North Carolina law defines a “home school” as “a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction.”
You may choose to operate your homeschool as one of two different types of “nonpublic” schools: (1) a qualified nonpublic school, or (2) a private religious school or a school of religious charter. The requirements are the same regardless of the type of homeschool, and are listed below.
1. Submit a notice of intent.
You must submit a notice of intent to operate a homeschool to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE). Submitting this notice is only required once, when you are establishing a new homeschool. Your notice must contain the name and address of your homeschool and the name of your homeschool’s owner and chief administrator.
You may submit your notice of intent to operate a homeschool via the DNPE’s website. Alternately, if you are an HSLDA member and prefer to use a paper form, you may download ours, attached below.
2. Ensure that the teachers in your homeschool have the required qualifications.
The persons who provide academic instruction in your homeschool must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.
3. Provide the required days of instruction.
Your homeschool must operate on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months each year, except for “reasonable holidays and vacations.”
4. Keep attendance and immunization records.
You can download a homeschool attendance form from the DNPE’s website, although the use of this form is not mandatory. Immunization records can be obtained from your child’s health care provider. Information about medical and religious exemptions from immunizations is available on the website of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
5. Administer an annual standardized test.
At least once during every school year, you must test your child using a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement. The test you choose must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. For one year after the testing, your child’s test scores must be kept “available” at the principal office of your homeschool at all reasonable hours for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina.
Although the DNPE has attempted to perform home visits under this provision, the law gives its officials no right to enter homes or to inspect any records besides test scores. There is also no statutory requirement for parents to attend record review meetings arranged by the Division of Non-Public Education for the purpose of reviewing their records.
6. Close your home school.
When you stop homeschooling in North Carolina—or if you move out of the state—you must notify the DNPE that your home school has closed. You can close your home school after logging in to the DNPE’s website.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.