In South Carolina, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the local school district’s Board of Trustees approves the instruction (South Carolina Code Section 59-65-40(A)).
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, unannotated, Section 59-65-40/Home Schooling Programs (current to the end of the 2014 legislative session), “A district board of trustees shall approve homeschooling programs which meet the following standards:”
- The parent:
- Holds at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate; or
- Has earned a baccalaureate degree.
- Submits a Notice of Intent to open a homeschool to the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) one time when opening the school
- The homeschool day is at least four and one-half hours, excluding lunch and recesses, and the homeschool year is at least one hundred eighty days;
- The homeschool curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies, and in grade seven through twelve, composition and literature;
- The homeschool parent must “present a system for maintaining and [shall] maintain the following records for inspection upon reasonable notice by a representative of the school district:”
- A plan book, diary, or other written record showing subject taught and “activities in which the student and parent engage;”
- “A portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work;” and
- “A record of evaluations of the student’s academic progress. A semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized assessments of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (3) must be submitted to the school district.”
- Attendance and current immunization records (exemption from immunization requirements can be obtained for those who object on the basis of religious preferences.)
- Homeschool students must have access to library facilities;
- “Students must participate in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program approved by the State Board of Education for their appropriate grade level. The tests must be administered by a certified school district employee either with public school students or by special arrangement at the student’s place of instruction, at the parent’s option. The parent is responsible for paying the test administrator if the test is administered at the student’s home;” and
- “Parents must agree in writing to hold the district, the district board of trustees and the district’s employees harmless for any educational deficiencies of the student sustained as a result of home instruction.”
South Carolina also offers a non-district-approved homeschool option that allows parents or guardians to teach their children at home “if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than 50 members and meets the following requirements, determined by the State Department of Education through an annual review of the association: a) a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent GED certificate; b) the instruction year is at least 180 days; c) the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades 7 through 12, composition and literature; and d) educational records maintained by the parent-teacher” (S.C. Code Section 59-65-47).
Updated January 2018
South Carolina Homeschool State Laws Links:
South Carolina Colleges
NOTE: HomeschoolFacts does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above. All of the information provided is intended for research purposes only and is not given as legal advice. REMEMBER: The most important thing you can do to prepare for homeschooling your child is to become familiar with your state’s laws about homeschooling.