To homeschool in South Carolina, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED and teach at least 180 days per year. In addition, you must teach the following required subjects: reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and, in grades 7–12, composition and literature.
In addition to complying with the above requirements, you must choose one of these three options for homeschooling legally and follow the requirements listed below the one you choose.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under the homeschool statute
1. Obtain approval from the district board of trustees.
Contact the board of trustees of your local public school district for information about their homeschool application process, and submit an application. The board “shall approve” your application (it has no discretion) if you include in your application assurance that you have completed or will complete the steps listed below.
Here is what to do if your application is rejected: You may appeal decisions made by the board of trustees to the State Board of Education within 10 days. An appeal from the state board decision to the family court must be done within 30 days.
2. Teach the required subjects for the required time.
Your curriculum must include the required subjects listed above. You must teach your child for at least 180 days per school year. A school day is at least 4.5 hours, not counting lunch or recesses.
3. Maintain records.
As evidence of regular instruction, you must maintain the following records for inspection upon reasonable notice by a representative of the school district:
- A plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities in which you and your child participate.
- A portfolio of samples of your child’s work.
- A record of your child’s academic progress assessments.
4. Submit a semiannual progress report.
You must submit a semiannual progress report including attendance records and assessments of your child’s progress in each of the required subjects to your school district.
5. Ensure your student has access to library facilities.
6. Test your child annually.
Make sure your child participates in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program. The tests must be administered by a certified school district employee.
If your student does not perform well enough on the test to meet the public school standard for advancing to the next grade, the school district will decide if your child should be put in a public school, receive handicapped services, or have instruction support for homeschooling at your expense.
Option 2: Homeschooling with the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS):
You may homeschool by enrolling in SCAIHS and following the rules and policies for homeschooling that SCAIHS requires. Additional information about SCAIHS is available on its website.
Option 3: Homeschooling with a homeschool association (also known as a “third option group”)
1. Enroll in a homeschool association that has at least 50 member families.
2. Comply with your homeschool association’s requirements.
State law requires homeschool associations to maintain the following minimum requirements for homeschooling parents:
- You must have at least a high school diploma or GED.
- You must teach your child for at least 180 days per school year.
- Your curriculum must include reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and, in grades 7–12, composition and literature.
- The educational records you keep must include: a plan book or other record of subjects taught and activities; a portfolio of samples of your child’s academic work; and a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of your child’s academic progress in the required subjects.
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.