To homeschool in South Carolina you must have at least a high school diploma or GED, must homeschool for 180 days a year, and teach the required subjects. In addition to these requirements, follow these steps to begin homeschooling in South Carolina:
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According to South Carolina Statute, Section 59-65-10, “All parents or guardians shall cause their children or wards to attend regularly a public or private school or kindergarten of this State which has been approved by the State Board of Education or a member school of the South Carolina Independent Schools’ Association or some similar organization, or a parochial, denominational, or church-related school, or other programs which have been approved by the State Board of Education from the school year in which the child or ward is five years of age before September first until the child or ward attains his seventeenth birthday or graduates from high school. A parent or guardian whose child or ward is not six years of age on or before the first day of September of a particular school year may elect for their child or ward not to attend kindergarten. For this purpose, the parent or guardian shall sign a written document making the election with the governing body of the school district in which the parent or guardian resides.”
South Carolina allows three home schooling options for parents that satisfy the compulsory education attendance requirements:
What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?
In order to homeschool your child under Option 1, the parent must meet either of these criteria:
Under Options 2 and 3, the association standards must require that “a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate” (Section 59-65-45 and Section 59-65-47).
Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?
Yes! Families homeschooling under Option 1 must get prior approval to begin homeschooling: “The district board of trustees shall provide for an application process which elicits the information necessary for processing the home schooling request, including a description of the program, the texts and materials to be used, the methods of program evaluation, and the place of instruction. Parents must be notified in advance of the date, place, and time of the meeting at which the application is considered by the board and parents may be heard at the meeting” (Section 59-65-40).
“At any time the school district determines that the parent is not maintaining the home school program in keeping with the standards specified in this section the district board of trustees shall notify the parent to correct the deficiencies within thirty days. If the deficiencies are not corrected within thirty days, the district board of trustees may withdraw its approval” (Section 59-65-40).
Note the following for Options 2 and 3: “By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children homeschooled through the association to the children’s respective school districts” (Section 59-65-45 and Section 59-65-47).
What educational options are available to my homeschooler?
As a homeschooler, you do have options. According to the South Carolina Department of Education, “State law does not require districts to provide home-schooled students with textbooks and instructional materials. The local school district may, however, provide home-schooled students with materials such as books.” If you are looking for a more general alternative, “homeschooled students may earn credit through the South Carolina Virtual School Program if they meet the guidelines of that program” (South Carolina Department of Education).
Even though South Carolina does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some South Carolina homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool under Option 1 (Section 56-65-40):
Under Options 2 and 3, the association standards must ensure that “the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days; and 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” (Section 59-65-45 and Section 59-65-47).
Additional requirements under Option 3 require that the association standards ensure the maintenance of educational records by the parent-teacher, including:
Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?
Yes, students homeschooling under Option 1 “must participate in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program approved by the State Board of Education for their appropriate grade level. The tests must be administered by a certified school district employee either with public school students or by special arrangement at the student’s place of instruction, at the parent’s option. The parent is responsible for paying the test administrator if the test is administered at the student’s home” (Section 56-65-40).
Also, under Option 1, “within the first fifteen instructional days of the public school year, students participating in home instruction and eligible for enrollment in the first grade of the public schools must be tested to determine their readiness for the first grade using the readiness instrument approved by the State Board of Education for public school students. If a student is determined to be “not ready” or is determined to lack the necessary emotional maturity, the parent must be advised by appropriate school district personnel whether a kindergarten or a first grade curriculum should be used for the child” (Section 56-65-40).
What happens to my child’s annual testing results?
The following applies to families homeschooling under Option 1: “Should a student in a homeschooling program score below the test requirements of the promotion standard prescribed for public school students by the State Board of Education for one year, the district board of trustees shall decide whether or not the student shall receive appropriate instructional placement in the public school, special services as a handicapped student, or homeschooling with an instructional support system at parental expense. […] If a parent is denied permission to begin or continue homeschooling by a district board of trustees, the decision of the district board of trustees may be appealed, within ten days, to the State Board of Education. Any appeal from the decision of the State Board of Education must be taken, within thirty days, to the family court” (Section 56-65-40).
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
Parents homeschooling under Option 1 are responsible for certain recordkeeping. According to (Section 56-65-40), “as evidence that a student is receiving regular instruction, the parent shall present a system for maintaining and maintain the following records for inspection upon reasonable notice by a representative of the school district:
In addition to the required recordkeeping, we also recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to prepare for re-entry into public school or postsecondary pathways. This includes the following:
You may also be able to find more information on South Carolina homeschool requirements through your local school district.
Homeschool graduation in South Carolina varies significantly depending on the option you are homeschooling under.
Option 1 – While the local school district regulates approval of curriculum and testing in this option, they do not provide a diploma nor do they determine when your student has met the criteria for graduation. Parents are responsible for deciding when their student has achieved the requirements for graduation and are also responsible for creating their homeschooler’s diploma and high school transcript.
Option 2 – SCAIHS offers specific “tracks” that high schoolers can follow toward graduation, depending on what their post-secondary educational goals are. Several different college preparatory and career/technical tracks are available which supply graduates with an official SCAIHS diploma upon completion.
Option 3 – High schoolers who homeschool under Option 3 can graduate whenever their parents determine that they have met the minimum requirements. Parents are responsible for creating their student’s diploma and transcript. Although many families follow the South Carolina diploma requirements, others may base their criteria for graduation on their child’s chosen path after high school, such as following the recommended courses for a specific college the student plans to apply to.
Modify™ helps homeschoolers to keep all necessary records and transcripts.
South Carolina Statute, Section 59-65-10
South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools” (Section 59-65-45)
Association of Homeschools
South Carolina Diploma Requirements
Note: All information on this site is provided with no guarantee of accuracy. Modify™ is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or outdated information, or for the results yielded through use of this information.