What is Homeschool?
Our definition of “Homeschool” is best defined as:
parent-led, family-funded, relationship-based education of your child at home.
According to the Pennsylvania Senate Bill 154, Act 169-1988, “Home education program” shall mean a program conducted, in compliance with this section, by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.“
Read the Pennsylvania home education law here.
Homeschool is not publicly-funded instruction that takes place at home, such as an online or virtual charter school. Students enrolled in such programs are considered public school students, not homeschool students.
Definition of Homeschooler
Homeschoolers are parents or legal guardians who choose to educate their own children at home in at least the required subjects of reading, grammar, math, science, and social studies pursuant to ACT 169.
A Homeschooler retains complete control of their child’s education. Delegation of control to either a private school program or fee-based classes held outside the home for core subjects reclassifies the parents or legal guardians as something other than Homeschoolers, at least in relation to the child/children involved in said program or classes. It is unclear what percentage of a child’s education constitutes homeschooling, but the spirit of the law implies that the parent teach the core subjects.
Additionally, fractional enrollment in publicly-funded programs designed for homeschoolers may require the parent or legal guardian to withdraw the Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool with the County School Superintendent. A school district or charter school is eligible to receive the entire ADM allocation for a child taught over 15 hours per week.
Parents of secondary level students enrolled in community college classes, or utilizing other means of instruction, are still considered Homeschoolers as long as the parent or legal guardian remains the primary instructor and retains complete responsibility for their child/children’s education.
Note of Clarification:
A child enrolled in a distance learning/virtual school program is classified by law and the program as a public school student. Usage of the term “homeschooling” originated in the early 1980’s and signifies an arrangement recognized by that name in Pennsylvania law as one where the parent or guardian assumes the teaching responsibility in the required subject areas and where the cost of this instruction is borne by the parents and not the taxpayer. Public school at home is therefore not the same as homeschooling/home education. It is public school at home.
- Any enrollment in a publicly-program puts the student under the authority of the public school and causes them to be subject to public school requirements and regulations.
3 Different Pennsylvania laws: