Homeschooling ruled illegal in California

We kid you not. A recent decision by a judge in a controversial juvenile court published a decision a week ago that states:

“It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grad being taught, or (3) one of the few statutory exemptions to compulsory public school attendance applies to the child.”

So, essentially, thousands of homeschool parents in the state of California are in violation of the law. The Home School Legal Defense Association plans to appeal this to the California Supreme Court. It amazes me how, when it comes to educating children, folks like this judge rely on government’s flawed system over that of families. The Jeubs will be keeping HSLDA in our prayers as they fight this ignorant decision.

To read up on this, visit the Christian Examiner here or a San Diego paper here. A petition is also being taken by HSLDA that they will use as leverage in their arguments (click here to sign the HSLDA petition).

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Jolene

    It does not take a college degree to teach a child how to read, write and do math/science. The Lord intended that the parents teach the children these things as well as character building!

    I pray that homeschoolers in California win this, its incredibly important that they do.

    I will continue to pray for the state of our country.

  • Dan Reichenberg

    Education is never neutral. It always reflects the worldview of those in control of it. Government schools are designed to remove children from the God ordained institution of the family and place them under the influence of a godless “neutral” statist worldview. All must bow down and worship the image of the almighty government!

  • Deanna

    I have to admit that I was shaken up a bit yesterday being a homeschool parent here in CA. The battle is not over yet, and even when all seems lost, God is still to be glorified, honored and praised. It is a real threat no matter what state you homeschool in. Pray pray pray, and sign that petition that sends a voice to support our homeschooling rights. There are over 166,000 homeschool families our here, and I don’t think this will end quietly. God bless!!!

  • Kim Owens

    Every parent has a right to homeschool their children. ESPECIALLY, with these new budget cuts and our government doing absolutely NOTHING for public education!!!!! What happened to Schwarzenegger’s (sp) big “EDUCATION plan” that he promised everyone during his election. Everyone has a right to choose how they want their children educated. Let’s not strip people of their personal “rights” now too. Parents are the best teachers out there. Forcing a child into an already oversized classroom, with one underpaid teacher is not necessarily, always the answer! Please leave homeschooling the way it is.

  • Wendy

    As a Mommy of a 7,4,3,2,and 10 month old and ecxpecting in April 08. I was going to start homeschooling my 7 year old next year. even though he is attending a great small christian school. I live in California. We must not become scared but or fearful. That’s what the enemy wants. Pray and know that God is on our side.

  • Brea from Texas

    From the San Diego paper:

    “What the court did say is that parents no longer have the right to home-school your kid any way you want, that it’s legal for the state to regulate how you home-school your kid,” said Shaun Martin, a law professor at the University of San Diego who has been following the case.

    Uhhhh … isn’t that the point? We don’t want the State telling us how we can and can’t, or what we have to, teach to our children! Ooooh, this whole thing makes me mad enough to spit nails. And pray, a whole lot. And it makes me glad I’m in Texas and not on the Left Coast.

    And post this on my blog and try to get this to as many people who homeschool as possible …

    ~Brea in Texas

  • Caroline

    Please visit

    To sign a Petition to Request Depublishing of California Court Case In re Rachel L.

    You do not have to be a member of HSLDA to sign…

    Thank you!!!

    North Dakota

  • Kelly

    That is just dumb. Parents should have a right to homeschool their children anywhere. It doesn’t seem fair.

  • Deanna

    I now think that this will have widespread advantage, because it hits many parents as matter where you send your child to school. The governor is now backing up the parental right to choose to home school. Because there are estimated over 166,000 homeschool families in Ca, the governor is no dummy. It would not be to his advantage politically to shoot himself in the foot and make enemies with that group. True, the number itself is not huge compared with all of the eligable voters in Ca…but all of us that homeschool typically have friends and family that support us. That could turn into a pretty big voting number. This will be an interesting ride, no doubt. Our local paper, which is very one-sided, actually published the 4 different ways that it is legal to homeschool in CA. I thought that was good, so that the public is aware that the state does have written guidelines and such. I’m not saying that parents have to abide by these, but it’s good for the general public to be aware that they exsist. God bless!!!

  • jennifer


    ? for you to think about, Why Should my Mother and Father after to go to College for 4 plus years, and BE MADE to pass a Teacher test, that is very hard. You can’t become a teacher unless you pass certain state tests. WHen some random parent, doesn’t have to go to school, learn anything, or be certif. From a teachers daughter POV, I think they shouldnt have done that. But perhaps made the “teacher” have to pass and get certif. just like my parents do. Then the state would at least know that a the children will and could be taught. Because You may not realize, or what to believe. but There are TONS of people who home school, and DOn’t teach their kids.

  • Deanna

    Jennifer, I understand your point of view, and it’s obvious that you are proud of your parents. However, there is no guarantee that any child that is taught by someone who has a credential is going to be more educated than someone who is not. There are also many life skills that can and are taught at home, that many schools do not provide. After graduating from public high school 20 years ago, I couldn’t even balance a checkbook. Yes, there is always going to be homeschoolers who slip through the cracks, but that is not the majority. There are also, myself included, that barely made it through public school, and it had nothing to do with a credential. The purpose of a credential is to certity for the state and their regulations of public education, it has nothing to do with the private sector. As such, homeschooling in Ca is regulated through the private regulations. I also think that many youth could do much better in a vocational school setting, instead of spreading themselves too thin in subjects that do not have as much weight in their desired field. My husband went back to school for three years in a setting like this, and is now making very good money, using skills that God has given him. His occupation now has nothing to do with classes he took as a youth, except for the baics…reading, writing, math. These subjects do not take credentials to teach…if they do, then the public school system is failing. I will leave you with a thought from a dear friend of mine that has homeschooled her children, edited books, is a public speaker…her list is long..and yes, all without a credential:

    The decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles puts it on the line: Every single child in the state, ages 6-18, must be taught by a credentialed teacher.

    Each child must attend school full time, public or private, or be caught by a tutor. The caveat is that each teacher must have a state-issued credential for the grade level of the student.

    This means there can be no homeschooling by parents, or even people knowledgeable in a field of study, if they don’t have that state license.

    On that basis, Albert Einstein couldn’t teach math. Leonardo Da Vinci couldn’t teach art. William Shakespeare couldn’t teach literature. George Washington couldn’t teach about the Revolutionary War and the founding of our country. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn’t teach about the civil rights movement.

    You get the picture.

  • LMS

    Oh my goodness! That is just way to far…
    Has anybody else heard the other crazy laws that they are trying to pass in CA?

  • Karie

    Wow! This is just nuts! I know plenty of families here (in Alexandria MN) that home school their children because the school system is so terrible!

    Hey, I gradumicated in Alex! =)

  • Kate

    I stumbled across this website while doing research for my Developmental Psychology course. I think that there is a very interesting, thought-provoking debate going on here. Having read through several articles written on the decision to ban “homeschooling” in the state of California and after reading through the posts made on this website in response to said legislation, I think that the decision made in California is a good one, based on sound research.

    While I understand and respect that many of you who are posting on this website are currently homeschooling your children, I have to say that I personally do not believe in the practice. I think that homeschooling delays the quality of a child’s education, academically, emotionally and socially. Case in point: has anyone actually read the post made by Jennifer, the young lady who I gather is homeschooled from the nature of her post? Judging from her post, her grasp on the written English language is lacking to say the least, and I certainly hope that no one disagrees with me about that. She has not managed to capitalize or punctuate correctly, and her grammatical skills are, frankly, dreadful. In fact, I think many of you would agree that it is quite difficult to even understand what she is trying to explain.

    I agree with a few of the points made by Deanna’s “rebuttal” to Jennifer’s post, specifically that many of the certified teachers in this country are not necessarily the best educators for the nation’s youth. However, I certainly don’t think it’s fair to judge all public school systems by her obviously poor experience, especially given her outrage that all homeschooled children be judged by the few that “slip through the cracks.” What I found really interesting about her post is that she claimed that she was unable to balance a checkbook after graduating high school, yet she claims that parents who are uncertified to teach will have no trouble teaching their children math skills. The last time that I checked, balancing a checkbook is a purely mathematical chore. In fact, it only requires basic addition and subtraction skills most of the time.

    I am very interested to know how all of you who choose to homeschool your children and are not certified to teach manage to cover advanced subjects such as Calculus, Chemistry and Biology. As the daughter of a truly brilliant woman with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, I’m not sure that even she would have been able to adequately explain Biochemistry to me. I’m not saying that the public school system in the United States is without major problems, however I am just questioning the ability of untrained mothers and fathers to teach their adolescent children advanced academic material. If any of you have insight as to how you accomplish this task, I’d love to know. Thank you for your time.

  • Jill

    There are many statitistics to refute some of the statements in Kate’s post. Many of those facts can be found at the following website

    I am tired of arguing how homeschooled children generally outperform their public school counterparts. Or how they typically score higher on the SAT test and the ACT test. All of that information is out there, and to me, is really not at all what the California ruling is about. Not completely anyway.

    My guess is that you (Kate) are not a parent. What the ruling in California is really stating is very scary! California already has laws that make homeschooling legal. A single judge in California determined that no one in the state may rest in the provisions of the law. He overrode the law and made his own decision, regardless of what the lawmakers had determined before that. Also, the judge, in effect, said that parents have no right to make educational decisions for their children. Please, Kate, keep in mind that homeschooling is only ONE right of parents. If we allow this judge to set his own law in the education of our children, where else might he or another judge decide parents should not be able to make decisions for their children? It is a slippery slope and definitely in contrast to the liberties our nation prides itself on.

    Another fact to consider, if we really want to argue the benefits of homeschooling, is how many great people in our nation were homeschooled. Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, among others. Even Bill Gates dropped out of college, and no one questions his ability to teach and train people and run an incredibly successful business.

    We are winding up a school year that included high school biology…complete with dissection. All the students are doing very well in the class. Next year, they will take chemistry, also in my basement. The amazing thing about people is that they have the ability to continue to learn and/or retain what they have learned in the past. This, as well as the personal investment and love for their child, enables parents to teach their children very well. All of my kids are very good students by state standards, but more important is the fact that they are great people, making a difference in the world because homeschooling has afforded them opportunities that they would not have been afforded otherwise.

    Homeschoolers are not asking public school parents to quit sending their kids to public school. We are simply maintaining that ALL PARENTS have the right to make educational decisions for their children.

  • Rachel

    I agree with Jill! I especially agree with the last sentence she wrote.

    I was not homeschooled myself, but I believe that parents have the right to choose what their children are being taught and from where they get their education.

    The public schools have curriculums and rules that are politically-biased and not necessarily based on parental approval.

    I have a three-month old son, and already I am starting to worry that if I send him to public school, they will teach him values and morals that contradict the values and morals that I plan on teaching him at home. I’m wondering if it will confuse my child. Then I wonder, which authority will he choose to listen to?

  • Christi

    Dear Readers:

    In response to Kate’s post, fortunately America will not outlaw homeschooling because some don’t “believe in the practice”. I find it interesting that she refers to “belief” but then has nothing more to say about “faith”.

    Most parents make decisions in the best interest of their kids and this is especially true of homeschooling parents. Homeschooling takes a lot of time and hard work on the part of the parents and we don’t do it for any temporal benefit. We are educating for eternity. Every child is unique and every child is valuable whatever their academic, emotional or social abilities. And what most homeschoolers value over all these is their children’s spiritual health. Nevertheless, all the homeschoolers I know are acutely aware of these other “abilities” and research, teach and evaluate, repeatedly, ways to help their children grow in all these dimensions.

    As for the post by Jennifer, anyone who has spent 10 minutes on email or the internet knows that punctuation, capitalization, grammar and even spelling, are regularly sacrificed for the sake of time. I have little doubt that, had Jennifer known her post would be critiqued, she could have met Kate’s expectations.

    Again in response to Kate, balancing a checkbook is not purely a mathematical exercise; it requires logic to determine what checks have not cleared, how to isolate a discrepancy, etc. I think this is precisely the difference between the education Deanna received and that which she actually needed. That is to say, she probably had learned to add and subtract in school but had not been taught logic, including how to balance a checkbook. (If you have read the book or seen the movie “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the “Professor” shares the same concern about the Pevensie children’s education!)

    As for teaching the higher level subjects such as calculus and biochemistry (which are not proper nouns and therefore should not be capitalized), there are many possibilities. Some homeschool parents learn (or relearn) these subjects along with their students. Some students have developed such a love for learning and, if they have a natural aptitude, they can literally teach themselves. Some parents participate in a co-op with other parents that can teach the subjects they can’t. Some depend on online educational websites. Some get their children started in junior college. Some decide to go the route of traditional private or public group-schooling for those subjects. Simply put, there are many options on how to teach a subject that a homeschool parent has not mastered himself or herself.

    In closing I would like to emphasize that although academics are often not the primary concern on a homeschooling parent’s mind, academics are not neglected. No one wants our children to succeed academically, emotional and socially, more than their parents do! We may not follow the same scope, sequence and timetable as a group school but we usually get the job done and usually with better results.

    I’d like to share more about the benefits of homeschooling (sibling relationships, parent-child relationships, one-on-one academic education, catechism, character building, etc.) but it is getting late and tomorrow I have to teach–reading, writing, math, history, science, social studies, and most importantly, love, for God, family, and country! (Sorry, that was probably a run-on sentence.)