A fundamental aspect to consider for homeschooling in South Carolina is its regulations. Before enrolling in any online academic curriculum, you must follow several steps.
Parents have three options to choose from:
- Homeschooling by a homeschool statute. In this case, you will need the board of trustees’ approval.
- Homeschooling with the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools or SCAIHS.
- Homeschooling with a homeschool association.
Each option has its requirements that need to be followed, and we will cover them throughout the article. In addition, more details and resources will be provided, along with steps to follow before starting homeschool education, such as choosing the right curriculum for your kid, record keeping, and much more valuable information.
As stated earlier in the article, South Carolina currently offers three legal options for homeschooling. Parents must register with an accountable party (a school district or an independent association) to start. Verifying that you qualify and satisfy all the requirements is necessary regardless of your preference.
Here is a brief list of the primary requisites for homeschooling in South Carolina:
- Legal guardians or parents are in charge of handling most of the guidance for the academic curriculum.
- All parents must have at least a GED or High School Diploma to teach.
- Parents are responsible for teaching at least 180 days of the year since it is an instructional requirement. The minimum daily hours of instruction is four and a half.
- The academic program or educational curriculum should include fundamental subjects like reading, writing, social studies, science, math, and history and incorporate literature and composition for grades 7 to 12.
- Maintaining records is essential. These must contain a plan book or a history of the subjects taught in class and activities, along with a portfolio of the student’s work samples and academic testing or evaluations. Usually, it is provided as semi-annual proof of progress and is generally submitted to the school district.
- Enroll in statewide testing, done annually through the Basic Skills Assessment Program.
- The compulsory school age for children in this state is from five to seventeen.
After reviewing the requirements and verifying that you comply with the standards and conditions, you can submit for approval to homeschool your child through your school district. If they agree and understand you meet all the expectations, they will allow you to do so.
The next step is choosing the option that suits your family the best. Families in South Carolina have the freedom to choose from these three legal options for homeschooling:
Families that opt for this option comply with the local school district’s approval of their chosen curriculum and evaluation methods. However, there are some requirements you have to follow:
- Receive approval from the district board of trustees: contacting them about the homeschool application and submission process is best. They will then decide if you are eligible. If it gets rejected, you can appeal decisions made within ten days, and the appeal from the state board decision must be done within thirty.
- First-grade kids must take a test determining their reading level for first-grade teaching.
- Standardized yearly testing is a requirement for all students, and if they fail to meet the expectations, it can result in additional teaching requirements.
- Teaching the fundamental subjects are required for at least 180 days per school year, and the class day should last a minimum of 4.5 hours, excluding breaks and lunch.
- Homeschool record keeping should contain the portfolio of the student’s progress, subject and activities taught throughout the school year, samples of the child’s work, and an evaluation history.
This homeschooling option is conducted by the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. This organization provides counseling, support for parents, and accountability of record keeping for all students who enroll. The membership price ranges from around 350 to 450 dollars per alumni and any additional fees.
They also provide annual testing for the students in 3rd grade up to 11th grade and expect parents to take charge of their child’s attendance records and progress. After completion, they also give permanent records, transcripts, and a high school diploma.
Homeschooling with a homeschool association is one of the most popular options chosen by various families in South Carolina. Even though this requires following the principal homeschool regulations stated earlier in the article and keeping records, the choice and style of instruction are up to the legal guardians, and there aren’t any testing requirements.
Here is some additional information related to this option:
- Parents must enroll their child in a homeschool association with a minimum of fifty-member families.
- Comply with the homeschool association’s requirements as presented earlier in the article.
Record-Keeping and Testing For Homeschooled Students In South Carolina
While the state doesn’t require much in-depth record-keeping, keeping records of the student’s attendance, grades, progress reports, assignments, and anything else the law requires is best. It is fundamental to equip and prepare your child with proof of received education if they want to enroll in college or the military or pass an employer’s background check.
Especially if you choose Option 1, it is essential to provide evidence of regular teaching and maintain a record for inspection by a school district representative. Here are some things to consider:
- A plan book or written form that specifies all the subjects taught and activities performed in class.
- Create a portfolio with samples of the student’s work.
- A record of the child’s academic progress, testing, and grades. This serves as a semi-annual progress report.
Also, you should keep a record of the following:
- A list of the textbooks and workbooks your child used.
- Samples of students’ work.
- Portfolios and test results.
- Any correspondence with school officials.
- Any document that helps prove the child’s education complies with the law.
Parents should maintain records of this for at least two years and keep them forever if the student decides to further their education.
It all comes down to the families’ legal options regarding standardized testing. Various of them decide to participate in a regular assessment for the students. It helps to track the yearly progress of the homeschooler, and it also alerts you of any skill gaps you need to convey.
According to the South Carolina Board of Education or SBE, in their regulation 42-234, there’s a list of the course requirements to graduate with a High School Diploma in South Carolina.
The number of credits to earn a public school diploma is twenty-four, even though students can make a little more in other schools. However, it all depends on where the homeschooler wants to enroll after High School. In that case, aim for the following:
- Four credits of English and Math
- Three credits of Math and Science, along with Social studies.
- One credit for Physical Education, Computer Science, and Foreign Language.
- Seven credits for electives.
Another thing is that the requirements differ depending on the option you choose for homeschooling.
- Option one tends not to receive approval from the school district to provide a high school diploma. It is the responsibility of the legal guardian to decide if the student has achieved all the requirements and expectations.
- Option two with SCAIHS usually offers “tracks” that students can follow post-graduation, depending on their goals. Various preparation for career tracks is provided with an official diploma from SCAIHS once completed.
- Option three is similar to option one in that the graduation diploma is determined based on the parent’s judgment of the student’s success in meeting the requirements.
To help assist parents who are thinking of homeschooling their children, here is a brief list of active groups in South Carolina that support families.
|South Carolina Association for Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS)||Carolina Homeschooler||Faith Montessori Homeschool Co-Op|
|The South Carolina Homeschool Accountability Association (TSCHAA)||Homeschooling in York County||Freedom Based Cooperative|
We can conclude that Homeschooling in South Carolina provides three legal options for parents. Option one usually involves more responsibility, and option three is more popular amongst a vast majority of families in this state since it gives them more freedom to choose the curriculum for the homeschooler.
Option two, however, receives support from SCAIHS but often involves some membership costs. It is also a requirement for parents to take charge of record-keeping as proof of the student’s education and progress throughout the years.