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How Do I Homeschool My Child?  Or is Homeschooling Right for My Family?
How Do I Homeschool My Child? Or is Homeschooling Right for My Family?
Emily Davis
Wednesday, July 31, 2019


By Emily Davis – Home Study Coordinator for Rincon Valley Charter School

Homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity and gift of time for you and your child.  When you become your child’s primary teacher, you are joining your child in an exciting learning adventure as you dedicate your time and energy to teaching. Homeschooling benefits many families because of its flexibility and ability to meet each child’s diverse needs. Homeschooling is not a permanent commitment, as needs do change, but it can be an amazing opportunity for you and your child to embark together on a learning journey. 

Homeschooling works best when families:

  • Are committed to learning and growing together.
  • Have one parent who is able to dedicate a significant portion of the day to delivering instruction and supervising schoolwork completion.
  • Dedicate a space to be the “classroom.”
  • Have a support network of other families and/or a school connection.
  • Have a way to monitor progress toward grade level standards.
  • Maintain social connections through a community organization or school connection.
  • Have a sense of wonder and desire to explore the world around us.

In California, there are three ways to homeschool your child.  They have different levels of support and each works well for certain families. 

Option 1 – File a Private School Affidavit

The California Department of Education has a very informative website about this option: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/psfaq.asp#D  and the link to actually file the affidavit is here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/affidavit.asp   By choosing this option, parents essentially create their own private school.  The family is 100% responsible for curriculum, instruction, support, and all facets of homeschooling their child.

Option 2 – Attend a Private School or Receive Support from a Private School

There are several groups in our area that provide support to homeschooling families at a cost.  These are often faith-based, and have optional on campus events and classes.  These provide support to parents, as well as access to a homeschooling community.  They usually take care of the attendance and state required paperwork.

Option 3 – Enroll in a Public School Independent Study Program

This third option is becoming more and more popular, and many choices are available.  Essentially, your child is enrolled as a student in (usually) a charter school.  Free curriculum is provided to the family, and the school provides a credentialed teacher to support the family.  Schools schedule regular appointments with the families, and collect work samples.  Families sign an agreement that describes the program expectations, and the school keeps track of the attendance.  Attendance days are earned for completed assignments.  Schools have systematic assessments to keep track of student progress toward standards, and prepare a report card together with the homeschooling family.   Students are offered access to the same educational opportunities, enrichment, and services as the district students who are enrolled in a regular classroom.  Schools often also offer on-site classroom days for students to participate in enrichment opportunities with their peers.

Option 3 Example - Rincon Valley Home Study

Did you know that Rincon Valley is in its seventh year supporting families who choose to homeschool their children?  We currently have 35 students enrolled in our home study program in grades K-8th. Transitional kindergarten is available also. Our families have the flexibility to deliver curriculum at home, with the support of an award-winning school district.  We are currently accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year,

What are the Benefits of Free Homeschooling with RVUSD?

  • Weekly support from our team of credentialed teachers
  • Students progress at their own pace to accommodate various learning styles
  • Curriculum and learning tools provided for free
  • Access to band, orchestra, classroom music, art, science, PE, and other district enrichment programs
  • 7th & 8th students can take a class or two on campus at RVCS (depending on space)
  • Weekly enrichment classes offered for all grades 
  • Networking with other home study families
  • Field trips and community events
  • After school sports for students in grades 4th-8th

A successful home study family provides commitment, structured school time, interactive learning experiences, and a collaborative spirit.  Caution: home study students are likely to develop a thirst for knowledge, critical thinking skills, and flexible thinking!  Are you wondering if home study might be the right option for your child and your family?  Please call or email to schedule an appointment with our coordinator, and we'll begin a dialogue about how we can support you on your homeschooling journey.  

Emily Davis

edavis@rvusd.org 707-539-6060 x4394