SC HAS THREE OPTIONS
This is petitioning your local school and district to homeschool. It sound simple, should be free, but there is a reason why most folks in SC used an Option 3 Accountability Association. To be fair, it does depend upon your district.
Section 59-65-45 (scroll down)
Option 2 is commonly referred to as SCAIHS (SC Association of Independent Home Schools). They are pricey, but if you know that you want your child to attend the Naval Academy by appointment or you have gone toe to toe with the State Dept of Ed and are nervous, they may be the way to go.
- parent or legal guardian must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate;
- the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days;
- curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature.
COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS ‘THIRD OPTION’
- Parents or legal 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 standard of the association exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45.
- The State Department of Education shall conduct annually a review of the associations standard to insure that requirements of the association, at the minimum include:
- a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general education development (GED) certificate;
- the instructional year is at least one hundred-eighty (180) days;
- the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, sciences, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and
- educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:
- a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;
- a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work; and
- a semi-annual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas as previously specified.
- By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through the association to the children’s respective school districts.
HOME SCHOOLING A FOSTER CHILD
A foster parent may teach a foster child at home as provided in Sections 59-65-40, 59-65-45, or any other provision of law, if, in addition to any other requirements, home schooling of the child has been approved by the Department of Social Services or other agency having custody of the child.
COMPULSORY KINDERGARTEN ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS
(A) All parents or guardians shall cause their children or wards to attend regularly a public or private school or kindergarten of this State which has been approved by the State Board of Education or a member school of the South Carolina Independent Schools’ Association or some similar organization, or a parochial, denominational, or church-related school, or other programs which have been approved by the State Board of Education from the school year in which the child or ward is five years of age before September first until the child or ward attains his seventeenth birthday or graduates from high school.
A parent or guardian whose child or ward is not six years of age on or before the first day of September of a particular school year may elect for their child or ward not to attend kindergarten. For this purpose, the parent or guardian shall sign a written document making the election with the governing body of the school district in which the parent or guardian resides. The form of the written document must be prescribed by regulation of the Department of Education. Upon the written election being executed, that child or ward may not be required to attend kindergarten.
In Plain English: If your child turns 6 by or before September 1st of that school year, they must be legally enrolled in some school (home, private, public). Your local school district’s Special Services office will provide an Opt Out waiver excusing your child from kindergarten, but they may ask if you are homeschooling. As the law is written it does not concede that doing lessons at home requires you to Opt In to being legal under an accountability association, however this is how the State Board of Ed has translated the law. So, if you are not doing formal lessons, feel free to tell them that you will be enjoying another year at home. If you are doing formal lessons, you may wish to join an accountability association.
**We opted all of our children out of K because by being at home, they were too advanced to attend K. We did not use any books, were very relaxed, but learned everywhere from what was in front of our faces. A common statement heard from our crew was, “We don’t go to school.” Yes, I was chagrined, but in hindsight I am immensely pleased that they did not recognize their daily learning in an institutionalized way. Never create a tiny traditional school in your home. Just follow curiousity to observation to research to learning to teaching because it is what we have been created to do.