Here are some of the most common frequently asked questions. More detailed questions can be found on our blog page.

How do I enroll in homeschooling in South Carolina?

South Carolina has three options for homeschooling.
Option 1 is through the district and requires a minimum amount of hours per day of school (4.5 hours per day) and requires state testing starting in third grade.

Option 2 is through South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools.  This option can get expensive for families with multiple students and also requires standardized testing starting in third grade.

Option 3 is the most flexible and is the option most homeschooling families choose. Option 3 requires families to join an association that meets the South Carolina association requirements which can be found on this website (https://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/home-schooling/sc-code-of-law-59-65/).

What is the law regarding homeschooling in SC?

SECTION 59-65-47. Associations for home schools; requirements. (OPTION 3)

In lieu of the requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than fifty members and meets the requirements of this section. Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of the associations exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45.

The State Department of Education shall conduct annually a review of the association standards to ensure that requirements of the association, at a minimum, include:

  • a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate;
  • the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days;
  • the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and
  • educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:
    • a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;
    • a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work; and
    • a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (c) above. By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through the association to the children’s respective school districts.

I want to homeschool under option 3, what do I do first? 

First you need to join a homeschool association.  Once you receive your acceptance letter you will need to submit that letter to your students’ current school to formally withdraw.  If your student has never been in school prior, you will not need to submit anything to the district or zoned school. 

What age does my child need to be to start school in South Carolina?

The child needs to be 5 years old by September 1st

Does South Carolina require any state testing?

SC requires state testing for options 1 & 2. Option 3 does not require state testing.

What records am I required to keep?

As stated in the South Carolina Code of Laws SECTION 59-65-47,  educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include: 

  • ​a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;  
  • a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work 
  • a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas.

Can my association legally do random record checks?

Yes, your association can ask you at any time for a copy of your record to ensure you are staying compliant with the law. Therefore, it is very important to keep accurate up to date records. Your records must include- documentation of what is covered during your 180 learning days (lesson plan/journal), attendance records, work samples (3-5 works samples per required subject area), & the semi-annual reports.

What subjects am I required to cover?​

South Carolina homeschooling laws state you must cover Math, Reading, Writing, (Composition/Literature starting in 7th grade) Science, and Social Studies.

Can someone else homeschool my child in South Carolina?

Under option 3 homeschooling, yes you can outsource your child’s education as much or as little as you would like but you cannot outsource the record keeping. Some families use an online homeschool curriculum which records attendance, grades, and provides feedback in the form of progress reports and this is allowed but the parent/guardian that is in charge of record keeping would have to make sure they have a copy of these documents in their files for future reference.  You can also hire a tutor for a specific subject or multiple subjects.  You can also join a co-op that covers a specific subject area.  These are all allowed under option 3 homeschooling in South Carolina.

​How many days am I required to teach?

180 days minimum
 

​Do my days from public/ private school get deducted from my 180 days?

Yes, any days of instruction from the current school year can be deducted from the required 180 days.

​Do field trips count as a learning day?

Yes, field trips count as a learning day.
 

I want to unschool, how does grading work?

Grades do not need to only come from exams, they can come from projects, unit studies etc.
You can also create your own high school courses around your students interests You would need to develop a course of study and determine the credit value. 120-150 hours would count as a credit to earn for a course.
You want your transcript to be an academic reflection of how far your student has come. You can look a topic and transcribe their mastery into grades also. Expert (A), Proficient (B) etc.
The goal is to take what the student has learned even through unschooling and transcribe it into academic terms for the colleges. 

When can I start homeschooling?

You can start after you enroll and receive the welcome packet.

Can my homeschooled child participate in extracurricular activities such as team sports or clubs through the local school district?

Yes, homeschooled students can participate in extracurricular activities such as team sports and school clubs thanks to the Equal Access to Interscholastic Activities (also known as the Tim Tebow Law) which was passed into law in 2012.  This law allows students to not only participate in sports or clubs but music, provides access to speech services, as well as other extracurricular activities. The laws states the student has to be homeschooled for one academic year to qualify however.  To read more about this law, please visit https://www.ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/home-schooling/equal-access-interscholastic-activities-bill/    

Equal Access Intent Form

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