**Please note - CHOICE is a support group only, not an accountability group to legally homeschool in SC**
Third Option: HOPE (Homes of Prayerful Education)
You must be a member of a third option accountability group in order to homeschool legally. The third option we recommend is HOPE. HOPE was originally established to serve the members of CHOICE. Now, they have opened application to any South Carolina resident.
You do not have to join HOPE if you are choosing Option 1 or Option 2 to homeschool. However, if you are interested in the third option or want to have a better understanding of the South Carolina law in reference to homeschooling, please check out their website www.hopehomeschoolgroup.org.
South Carolina Homeschool Law
Compulsory Attendance Ages: five years of age before September first until . . . seventeenth birthday or graduation from high school. Any parents whose child is not six years of age on or before the first day of September of a particular school year may elect for their child not to attend kindergarten, and then must sign a written document with the school district. S.C. Code ' 59-65-10.
Required Days of Instruction: 180 days. S.C. Code ' 59-65-40(A)/ ' 59-65-45/ ' 59-65-47
Required Subjects: Reading , writing, math, science, and social studies; (grades 7-12) composition and literature. S.C. Code ' 59-65-40(A)/ ' 59-65-45/ ' 59-65-47
Home School Statute: There are three options to legally home school:
Option 1 - S.C. Code ' 59-65-40. Parents may teach their children at home if the instruction is approved by the district board of trustees. The boards shall approve (they have no discretion) if:
- The parent has either:
- at least a high school diploma or GED (The basic skills exam was struck down by the South Carolina Supreme Court. See below.);
- or earned a baccalaureate degree;
- The instructional day is at least four and one-half hours, and the year at least 180 days;
- The curriculum includes the required subjects listed above;
- The parent presents a system of maintaining records as evidence of regular instruction including: a) a plan book or other record of subjects taught and activities, b) a portfolio of the child's work, and a record of academic evaluation, with a semiannual progress report to be submitted to the school district;
- The student has access to library facilities;
- The student participates in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program;
- and the parents release the district from liability regarding their child's education.
Parents may appeal school district decisions to the State Board of Education within ten days. They may appeal State Board decisions to the Family Court within 30 days.
Option 2 - Or parents may teach their children at home by becoming members of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) ((803) 454-0427, www.scaihs.org) under S.C. Code ' 59-65-45 (effective April 8, 1992). In lieu of the requirements of ' 59-65-40, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools exempts the home school from the further requirements of ' 59-65-40. Under this option parents or guardians must meet the following requirements:
- Hold at least a high school diploma or GED;
- The instructional year is at least 180 days; and
- The curriculum includes the required subjects listed above.
Option 3 - Or parents may teach their children at home by becoming members of an association from home schools which has no fewer than fifty members under S.C. Code ' 59-65-47 (effective June 20, 1996). In lieu of the requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than fifty members and meets the requirements of this section. Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of the associations exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45. Under this option parents or guardians must meet the following requirements:
- hold at least a high school diploma or GED;
- an instructional year of at least 180 days; and
- the curriculum includes the required subjects listed above; and
- educational records maintained by the parent include:
- a plan book or other record of subjects taught and activities;
- a portfolio of the child's work; and
- a semiannual progress report
HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association)
HSLDA provides complete details on Home Schooling Laws in South Carolina. Membership in HSLDA is not mandatory, but it is recommended. CHOICE and HOPE both have discount codes for a membership with HSLDA. Your membership with them helps protect homeschooling rights in the United States and around the world. Here is information about HSLDA from their website:
"Every child is different and should have the freedom to learn in a safe, loving environment at their own pace.
- We partner with our 95,000 member families, donors, homeschool leaders, legislators, and others who want to protect this freedom.
- We’ve been trusted for over 35 years to advance and protect homeschool freedom in the courts, legislatures, and in the court of public opinion.
- We equip parents with resources, educational consultants, and Compassion grants because we love homeschooling and want more families to experience it.
- We know the benefits and challenges of homeschooling personally—most of our staff are homeschool parents and grads."