Curious about homeschooling in Pennsylvania? See some of the most frequently asked questions below and please contact us through our website if you have more!

How do I withdraw from public school?

How you withdraw depends on your child’s current school.  Some schools have a withdrawal form while others just have you write a letter.  You need to contact the office of the school that you are withdrawing your child from and ask what their procedure is.  

How do I teach all the subjects that are required?

Subjects that are to be taught are listed in the homeschool law.  There is a list of subjects for elementary level and a list for secondary.  These subjects do not need to be taught every year, just covered at some point in the designated time frame.    

What is an affidavit?

The affidavit is a form that the homeschool supervisor (legal guardian of the child) gets notarized.  This form is sent to the district office to inform the school district that you will be homeschooling your child and agree to follow the guidelines that have been set forth in the homeschool law.  It is submitted each year. HAHA provides a printable affidavit for members.

What age do I start filing an affidavit?

When your child reaches the age of 6 you must file an affidavit.

By what date do I need to file my affidavit?

For your first year of homeschooling your affidavit needs to be handed in before you start school.  It is best to hand it in by the first or second week of when your district starts school if you do not do it earlier.  After your first year it needs to be handed in by August 1st.  You can hand it in earlier and start counting days as early as July 1st.

What are objectives?

Objectives are a simple outline of what you plan for your child to learn throughout the year. You can easily find examples from an internet search.

How specific do my objectives need to be?

They do not need to include a specific curriculum. Most are just a simple, general overview. You can find many examples online.

Do I need to hand in medical information with my affidavit and objectives?

This is a gray area when interpreting the homeschool law.  The law states that proof must be given that medical requirements are being met or there is an exemption.  The affidavit that you use should suffice as proof of these requirements being meant as long as it is worded correctly.  

What is an evaluator and how do I find one?

There are few different types of evaluators.  The most common is a certified PA teacher. A great way to find one is to ask fellow homeschoolers for a reference.  There is a list of evaluators available to HAHA members.  

How do I prove that schooling happened?

Keeping a portfolio is the main way to prove that schooling happened.  

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio shows records and materials used doing the school year.

What is required in the portfolio?

The portfolio must include a log of materials used (curriculum, books read, websites used) and examples of work completed.  Your portfolio can be very simple and have a few samples from throughout the school year (beginning, middle and end) or it can be very comprehensive.  If your child is in 3rd, 5th or 8th their results from the standardized test must also be included.    

How do I keep track of my 180 days?

PA Homeschooling Law requires 180 days or 900 hours per year in grades 1-6 (the elementary level), and 180 days or 990 hours per year in grades 7-12 (the secondary level). Most people find it easiest to track days instead of hours. There are a few ways to keep track of your 180 days.  Some mark days on a calendar, others just keep a chart with 180 check marks. Some evaluators may indicate a preference so be sure you choose one that works with your style of record keeping.

Who do I report to at the end of the year?

You only report to your evaluator.  Your child will have an evaluation at the end of the year where your evaluator will check off that you accomplished what needed to be done according to the law.  Some evaluators will write letters stating all was complete, others just have a checklist that they mark off.  The point of the evaluation is to prove that learning occurred.  This letter gets handed into the school district office.  

When is my evaluation paperwork due to the school district?

Evaluation paperwork is due by June 30th. Due to COVID-19 Evaluations were waived for the 2019/20 school year.

Can you take advantage of dual enrollment as a homeschooler?

Both HACC and Messiah have dual enrollment programs. Each college class only counts as one high school credit even if it is a 3 credit college course but it is typically cheaper than waiting until they have graduated high school and are considered a “real” college student.  

Helpful links:

HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) - How to Comply with PA Homeschool Law