Homeschooling in North Carolina has become an important choice that many parents make to provide their children with the best opportunities possible. In light of this growing trend, it’s helpful to understand the laws and regulations surrounding homeschooling in the state so you can decide whether or not this lifestyle suits your family best.
For more information on homeschooling in North Carolina, keep reading to find out about its requirements and benefits.
Cost of Homeschooling in NC
It’s difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer because there are so many factors that need to be considered. In North Carolina, the Department of Public Instruction says the average cost of educating a student in public school is $6,534, which includes textbooks and transportation.
Tuition at UNCA is more than $6,000 per year. However, college students can also take advantage of free college classes offered by community colleges and universities throughout the state.
For example, some parents decide to homeschool their children to keep them safe.
To give another example, a child with special needs may not be able to thrive in a traditional school setting and might do better at home with one-on-one attention from his or her parents.
Still, other parents choose to homeschool because they want their children to learn a foreign language or have more hands-on experiences like woodworking.
The choice to homeschool is a personal one. The North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction reports that there are approximately 6,000 children who are currently homeschooled in North Carolina.
But there could be many more as parents are not required to report their children’s schooling. If you choose to homeschool your child, contact your local county school board and inform them of your decision.
As with any education-related decision, it’s important to educate yourself on both sides of an issue before making a choice.
It’s especially important if you plan to teach your child at home because children depend on their parents for schooling and there are legal implications.
We’ll cover those later in this post. For now, let’s talk about other factors you need to consider as you weigh your homeschooling options.
North Carolina offers support for parents who choose to homeschool their children.
For example, state law requires that every parent who decides to homeschool his or her child must file an affidavit of intent with his or her local school district office before beginning schooling at home.
In addition, parents must register each year with either their local board of education or with a homeschool organization approved by the State Department of Public Instruction.
How to Homeschool in NC for Free
Often feel the need to jump right into homeschooling when they make the decision.
This may not be the best course of action and can leave one unprepared. A better option would be to gradually get involved in this world.
Here are some tips on how to do that without spending any money or at least very little:
- Inform yourself about homeschooling laws in your state by visiting HomeSchool Assistance or a similar site.
- Find a mentor who will teach you the ropes. They will help you figure out what curriculum you want to use, and where to find materials, as well as answer all those pesky questions like how will I know if my child is learning? Or What if I don’t know anything about teaching?
- Attend a few homeschool conventions or local events to meet people.
- Find out if there are any homeschool support groups near you. You can use sites like Meetup or Yahoo Groups to find one. And of course, don’t forget about Facebook and other social media sites which also have large homeschool communities.
The more you get involved, join and learn, etc., you will begin to feel confident about doing it yourself when your time comes to start.
Best Homeschool Programs in NC
Some Best Homeschool Programs in NC include:
- Xavier School: This private school, which also offers boarding for upper grades, does not offer coursework to public school students but is popular with homeschoolers.
- Shaw University: The College of Education at Shaw University hosts a college daycare where children can be dropped off and picked up by the family’s homeschooling parents while they are completing their classes.
- Baptist Bible College & Seminary: Homeschooled students may register in any semester without submitting a portfolio. They are accepted on an individual basis following the same admissions standards as other applicants.
- Montessori Children’s House Academy: For those who wish to pursue Montessori instruction or methods within the structure of an accredited educational institution, this private Montessori school provides options from preschool through 8th grade. It has earned five stars out of five stars from Great Schools. The curriculum includes hands-on learning, kinesthetic activities, community service projects, and physical education. Tuition ranges from $6,700-$8,700 per year depending on age and whether transportation is included.
Nc Homeschool Registration
North Carolina is one of the states that have homeschool registration requirements. To register as a homeschool, you will need to do the following:
- Call your local school board and ask for a document called the Home School Self-Evaluation Checklist which contains all of the required forms. Once you have completed this checklist, return it to your local school board. Along with these documents, you will also need to submit an affidavit signed by a parent or guardian stating that the student has been properly instructed according to law. In addition, some counties require additional paperwork such as attendance records and a letter from a doctor documenting any medical conditions the student has had during their schooling years
- Submit the Homeschool Certificate form to the county superintendent. The form certifies that you are legally qualified to teach your child at home and includes parental consent for private instruction and exemption from public inspection.
- Get your child’s official transcript from a state-approved high school or GED provider, if they plan on attending college soon after high school graduation. If not, get their diploma/GED certificate.
- After doing these steps, file the application with your local school board along with copies of transcripts/diploma/GED certificate.
This is a simplified version of how to homeschool your child, however, it is important to remember that all laws vary from state to state.
It is always best to consult with a legal professional before taking any action.
Most states have additional requirements for homeschool registration that can be found online. Furthermore, if you decide not to register as a homeschool, you should make sure that you are following applicable laws and keeping good records for every year of schooling.
When to File For Intent to Homeschool in NC?
In North Carolina, all children must be enrolled in a public school. If you would like to homeschool your child, you must file for intent with the public school district where your child lives.
You can also contact a private tutor or an independent study program for more information about how to homeschool.
Homeschooling is only legal if parents provide a notice of intent to withdraw their child from school and follow all the requirements of the state law on homeschooling.
A parent who files for intent will not have any other notification obligations but will need to attend annual conferences with his/her student’s assigned teacher and principal at least once per year.