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If you are thinking of homeschooling, but feeling overwhelmed with where to start, we made a quick guide to help you navigate the steps:

Homeschooling Quick Guide for South Carolina

  1. Step 1: Decide which option you want to homeschool under:
    1. Option 1 is through the district and requires 4.5 hours per day and testing yearly. (You will need to submit your plan for the year for approval with this option).  [This is the least traveled homeschool path]
    1. Option 2 is through a specific association called South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools. They are a little more flexible but also require state testing every other year (starting in third grade). You also do have to submit your curriculum list to them to be approved before starting. This option is faith based.
    1. Option 3 is the most flexible and what most families choose. You would join an accountability association that is registered with the SC DOE (2024-25 Option 3 Homeschool Association List 5.21.24)
      [There are many different associations, and they all vary on requirements, price, secular/religious, etc. but they will all keep your homeschooling legal.] 

With all 3 options for homeschooling, you have to cover math, reading, writing, science, and social studies (at 7th grade, reading and writing change to literature and composition); you have to have 180 days of learning minimum, document the learning, keep work samples, and do semi-annual progress reports twice per year.

  • Step 2: IF your student is currently enrolled in public or private school, you will give the school your proof of enrollment from the option you joined above (Step 1) to officially withdraw.  I always recommend asking for a copy of the students records as well when you withdraw.  If they are  in high school or have earned any high school credits, I recommend asking for an updated transcript.

  • Step 3 (optional*): Discuss an educational plan with your association director.  If you are wanting to use a curriculum and feel overwhelmed with the options out there, your director can help provide suggestions based on your needs and wants.

  • Step 4: Make sure you make notes of any requirements or deadlines your option requires.  I recommend putting the deadlines on a calendar or set an alert on your phone to remind you of these, so you do not forget.  If your association provides a checklist with the deadlines, print it out and put it somewhere you look often like the fridge or in your planner.

  • Step 5 (optional): research social groups and co-ops in your area to get connected with homeschooling activities ( has a list).  Co-ops are completely optional with homeschooling but do provide a great option for socialization, some offer field trips, educational classes.  You do not have to homeschool alone.

  • Step 6: Enjoy the extra family time, flexibility, and freedom that comes along with homeschooling!

*Note for step 3: if you have a high school student, think about the goals after graduation, who will be issuing the diploma, and you can create an educational plan based on those things.  Your director is there to help you with your homeschooling. Do not hesitate to reach out to them to ask questions!  The association director is like a guidance counselor at the school to help your student with their educational plan based on their goals after graduation.

Some notes: K12, Connections Academy, Cyber School of SC, (Public, virtual Charter schools) do not fall under option 1, 2, or 3. They have their own requirements and rules for families enrolled.

If you have a student that is turning 5 on or before September 1st; you have 2 choices:
Choice # 1: register under homeschool option 1, 2, or 3 explained in Step 1
Choice #2: Sign a waiver with your zoned school district to opt out of kindergarten through them and you would not have to register with a homeschool option either.  This option delays documenting and following the homeschool law but DOES NOT delay kindergarten.  The student would enter first grade the following school year.  With the waiver, you are agreeing to have the student ready for first grade academically essentially.

If you would like to download this information, we have a PDF you can download as well:

Post Author: Director