Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws & Requirements | How to Homeschool in Pennsylvania | Lernsys Homeschooling

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Pennsylvania Homeschooling Laws

Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws
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Homeschooling in Pennsylvania

The legal ways to homeschool in Pennsylvania are:

1. Establishing a homeschool under the statute on homeschooling

1. The parent must be qualified to give instruction.

2. One must submit an affidavit that is notarized.

3. Ensure the child is assessed by an approved assessor and have the evaluation results sent to the superintendent of schools before 30th of June.

4. Provide the required days/hours of instruction and teach the required subjects.

5. Keep a homeschool portfolio that includes the required tests.

2. Using a private tutor

1. The tutor must have the necessary qualifications.

2. The tutor must submit his/her copy of certification as proof of qualification.

3. Instruction in a satellite of a church day school

1. Provide instruction for the required number of hours and days as well as including the mandatory subjects in the curriculum.

2. Submit a list of names and addresses of every child in the church school.

3. Submit an affidavit showing you comply with the law.

4. Instruction in a satellite of an approved boarding or day school.

Parents can provide instruction at home if the student is admitted in an approved boarding or day school. The school must be approved by an accredited body that is approved by the Education Board of the School.

Homeschooling in Pennsylvania is governed by strict rules which provide that homeschoolers may freely access textbooks and materials sponsored by the state. They may also take part in extracurricular activities if they wish to and have a diploma recognized by the state.

This page provides information on homeschool requirements including:

· Requirements to Homeschool in Pennsylvania

· File an Affidavit to Homeschool in Pennsylvania

· Keeping Records for Homeschoolers

· Annual Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers

· Requirements to Graduate in Pennsylvania

· Switching from Homeschool to Public School

*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.


Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Pennsylvania

The law in Pennsylvania on compulsory education requires all children between 8 and 16 years of age to attend school; either in a private school, public school, or a homeschool. Families who choose to homeschool must observe the following:

· File an affidavit that is notarized with the office of the superintendent for every year the homeschool program is in ongoing.

· The parent providing instruction must have a high school diploma or an equivalent of a diploma. He/she must also have a clean criminal record for the past 5 years.

· Ensure every student takes a standardized test approved by the state in 3rd, 5th and 8th grade.

· Ensure the students in the homeschool are assessed annually by an approved evaluator of homeschool programs.

· Ensure the child is immunized accordingly.

· Provide instruction in English including the mandatory subjects and the requirements of every grade level.

· Fulfill the graduation requirements in order to get a diploma recognized by the state.

Transferring from Public School to Homeschool in Pennsylvania

File an Affidavit to Homeschool in Pennsylvania

The affidavit must be notarized and filed with the office of the superintendent of the local school every year the homeschool is ongoing. The initial affidavit can be filed at any moment throughout the school year; however, for the subsequent years, the affidavit must be submitted before 1st August. Affidavits should be filed for every child who is 8 years and above; for children below 8 years, they must have attended first grade or kindergarten to have an affidavit.

The affidavit should include the following:

· The name of the child as well as the age

· The address and phone number of the homeschool

· The name of the supervisor of the homeschool and an affirmation that they are qualified to teach; that is, must have a high school diploma

· A statement affirming that instruction shall be provided in English language

· A statement affirming that the child has been immunized with proof attached

· A statement affirming that the child has received necessary medical and health services with proof of the same attached

· A statement affirming that instruction will add up to at least 180 days in a school year or 900 hours

· A statement affirming that the mandatory subjects at every grade level are taught

· A statement of the objectives of every subject taught in the homeschool

· A statement affirming that every adult in the home or legal custodian of the child has a clean criminal record in the past 5 years

The Education Department in Pennsylvania has a website which makes accessible these affidavits.


Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Pennsylvania

Parents must maintain a well detailed record of the child’s academic progress throughout the years. The recommended method to achieve this is by creating a homeschool portfolio which may include the following information:

· Attendance records

· Work samples written by the child, worksheets and any other creative work done by the child while homeschooling

· A list of the books the child read

· Results from any standardized tests taken during 3rd, 5th and 8th grades

· A written annual assessment of the child

Requirements for Graduation in Pennsylvania

Homeschool parents in Pennsylvania are free to set the graduation requirements for their student. Parents also determine if and when their student will graduate and are also able to award a high school diploma under their own terms. Parents are advised to consult with colleges the student may be interested in to know the requirements the child must meet so as to align the homeschool goals and curriculum with those requirements.

The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Pennsylvania.

 Public/Private SchoolHomeschool

Diploma requirements in Pennsylvania

While there is no statewide graduation requirement for the classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021, students, parents, and guardians should reference local policies governing graduation, which are not preempted by the moratorium on the statewide requirement.

Refer to the section below on requirements applicable to homeschoolers.

Testing requirements in Pennsylvania Scoring proficient or advanced on each Keystone Exam - Algebra I, Literature, and Biology. 

Refer to the section below on requirements applicable to homeschoolers.

Pennsylvania high school transcripts

Students can choose to contact their school or use E-transcript system to submit a duplicate of the student’s transcript to the college they wish to join. Unless prices are offset, there is a reasonable charge.

Parents in Pennsylvania can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.

High school course credits in Pennsylvania

Students can meet the statewide graduation requirement by:

  • Earning a satisfactory composite score on the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams. The passing composite score will be available in August 2019.
  • Earning a passing grade on the courses associated with each Keystone Exam, and satisfactorily complete one of the following: an alternative assessment (SAT, PSAT, ACT, ASVAB, Gold Level ACT WorkKeys), advanced coursework (AP, IB, concurrent enrollment courses), pre-apprenticeship, or acceptance in a 4-year nonprofit institution of higher education for college-level coursework.
  • Earning a passing grade on the courses associated with each Keystone Exam, and pass the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) or the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) assessment in an approved Career and Technical Education concentration.

Many parents in Pennsylvania choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.

Eligibility for GED in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the minimum age required to take the GED Test is 18 years old. If a candidate is 16 or 17, they must have an approved age waiver from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Homeschoolers in Pennsylvania are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.

Homeschool High School Transcript Template

Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template. Lernsys Homeschooling provides transcripts and curriculum records which include course average grade/final grade, quizzes/tests grades, lessons and topics covered, among other things.

Download the transcript template


Annual Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers in Pennsylvania

Every student must undergo an annual assessment by a state approved assessor of homeschools. The evaluator’s analysis of the homeschool portfolio as well as the assessor’s interview with the student would form the basis of the written assessment. The assessment must certify if the education provided at the homeschool is sufficient. Sufficient education includes providing instruction for the required time, having the mandatory subjects in the program and proof of progress made. Evaluators acceptable by the state include:

· A school psychologist

· A clinical psychologist who is licensed

· State approved teacher with 2 years’ experience in grading students in the level they assess

· A teacher from a nonpublic school with 2 years’ experience in teaching in Pennsylvania in the last decade in the grade they assess

· Other persons who have been previously approved by the superintendent

Requirements for Homeschoolers to Graduate in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania recognizes homeschool diplomas. To receive a state recognized diploma, one must:

· Complete all the requirements to graduate

· Ensure they submit an affidavit for grade 12 school year

· Use an evaluator of homeschools who is qualified and approved by the state

· Use the form created by the education department as a standardized diploma form

· Provide a complete assessment of grade 12 by a state approved assessor and a diploma co-signed by the assessor


Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Pennsylvania

Each school in Pennsylvania applies different guidelines for grade placement and enrollment of students. You will find that some schools in Pennsylvania let you register your child for the grade you wish him/her to attend while others require information on the student’s progress and the curriculum used during homeschooling. Other schools in Pennsylvania will have your child take an assessment test to determine the appropriate grade level your child belongs in.

Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Pennsylvania

Have other questions about homeschooling in Pennsylvania? You may find the following pages helpful.



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