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 annually.
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/).
Is there a deadline to enroll in homeschooling?
Yes, you need to enroll by the 10th day of public school for YOUR zoned district if you are new to homeschooling or continuing your homeschooling journey. If you are wanting to switch from public or private school to homeschooling, you can switch at any point in the school year.
What is the law regarding homeschooling in SC for Option 3?
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 is the role of a homeschool association?
The role of a homeschool accountability association is to keep your homeschooling legal under option 3 in the state of South Carolina
Can I join HHASC if I am enrolled with a public school at home such as Connections Academy or K12?
No, we are an option 3 accountability association. Our role is to keep families homeschooling under option 3 legal in the state of South Carolina. Students can not be enrolled in public/ private school and an accountability association at the same time. Some associations do close enrollment at a certain point in the year though. Hometown closes enrollment September 1st.
When does enrollment for HHASC close?
We close enrollment on September 1st.
I forgot/did not know I had to register with an option 3 homeschool association and I have been homeschooling. Can I still join HHASC?
No, unfortunately we do not accept families that are non-compliant with the law.
Can I join HHASC if I do not live in the state of South Carolina?
No, we are an accountability association for residents of South Carolina. Families moving to SC can join after they obtain residence.
Can I join HHASC for events or extras you offer and keep my current accountability association?
No, we currently do not have that as an option.
Can I be part of two Accountability Associations at the same time?
No, unfortunately you cannot be enrolled in two accountability associations because the student(s) will then be accounted for twice when our district reports get sent out.
Can I switch associations at any point in the school year?
Yes, you can switch associations at any point, but you likely will not receive a refund for your membership fees paid. Some associations do close enrollment at some point in the year though so you will just have to check the association you want to switch to is still open and accepting new families.
What age can I enroll my student in HHASC?
The student must be 5 on or before September 1st to enroll in HHASC. We follow the Compulsory Attendance Law: SC code SECTION 59-63-20
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.
Do I have to do every single subject everyday?
No, the law does not specify that families need to cover every single subject daily.
What are the 90 Day Questionnaires and 180 Day Questionnaires required for HHASC Families? When are these due?
These are mid-year and end of year check ins. After completing your semi-annual progress report at 90 days, you will log onto the Members Page of the website to complete the 90 Day Questionnaire. It asks if you did your semi-annual and when. This is due by March 1st.
The 180 Day Questionnaire is similar. You would do your end of year semi-annual progress report and then log onto the Members Page to answer the 180 Day Questionnaire. This one also asks if you will be renewing with us so we can update our records. This is due by July 31st. These deadlines are strictly enforced.
Does HHASC rank high school students?
No, HHASC is a non-ranking association.
Do you provide me with a curriculum?
No, we do not provide any curriculums to families. We do have some blog posts to help families with their homeschool planning. We also have a list of free resources to help families as well.
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.
If I choose to join an online school in a different state, do I need to join an accountability association?
Yes. Out of state online schools do not report attendance to the SC DOE so you will need to register under one of the three options for homeschooling.
How many days am I required to teach?
180 days minimum per accountability year.
When do I start counting my 180 days?
If you enrolled before June 1st, you can start counting on June 1st. If you enrolled after June 1st, you can start counting the day that you receive your welcome packet.
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.
If I complete 180 days, can I start counting days for the next grade level?
You can continue to the next level course work but you would keep counting past 180 days. The next day 1 starts in the following accountability year. Your course work level doesn’t need to match your reported grade level. A 7th grader can do 9th grade course work but that doesn’t mean they are a 9th grader.
Can my 7th or 8th grader earn high school credits?
Yes! There are limitations though. The student cannot earn high school credit for PE and Health. (https://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/uniform-grading-policy/ugp-may-2019-final-pdf/?fbclid=IwAR3bQWGCiXoP80u4HSbDXJvo8Fby1WBde8_HATVMKs5IyptSnHqbX3u1-iI)
Can my student skip grades under HHASC?
The families register the student based on their legal grade which is the grade in which they would be in for public school based on their birthday. The student’s coursework does not have to match that legal grade.
For example, if your student is in 8th grade but academically ready for 9th grade material, they can start earning 9th grade material & high school credit. Their legal reported grade is still 8th grade, but their coursework is 9th.
If you have a first-grade student that is academically ready for third grade level work, they can do that, but their legal grade remains first grade.
Can my high school student repeat 12th grade and have a “Super Senior Year”?
If the student has more than 4 years of high school on their transcript, it will disqualify them for state scholarships. This is a CHE Policy, not an HHASC Policy.
When is the latest I can hit 90 days and still finish the year by July 31st?
The latest we recommend hitting 90 days is March 1st to ensure you have enough time to meet your 180 days by the end of the accountability year.
All HHASC families must have 180 days by July 31st.
Do field trips count as a learning day?
Yes, field trips count as a learning day.
How many hours do I have to teach under option 3?
The South Carolina Code of Law for option 3 does not specify how many hours a day we are required to teach.
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 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.
Do schools have to accept my students’ credits earned while homeschooling if they decide to return to public school?
No, the schools do not have to legally accept credits or grades completed during homeschooling. They do however legally have to accept your student. The South Carolina Department of Education addresses this question about credits on their website as well (FAQ for Home Schooling).
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 law states the student has to be homeschooled for one academic year to qualify. 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
What is the best way to contact someone at HHASC?
We do all communication via email.