Looking for a South Carolina accountability association that offers more? Carolina Homeschooler membership includes:
- Option 3 accountability (as required by law) for SC homeschool families
- Member-only field trips, workshops, and camping trips
- Online classes and activities (examples: book groups, Oregon Trail, writing, Latin, literature and film classes)
- Outsiders group (history, science, picnics, educational activities at South Carolina state parks)
- Guidance for high school students and transcripts for seniors, whether they’re college-bound, starting their own business, or entering the workforce
- Member newsletters to keep you informed about new events and resources
- All the extras (field trips, online activities, classes, events, etc.) are optional. You choose what you want to participate in.
Classes and Activities Planned for 2016-2017:
- Online – Beginning Latin
- Online – Latin I (for students who’ve completed my Beginning Latin class)
- Online – Literature through Movies (will include a writing component)
- Online – Book Groups
- Online – Virtual Field Trips
- Art in the Park (art instruction in SC state parks by SC Art Teacher of the Year)
- Writing in the Park (fun 1-day workshops in SC state parks for students who think they hate writing)
- Camping Trips
- More field trips, educational workshops, and Outsiders events throughout the state
Our yearly fee is $75 for one student, and $25 for each additional student (with a family maximum of $150). Our membership year runs from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.
How is Carolina Homeschooler different from other SC homeschool associations?
We provide an active learning community for students and parents, both online and off. We coordinate field trips, camps, camping trips, sleepovers, retreats, park days, classes, and workshops so children (and parents) can get to know each other and have enriched learning experiences together.
We provide guidance for our high school students, transcripts for our seniors, and have a no-ranking policy. (Ranking is not required for graduation or state scholarships.)
We communicate via email for time-management and record-keeping purposes. If telephone support is important to you, a different association may be a better fit for your family.
Why don’t you accept applications throughout the year?
We are an active association, providing many activities, classes, and trips for our members. In order to maintain a high quality of service, we close registration in the fall so we can focus on providing as many learning opportunities as possible for our members during the school year.
Your fee is higher than some of the other SC homeschool associations. Is Carolina Homeschooler worth the higher fee?
Every family has different needs, so you’re the only one who can decide if our services are worth it. Here’s what others say about us. We hope their reviews help you decide if we’re the right choice for your family. (No one receives a payment, commission, or discount for their review of Carolina Homeschooler or resulting memberships.)
I live in (NC, GA, OH, TN, TX, MD, Canada, Puerto Rico, etc.) and want to join your group trips. What is the fee?
If you want to join us for our larger group trips (to Disney World, New York City, Washington DC, Italy, Ireland, Alaska, Rail Journeys, and others), they’re featured at our Traveling Homeschoolers website and don’t require membership.
Will you teach our children the all the required subjects?
No, but we hope you’ll use our online and offline educational activities and field trips to enrich and inspire your children’s learning and connect with other homeschoolers.
Can we “count” your classes, workshops, and field trips as part of our curriculum?
Yes, absolutely. All learning counts, and it doesn’t have to be planned, scheduled, directed, or approved by someone else. Children learn the most, and retain what they’ve learned much longer, if they initiate it, take ownership of it, and have input into what they’re learning. I don’t know of any research that doesn’t support this fact. Read more here.
Do you provide membership cards? A membership letter?
Yes, your membership letter serves as proof of your legal status as a 3rd Option homeschooling family in South Carolina. Your membership card is great for discounted or free admission to museums, zoos, etc., if offered.
I have a high school student, can I join?
Yes, we welcome high school students and provide transcripts and guidance for LIFE Scholarships, Palmetto Scholars applications, and other financial aid. However, we don’t rank our students (ranking is not required for state scholarships) or provide a graduation ceremony. See our High School FAQ for more information about homeschooling high school.
Do we have to participate in any of your activities?
No, all of our activities are optional. Our goal is to enhance your homeschool experience, not add more requirements and stress. Feel free to join in as many activities as you want, and leave out the rest.
What are your office hours? Can I call you if I have questions?
We are an internet-based organization and are available frequently throughout the day (and evening). After providing services, support, and group trips for over 12 years, we’ve found that email is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with our members. We usually answer emails in 24 hours or less.
If telephone support is important to you, a different association would be a better fit for your family.
What am I required to do to homeschool in SC?
If you choose to homeschool under section 59-65-47 (commonly known as “Option 3” or “Third Option”), these are the requirements:
- The primary instructor (parent or guardian) must have at least a high school diploma or GED.
- You must teach 180 days (if you begin homeschooling after the school year begins, count any days spent in public or private school as part of your required 180 days).
- You must teach, at a minimum, the areas of reading/literature, writing/composition, mathematics, science, and social studies.
- You must maintain a plan book, diary, or other record of instruction and activities for each student.
- You must keep a portfolio of samples of each student’s academic work.
- You must maintain semiannual progress reports documenting attendance and progress in each required academic area.
What does your organization require for SC homeschoolers?
When you submit your registration, you’ll confirm you meet (or will meet) all the legal requirements stipulated in Section 59-65-47. At the end of the year, we’ll ask you to submit a form confirming that you completed 180 days of homeschooling and met all requirements.
Do you require us to mail our records to you?
No. The law mandates that parents/guardians maintain student records. However, Carolina Homeschooler reserves the right to request copies of your records if an official audit is requested by a SC agency (DSS, DJJ, Department of Education, etc.). In this case, you must mail a copy of your records within three days of receiving my request.
Do I have to notify our local school district that we’re members of Carolina Homeschooler?
When you withdraw your children from school, give them a copy of your membership letter as proof of your legal status. If you’ve never registered your children at your local school (they were younger than 5, or you transferred from another state), you don’t need to notify your school. To protect your privacy, I won’t provide member information to any agency or organization unless I receive an official request for confirmation of your legal status.
Do you require textbooks? Do you approve curriculum? Do you require standardized testing?
No to all three questions. My experiences as a school psychologist, educational advocate, and homeschooler (for 20+ years) prove that learning happens all the time, with a breadth and depth that can’t be confined solely to textbooks or accurately measured by the narrow focus of standardized tests. Please feel free to use the resources and assessment methods that best meet the needs of your family.
Are membership fees refundable if we decide to re-enroll our children in public or private school?
Membership fees are not refundable for any reason.
What happens if DSS (or another agency) contacts me about my homeschool?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org within 24 hours with details about the situation and the name and phone number of the person who contacted you.
Ready to apply for membership?
(Membership will begin June 1, 2016. Registration for the 2015-2016 school year is closed.)