Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws

Below is a summary of Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws to help you ensure your homeschool is compliant.

Note: The information below is not to be considered legal advice. I’m a homeschool mom with an interest in helping you, not a lawyer. I strongly recommend that you contact your state education department if you have questions specific to your circumstances.


Pennsylvania might be the hardest state to homeschool in. It has several requirements including instructor qualifications, annual notifications, required subjects, assessments, portfolios, and minimum instruction time.

Can I Teach?

You must possess a high school diploma or equivalent in order to teach your child.

Do I Have to Notify the State?

Yes. You must submit a notarized affidavit or unsworn declaration to your local superintendent when you start your homeschool program.

You must also submit one of these notifications each following year between July 1st and August 1st.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides samples of these forms here:

Be ready to provide the following documentation with your notification:

  • Outline of proposed education objectives by subject area
  • Immunization records
  • Records of required medical services based on your child’s age or grade level

Required Subjects

You must teach Pennsylvania’s core subjects as follows:

Grades K-6:
  • English
    • Spelling
    • Reading
    • Writing
  • Arithmetic
  • Science
  • Geography
  • US History
  • Pennsylvania History
  • Civics
  • Safety Education – including the dangers and prevention of fires
  • Health and Physiology
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Art
Grades 7-12:
  • English
    • Language
    • Literature
    • Speech
    • Composition
  • Mathematics
    • General Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Social Studies
    • Civics
    • World History
    • US History
    • Pennsylvania History
  • Safety Education – including the dangers and prevention of fires
  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Art

Assessment Requirement

Pennsylvania requires you to test your child in grades 3, 5, and 8. The Department of Education has approved the following tests:

  • California Achievement Test
  • Comprehensive Testing Program (CTPIV)
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills
  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
  • Metropolitan Achievement Test
  • Peabody Achievement Individual Test – Revised Version
  • Stanford Achievement Test
  • Terra Nova
  • Woodcock-Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement III
  • Woodcock-Johnson IV
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III (WIAT-III)

Portfolio Requirement

You must maintain a portfolio of your child’s work including:

  • A log of course materials used
  • Samples of your child’s work
  • Results of standardized tests (when applicable)

Each year the portfolio must be reviewed, your child must be interviewed, and a certification must be made that your child is receiving an appropriate education by one of the following:

  • A licensed psychologist
  • A state certified teacher with at least 2 years of experience
  • A non-public school teacher or administrator with at least 2 years of experience

The certification must be submitted to your local school superintendent by June 30th each year.

How Many Days a Year do I Have to Teach?

You must provide 180 days of instruction each year, or 900 hours for Grades K-6 and 990 hours for Grades 7-12.

Compulsory Attendance Age

The compulsory attendance age is the age range in which your child must be attending school of some type.

In Pennsylvania, your child must attend school if they are 6 years old on or before September 1st until they are 18 years old or graduate high school.

Public School Sports

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association allows homeschoolers to participate in its activities, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Contact your local school for more information.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this summary of Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws gets you started on your homeschool journey with your family!

If you’re just getting started, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The Home Learning Kit can help!

It’s a package of handy learning tools to make your homeschool more fun and engaging, curated by yours truly. Check it out!

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