Under Pennsylvania’s homeschooling law, Act 169 of 1988, any parent who has a high school diploma or G.E.D. and who has not been convicted of a heinous crime within the last five years can teach their own children. Below are five important elements of the homeschooling law that parents must do so that you can successfully comply with the law.
#1 - Your Affidavit: The first step is to file a notarized affidavit with your local school district when you begin the home education program and annually thereafter by August 1. With the affidavit, you must attach a list of the objectives that you will cover with your child. Parents of handicapped children must attach a letter from a special education teacher or a psychologist. This information is an extra requirement. To access the blank elementary and/or secondary affidavits, please click the appropriate link. Elementary Affidavit Secondary Affidavit
#2 - Testing: If you have a child who is in the 3rd, 5th, or 8th grade, you will have to arrange for him or her to take a standardized achievement test administered by someone other than his or her parent. Your child’s scores for the standardized achievement test must be included in your portfolios for those grades.
#3 - Evaluations: At the end of the year (or during the year if the superintendent has a reason to believe that you are not educating a child) you must get a non-public school teacher, a Pennsylvania certified teacher, or a licensed psychologist to certify that an appropriate education is taking place for each child in your home education program. The teacher or psychologist who you choose, who may be a fellow homeschooling parent, will review the portfolio, interview your child and then complete a written evaluation which certifies that an appropriate education is taking place for the child. This evaluation is to be submitted to the District by June 30th.
#4 - Health Services: Homeschooled children must receive the same health checkups as are required for children in public and private schools. Depending upon your child’s grade level, there are specific examinations which your child must take:
All students K – 12 must have near vision and distant vision screening, height and weight with a BMI calculation. Before a student reaches third grade, a student must be screened for depth perception, color deficits, and plus lens for near sightedness.
- Physical examinations are required for K or first, sixth and eleventh grades.
- Dental examinations are required of K or first, third and seventh grades.
- Scoliosis examinations are required of sixth and seventh grade students.
Any and all of the above examinations can be completed at school by calling the school nurse and scheduling the examinations or screenings.
*Or parents may submit a letter siting medical or religious exemption from immunization.