When embarking on the journey known as homeschooling, there are commonly questions asked about what you need to do as a parent/teacher.
South Carolina Law
South Carolina Homeschool Laws as written into law.
Getting Started Checklist
Getting Started Checklist that can be helpful
How to choose your options: Choosing an Option
What Style Homeschooler Are You? Quiz HERE
As you come into homeschooling you will discover there are endless homeschool styles and approaches. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you choose what works best for you and your child(ren). It may take some time to find what works for you. If one way doesn’t work try another. An excellent resource is “100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum” by Cathy Duffy (www.cathyduffyreviews.com).
In this section you will get a brief description of some of the most common styles and a few examples. This will, by no means, be a complete list.
Traditional Textbooks: This is most closely related to what is seen in a traditional classroom. Textbooks, worksheets, tests are included in this. There are several suppliers that offer packaged curricula based on the grade level.
Unit Studies: Instead of separating each subject, some homeschools coordinate all their subject around one topic. This allows you to integrate Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art around one topic. These are sometimes done using a lap book.
Classical Education: This is an education style focuses on World History, Classic Literary books, Classical Languages such as Greek and Latin, and Logic.
The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer and website
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson
Charlotte Mason: Charlotte Mason believed in teaching the whole child in a 3 different areas: Atmosphere, Discipline and Life. Creating an Atmosphere of learning, teaching good habits and teaching through “living” textbooks (typically narratives) creates a whole educated child.
Unschooling: Unschooling is sometimes referred to as Child-Directed learning. Unschoolers focus their learning through life experiences, personal interests, curiosity, internships, etc.
The Unschooling Unmanual by Nanda Van Gestel, et al.
Eclectic: Eclectic is just as it sounds, a mix of all the types of homeschooling.
Associations or school districts will implement their own methods of reviewing your records. However whichever accountability you choose, the record-keeping should be meaningful to you. The main point of the records is to demonstrate to yourself and your students that you are making progress over time. On those tough days or in those moments of discouragement, you can look over your records to see what you have accomplished.
(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;
You may use your own format of record keeping: teacher planning books, notebooks for diary narratives (a different book for each child), or record keeping software
(2) a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work;
The portfolio is a sampling of work, not every paper. Maybe a whole workbook, or all the tests. But, every daily assignment and rough draft and scratch paper is not meaningful.
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 Progress reports can be report cards with ABC Letter grades for each subject. Or it could be a list of objectives or individual goals within the subjects. Attendance records can be a printed calendar of dates or a notation on the daily lesson plans/journal.
Basic subjects specified by law: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies. In 7th-12th grade, Reading and Writing is called Literature and Composition, instead. You can add any other subjects to your documentation, such as Bible, PE, world languages and fine arts.
Homeschooling in High School
The weight of responsibility for Homeschooling in High School is sometimes intimidating for
parents. We believe that all homeschoolers want to open the doors of opportunity for their student’s future. Good record-keeping is essential—and not as hard as it might seem.
Transcripts: SC requires these credits for a diploma: 4 English, 4 Math, 3 Science, 1 U S History,1 Other Social Studies, ½ Government, ½ Economics, 1 Physical Education, 1 Computer Science, 1 Fine Arts, 1 Foreign Language or Occupational Specialty, 6 Electives. These credits on a homeschool transcript demonstrate an equivalent education that is required for SC graduates. Homeschoolers will not earn a diploma with these credits, though.
Colleges may have different requirements for admissions. Homeschool parents will serve as guidance counselors to ensure that their students have the necessary credits and courses for their desired destination beyond High School. Public school students may graduate with these basic 24 credits up to 32 total—so homeschoolers may also earn credits within that range. Alternative records and portfolios are also useful to demonstrate student’s ability and achievement for college admissions or employment opportunities.
College Scholarships: The SC Commission on Higher Education (CHE) awards several scholarships for SC residents. Homeschoolers can also qualify for these scholarships.
SC Commission on Higher Education website
SC Uniform Grading Scale: South Carolina uses a modified Grading Scale (not a 4.0). When reporting GPA on a transcript for a SC School use this scale SC_Uniform_Grading_Scale_Conversion
**NOTE: Rules established by the Commission on Higher Education concerning the LIFE Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and other scholarships change constantly. Please check with CHE and your accountability director for updates. Be very careful of 2ndhand information.
Equal Access for Extra Curricular Activities
S149–the Equal Access or Tim Tebow bill
In 2012 South Carolina granted equal access to home school students to public school interscholastic activities. This law allows home school students as well as students from the Governor’s schools and charter schools to participate in interscholastic activities of the school district in which they reside.
Please remember that many of the schools still don’t understand all that is involved with this law. The best place to ask questions concerning athletics is at the High School Athletic League office. You can find information about them at www.schsl.org. Just send an email with your specific question.
1. You MUST fill out an Intent to Participate form. This form must be in the hands of the respective county superintendent BEFORE the beginning date of each sport.
2. Legal verification that the student was homeschooled for at least a year prior to request.
3. Grade report (on Association letterhead) confirming academic eligibility.
Parents should expect that home schooled students should be treated just as any other student. We are not seeking special treatment. This is equal access.