Charter School vs Homeschool

California homeschools and charter schools are both options for families looking for an alternative to traditional public schools. A parent's preference depends on the needs of their child. Both offer a more personalized education, and both can be tailored to fit the unique needs of each student. However, there are some key differences between the two. 

Charter School vs Homeschool

There are a few key differences between charter schools and non-accredited homeschools in California.

Charter schools are publicly funded, which means that they are subject to certain regulations and standards. These schools typically have a set timetable for enrollment, or a  fixed enrollment period. Charter schools must administer state standardized tests much like public schools although there are some leniencies and differences. Charter schools must employ certified teachers and counselors. Students will normally attend classes in person at a school facility.

California Charter School 

  • Publicly funded
  • Certain regulations and standards
  • Standardized tests
  • Fixed enrollment period 
  • Certified teachers
  • Students in a classroom

There are two types of homeschooling. Accredited and Non-accredited Homeschools. Those listed as Non-accredited are privately funded and therefore have more flexibility in terms of curriculum and teaching methods.  Accredited homeschools in CA are publicly funded, and require standardized assessments twice a year to track progress.

Homeschooling can provide more flexibility with scheduling and enrollment. Homeschools can enroll students at any time throughout the year. Homeschooling does not administer standardized tests although it may differ in different states. Homeschools have flexibility when it comes to the curriculum and teaching methods. Students can receive their education online, in-home or through a tutor.

California Homeschool

  • Privately or personally funded
  • Flexible curriculum and standards
  • Non-accredited (No standardized tests), Accredited (standardized assessment twice a year.)
  • Enrollment throughout the year
  • No certification
  • Online or in-home

These differences can make a big impact on the quality of education a child receives.

Since COVID-19 homeschool enrollment has exploded in California. Public school enrollment has seen a large drop since 2020 with numbers coming in as high as 10% lower from the previous year. Parents are looking for alternative options more than ever. 

The 3rd option blends most of this together. A parent must file an affidavit with the State of California to create their own homeschool for their family. No accountability or assessments are required.

Are you thinking of homeschooling your child in California? 

If so, you're not alone. In recent years, homeschooling has become increasingly popular, as parents look for ways to tailor their child's education to their individual needs. Homeschooling can be a great way to ensure that your child receives the best possible education, but it does require some planning and preparation.

1. First, you'll need to choose a tutor or tutoring program. There are many excellent tutor resources available online and through local tutoring services. Be sure to select a program that is accredited and aligned with California state standards.

2. Next, you'll need to create a schedule and curriculum for your child. Homeschooling can be flexible, so you can tailor the schedule and curriculum to your child's individual needs and interests. However, it's important to make sure that the curriculum is challenging enough to keep your child engaged.

3. Finally, don't forget to take advantage of all the great resources available in California. There are many museums, libraries, and parks that offer homeschool programs and discount passes for homeschool families. With a little planning, homeschooling can be a great way to provide your child with a top-quality education.

Thinking of enrolling your child in a charter school

Enrolling your child in a charter school in California can be a great way to ensure they receive a quality education. However, the process can be a bit confusing, especially if you're not familiar with the state's educational system. Luckily, we've compiled a few tips to help you navigate the enrollment process and ensure your child gets into the school of their choice.

First, check out the California Charter Schools Association website for a list of all the charter schools in the state. Once you've found a few schools that you're interested in, contact each one to find out more about their admissions process. Some schools may require an entrance exam or other forms of assessment, so it's important to be prepared.

Next, fill out an online application form for each school you're interested in. You'll likely need to provide information such as your child's grades, test scores, and any special needs they have. Once you've submitted the forms, it's just a matter of waiting to hear back from the schools.

Finally, keep in mind that some charter schools may have waiting lists. If your child isn't accepted into their first-choice school, don't despair! There are plenty of other great options out there, and with a little patience and perseverance, you're sure to find the perfect fit for your family.

Homeschools and charter schools also have the option to find an in-home tutor or online tutor. Tutors can provide one-on-one or small group instruction such as pod tutoring in academic subjects like math, science, reading, writing, and the arts. Tutoring can also help students prepare for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. Online tutoring is a convenient option for families who want to secure a tutor but don't live near a tutor's office. Families can find tutors near them by searching for "tutors near me" or "math tutor near me." No matter what type of school a student attends, tutoring can be a valuable way to get additional academic support.

As you can see, there are several key differences between charter schools and homeschools in California. When making the decision about which option is right for your family, it is important to consider all of the factors involved.

Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide which type of school is best for their child.


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