You may currently be evaluating the option of homeschooling your children. This decision represents a significant challenge for parents, as it will demand exceptional commitment and dedication. If you live in North Carolina, you must comply with all state laws.
To homeschool in North Carolina, you must comply with the following:
- Parents must have at least a certified high school diploma
- Parents must submit a notice to the North Carolina Department of Nonpublic Education expressing intent to homeschool
- Parents must maintain an attendance and immunization record
North Carolina is an intermediate regulatory state concerning homeschooling, and the process is manageable but, at the same time, requires parents to comply fully. This article will help you understand what you need to know to start homeschooling in North Carolina.
Suppose your child is starting school or is already active under the traditional education method. In that case, homeschooling is a methodology that you can adopt at any time.
In North Carolina, you can find several options for the optimal education of your child from home.
In homeschooling, the student’s home is the classroom, and the parents are responsible for the child’s education. Under this role, the parents can assume the educational process directly or hire private tutors to fulfill that role under their close supervision.
North Carolina families can also choose an online public school. This type of school is often the best alternative to meet students’ educational goals.
Online schools provide a curriculum tailored to the needs of each student. They have state-certified teachers, and all classes, homework, and project assignments occur in an online classroom.
The decision to homeschool will be a determining factor in your child’s future. Before making this choice, it is a good idea to review a few things that will help you confirm whether or not homeschooling is right for your family.
- It will help if you investigate what your child’s learning style is. For this reason, selecting a study plan that shares that style will help the success of the process for the student and the family. Knowing the child’s learning process and what resources might work best is necessary.
- Another critical point to define before starting homeschooling is choosing the best schedule for everyone. This new experience adapts to the rhythm of the child and the family.
- You can research the most reputable educational support groups available to you. It is enriching for the student to have different perspectives beyond what they receive from their family.
- Schoolwork outside the home is indispensable for the formation of the student. You should be aware that homeschooling requires planning several educational field trips per month, so you should consider this factor when choosing.
Selecting the right curriculum is the foundation of homeschooling success. This curriculum will help parents make the process successful for both the child and the family.
The curriculum should combine activities, lessons, and interactive experiences to fit students’ needs and styles. Some of the aspects that an ideal curriculum should have are:
- The curriculum should include all subjects and courses to be studied according to North Carolina standards.
- The curriculum should follow a guided path to help parents meet school goals.
- It should include creative materials involving technology.
- It should include educational activities outside the classroom as essential to the process.
Sometimes, parents opt for a combination of different curriculums because they feel it is best to offer a more tailored program to the child’s style.
To help you get your search started, here is a short list of recommendable homeschool programs for all ages and learning styles:
- Alpha Omega Publications offers online, digital, and printed materials for learning with customizable lessons.
- ABC Mouse and Adventure Academy work well with younger learners from preschool through early junior high.
- Schoolhouse Teachers is a fantastic resource for fully individualized learning using a wide variety of printable lessons ranging from preschool through high school.
- K12 is a public school done online and works well for home-based learning but maintains a traditional school day routine.
- Kahn Academy is a beneficial tool that aids in understanding math and science.
- Duolingo is an excellent option for foreign language studies.
In North Carolina, parents have to keep homeschool records. However, they should not submit them to the NCDNPE unless they´re requested to do so. For this reason, it is best to create a binder in which the parent records all the activities involved in the student’s educational process. The folder could contain the following supports:
- The subjects studied in each school year
- The parents or the online school exams or reports
- The results of the annual exams
- High school transcripts for students in grades 9-12
This information is also helpful if the student re-enters the traditional school. Another advantage of having this information is that colleges will require a detailed transcript of homeschooling, so recording this data will save us a lot of work.
You must adhere to the state’s educational regulations if your child has special needs. North Carolina has no additional requirements to allow the homeschooling of a child with special needs.
North Carolina considers homeschooling a “non-public school.” This means that each school district may offer its services at its sole discretion. In this case, you should contact your school district directly to find out what services your child may receive if he has an exceptional condition.
North Carolina does not have a law that allows homeschooled students to have the right to access activities or classes in public schools. For this reason, independent public schools and school districts have complete and absolute discretion to decide whether a homeschooled student is eligible for any of their activities.
Suppose your child is interested in participating in a public school class or activity. The parents must contact the school directly to determine its status, requirements, and next steps.
Within the homeschooling educational process, you should pay close attention to two issues: testing and graduation requirements.
North Carolina law requires each homeschooling family to administer a national standardized achievement test to all homeschooled students up to graduation. If the homeschooling family fails to administer this test, the child’s education will no longer be legally valid.
All homeschooled students in North Carolina must earn at least 22 credits to graduate. However, this requirement may be slightly different depending on the school district. The student must earn these credits as follows:
- English: 4 credits
- Math: 4 credits
- Science: 4 credits
- Social Studies: 4 credits
- Physical Education: 1 credit
- Electives: 6 credits
Some of the most exciting excursions that you should include in the homeschooled student’s training are:
- Grandfather Mountain, Linville. You will learn much about this nature preserve’s habitats, naturalist programs, and ranger training programs.
- Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee. This excursion will be handy to see Native American Indian dwellings. You will also observe native dances, appreciate typical Native American handicrafts, and learn about the history and culture of the Cherokee.
- Linville Caverns, Marion. On this tour, you will be inside a limestone mountain. You will explore the cavern’s history, the wildlife inhabiting them, and much more. This tour is the best science lesson a student could have.
- Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill. This museum is inside the University of North Carolina. Here you will find works from all over the world related to the history of humankind.
- Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont. All children will love this visit. We will find gardens on more than 380 acres.
- Kaleidium, Winston Salem. This children’s museum is a science museum at the same time, with an extensive science exhibit space, a planetarium, and an environmental park.
- Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium. In this aquarium, we have ten interactive exploration zones. In addition, there is a touch pool, many seahorses, and a jellyfish area. This is the place to visit if we want to learn about the oceans.
Due to the boom in homeschooling, North Carolina offers a wide variety of support groups and homeschool associations. For example, we have:
- Asheville Unschoolers and Homeschoolers
- Chapel Hill Homeschoolers
- Charlotte Home Educators Association
- Greater Cabarrus Homeschoolers
- GSOFamilies Homeschooling
- Hendersonville NC Area Homeschooling Families
- HOME-Greenville NC Homeschooling Group
- Homeschool Association of Rutherford/Polk County
- Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association
- Wake County Homeschoolers
North Carolina is a reasonably friendly state for homeschooling, and its regulations place it in the middle regarding flexibility.
This fact means that parents who take on this responsibility are challenged to achieve the best possible education for their children. But, at the same time, they must maintain the commitment to fulfill the state’s requirements.