Early Application Discounts
Apply for the 2016-2017 school year by February 29 and receive a $15 discount!
(Note: Membership will begin June 1, 2016. Membership for the 2015-2016 school year is closed.)
We offer expanded membership services for:
- SC families who need accountability services required by SC’s Option 3 homeschool law
- families in nearby states who want to join us for our online activities and classes, member events, and field trips
In addition to Option 3 accountability, we offer:
- Field trips, group trips, camps, overnights, and more!
- Online book groups and classes
- Outsiders group (history, science, picnics, outdoor activities at SC state parks)
- Guidance for high school students, whether they’re college-bound, starting their own business, or entering the workforce
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.
(Apply by February 29 and receive a $15 discount!)
- Option 3 coverage for SC homeschool families
- Member-only, and member-priority events and discounts
- Online activities and classes (previous offerings: book groups, Oregon Trail, writing, Latin, literature and film classes) and a safe, private community for students
- Outsider’s Group get-togethers at state parks throughout South Carolina (where we play games, share insights, have picnics, walk the trails, geocache, and more). We’re expanding to parks in other states and national parks, and hope to add a camping group soon.
- 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.
How is Carolina Homeschooler different from other SC homeschool associations?
We provide an interactive learning community for students and parents, both online and off. We coordinate field trips, camps, online activities, and longer group trips so children (and parents) can get to know each other and have enriched learning experiences together.
We provide transcripts for our seniors, and guidance for our high school students, but we don’t rank our students (ranking is not required for graduation or state scholarships) or provide a graduation ceremony.
We communicate via email for time-management and record-keeping purposes. If telephone support is important to you, please choose a different association for your family.
Why don’t you accept applications throughout the year?
Like we mentioned above, we’re a different kind of association. We provide activities, park days, classes, field trips, group trips, camps, retreats, and more 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 for the (online activities, trip discounts, member-only events, etc.). What is the fee?
We welcome homeschoolers from other states and countries. The fee is the same regardless of where you live. You’ll have access to everything we offer, but I won’t need to include your family in the paperwork I do for SC homeschoolers. However, 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 now 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?
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 11 years, we’ve found that email is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with our members. If a brick-and-mortar organization and telephone support are important to you, please choose a different association.
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 (under school age, or transferring from another state), then 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 (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?
(Note: Apply now through January 31 and receive a $20 discount! Membership will begin June 1, 2017. Registration for the 2015-2016 school year is closed.)