help.) It is very difficult to file course objectives and scope if you have not chosen your curriculum. File appropriate documents with the superintendent of your school district.

  1. If your child has reached compulsory age (presently 8 years), the documents must be filed prior to starting homeschooling.
  2. To continue homeschooling in subsequent years, you must file new documents each year by August 1 prior to the new school year.

The documents for the required filing include:

  1. A notarized affidavit (see "Affidavit Confusion" for the specific content of the affidavit)
  2. A list of your goals and objectives for each of the required subject areas for the level of instruction for each student. (If you have a child that has been identified as handicapped by the school district, then the Individualized Education Plan must be substantiated by a qualified person.)
  3. Evidence of the child's immunization and evidence that the child has ongoing health and dental care OR a notice of Health Examination Exemption due to religious beliefs.

Items to do during the school year:

Secure an evaluator that will be willing to do your child's evaluation at the end of the year.

  1. Make sure they are in agreement with your philosophy of home education.
  2. It is wise to make this contact early in the year to avoid conflict.

Compile a student portfolio including:

  1. Samples of daily work
  2. A list of books read by the student and used in the education process
  3. In grades 3, 5 & 8, results of nationally normed, standardized achievement tests. These tests cannot be administered by a party related to the student.
  4. Contemporaneous log of work being done, and the hours of education or the days of education.

Items to do at the end of the school year by July 1st

Have your qualified evaluator perform an evaluation of your child(ren). An evaluator must:

  1. Interview the child
  2. Give written substantiation that the student has made progress in their educational program
  3. Review the portfolio

Submit the following to your district Superintendent:

  • A copy of the portfolio for each child (see above for content)

When can you start your new year?

The homeschool law does not state any required dates for instruction. It does, however, set times for turning in required documentation. But these are two different considerations.

Your homeschool program may not officially begin until you have notified the district with the affidavit. But, once you notify them the first year, you are merely informing them each year that your homeschool program is continuing.

The difference here is between starting and continuing your program. We have 365 days of the year from which to choose 180 days or 900/990 hours to document for the district. Which calendar days we select is up to us as the supervisors.

Since the district does not have any authority to 'approve' your objectives, you do not have to wait until they approve them in order to begin your new year. Since the state law does not give us specific time frames for instruction, like the public schools have, then we are free to choose the time frame that best suits our family.

Reprinted with permission from the PA Homeschool Exchange, a publication of PA Homeschool Connection,

650 Company Farm Road
Aspers, PA 17304717-528-8850

Again, if you have any questions at all, the CHALC Board is here to serve you however they can. See our Contact page for more information on how to talk to a Board member.