10 of the best homeschool charters in california

10 Popular Homeschool Charters in So Cal for Your Family

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Homeschool Charters in Southern California

Selecting a homeschool charter school in Southern California is not a quick choice. Once you have decided to select an independent study homeschool charter, you have to choose which one!

When I started thinking of homeschooling, I first looked at a hybrid option before I discovered the homeschool charter. I don’t remember how, but I found the homeschool charter.

Once I found out the homeschool charter gives you a budget of funds used for curriculum and activities, I could not pass it up. The weeks of planning and research on the hybrid I had in mind went out the window.

The homeschool charter was easy to set up, and I enrolled my child and did not have to fill out any additional forms. It’s like going to a public school, but it’s not waking up before dawn school.

Starting a homeschool journey without a friend or family member to chat with makes the process a lot harder. What is true in one state is different in another. There are always questions, even if you have been doing this for years like me.

This post will tell you about a few of the homeschool charter schools that hopefully serve your area. There are dozens and dozens of other charters as well. This post is meant to reduce the overwhelm moms run into…a lot.

Does a Homeschool Charter Fit Your Family?

In California, families have great homeschooling options, such as the homeschool charter. Independent homeschool charters offer homeschoolers an excellent opportunity to explore the public school system without committing to location requirements.

A homeschool charter is a public school in which students can enroll and follow public school guidelines. However, instruction occurs at home (or wherever you choose) outside of a brick-and-mortar school.

Although a homeschool charter is not a traditional public school, you may choose to send your kid to a class a day or two a week with a vendor that is connected to your charter school. You can get the best of both worlds.

Parents with a homeschool charter homeschool their children and can use any homeschooling teaching style or curriculum they wish as long as it’s secular (non-religious). You are with a public school, but you are the teacher with a credentialed teacher monitoring your progress.

There are requirements like meeting with a supervising credentialed teacher and yearly testing. If you have a special needs student, you can access services too because it is a public school.

Where Do I Find a Homeschool Charter in California?

What are some ways to pick a homeschool charter for your child?

  • You can ask parents that you know that homeschool with a charter
  • Join Facebook groups, or look for local online forums for ideas
  • Check the California Department of Education under “Independent Study Charters”

Do your best research. Just like when a brick-and-mortar school is not working out, you can withdraw and make a different choice.

There are homeschool charters all over the state, and a directory is available at the California State Board of Education. Home-based charters are also known as Independent Study Schools or homeschool charters.

It feels like there is an endless amount of homeschool charter schools to choose from. A good problem to have. AmIright?

Homeschool Charter Schools vs Homeschool private Schools

Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

There are many choices in California, so it’s natural to feel a bit confused. Once research begins sometimes, parents ask what the difference between a homeschool charter school and a private homeschool school is?

A charter homeschool is a public school. Pick a school, enroll, and you get assigned a teacher that checks on you and is there to answer your questions. You get to select a curriculum, and the rest is up to you.

Your school should be able to support you with activities and seminars. You also get a stipend each semester for academic curriculum, supplies, and activities.

For some parents, any government involvement is a no. A private homeschool is a choice for many parents. To let the state know you are homeschooling, you have to file a Public Homeschool Affidavit (PSA), and then you start to homeschool.

You do not have to file a PSA if you are enrolling in a homeschool charter.

Congratulations! You have easily created a private school, and no one is telling you when to turn in work samples and all that sort of stuff. A private homeschool school is a homeschool where you pay for homeschool curriculum, activities, and academic classes.

Neither type of homeschool is better or worse. Private or public homeschools are suited to different preferences.

So Cal Homeschool Charter School Benefits

The most significant benefit to a homeschool family is by far the homeschooling funds provided. A family usually has at least one parent who works part-time to homeschool, so having supplies and enrichment classes paid for help.

Another homeschool benefit of homeschool charter schools is a built-in community with planned activities. I can’t speak to all homeschool charters, but the ones I am familiar with offer monthly activities online, in-person events, and field trips. There are opportunities to meet other families, and your children can become friends with other kids in the same school.

Other Homeschool Options for Parents in California

homeschool charter in southern california
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I like to know all of my choices before making a decision. Luckily, in California, you have enough options to create an education that works in harmony with your family’s values.

California homeschooling families have the choice of:

  • Filing a Private School Affidavit (Private Home-based schooling)
  • Private Satellite School (PSP-Private Homeschooling Program)
  • Homeschool Charter (Public Homeschooling)
  • Independent Study with a public school

10 Homeschool Charters in Southern California

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a quick summary of some of your local homeschool charters? Here is a list of homeschool charters and real comments made online.

Even if a charter is in an adjacent county, it may still be able to enroll your student. So basically, a charter with headquarters in a different county might be able to enroll you.

Each charter has different programs. If you are interested in selecting your curriculum, you have to pick the right program that allows for that.

In no particular order and info subject to change due to budget changes. :

1.iLead Exploration (Acton, CA)

Counties it serves: Serving Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernadino, Kern, and Ventura

Amount of Learning Funds: ~$2,800 (grades TK-8), $3,000 (grades 9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We love iLead, and found them to be super flexible…”

2.Blueridge Academy (Maricopa, CA)

Counties it serves: Serving Los Angeles, Ventura, and Kern Counties

Amount of Learning Funds: ~$2,600 (grades TK-6), $3,000 (grades 7-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We love Blueridge and love our teacher. I love the fact that I feel so supported.”

3.Compass-Options Program (Thousands Oaks)

Counties it serves: Over a dozen counties throughout California.

Amount of Learning Funds: ~$2,800 (grades K-8), $3,000 (grades 9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We are with Compass, and it’s great, but that depends on who your EF/ST is…”

5.Epic (Anaheim)

Counties it serves: Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Riverside, and San Diego

Amount of Learning Funds: ~$3,500 maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “They require 50% of instruction to be in an online format…”

6.Sage Oak (Redlands)

Counties it covers: San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Ventura, Kern, Inyo

Amount of Learning Funds: ~$2,700 (grades TK-8) $3,200 (grades 9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We have been at Sage Oak for a year and love it so far. So much will depend on your particular TF/EA.”

“Sage Oak has a great special ed director, I hear.”

7.Sky Mountain (Placerville)

Counties it covers: San Bernadino, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties.

Amount of Stipend: ~$2,700 (TK-8), $3,000 (Grades 9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We are with Sky Mountain and one of my sons has an IEP…I’m very pleased with the services he is receiving…”

“We were given a lot of freedom with curriculum.”

8.Springs (Santa Ana)

Counties it covers: Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. 

Amount of Stipend: ~$1,250 maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We love Springs…We love both programs and are forever thankful for everyone at Springs.”

“They have a ton of different program options…”

9.Excel (Irvine)

Counties it covers: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties

Amount of Stipend: ~ $2,700 (TK-8), $3,200 (9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “They require more work samples than other charters.”

“They like to see the body of work each learning period…If you’re doing school each day, you just show the work.”

10.Cabrillo Point (El Cajon)

Counties it covers: Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial

Amount of Stipend: ~$2,600 (TK-8), $2,800 (9-12) maximum

What Parents Have to Say: “We absolutely love our HST, and she has been helpful as our Special Ed teacher.”

“Our first year was just ok with our HST. I really think your HST makes or breaks your experience… The enrollment department told me I could switch whenever I wanted to. Don’t be afraid to change teachers.”

Making Your Homeschool Selection

A homeschool charter school may be the answer if you are looking for personalized, flexible education. If you are looking for an easy roadmap for how to start in California, go here. There are many benefits of homeschool charter schools, including the funds available to buy curriculum and activities. In addition to my list above, you can search on the state board of education website, join a Facebook group, do a Google search or…

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