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FAQ's About Homeschooling in General

What exactly is homeschooling?

Homeschooling is the natural implementation of  'parent directed education'. In homeschooling, parents take full responsibility and direct oversight for the education of their children in their own homes. This does not necessarily infer that the parents provide all of the corresponding instruction. However, true homeschooling is parent lead and does not depend on either the organization nor oversight of an outside institution.

 

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Is homeschooling really legal?

Yes. In SC a parent or guardian must have a minimum of a GED or High School diploma to teach their children.  For complete details on the laws & legalities of homeschooling in South Carolina, please click here , or contact Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).


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Does homeschooling really work?

Yes. Numerous studies and the success of many prior home school graduates prove that homeschooling really works. In homeschooling, the parents are intimately involved in the child's education, the education progresses at the child's actual comprehension rate, and the child understands the material more thoroughly. Also, the majority of negative education factors are non-existent thereby providing a more encouraging environment in which the children are able to excel.

If you would like to see specific research and statistics regarding the effectiveness of homeschooling, please click here or here.
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Does 'how my child is educated' really matter?

Yes. Your child will form his or her opinions and beliefs based on the content and manner of information being taught. Within a homeschool, the parent is able to teach using the curriculum of their choice, as well as instill their biblical convictions without unwanted contradiction or causing the child to encounter unnecessary ridicule. Further, since the parent is directly involved in the child's education, the natural relationships are positively re-inforced, the child receives loving attention & encouragement, and the child's personal learning styles & interests can be accommodated.

Any educational institution which attempts to instruct a diversity of children using a repeatable pattern technique, eliminate the intense parental involvement, or bypass the faithful adherence to biblical convictions will naturally be incapable of producing graduates or alumni who hold these family tenants.


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What if I, as the parent, don't feel qualified to teach?

Unless they have received a traditional education which culminated in the acquisition of a teaching certificate, most parents feel somewhat inadequate. This inadequacy is frequently enforced by their focus on the difficult higher level education courses and by the comments offered by 'well meaning' friends. The feelings are natural, but they are not insurmountable.

Today's curricula are designed specifically for parental use in the homeschool. These curricula include all of the guides and instructional materials that the parent will need; many also include special access to experts.

Finally, if homeschooling is begun while the child is still very young, you will be able to acclimate & progress slowly. By the time you encounter the courses which originally worried you, you will have developed the confidence necessary as well as a complete support network.


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Where can I find someone to homeschool my kids?

Homeschooling is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. You can cooperate with other parents; and, you should most definitely be in agreement with your spouse. But, no one else can do the job; they can only assist you.


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Where can I find help?

Providing you with the help you need to homeschool your children correctly is the ministry of organizations, such as CHOICE. There are, however, many other aides:SCHEA - South Carolina's state homeschool support group, parent co-op teaching teams - such as ETC, on-line discussion forums, magazines & periodicals, and regional conferences.


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What curriculum does South Carolina require?

State law does not require that a specific curriculum be followed, however it dictates that homeschools include the following:

Minimum Subjects Required in Grades 1-6:
Language Arts
Reading
Science
Mathematics
Social Studies

Beginning in 7th Grade the Following Must be Added:
Literature
Composition
For more info on highschool requirements, click here.


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Where do I find a curriculum?

You must purchase your own curriculum.  CHOICE and HOPE do not provide nor sell curriculum.

The following publishers offer complete curricula for each grade level. You can purchase all or portions of their products depending on your child’s needs.

 

Abeka   www.abeka.com 1-877-A BEKA BOOK

 

Bob Jones www.bjup.com 1-800-252-4348

 

Alpha Omega Publications www.aop.com 1-800-622-3070

 

Sonlight www.sonlight.com 1-303-730-6292

 

Apologia (science) www.apologia.com 1-888-524-4724

 

Curriculum Express: www.curriculumexpress.com

            Homeschool Resource Distributors:

  

Christian Book Distributors www.christianbook.com   1-800-247-4784

 

Rainbow Resource Center   www.rainbowresource.com 1-888-841-3456

 

Life of Fred (Math and English) www.lifeoffredmath.com 1-800-653-4231

 

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What are the big differences in the curriculum available?

There are a very large number and variety of curricula available on the market. Some curricula cover only specific subjects, whereas others are all-encompassing. Some curricula are very grade specific; others provide the complete coverage of all elementary & secondary grades. Finally, most curricula are published in printed form; but, an increasing number are available electronically. You will need to study the options carefully to choose the curricula that's right for each of your children.


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Do parents need to be state certified?

No. Parents are neither licensed nor certified in South Carolina.  They must have a High School Diploma or a GED and belong to an Option 3 Home school accountability group such as HOPE. Further, if you choose to become involved in a co-op education program with other parents, you are permitted to teach their children as well, so long as the primary oversight of the education remains with the child's actual parents. Many studies have been performed which prove that teacher certification has little affect on the educational outcome of the children. Your convictions to homeschool and your personal involvement in their education will do far more toward advancing your children's education than any certification.


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How do I get 'permission' to home school?

In South Carolina, parents do not need special permission to begin homeschooling their children; it is your right. Therefore, you do not need to ask nor receive anyone's permission.  You must, however, choose one of the three legal homeschooling options available to South Carolina residents.

Naturally, since both parents should be involved in the home school, it is adviseable to reach a mutual understanding with your spouse. You should, however, anticipate a certain level of opposition to your decision. Many well-meaning people will question your decision; some will even try to interfere.


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Do I need to register my home school?

You are required to choose one of the three legal homeschooling options available in the state of South Carolina.  Please click here for the South Carolina state homeschooling law.

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Do I need to have my child take standardized tests?

If you choose Option 3 of the South Carolina homeschooling law, testing is not required.  However, HOPE requires your child to be tested once every 3 years.  We offer annual testing through our group.

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What do I do if DSS or the truancy officer comes to my homeschool?

In South Carolina you have the legal right to homeschool your children, including both natural and adopted. You do not need to be apologetic nor fearful. However, the possibility of encountering an episode with either DSS or a truant officer is a very real possibility, especially if you have withdrawn your children from the public schools. CHOICE strongly recommends that you join the HSLDA for exactly such an eventuality.  As a member, you can immediately call their offices and receive assistance. Meanwhile, you should be as polite and non-confrontational with the officers as possible. Unless the officer presents a valid search warrant, you are under no obligations to let them enter your home, examine your records, question your children, nor ridicule your convictions.

Since most people are not truly familiar with homeschooling or the laws which govern it, you may find it wise to make both family members and neighbors aware that you are homeschooling; similarly, you may choose to avoid certain activities which increase the probability of receiving a DSS or truancy officer's visit.


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How do I take my kids out of public school?

If your child has been enrolled in a public school you must formally withdraw him/her. Follow the procedure for your particular school. You should ask for copies of your child's records and/or transcript. You will not receive the original, but will recieve a copy. You should be a member of HOPE or other legal homeschool option in accordance with South Carolina's homeschooling law BEFORE removing your child from school.  HOPE will email a letter stating that you are a member of our group to the school board on your behalf.


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How does a home school handle transcripts and diplomas?

Please visit the High School FAQ section for more info about transcripts, diplomas and graduation.


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What about grades?

Grades are a useful way of tracking your progress through the educational material, verifying your child's comprehension of this material, and validating that your school complies with the legal mandates. Per SC State Law you must issue a report card twice a year, keep a portfolio of the work, keep attendance records and lesson plans. HOPE provides Record keeping courses at least once per year for our members.

If you are homeschooling a highschooler, you will need to keep grades for his/her transcript.  Please see our High school FAQ for more info about highschool.


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What about extracurricular activities?

CHOICE does its best to provide members with many opportunities for enrichment.  Through CHOICE you may participate in Field Trips and special activities.  Annually our group offers such activities as Graduation, Skating, Family Night/Fine Arts program, Prom, Family Camping Trips, and much, much more. 

We offer enrichment classes through ETC.

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, home school students are eligible to participate in the public school sports and extracurricular activities. Click here for more information

Many opportunities abound in Anderson and the surrounding areas for you to expose your child to culture, the arts and nature, such as 4-H.


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What about socialization?

Most homeschool children are active in a wide variety of activities outside of their home, including their church, music, sports, and scouting programs. CHOICE currently offers ETC classes, monthly middle and high school activities, and much more.  Generally homeschool children receive completely adequate socialization.


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When is the best time to start?

Naturally, the best time to start your home school is before your first child would normally enter into the formal education system. However, as a parent and resident of South Carolina, you are free to start your home school at any time. You can start your home school, including disenrolling your child from the public school, anytime during the normal school year.

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.  3 John 4