Homeschooling in North Carolina
Understanding Your Rights
Knowing the requirements for homeschooling in North Carolina is one key to successful homeschooling. That is why we have provided you with specific information on homeschooling in North Carolina and helpful links to NC’s Department of Education, homeschool requirements, North Carolina homeschool laws, and legal support resources.
Links for North Carolina Homeschool Laws
If you are homeschooling in the state of North Carolina, you will need to know the following:
- Submit a Notice of Intent to Homeschool. You can use this link to submit the form electronically. You must submit after July 1 of your first year. You only need to do this once. However, you must notify the Department of Education if you cease your homeschooling program.
- Take standardized testing each year. Records of the test results must be retained at the home school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested.
- Parents/guardians must hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Disease immunization and annual attendance records for each student must be maintained.
NC Homeschool Resources
Here is some information to get you started:
1. Read, and then read some more. Your local library and the internet are a good place to start.
2. Make one of your internet stops the Homes School Legal Defense (HSLDA) website.
3. Consider joining a statewide homeschool organization. Statewide groups do not replace a local support group. Many statewide associations offer annual homeschool conventions and some serve as a voice for homeschoolers. The largest association in North Carolina is the North Carolinians for Home Education.
4. Talk to other homeschool parents. Find a support group, get involved and stay involved. Most support groups offer social and academic programs to enrich your homeschool. Along with the fellowship and support of other homeschool families, many support groups also offer co-ops, field trips, social events, academic fairs, 4-H, scouting, and athletic events. Contact a group in your area and plan to attend a meeting. It’s a good idea to visit several support groups in order to find the one that fits your family.
5. Become familiar with North Carolina’s homeschool laws and attend a homeschool orientation. Parents ETC offers new homeschoolers orientations several times a year. NCDOEHSLDA, and NCHE also offer information on North Carolina’s homeschool law.
6. Choose a teaching method and/or curriculum. There are many options available from daily lessons prepared for you to designing your own curriculum. We have provided a list on our site for your benefit. Talking to other homeschool parents is a great way to research curriculums without purchasing it first, and discuss teaching methods. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all learn in different ways. Become familiar with your child’s learning style and were they need the extra help.
Questions about getting started?
If you have any questions about PCHG or home schooling, send us an email. PCHG is a home school support group made up of dedicated volunteers. We apologize if our reply is delayed a day or so. Please be assured that we are striving to do our best to respond to your questions and comments in a timely manner. If you do not receive a reply within 7 days, please try contacting us again. We appreciate your patience as we home school our own children.
1. How will homeschooling affect my family?
Homeschooling can be life changing. Ideally, it creates personal growth for both parents and children. As a parent, you get a second chance to discover your own special genius while helping your child discover theirs. Nothing else that you do will have a more profound impact on your child and your family's future.
2. Am I qualified to homeschool?
You are qualified to homeschool your children if you love to read to them, love to spend time with them, love to explore the world with them, love to see them learn new things, and most important - just love them.
3. How will I know if my child is learning?
Children love to learn. It is as natural to them as breathing. They have an inborn hunger to explore the world, examine what is interesting and absorb new information like a sponge. They learn by following their interests, with one interest leading to another. This is the way we all learned as younger children and how as adults we learn after we leave school. Homeschooling families learn together and know that learning is a life-long process. We also encourage yearly evaluations to reassure you that they are “on track” academically!
4. Is homeschooling legal?
Homeschooling is legal everywhere in the United States, but homeschooling laws vary from state to state. Visit NC Division of Non-Public Education's website.
5. How many hours a day must I teach my child?
It does not take six to eight hours a day to homeschool your child. Most of the time children spend at school consists of waiting. Design a plan that works for your family and be prepared to scratch it several times and start over. There are many ways families homeschool; find what works for you and your family.
6. What about socialization?
Your child will not become a social misfit. Quite the opposite, children do not need to be socialized in a large group of same-aged children to become well adjusted socially. Most parents want their children to learn their social graces from adults, not other children. Homeschoolers have healthy relationships with people of all ages from the retired couple next door to their soccer coach. They can enjoy friends at 4-H, scouting, dance, martial arts or any other activity.
7. What if I don't know how to teach a subject?
You will not have to teach higher-level academics unless you really want to. It is not necessary to teach pre-algebra, biology, or chemistry to ten year olds. When your teen decides to become a scientist or is ready to explore the requirements of college admission, together you will explore the ways they can learn the necessary higher-level academics. A community college class, virtual school, a tutor, or textbooks are just a few of the options available.
8. My kids won't listen to me. How can I do this?
You will question yourself a lot, maybe several times a day in the beginning. This is normal. Find a fellow homeschooling friend and support each other. Tell each other that it's okay to sometimes feel that your children didn't seem to learn anything on a given day. In actuality they learn new things everyday and so do you!
9. Can I afford to homeschool? Isn't curriculum expensive?
Homeschooling materials have come a long way in the past few years. Our options now extend beyond private school curricula and used textbooks. Packaged curriculum can cost a few dollars to many hundreds of dollars. Used products are often available at used curriculum sales, online or from other homeschool families. There are many options and resources available if you just look around!
10. Can children really learn outside a classroom?
Trust in your child. They learned how to love, smile, crawl, walk, talk, run, dress themselves, and understand their world before starting school, and they can continue to grow and learn outside a formal classroom setting.