Homeschooling can be a rewarding way to engage with your child’s education, providing tailored learning experiences that align with your family’s values and goals. However, if you’re considering homeschooling in North Carolina, there are specific legal requirements you must follow. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the North Carolina (NC) homeschool requirements to help you navigate the process seamlessly.
Table of Contents
Notification of Intent to Homeschool
The first step in establishing a homeschool in North Carolina is to file a notice of intent. This is mandatory for any parent or legal guardian who plans to homeschool a child between the ages of seven and sixteen. The steps for notification are as follows:
- Visit the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) website.
- Complete the Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School form.
- Submit the form, which must include the name and address of the school along with the name of the school’s owner and chief administrator.
- Choose and declare the type of homeschool you will be operating – either religious or independent.
- Provide a high school diploma or its equivalent for the person who will be administering the education.
Once your homeschool is officially recognized, it is essential to maintain accurate records of your homeschooling activities. These include:
- Attendance Records: Maintain a record of your child’s attendance, including the number of hours spent on each subject and any extracurricular activities.
- Annual Portfolio: Create an annual portfolio showcasing your child’s learning progress throughout the year. This could include samples of their work, test scores, and other relevant documentation.
- Report Card Option: You can choose to submit an official report card to the DNPE at the end of the year, although this is not required.
It’s important to note that these records should be made available for inspection upon request by DNPE officials.
North Carolina requires that homeschools provide instruction in certain subjects. The following table outlines the required subjects:
|K – 8
|English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Health and Physical Education
|The same subjects as grades K-8, with the addition of a second language, and any other subjects necessary for the student to follow their post-high school plans
Annual Standardized Testing
It’s required for homeschoolers in North Carolina to conduct annual standardized testing. You may choose any nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement tool. The test should assess mathematics and English/language arts, including grammar, reading, and spelling skills. You are not required to submit the test results, but they must be kept on file at the homeschool for at least one year and be made available to the DNPE upon request.
North Carolina law stipulates that homeschools must operate on a regular schedule for at least nine months of the year, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations. However, the law does not prescribe the number of instructional hours per day or per year.
Qualifications of the Instructor
The chief administrator of the homeschool, typically the parent or guardian, must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. This requirement helps ensure the instructor has a basic level of education necessary to educate the child.
Proper Record of Notice of Intent
Homeschool families must keep a detailed record of their initial notice of intent filing. In the event of any legal matters or when transferring to a public school, these documents will serve as an official record of the educational history.
File a Notice of Intent: Before starting homeschooling your child between the ages of 7 and 16, you must file a Notice of Intent with the DNPE. This form provides basic information about your homeschool program, including your child’s name, date of birth, and curriculum plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are NC Homeschool Requirements?
North Carolina homeschool requirements mandate that parents have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, file a notice of intent, and maintain attendance and immunization records.
How To Start Homeschooling In NC?
To start homeschooling in NC, file a notice of intent with the NC Division of Non-Public Education, choose a curriculum, and start teaching your child at home.
Is Standardized Testing Necessary For NC Homeschoolers?
Yes, North Carolina law requires annual standardized testing for homeschoolers to assess academic progress in certain areas.
Can I Homeschool Part-time In North Carolina?
Homeschooling in North Carolina is considered a full-time education alternative, and part-time enrollment isn’t typically provided for in the NC homeschool statutes.
Homeschooling in North Carolina can be a highly effective and fulfilling form of education, provided that all state requirements are met. These regulations help maintain educational standards and ensure every child receives an education that sets them up for success. Remember that while this guide gives a comprehensive overview of the homeschooling laws in North Carolina, it’s also important to stay updated with the DNPE for any changes in regulations.