(Taken from Homeschooling in Pennsylvania, by Chester County Homeschoolers, Exton, PA.)
In Pennsylvania, Act 169 of 1988 makes homeschooling an approved option for all parents with a high school diploma. Compulsory age for attendance is 8, at which point you need to report to your school district and file a homeschooling affidavit. If your child has been in school (other than kindergarten) and you wish to begin homeschooling, you must file an affidavit first, even if he/she is not yet 8.
To begin homeschooling, you must file a notarized affidavit with your school district; file by the first day of school, or, if you are a repeat filer, by August 1. You must attach to it:
1. A copy of your high school or college diploma
2. Your objectives (an educational plan for that year that lists your goals for each required subject for each child.)
3. Medical and dental records, or if already on file with the district, whatever medical requirements there are for that year, or a note that you object to this on religious grounds.
You will find the information and documents required to begin your home education program on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Web site as follows:
PA Department of Education: Home Education
If your child requires special education, your plan must be pre-approved by a certified special education teacher or psychologist. Written notice of such approval should be submitted with the notarized affidavit.
As you teach your child, you must document this by keeping a log of 180 days, or if you prefer to record hours, then 900 hours in grades 1-6, or 990 hours for grades 7-12. You also must maintain a portfolio, or binder, which includes a list of titles or reading materials used and samples of the student's work in each subject area to demonstrate his/her academic performance.
All students in grades 3, 5, and 8 must take a standardized achievement test, of which there are 8 recognized by the Department of Education. You may request testing at the school when they do their testing. Include test scores in your portfolio.
Near the end of the school year, your child must be evaluated by an evaluator of your choosing, who must be a PA certified teacher, a non-public school teacher with 2 years experience, or a licensed clinical psychologist. The evaluator will interview the child briefly and review the log and portfolio to ascertain whether the child has made sustained progress and is receiving an appropriate education. A letter from the evaluator, portfolio and log must then be submitted for review to the school district superintendent no later than June 30.
If you require further information please contact Pupil Services at 610-834-1670 ext 2109.