The PA Homeschool Law

For the most current information on the Pennsylvania homeschool laws, see PA Homeschool Law information published on the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website.   In Pennsylvania, the homeschool law is written for those who are homeschooled. 

You can also visit the Pennsylvania Homeschool Education Association's link for PA Home Education.

Children enrolled in a charter or cyber school fall under the public school jurisdiction, and do not fall under the law which is linked below.  Children in a charter or cyber school are under the jurisdiction of that public school, and the schooling is set by that public school.  It is the same with children receiving homebound public school instruction, or children enrolled in a public school.  Children enrolled in a private school are under the private school law.

In contrast, homeschoolers have an educational program set by their parents and are obliged to follow the tenets of the homeschool law.

The Complete Text of the Law

Read and be familiar with the law itself.  (It's not that long, after all...)

When Must I Do What?

Sample Affidavit

Homeschooling parents whose child either a) is over 8 years old before the beginning of the school year or b) has ever attended public school must file a notarized affidavit for every such child prior to August 1 of each year declaring their intent to homeschool (and other facts).  This is an affidavit form that is used by some of our members.

Sample Objectives

In addition to the notarized affidavit (above) parents must submit a list of objectives for the school year. However, the law specifies that "The required outline of proposed education objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in determining if the home education program is out of compliance with this section and section 1327."

Medical Exemption Letter

Note that the affidavit above already attests that the child is getting adequate medical care.  Therefore further medical documentation is not legally necessary.  However, since a) immunization records in particular are often the target of further requests and b) the Pennsylvania Code explicitly allows for exemption from immunization, this letter may be a helpful addition to the materials that you submit.

The Portfolio

At the close of the year (by June 30) homeschooling parents are also required to submit "a portfolio of records and materials."  The law further states that "the portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels."


The law requires "an annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator."  The evaluator's written report should be included as part of the portfolio.

Curricular Composition

The law stipulates basic curricular subjects in the following extent:

(1) At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.
(2) At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition: science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age-appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education.
(d) The following minimum courses in grade nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:
(1) Four years of English.
(2) Three years of mathematics.
(3) Three years of science.
(4) Three years of social studies.
(5) Two years of arts and humanities.

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