The Insider’s Guide to Homeschooling in NC
If you are pursuing alternative education for your children and you live in North Carolina, consider yourself lucky. Homeschooling in NC is much simpler than many other states. You live in a state that has respect for the role you play as a parent in determining how your student is educated, especially when you are willing to put more energy and commitment into making sure that education is just right for your student. North Carolina trusts you as a parent. That must feel good.
How Homeschooling in NC Works
There are a few requirements that must be met in order for students to homeschool in North Carolina:
You must submit a notice of intent to homeschool; if you are enrolling your student with a school such as Enlightium Academy, the school typically can provide a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) to fulfil that requirement.
Each individual who is providing academic instruction must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Institutions such as Enlightium Academy have a team of certified teachers, some of whom have a master’s degree in their field.
The homeschool must operate on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months each year, allowing breaks for “reasonable holidays and vacations”.
Attendance and immunization records must be kept. Most homeschooling organizations such as Enlightium Academy automatically conduct attendance and can provide the family with reports as needed. Immunization records are often not kept by the school, but the family can obtain it from the child’s health care provider as needed.
The student must take a nationally standardized test or its equivalent. The test should be taken at least once per school year and kept for one year, though it would be best to keep all of the standardized tests that the student takes. The test must measure achievement in the areas of english, grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. Standardized tests are not always required by a homeschool organization such as Enlightium Academy. In those cases, the family can independently take the standardized test to provide to the state.
To ensure that these standards are met, the state has the right to inquire about curricula being administered to students homeschooling in NC. If your student is enrolled with an online private school, they often have curriculum breakdowns available online or per request, and can answer any additional questions the state or your family may have.
Occasionally, public school officials will ask for more documentation from homeschooling families than the law requires. If there are some questions that you do not know the answers to and you are enrolled in an online school, write down the questions and contact the school, they should be able to provide clarification (and useful) information.
Be sure that you actually read the state education statutes themselves and stay familiar with the laws for homeschooling in NC as they are subject to change. There are several online resources for homeschooling in North Carolina, such as hslda.org and projects.propublica.org.
Community and Support for Families Homeschooling in NC
According to North Carolinians For Home Education (NCHE), as of July 2016, more than 186,000 students are currently homeschooling in NC, so it is worthwhile to connect yourself to your local homeschooling community.
NCHE is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to supporting families and students in their decision to homeschool. Besides being involved in local events and helping build the homeschooling community, NCHE is actively involved in homeschooling laws and government regulations working towards the benefit of homeschooling families. As a family deciding to homeschool, check out NCHE’s website, as well as other state and nation-wide homeschooling online resources.
Online Homeschooling Options
Thousands of families across the world chose an online homeschool for their children. When researching for options online, look for a school that has the following:
Flexibility and individualization
Grading support from certified teachers
Disclaimer: the laws and requirements discussed above are in effect as December 21st, 2016 and may have been changed since the publication of the article. Please visit HSLDA.org or speak to your local school district to ensure that all requirements are being met when homeschooling your student(s). If you are considering online school, we urge you to take a look at Enlightium Academy (EA). Many families in North Carolina (and all over the world) have chosen to enroll at EA because we are an affordable, fully accredited Pre-K–12 online Christian school, where students can work at their own pace on a flexible schedule with highly qualified teacher support.
Follow the link below to find out if EA is a good fit for your family, too.