Charter and Homeschooling

Some parents are interested in educational options. Homeschooling is one option, however, according to homeschooling authorities, homeschoolers in California have five basic options for teaching their children at home:

  1. File an affidavit to function as a private school.
  2. Enroll in a private school satellite homeschool program.
  3. Hire a certified private tutor (or become a credentialed tutor yourself).
  4. Use a public school independent study option.
  5. Enroll in a public charter school for homeschoolers.

Charter schools are free public school and receive state tax dollars funding. The charters are required to obey various federal and some state educational code including those pertaining to special education.

Students with disabilities attending private schools also have the right to access publicly funded special education services. Those services, however, frequently are provided in the public school setting and may be less extensive than what would be available if the student opted to enroll in public school full time.

Because private schools do not take tax dollars and therefore do not have to follow special education laws. Though many private schools are working toward supports for children with special needs, many do not have the training or support.

Articles of Interest:

Homeschooling Your Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Basics – By Holly Bortfeld

Legal Issues – Special Needs Children – By Linda J. Conrad Jansen, Esq.


Charter schools can vary greatly in their focus and services, and some of more special education friendly than others. Many charter schools are not able to accommodate those with the most significant special education needs and will may back to the home school. Charter schools can run a few days a week with home study days to 5 days a week.

Inland Empire Homeschool Groups
Provides a listing and description of local homeschool groups in the Inland Empire.

The HomeSchool Association of California
Offers advice from parents who have found their own solutions to special education challenges. You will also find information about the legal aspects of homeschooling children with special needs as well as listings of helpful books, periodicals, and other resources.

Charter Schools

Homeschooling can be done through a public independent study program or through parents with no affiliation with any school. See the articles below for more information.

iEmpire Academy
1184 W 2nd St. #101, San Bernardino
Free public charter school for K-12 which offers an option for families who wish to be directly involved in their children’s education to teens who seek an accelerated schedule to begin college early or teens needing to catch up on credits to graduate with their classmates. Offers homeschooling, a virtual program and an independent study option. Serves San Bernardino and all surrounding counties.

Dehesa Charter School
1441 Montiel Rd., Suite 143, Escondido
(760) 743-7880 or (877) 300-8299 toll free
A public school, is a personalized learning program serving home schooling families in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties. This school has a special education department, but is limited in the types of services and classes offered.

Springs Charter School
43466 Business Park Drive, Temecula
(951) 252-8800 or 877-438-4451
A free, WASC accredited, public charter school. While not an appropriate choice for all students or families, RSCS typically serves four types of student populations: Traditional homeschool students, blended program students whose instruction combines home instruction/home study, classes and enrichment activities provided by student centers, and/or community classes, Independent Study Students, and Site-Based Students. This school has a special education department, but is limited in the types of services and classes that are offered.

Autism Society Options Policy

This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.

All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.