Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, we're offering membership services for South Carolina families who homeschool under Section 59-65-47 of our homeschool law.
Membership will provide access to our online learning community (Members Area) for students and parents. We plan to provide optional online writing workshops, math challenges, book groups, history e-field trips, science projects, and more. We may not have something going every day (due to my trip schedule), but we'll try to organize as many virtual learning experiences as possible for our children to enjoy. We'll also plan outside field trips and meetings so children (and parents) can meet face to face. Our goal is to encourage a collaborative learning environment for students, as well as a supportive community for parents.
Want more information? Please visit http://www.carolinah...membership.html
Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers:
Can I participate in your trips, field trips, camps, workshops, projects, classes, etc., without becoming a member?
Membership isn't required to join my trips, field trips, or camps that aren't designated as members-only. (Members-only events will be described as such in the event's description.) Membership is required to participate in my workshops, projects, classes, and trips coordinated for members.
I want to become a member, but may not want to partipate in every workshop or project. Are they optional?
Yes. All of my activities are optional.
Will you grade my student's work?
I may provide feedback or comments if your student participates in my workshops, projects, or contests (depending on the subject, number of students, and time required), but I don't grade work. I may provide in-depth feedback for essays, writing/research projects, etc. for an extra fee.
Can we "count" your classes, workshops, and field trips as part of our curriculum?
Yes, absolutely. To make it easier for parents, I often provide a description of skills and topics learned to include in state-required record-keeping.
What payment methods do you accept?
Personal checks, bank checks, and BillPay. I don't accept PayPal or credit cards, but convenience checks (issued by your credit card company) are fine.
Do I have to submit payment with my application?
Because my application is online, you'll have 7 days from my confirmation to mail your payment.
Why do I have only ten days to mail in my payment?
Most, if not all, associations require payment with your application. Since I don't accept online payments (due to the extra fees they charge), I give members extra time to mail their payments. Please don't register until you're able to mail your payment.
Do you provide membership cards? A membership letter?
Yes, our membership cards are great to use for discounted or free admission to museums, zoos, etc., if offered. You will also receive a membership letter. This serves as proof of your legal status as a 3rd Option homeschooling family in South Carolina.
I have a high school student, can I join?
Yes. We won't issue diplomas, and won't rank your student, but we'll help you create a high school transcript for your student for LIFE Scholarships, Palmetto Scholars applications, and other financial aid purposes. See our High School FAQ for more information.
Does Carolina Homeschooler issue transcripts?
We're not a correspondence program, so we can't create transcripts for students. We will, however, help you create one, endorse it (affirming that you're a member in good standing) and forward it on your behalf to colleges for admission and scholarship applications. We'll provide information to members about creating a suitable transcript that meets our criteria for endorsement (no handwritten transcripts, for example), and guide you through the process.
What are your office hours? Can I call you if I have questions?
We are a virtual organization and are available frequently throughout the day (and evenings). After providing services, support, and group trips for almost ten 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 is important to you, please choose another association.
Do you require us to mail our records to you?
No. The law mandates that parents/guardians maintain their own homeschool records. However, Carolina Homeschooler reserves the right to request copies of your records if an audit is requested by any SC agency (DSS, DJJ, the State Department of Education, etc.). In this case, you must mail a copy of your records within three days of receiving my request.
Do you 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 confirmation as proof of your legal status. To protect the privacy of my members, I won't provide member information to any organization unless you request it, or the organization makes an official request for confirmation of your legal status.
Do you require members to use textbooks? Do you have to approve curriculum? Do you require standardized testing?
No, I don't require textbooks, approve your curriculum, or require testing. My experience as a school psychologist (and as a parent with over 20 years of homeschooling experience) has shown me 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 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 refunded 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.