Welcome to South Carolina Homeschooling 101! Let’s start with what the law requires…and taking a look at what it says. Know what the law says…and when someone questions you, you can always say, “SHOW ME” in the law where you find that requirement.
See the South Carolina Homeschool Code of Law: click here.
SECTION 59-65-47. Associations for home schools; requirements.
In lieu of the requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than fifty members and meets the requirements of this section.
Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of the associations exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45. The State Department of Education shall conduct annually a review of the association standards to ensure that requirements of the association, at a minimum, include:
(a) a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate;
(b) the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days;
(c) the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and
(d) educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:
(1) a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;
(2) a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work; and
(3) a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (c) above.
By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through the association to the children’s respective school districts.
- Your curriculum must include, but not limited to, the areas of reading, writing, math, science and social studies, and for grades seven and above, composition and literature. You may use curriculum packages from specific publishers, an eclectic approach—pick and choose among many different publishers for your curriculum, or a student-directed learning approach with library and Internet materials.
- You must keep records. The records must include:
— a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;
— and a portfolio of samples of student’s academic work;
— and a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s progress in each of the required academic areas.
You may also use your own format of record keeping: teacher planning books, notebooks for diary narratives (a different book for each child), or record keeping software. The portfolio is a sampling of work, not every paper. Keep these in your files; do not send to RTT.
Points to discuss:
- What do the records look like? Lesson plans vs. Journals? Porfolios? Attendance? Progress reports?
- What’s a day? How do we schedule the subjects? What about field trips and doctors’ appointments?
- Minimum requirements…but, we can do more.
Note: What’s not in the law? No testing requirements. No “letter of intent.” No specifications about curriculum. No number of hours in a day.
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