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Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

Instructor: Cara Rogers
Parents seeking alternative options to public school systems may consider homeschooling their children or getting a private tutor. Below is an overview of the laws and regulations of Pennsylvania homeschooling and some educational resources that you'll find valuable to your children's education.

Pennsylvania Laws for Homeschooling

Homeschooling Options

In Pennsylvania, there are a couple of options when it comes to homeschooling children. As one option, an uncertified parent or legal guardian can teach their children in the home setting. However, there are a few stipulations in place to ensure that children are getting an adequate education, which includes the parent having a high school diploma or equivalent, and a clean criminal background for the past five years (any other member of the home must meet this requirement as well).

As another option, homeschooled children can be taught by a private tutor, which must be a Pennsylvania certified teacher. The tutor can either be a parent who has a teaching certification in Pennsylvania, or a hired instructor.

Curriculum Requirements

First and foremost, before beginning any at home education program, each year you need to send a notarized affidavit to a local superintendent to notify the school system that you are taking responsibility for your child's education. Be sure to keep track of your lesson plans because you need to document your child's progress. You'll need to submit a portfolio and student evaluation to the superintendent each year.

All students at the elementary level are legally required to obtain 180 days or 900 hours of study. If you're teaching your child and you are not a certified teacher, your child must take state-approved standardized tests in grades 3 and 5. Students should learn a wide variety of subjects such as language arts, mathematics, social studies and history, health and physical education, science, music, art, and general safety.

To get started, you can take a look at the courses we have available for elementary level students:

Each lesson in these courses includes a short quiz that your child can use as a self-assessment.

Students at the secondary level need to obtain 180 days or 990 hours of study. In grade 8, students need to take another state-approved standardized test to be included for the annual evaluation. Required subjects for middle school include English language arts, P.E., social studies, science, art, music, and safety education. High school students are required to earn course credits in English (4 credits), science (3 credits), social studies (3 credits), mathematics (3 credits), and arts and humanities (2 credits).

For middle and high school, Study.com offers numerous homeschool courses in subjects like U.S. and world history, mathematics, science, English, and psychology. All of the middle and high school courses include chapter exams and lesson quizzes to help assess understanding.

Awarding Diplomas

Students under the instruction of a private tutor are awarded a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma. This type of diploma is also awarded to students who haven't satisfied the stipulations for a home education diploma. After submitting the student's annual report to the superintendent and obtaining an approved evaluation, parent instructors can award a state-recognized home education high school diploma. Finally, send evidence of the award to the superintendent to keep on record.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 79 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

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