Ok, this has possibly been the most-asked question about homeschooling in California and the California PSA so far this school year! It is some variation of “my child is only 5 and I am going to start educating them. But they aren’t 6 yet. Should I submit a California PSA or add them to my California PSA?” or “Is it a problem to just skip to first grade next year?”
First off, you can totally skip to first grade next year. Kindergarten is not mandatory in the state of California. If you have a student who goes from first grade and skips to third grade, but you want to put them into a public school, you will have to justify why you skipped a grade. Now that justification can simply be, “based on their academic progress we moved them ahead a year” or something more official with testing or sample work. That is not the case when it comes to skipping kindergarten.
You do not need to file a PSA if your child is under 6 years old as of September 1st of the school year. You also do not need to include them on any PSA’s that you are already filing. (Education Code Section 48200, that talks about ages) That said, if your student is over 4 years and 9 months, you can include them in a PSA you are already filing. But if I didn’t have to file one already, I wouldn’t file for just a 5-year-old.
Why not to include them in your California PSA
There is a lot of rumor and legend associated with children between the ages of 4 years and 9 months old and 6 years old. Most of it says that you will flag yourself for scrutiny if you file for such a young child. I don’t know if I would go that far. But I want to mention it.
So, all said, you can totally include your kindergartener on your existing PSA that you file for your other children. But it is just not worth the effort to file just for a 5-year-old kindergarten student. You can skip kindergarten, teach them kindergarten, teach them first grade, teach kindergarten at 4 years old, what ever you want.
Remember, you have already been educating them up to this point! This is just the paperwork. You can teach them whatever level you want and call it whatever grade you want.
Just relax, don’t start out this homeschooling journey freaking out. It will be ok. Just breathe!
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