NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING
The thought of homeschooling can be daunting and overwhelming. Your reasons for even considering it might have to do with the pandemic going on, the desire for more freedom and flexibility, or an underlining academic issue. Whatever your reasoning is, Free Spirited Homeschool Outreach would like to offer you some insight into this journey.
When transitioning from traditional public school to homeschooling remember...
Your homeschooling journey will be one filled with joy and comfort, mixed with a lot of creativity and strife. Your family will have wonderful days of learning and togetherness along with days of "No" and "I don't want to." As a parent, you will have days of "Am I crazy?" In fact, I remember days of feeling overwhelmed, scared, confused, and often very crazy.
But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Free Spirited is here to help you meander the terminology and find a path that works for you. We take the guess work out of the equation and offer the solution.
FIRST... CHARTER OR PSA?
Choosing between a Charter School or a Private School Affidavit in California?
Some terminology first, a public charter school is essentially a public school. Enrolling your student in a charter school is similar to enrolling in your local public school. Most charter schools have all the same accreditations as public schools. The only difference is one is in a physical location close to your home and the other usually does not have a physical location, but belongs to the district of the county. This just means that the charter school you choose needs to operate in the county you reside in.
On the other hand, a Private School Affidavit (PSA) requires a document you file online with the state that you live in notifying them that you are essentially instructing your children in your home privately. This document needs to be filed between October 1 and October 15th of each school year.
There are benefits to each option. So, what are the benefits to both. Below is a chart explaining a bit more.
CHARTER VS PSA
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL
A public school that keeps your records
Most are accredited
Meet with your assigned teacher every 20 school days
Receive funds to purchase classes, curriculum, and tools for learning
Might have field trips, clubs, dances and/or outside events
PRIVATE SCHOOL AFFIDAVIT (PSA)
A lot of freedom
A lot of flexibility
Can be religious based
Can choose any curriculum you want
No funding from state or public schools
Family pays for classes and activities separately
Each charter school is different. Each offers different things, some provide online learning, others offer textbook curriculum with syllabi which you complete on your own. As a parent or guardian, take your time looking into charter schools in your area. We at Free Spirited have composed a list of our favorites, along with a link to their website.
1. Sage Oak Charter School https://www.sageoak.education/
2. Excel Academy https://www.excelacademy.education/
3. iLead Schools https://ileadschools.org/
4. Inspire Schools https://inspireschools.org/
Think about these questions, while you are speaking with someone.
- Are you accredited?
- Do you have room, or will I be on a waitlist?
- What do you offer that other charter schools might not?
If you decide to file a Private School Affidavit, please review this link https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/affidavit.asp and complete this form http://www3.cde.ca.gov/psa
WHAT A TYPICAL HOMESCHOOL DAY MIGHT LOOK LIKE
Here is a possible school day schedule for an elementary learner at home.
9:00 am - Math lesson and additional work
9:40 am - Free Reading or Core Curriculum Reading
10:00 am - Journal Writing or Structured Writing Program
10:25 am - Break for snack or outdoor play
10:45 am - Grammar or Spelling Work
(Individually done or Family Style)
11:00 am - History or Science Lesson
11:30 am - Art Lesson
12:00 pm - Break for lunch and outdoor play
*This does not reflect a typical FSHO school day, which would include live, online courses.
Here are some of our favorites
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
English Language Arts covers a vast amount of smaller subjects. Reading, Writing, Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary.
1. Institute of Writing with Excellence (IEW) Writing Program
2. All About Reading/Spelling
3. Journey's Homeschool Package
4. Great Works Literature Guides
5. Easy Grammar
Depending on if you want Common Core or not, here are ones we love.
1. Math - U - See
2. Saxon Math
3. Teaching Textbooks
4. High School Math Live
5. Singapore Math
HISTORY / SOCIAL STUDIES
From Ancient Times to Modern Day, here are ones we love.
1. Susan Bauer - Story of the World
2. Harcourt Horizons Homeschool
3. Studies Weekly
4. Book Shark (Lit and History Combine)
Our favorite science programs...
1. Fusion Science
2. Elemental Science
3. MPH Science
4. Holt Science Textbooks
LOOK NO FURTHER
Free Spirited Homeschool Outreach offers courses following California State Standards for every grade level. Our courses include live sessions and a majority of all curriculum. They are all a full curriculum, so no needing to add anything else. We offer a one stop shop to a full, rich and engaging educational experience for your learner from 3rd to 12th grade.
Classes start September 14th and they are filling quickly, register today to get a spot.