South Carolina Homeschool Laws

General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in South Carolina

The South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-65-10 states that the parent or guardian is responsible for ensuring that the child regularly attends school, public or private or kindergarten, beginning from the year that the child turns five years old by September 1st. Attending school is compulsory until the age of seventeen or until the child graduates from high school. If the child is five but will not turn six by September 1st of the particular school year, the parent or guardian may sign a waiver that is prescribed by regulation of the Department of Education.

According to the South Carolina Department of Education, the state also provides homeschooling accountability options for the parents:

  1. Option 1 – Homeschooling under the auspices of a school district after approval of instructions from the board of trustees (South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-65-40).
  2. Option 2 – Homeschooling through the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-65-45).
  3. Option 3 – Choose a homeschool association with no fewer than fifty members and meets the homeschool requirements (South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-65-47).

Notification of Intent to homeschool in South Carolina

In South Carolina, there is no need to submit a letter of intent to the local school district, but they have the option to enroll with an accountability association who will take care of all the necessary documentation (Andrysczyk, 2016).

Qualifications required to homeschool in South Carolina

Under option 1, a parent is qualified to homeschool the child if the parent:

  1. Holds at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development certificate (GED) and beginning in 1989-90 school year, attains a passing score on the basic examination developed pursuant to Section 59-26-20(b)(1) after the State Department of Education has validated the test for use with homeschooling parents.
  2. Or has earned a baccalaureate degree.

Under option 2, a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development certificate (GED).

Under option 3, a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development certificate (GED).

Number of days/hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in South Carolina

For Homeschooling programs (option 1), the instructional day is four and a half hours, excluding lunch and recesses. The instructional year should be at least one hundred eighty days. Under the Alternative Home Schooling (option 2) and for Associations for Home Schools (option 3), the instructional year should be at least one hundred eighty days.

What subjects need to be covered in Home Education (and for how long) in South Carolina?

Under the homeschooling program, the school day instructional hours should be at least four and a half hours not including the lunch breaks and recesses. The instructional year for all homeschooling options is at least one hundred eighty days. The mandatory core curriculum includes math, history, science, reading (1st-6th grade) or literature (7th-12th grade), and writing (1st-6th grade) or composition (7th-12th grade).

What are the recordkeeping requirements for homeschoolers In South Carolina?

Under the Home Schooling Program, the recordkeeping requirements are:

  1. A plan book, diary, or other written record of the subjects and activities.
  2. A portfolio of academic work samples.
  3. A record of academic progress evaluation record.

Under the Associations for Homeschools, the recordkeeping requirements are:

  1. A plan book, diary, or other written record of the subjects and activities.
  2. A portfolio of academic work samples.
  3. A semi-annual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress (HEART HOMESCHOOL GROUP, n.d.).

Is part-time enrollment permitted in South Carolina?

No, South Carolina requires a minimum of one hundred eighty instructional days for homeschooling.

Are homeschoolers permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in South Carolina?

Yes, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-63-100, the homeschooled student should be allowed to join in their local school district’s interscholastic activities, but only if the following conditions are met:

  • That the student satisfies all the school district’s eligibility requirements, but not including the following:
    • Since they are already homeschooled, they are exempt from the district school’s attendance requirements.
    • The homeschooled student is also exempt from providing class and enrollment records to the associations who are in-charge of the said interscholastic activities S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-100(B)(1).
  • That the homeschooled student is also a resident in the same area where the school district is located. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-100(B)(3)(a).
  • That the homeschooled student submits a letter of intent to the district school superintendent regarding his/her desire to join and represent the school, prior to the interscholastic activity season’s start date. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-100(B)(4).

Below is a short and brief video about South Carolina homeschooling:

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