Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

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PA Homeschooling Laws


Homeschoooling Laws in Pennsylvania

Knowing the requirements for homeschooling in Pennsylvania is one key to successful homeschooling. That is why we have provided you with specific information on homeschooling in Pennsylvania and helpful links to PA’s Department of Education, homeschool requirements, Pennsylvania homeschool laws, and legal support resources.

Did you know that having an accredited homeschool partner means total support and protection? Find out how an accredited homeschool program can give you the peace of mind you’re looking for on your homeschool journey.

Links for Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

We will update our records on a yearly basis, but if any new legislation goes into effect for your state, it should be listed here.

Pennsylvania Department of Education Site

Pennsylvania Homeschool Site

Pennsylvania State Homeschool Law Summary

Homeschoolers in the state of Pennsylvania, fall under Option 1 on the HSLDA State Law document form. If you are homeschooling in the state of Pennsylvania under Option 1, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Notify the local superintendent in writing of your intent. A notarized affidavit must be filed with the local superintendent before you start your homeschool program and by August 1 of each year after that. The affidavit must include the following information:
    1. The name of the parent/supervisor, name and age of child, address, and telephone number;
    2. Assurance that subjects are taught in English;
    3. Outline of proposed education objectives by subject area;
    4. Evidence of immunization;
    5. Evidence of health and medical services required by law;
    6. Certification that the home education program will comply with 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1; and
    7. A certification that the supervisor, all adults living within the home, and persons having legal custody of the children have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses within the past five years.
  2. Provide the required days/hours of instruction. You must teach 180 days or 900 hours at the elementary school level and 180 days or 990 hours at the secondary level. The following courses must be taught:

    Elementary-Level (K–6th grade) Required Courses

    • English, which must include the three subjects below:
      —Spelling
      —Reading
      —Writing
    • Arithmetic
    • Civics
    • History of the U.S. and Pennsylvania
    • Health and physiology
    • Physical education
    • Music
    • Art
    • Geography
    • Science
    • Safety education, which must include instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires

    Secondary-Level (7th–12th grade) Required Courses

    • English, which must include the four subjects below:
      —Language
      —Literature
      —Speech
      —Composition
    • Mathematics, which must include the three subjects below:
      —General mathematics
      —Algebra
      —Geometry
    • Social studies, which must include the three subjects below:
      —Civics
      —History of the U.S. and Pennsylvania
      —World history
    • Health
    • Physical education
    • Music
    • Art
    • Geography
    • Science
    • Safety education, which must include regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires

    High School Graduation Requirements

    • 4 credits of English
    • 3 credits of math
    • 3 credits of science
    • 3 credits of social studies
    • 2 credits of art and humanities
  3. Maintain a portfolio along including testing. Included in the portfolio must be the following documentation:
    1. Log: The log must be “made contemporaneously with the instruction [and designate] by title the reading materials used . . .” Read HSLDA’s article about the portfolio log requirements for more information.
    2. Student work samples: These samples can be any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.
    3. Standardized testing: In grades 3, 5, and 8, you must have your child tested with a nationally normed standardized test approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the Statewide tests administered to public school students. The test results in math and reading/language arts or the results of the Statewide tests must be included in the annual portfolio. A parent or guardian may not be the test administrator.
  4. Have your child evaluated by a qualified evaluator and submit the evaluators certification by June 30. Your child’s portfolio must be submitted for an annual written evaluation by (1) a licensed psychologist, (2) or a teacher certified by the state (with two years of teaching experience), (3) or a nonpublic school teacher or administrator (who must have at least two years’ teaching experience in the last 10 years in public or nonpublic schools). At the request of the homeschooling parent/supervisor, a person with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the local superintendent.

    The evaluation must be based on an interview of your child and a review of the portfolio, and it “shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring.” State law defines an “appropriate education” as “instruction in the required subjects for the time required in this act and in which the student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program.”

    By June 30 each year, you must submit to the local superintendent a copy of the evaluator’s certification that your child is receiving an appropriate education.

    Additionally, if the superintendent has a reasonable belief at any time during the school year that an appropriate education may not be occurring, he or she may send you a letter requiring that an evaluation be conducted and that an evaluator’s certification be submitted within 30 days.

Homeschool Resources for Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

For additional information, including a downloadable PDF with a detailed analysis of your state’s homeschool laws and legal counsel, be sure to become a member of the HSLDA for a yearly fee.

Pennsylvania HSLDA Reference Site

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334 2nd Street
Catasauqua, PA 18032

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