Looking for a South Carolina accountability association that offers more?
Carolina Homeschooler membership includes:
- Option 3 Accountability
- In-person field trips and group events
- Virtual book groups, classes, and field trips
- Outsiders Group (hikes, games, geocaching, picnics, and fun at SC state parks and historic sites)
- Access to Kids Discover Online (included with membership)
- Access to Starfall (included with membership)
- Member Newsletters
- Private Facebook group
- Text alerts of important deadlines, new classes, etc.
Membership (Option 3 Accountability)
Our membership fee is $75 for one student and $25 for each additional student, with a family maximum of $150. This fee covers the membership year from June 1, 2023 through May 31, 2024.
All students must be at least 5 years old before September 1, 2023 to be registered with Carolina Homeschooler. Please read the Membership FAQs below before applying for membership.
What we’ve been doing since June 1:
- Wolf Pup 101
- Joshua Tree Geology
- The Story of Pro Football
- Plants and Animals of Joshua Tree
- Otto the Otter
- Rocky Mountain Wildfires
- Field Studies
- Hurricane Trackers
- Up in the Air
- Space Tour
- Book Group: The Very… Hungry Caterpillar, Busy Spider, Lonely Firefly, Clumsy Click Beetle, Quiet Cricket
- Book Group: Who Was Paul Revere?
- Virtual Tour of Paul Revere’s House
- Paul Revere: The Man Behind the Myth
- Join the Crew!
- Marvel Superhero Universe
- Space Mission
- Book Group: Wildfires (Younger)
- Book Group: Wildfire (Older)
- Outsiders: Sesquicentennial State Park
- Barrier Island Adventure
- Outsiders: Hampton Plantation State Historic Site
- Washington DC Monument Walk
- Ford’s Theater & Lincoln’s Assassination
- Rocket Camp (ages 5-11)
- Book Group: The Courage of Sarah Noble
- Book Group: The Cay
- Rocket Camp (ages 12 & up)
- Drone Camp
- Outsiders: Goodale State Park
- Outsiders: Musgrove Mill State Historic Site (included Revolutionary War program)
- Book Group: Molly’s Pilgram
- Book Group: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
- Outsiders: Aiken State Park
- Flight School
- Zion’s Amazing Animals
- Carving the Canyon
- Book Group: Mieko and the Fifth Treasure
- Book Group: Hatchet
- Banana Ball!
What we did in the past:
Here’s a list of what we did in 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Who is the director (administrator, manager, owner, CEO, whatever) of Carolina Homeschooler?
I’m Dianna Broughton, mom of four children and ten foster children, and grandparent to two granddaughters. I’ve homeschooled for over 30 years, and I was a school psychologist and child mental health counselor before settling into the role of homeschool advocate and director/owner of Carolina Homeschooler and Traveling Homeschoolers.
I was one of two homeschool moms who wrote South Carolina’s Option 3 homeschool law to increase freedoms and options for homeschooling families. With the support of homeschoolers across the state, we worked with Greg Gregory (SC legislator from Lancaster, SC) to get the bill passed against almost overwhelming pushback.
How is Carolina Homeschooler different from other SC homeschool associations?
I provide an active learning community for students and parents, both online and off. We coordinate field trips, virtual classes, book groups, workshops, and Outsider events so children (and parents) can get to know each other and have enriched learning experiences together.
Is your membership fee per year, or per month?
Membership fee is yearly. This fee covers the membership year from June 1 through May 31 of the following year.
Do you provide curriculum?
We don’t provide curriculum, but we do provide educational activities, classes, 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 it 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.
Are your field trips, book groups, writing groups, and online classes mandatory?
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.
Do you provide membership cards? A membership letter?
You will receive a membership letter via PDF format. Your letter serves as proof of your legal status as an Option 3 homeschooling family in South Carolina, and can be used for discounted or free admission to museums, zoos, etc. (I don’t provide membership cards.)
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.
I need a how-to guide for homeschooling. I’m new at this and feel overwhelmed!
It’s easy to get information overload, so grab some coffee and a cookie (or two), and read through my FAQs.
If you want even more information about different methods, ideas, resource recommendations, typical schedules, etc., check to see if your local library has my book, Homeschooling Essentials. If they don’t, tell them to email me and I’ll mail a free copy to add to their collection.
Do you require textbooks? Do you approve curriculum? Do you require standardized testing?
I don’t require any specific textbooks or curricula or standardized testing, and I don’t have a list of “approved” resources. My experiences as a school psychologist, educational advocate, and homeschooler (for 30+ 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.
Do you require us to mail our records to you? Do you require a meeting (or several meetings) to “prove” we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing?
No, the law mandates that parents/guardians maintain student records, not the homeschool association. We wrote this into Option 3 law to provide an extra layer of privacy for families and would never disrespect that provision of the law.
Also, we would never assume you’re not doing what the law requires, so there’s no need (or requirement) to meet to “check up on you.”
All that said, 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.
What are your office hours? Can I call you if I have questions?
Carolina Homeschooler is an internet-based organization. We are available via email frequently throughout the day (and evening). After providing services, support, and group trips for close to 20 years, we’ve found that email is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with our members. We usually answer emails within 24 hours, but may take up to 72 hours if we’re away on a group field trip or event.
Do I have to notify our local school district, SC Department of Education, or any other state organization 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 they ask for it). You don’t need to notify any other state or local organization of your intent to homeschool.
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 local school, or any other state or local organization of your intent to homeschool.
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.
What happens if DSS (or another agency) contacts me about my homeschool?
Email me within 24 hours with details about the situation and the contact information for the person who contacted you.
Why don’t you accept applications throughout the year?
We are an active association, providing many activities, classes, and field trips for our members. In order to maintain a high quality of service, we close registration in the fall so we can focus on planning educational and social activities for our members.
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 will 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.)
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.
Do you provide transcripts for sports, high school students, etc.? Will you provide college or post-high school guidance for my senior?
We are an active association and provide educational activities, field trips, social activities, etc., throughout the year. As a result, I can’t guarantee a timely response for transcript requests (for college, sports, whatever) and guidance for college admission timelines. Since we can’t guarantee a timely response, we don’t offer these services.
We have information in our member’s area to help parents plan their student’s high school course of study and create their own student transcripts. Parents can also use one of the inexpensive homeschool transcript services available, if they’d rather not do it on their own.
Are association-provided transcripts and ranking required to graduate, go to college, or get state scholarships?
Association-provided transcripts and ranking are not required to graduate, go to college, or qualify for state scholarships. To be eligible for state scholarships, students must graduate from a public school, private school, or homeschool association. We provide verification letters to colleges to validate the student’s enrollment with Carolina Homeschooler.
We also provide verification letters to high schools (if required) for students who wish to re-enroll, and permission letters to colleges for high school dual enrollment.
If I decide to re-enroll in public school in the middle of the year (or next year), will not having transcripts from your association be an issue with getting our student(s) into their correct grades?
We’ve never had a problem with students returning to public school. The schools may ask for copies of bi-annual reports to validate work and grade level. The report card format is what they’re most familiar (and comfortable) with. They usually place homeschool students in the same grade as their age-mates. If you want to skip grades, they may ask for standardized test results or other documentation to support the placement.
I live in (NC, GA, OH, TN, TX, MD, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, etc.) and want to participate in your activities, virtual field trips, group trips, add-ons, discounted tickets, etc. What is the fee?
Carolina Homeschooler doesn’t accept out-of-state members.
However, our sister site, Traveling Homeschoolers, isn’t membership-based and coordinates group trips to Disney World, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Italy, Ireland, England, Alaska, France, rail journeys, river cruises, road trips, sleepovers, etc. Join us there!