Changing Your Homeschool Path, or Starting Late? Join our PSA Zoom Info Session, 11/8/21, at 7:00 pm




We're rounding out October and heading toward the end of the year. Many families have recently filed their Private School Affidavit or joined a Private School Satellite Program. And many other families have been enrolled with a public independent study charter school since late summer. The homeschooling year is well on its way! However, that doesn't mean you can't change lanes and homeschool another way. You absolutely can, and there is still time to begin private homeschooling if you find yourself ready to withdraw from your local school or if you're unhappy with your independent study public charter school and want to go your own way.


A common misconception we often hear from parents who are new to homeschooling is that they've run out of time to homeschool. They say this because they've heard about the PSA filing time window of October 1st through October 15th, and are under the mistaken impression that they can only file a Private School Affidavit during this time. That's not true, but it's easy to understand how people get confused. So let's dive in just a little bit to explore a couple of scenarios to help you understand when you would, and when you wouldn't file a late PSA.


  1. Example #1, you were ready to homeschool in August and filed your PSA during the recommended filing window of October 1st-October 15th. Let's assume you took all the necessary steps to formally withdraw your child from the public or private school they were formally enrolled in prior to August, September, or by October 15th, with the intention of privately homeschooling them. This is a key, primary step in preparation for homeschooling your child privately. In this scenario, your child was not enrolled in any other full-time school during the recommended PSA filing window of October 1st through 15th and was eligible to be enrolled in your PSA. You established your private homeschool during the recommended filing window of October 1st through October 15th and are free to enjoy all the freedoms of private homeschooling! (We recommend that everyone in a similar situation file during that time. It's simple and straightforward, and there are line-by-line instructions provided by homeschool support organizations like CHN to make sure you coast through the online filing process).

  2. Example #2, you're wondering if you can file the PSA after October 15th -- YES, you can!: Maybe your child has had a rough start to the school year in August, or maybe you've had a tough time with new mandates and protocols. You've tried everything at the school they're attending, but the end of October has arrived, and it's just not working. So, you withdraw them, planning to privately homeschool them. Your decision to privately homeschool them occurs AFTER October 15th, but that's not a problem at all. The CDE keeps the online PSA form open and accessible for the full duration of the school year. You will simply file your PSA at the time that you have withdrawn your child and begin to homeschool them. There is no penalty or problem with filing your PSA late since that's simply the date your private homeschooling begins. Lots of freedom here!

  3. Example #3, you keep your child in school because you think you can't file a PSA after October 15th: You want to exit school but you're not sure if you're legally allowed to file the PSA? And so you hesitate, unsure what to do. If your child is having a hard time in ANY school that they're in, even if it's an independent study public charter school that works with homeschoolers, you have every right to leave that school and file a PSA. You want to make sure you have formally withdrawn your child from the school before you file the PSA, but once you've done that, you're good to go, and go you should! No one should stay in a school that makes their child unhappy and works against their learning, not in support of it.

  4. Example #4, you don't need to file a PSA for Kindergartners, even if they exit school: In this scenario, we'll imagine that you are ready to withdraw your Kindergartner from their school in October and are planning to privately homeschool them for the rest of the year. You've always heard that school begins at age 5, the year most kids enter Kindergarten, so you assume you should file a PSA to begin formally homeschooling them at this age, too? INCORRECT. You only file a PSA during the years of compulsory education for schoolchildren in California, which starts the year a child turns 6 on or before September 1. If your child is 5 and you are planning to privately homeschool them, even if they've been enrolled in a traditional Kindergarten for a few months, you will simply go about your homeschooling life that year, without filing that PSA. You'll get to enjoy all that private homeschooling offers you. You will file your PSA the following year, when your child is age 6 on or before September 1, if you're still homeschooling at that time.


Filing a Private School Affidavit for the first time can be a nerve-wracking, and exciting experience! It's a great way to truly experience educational choice.


Parents who plan to privately home educate their children are responsible for selecting and providing all curricular, instructional, and enrichment materials. They are fully, and completely in charge of their children's education. There are no rules, no funds, and no oversight from governmental agencies to structure or limit private homeschooling. Families are free to create the homeschooling life they would like for their children and are able to enjoy all the freedoms and joys that go along with that - the sky may not even be the limit!