There, I did it.
It took me exactly 9 minutes and I included printing the hard copy for my records and time spent walking across the room to staple it together and three hole punch it. What am I talking about? Filing my Private School Affidavit with the California Department of Education (CDE). Next question..
Why would I do that? Well, I was hoping you would ask…..
According to the CDE, if I have children who are 6 by September 1st, they must be enrolled in public school UNLESS I choose one of 4 exceptions:
- Participate in a Chartered public school
- Become a credentialed teacher and teach at home
- Participate in a private school satellite program (PSP)
- or file a Private School Affidavit (PSA)
I could go into a lot of detail on each of these options but instead, I will post links to my sources at the end and you can research what interests you. I want to stick with your question which is, why do I file a PSA and the answer to that comes down to two words…. Mission Statement.
Our school has a mission statement and it is one of the most key documents we function by. Educating our children is no quick, small task. It is a get dirty, in for the long haul, I’m not going to give up task and that requires vision. We have to know where we are going and a general idea of how we are going to get there, with a smattering of flexibility so we can adjust our coarse as new possibilities reveal themselves. With a mission statement, I can realign myself when new, fabulous, exciting ideas threaten to blow me off course. A mission statement guides my decision making between the good, better and best. A good mission statement documents the goals we are seeking so we never forget the purpose in our efforts.
So, years ago, after being encouraged to write a Mission Statement by a wonderfully wise mentoring home school mother, I recognized that I could not reach my goals, trying to teach within the constrains of public school standards and accountability paperwork. The public schools require a separation of church and state that I cannot abide by, and which is actually never what Thomas Jefferson intended but that is a subject for another time. The paperwork required for private satellite programs seem unnecessary, cumbersome and time consuming for me, if I am willing to be self-disciplined and responsible to my task of home education.
So each year, between October 1st and October 15th, I will receive a reminder from HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Fund), another organization worthy of our support if we are filing independently) to file my affidavit. They will have already reviewed the forms available online and made suggestions on how to complete it. I go online with the CDE and 10 minutes later I am ready to pursue another year of home education.
So tell me, have you written a Mission Statement for your home school yet?