PSP or PSA, what are they and which option is for me?
Since most of my homeschool emails propose the questions of PSP (Private School Satellite Program) and PSA (Private School Affidavit), I decided it was time for a small break down of each, and which one is right for you.
Parents who are currently distance learning, are learning pretty fast that they are NOT satisfied with their kids education and the crazy amount of work they have to do, EVERYDAY.
Some parents have even gone so far as to call this homeschooling; no, this is simply the public schooling system in your house. Notice I did not say “education.” Especially since that is not what kids do in the pubic spectrum anymore. To keep this article strictly on PSA and PSP, I will refer you to some of our previous articles, like What Homeschool Really Is, and Reasons To Homeschool And Love It.
Lets jump into the details, as each option is carefully crafted to fit the need of the family. You will see the differences between each and what it means as an option for you. I have also included my take on whether you will like it or not, based on experience.
What is a PSP and is it for me?
Private School Satellite Program is most referred to as PSP. I also call this an umbrella school. For an more in depth look at the different school options and study, see Homeschool Options Explained.
PSP’s are a private school which has filed an affidavit. When you sign up, you become a teacher within that school, and there are usually basic parent qualification questions. Parents who enroll their children in a PSP become teachers (of their own children) in that school. If your child is enrolled in a PSP, they are enrolled in a Private School and you do not need to enroll in a charter school or file your own PSA.
Your name and address do not appear on the affidavit, but the PSP is required to keep a listing of each teacher and their qualifications. The administrator will remind you to turn in the required attendance records and courses of study.
Some PSPs may offer a newsletters and activities like park days and field trips for their members. Some offer optional curriculum packages, for those new parents who need something to get started with. I find those to be very expensive, and they are also constructed in the typical schooling schedule, consisting of 8hr long days. For options that you can afford and ways to build your own curriculum, see the linked post or the ones below. Whether you are new to homeschooling or not, there is always a need to get the schedule right.
Guidance and requirements vary with each PSP school.
You do not need to file a PSA with this option, since the school is responsible to file.
Is it right for you?
A PSP is a great way to get started when you are new to homeschool because of the above information. I also started out with a PSP, in my homeschooling adventures.
This option is PERFECT for high school students. Given the right PSP program, they can help your high schoolers plan their four years of school, direct them into the right courses to take, and help them with graduation requirements.
Optionally, they might have Co-ops that your high schoolers can join, taking some work off of you if you still have younger kids you are teaching. As well as a direct connection to other parents who might be doing what you are doing.
If you want a school name other than your own, behind your child, this would be the option for you.
Again, you do not personally need to file a PSA for this option.
Great for new homeschoolers.
Awesome for high schoolers, or seniors if the PSP deal with those grades. Not everyone does.
What is a PSA and is it for me?
A PSA or Private School Affidavit, allows your family to become their own homeschool.
You singlehandedly pick your curriculum and you also keep your records. Again, I explain more in Homeschool Options Explained.
You are completely independent and free to choose how you want to homeschool. You can also seek out and or create your own support systems.
When you file the Private School Affidavit, you withdraw your children from school and request their school records.
You can file for a PSA at anytime
The PSA filing deadline is October 1st through the 15th.
This date is set by California Educational Code §33190, and it’s for all private schools.
Most schools (including many homeschools) start in August or September. October filing is set because most kids will be settled for the school year and that gives the State better statistical information. This date is for existing private schools, and is a notification for that school year. If a private school is established later in the year, the PSA can be filed then.
If your home based private school is established during the summer months, get the required paperwork in order and pick a date to begin homeschooling, but wait until October 1-15 to file the affidavit if you want.
Changes can be made during the school year in order to best meet the needs of your child. Therefore, October 15th isn’t your deadline if your child is enrolled in another school. If you decide to homeschool independently later in the year, you can file then. Do not feel the need to worry!
Your PSA is a statistical document that notifies the State that a private school with X number of enrolled children is in existence.
It is NOT an application
It is NOT an application or a request to homeschool. It is a notification about your private school. Permission is not granted by the State, there is no acceptance to anything after you file.
You will be expected to do everything a site based private school with many teachers and students would do, including requesting records, selecting curriculum, and issuing report cards or high school transcripts. You will be the director of your private school, even if there is only one child enrolled.
As the administrator and teacher of your school, you have to keep the required records for the state. I also explain this in detail in Homeschool Options Explained, the record-keeping requirements are not burdensome, you just need to set time out.
If you are filing for the next school year, try establishing your new school by the time your local school district starts, which will usually be sometime in August. October is when you will notify the State by filing, not the date to start your school, unless that happens to be when you withdraw your student(s) from his or her current school. You do not have to wait until the school year ends to file.
When you file an affidavit, your school name and address are a matter of public record. This is something to keep in mind. You will be responsible for answering inquiries regarding your school.
If you would like the friendship of other homeschoolers, you can identify and join a homeschooling support group.
The state mandates that certain subjects such as reading, social studies, math and science be taught in your homeschool. Yet, when you file the Private School Affidavit, you have freedom to decide what specific topics are covered and how and when to cover them.
If your elementary school aged child, or Jr. High school child, wants to learn a topic normally covered in high school, you have the freedom to bring it to them.
This option as well as the PSP, allow you to practically homeschool for free.
Is it right for you?
A PSA is awesome if you want to go at it alone, or have support from friends. You can also find your support from websites like this one, Randomnestfamily.org or others.
You organically decide what you want to teach your kids and how you want to teach them, a great resource on the different teaching methods can be found in Educational Approaches To Homeschool.
You control how much money you want to put towards your homeschool.
You are responsible to adhere to private school laws, which is not hard when you have the HSLDA on your side.
Do I recommend this for new homeschoolers?
I do not recommend this for new homeschooler for two reasons.
- If you haven’t done any previous research into what your resources will be, or what curriculum is best for your kids, and where to go for help, other than Facebook, you might feel lost.
- Most parents who start off this way experience a severe burnout. After the first year, some feel as if they have had it! No longer do they want to homeschool. They had to spend so much time finding resources in their first year, and trying to figure out a plan, that they became overwhelmed.
My advice for parents who want to start off with this option, plan ahead! Take some time either before the school year starts, or before your child goes into homeschool to find what you need and develop your support systems.
Can it be done? YES! Absolutely. Never give up. You are in the right place too, leave me a comment below or email us and we will help you. We also offer competitive prices to Homeschool Mentor and Consulting Services, or simply join us for Open Enrollment for Homeschool With Us.
I hope this has provided you with all the information you needed to determine if a PSP or PSA is right for you and what they are.
This article is similar to an email consultation, given my clients. Since this is a very popular topic, we wanted to be sure to have on site information.
If you have any more questions, comment below or email us.
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