Looking for a South Carolina accountability association that offers more?
Carolina Homeschooler membership includes:
- Option 3 Accountability
- Virtual classes and book groups
- On-site field trips and classes
- Outsiders Group (hikes, games, geocaching, picnics, & campouts at SC state parks and historic sites)
- Access to Kids Discover Online (included with membership)
- Member Newsletters
- Text alerts of important deadlines, new classes, etc.
2021-2022 Membership Application & Fees
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 through May 31, 2022.
All students must be at least 5 years old before September 1, 2021 to be registered with Carolina Homeschooler. Please read the Membership FAQs below before applying for membership.
Not ready to apply? I usually close membership sometime in August. Sign up for a one-time text notification of my application deadline.
What we’re doing (so far) in 2021-2022:
- Kids Discover Online
- Outsiders – Landsford Canal State Park
- Outsiders – Andrew Jackson State Park
- Book Group – Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Book Group – Hatchet
- Book Group – Charlotte’s Web
- Book Group – Homer Price
- Space Tour
- Space Mission
- Barrier Island Adventure
- Rocket Camp
- Amazing Arthropods
What we did in 2020-2021:
- Kids Discover Online
- Little House Book Group
- Beginning Latin 1
- Yellow Fever
- Great Irish Famine
- Civil Rights & Jim Crow Book Group
- Secrets, Spies, & Bombs
- Younger Students Book Group
- Older Students Book Group
- Field Study Boot Camp
- Rose Hill Plantation field trips
- Barrier Island Adventure
- Civil Rights & Jim Crow Walking Tour
- Field Study – Lake Wateree State Park
- Backyard Biology
- Ecology Adventure
- Exploring Art
- Home Sweet Habitat
- Astronaut Training School
- What’s for Dinner?
- Field Study – Rose Hill Plantation
- Sensational Science!
- Visions from India
- The One and Only Ivan!
- Science Magic
- Chemical Capers
- Sea Turtle Rescue
- Investigating Adaptations
- Super Cold Science
- Great Ocean Voyage
- Westward by Rail
- Fur, Feathers, and Scales
- Use the Force
- Amazing Arthropods
- Outsiders – Croft State Park
- Amazing Animals
- Playful Primates
- Outsiders – Congaree National Park
- Arcs & Sparks
- Outsiders – Sesquicentennial State Park
- Outsiders – Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
- Saltmarsh Expedition
- Outsiders – Kings Mountain National Military Park
- Outsiders – Kings Mountain State Park
- Mountain-Swamp Trek
- Conservation Around the World
- Magic of Matter
- Ecology Adventure II
- Matter Mystery Squad
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, virtual classes and events, camps, sleepovers, retreats, park days, field studies, classes, and workshops so children (and parents) can get to know each other and have enriched learning experiences together.
Do you provide curriculum?
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 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, 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?
I email a membership letter via PDF format. Your letter serves as proof of your legal status as a Option 3 homeschooling family in South Carolina, and can be used for discounted or free admission to museums, zoos, etc. (I no longer 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 definitely 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 them 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 25+ 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?
No, the law mandates that parents/guardians maintain student records, not the homeschool association, providing an extra layer of privacy for families. 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.
What are your office hours? Can I call you if I have questions?
We are an internet-based organization and are available via email frequently throughout the day (and evening). After providing services, support, and group trips for 17+ 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 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 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 online classes, book groups, trips, field studies, road trips, campouts, etc. As a result, I can’t guarantee a timely response for transcript requests (for college, sports, whatever) and guidance for college admission timelines.
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 any students returning to public school. The schools will ask for copies of their bi-annual reports. The report card format is what they’re most familiar (and comfortable) with. They usually 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.
Due to the unique circumstances created by the pandemic, many new homeschooling families are planning to keep their children home for 2021-2022, and return to public school in 2022-2023. Because of this, I think the schools will find a way to streamline the process for students to re-enroll next year. (They’ll be ready for them to come back!)
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, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Italy, Ireland, England, Alaska, France, Peru, Morocco, Vietnam, rail journeys, river cruises, road trips, etc.), they’re featured at our Traveling Homeschoolers website and don’t require membership. (Carolina Homeschooler doesn’t accept out-of-state members.)