How to Homeschool in Pennsylvania | Still Playing School

How to Homeschool in Pennsylvania

By Devany | Labels:
I'm a Pennsylvania State Certified teacher who is now homeschooling my own kids. This will be our seventh year of homeschooling in PA. I have walked several friends though the process so now I'm giving you the guidelines for what you need to do if you choose to homeschool your own kids in Pennsylvania. 

Let me begin by saying I am going to outline the requirements for how to homeschool in Pennsylvania but this is in no means legal advice. I will walk you through what school districts require and what we personally submit each year but your circumstances or situation may vary. If you have further questions about your individual circumstances or for grades beyond 6, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education and contact your district. I am also going to be providing lots of links to Ask Pauline which has tons of PA specific information but it is no longer being updated so note that some laws have changed and are no longer accurate on this website.

In addition, when you submit your paperwork to your school district, they will typically let you know if they require more information from you or if you're all set! You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to homeschool in PA.

Whew, now that all of that legal stuff is out of the way, let's get started!

How to homeschool in Pennsylvania:

1. Submit an affidavit and objectives at the beginning of the year.

2. Track 180 days or 900 hours of homeschool.

3. Collect samples of your child's work for each required subject throughout the year for their portfolio including any required standardized testing.

4. Record the curriculum, books, and materials you use throughout the year.

5. Find a homeschool evaluator in your area to meet with you and your child.

6. Submit the evaluator's certification that you have completed the requirements for the year to your school district.

Let's take a closer look at the steps above to explain them a bit further below.

Submit an affidavit and objectives at the beginning of the year:

If your child will turn 6 or older this school year and/or has ever been previously enrolled in a public school, you will need to get an affidavit notarized and submit it with your objectives for your child's academic school year. 

1. The affidavit will include your name, your child's name and age, address, and phone number. You will get the affidavit notarized where you will sign off that you are the child's legal guardian, that no one in the home has certain criminal convictions within the last five years, and that you will teach in the English language. It also states that your child is up to date on medical care and has received immunizations or is exempt. Remember, you won't sign off until you are at a notary. 

2. Objectives are easier than they sound, trust me! If your child has an IEP you will need to submit your objectives first to an evaluator with special education certification. Objectives are a list of what subjects you plan to cover with your child this school year.

Maintain a portfolio:

You will need to keep a portfolio for each child that you are homeschooling. Portfolios include:

1. Tracking or otherwise stating that you have completed 180 days or 900 hours of homeschooling.

2. Samples of work from different subject areas.

3. A book and resource log.

4. Standardized testing if your child is in grades 3, 5, or 8.

Finally you will meet with an evaluator who will look over your portfolio, interview you and your child, and then submit a letter of completion to your school district by June 30th.

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