Homeschooling in North Carolina
Homeschooling in North Carolina – Getting Started
Homeschooling in North Carolina is straightforward with some specific laws and requirements. Knowing these laws and other helpful information will help you prepare you as you begin planning for your new homeschool.
What Information You’ll Find on This Page
Legal Definition of a Homeschool in North Carolina
It is important to know the definition of homeschool as you begin planning. By law, the definition of homeschooling in NC is a non-public school that consists of no more than two families. The parents, or guardians, will determine what is important to teach their students (the scope and sequence), choose their curriculum and resources, teach their students, and/or secure additional sources of instruction. More information, along with the legal definition, can be found at the website of the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education.
Requirements for Homeschooling in North Carolina
In North Carolina parents desiring to homeschool their school-age children and/or administering academic instruction must meet the following requirements as stated by the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education:
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
- File a notice of intent with the NC Department of Non-Public Education (NCDNPE). When preparing to file a notice of intent to homeschool your children, along with a copy/copies of the required diploma/s to NCDNPE, you will want to make sure that you have established a name for your homeschool. Once you receive verification from NCDNPE, you can begin homeschooling. Plan to operate your school on a nine-month calendar, excluding holidays and vacations; this can be a year-round calendar or a traditional calendar. There is no need to file this intent yearly, as your school will be open until you choose to close it.
- Keep an immunization record on file
- Maintain attendance records
- Administer, or have administered, a nationally normed and standardized achievement test in reading, grammar, spelling, and mathematics each year and maintain the files for at least one calendar year. You must do this for each year your homeschool is in operation.
The North Carlina Department of Non-Public Education has an easy to navigate website that may be used for the purpose of opening a homeschool (filing an intent to homeschool), updating your homeschool, downloading attendance forms, or closing a homeschool.
Getting Started Homeschooling in North Carolina: A Check List of Next Steps
Now that you understand what is required to get started homeschooling in North Carolina, what are the next steps?
These next steps listed below are important and will help set the tone of your first year of homeschooling.
Pray for guidance. Pray to know and understand your children and their unique learning styles. Pray and ask the Lord to show you the best curriculum resources for your children. Pray for support and fellowship with like-minded individuals who understand your vision for your family and will support it. Lastly, pray for the wisdom to develop a family culture that supports learning and living your worldview and faith consistently.
Research each child’s learning style and select curriculum that will support it and support your family’s worldview. Your child is unique and made in the image of God. Therefore, it would be expedient to understand how they learn and what resource works best for their learning style. There is plenty of valuable information online and in books about learning styles and how to educate a child based upon their personal style. Don’t forget to download a free copy of Apologia’s Curriculum Planning Guide.
Determine your best schedule, through prayer and research. This will take much patience and tweaking, it could even take a year, but in the end, you will find your family’s unique rhythm. Consider using a planner that is custom fit for your school needs. Apologia’s Ultimate Homeschool Planners are a vital and useful tool in helping homeschool parents make and accomplish realistic homeschool goals.
Seek state and local homeschool support groups. Consider joining one or more support groups, not only may these experienced homeschool families help you get started homeschooling in NC, but they will have personal perspectives on what has worked for their families and what has not. Try to visit them a month or two, while prayerfully seeking the Lord’s will for your family.
Plan some field trips. There are many valuable resources available in North Carolina that will both educate and enlighten your student/s about history, science, and the arts. Read the field trip section below for more information.
Make room for a learning curve for you and your children. Homeschooling your children can be eye-opening and individually revealing, yearly. Each year comes with new ages, new life-events, new knowledge, new time-constraints, and many other unknowns. Remain flexible as life and learning unfolds, but keep your joy and a sense of humor at all times. Here is a great article by Davis Carman that will help you to focus on the important while remembering to breathe and find joy in the process. Remember to enjoy your time with your students. It passes quickly!
Hopefully, this list will help you begin the year on a great foundation as you begin homeschooling in North Carolina and also alleviate the most common roadblocks to fully enjoying your new homeschooling journey, by being prepared.
Homeschool Curriculum Planning
Your child is unique and made in the image of God. Therefore, as you begin planning your curriculum choices, it would be expedient to understand how they learn and what resource works best for their learning style. There is plenty of valuable information online and in books about learning styles and how to educate a child based upon their personal style.
Download Apologia’s free Curriculum Planning Guide to help walk you through the pre-purchasing process.
Homeschool Support Groups in North Carolina
Homeschool support is vital to a successful homeschool journey; everyone likes to know that they are not alone. You may find a veteran homeschooling parent who can advise you and simply empathize with you on challenging days. Homeschool groups can also provide the opportunity for group functions, events, and field trips, not easily attained alone. Co-ops are a serious benefit of being a part of a local group function, as they are often built around current learning needs within a group. Your children benefit from local support groups, not only academically through
Here is a link to local homeschool groups in North Carolina from North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE).
Homeschool Field Trip Ideas in North Carolina
North Carolina is rich in history and has beautiful natural resources–from mountains to the ocean– that offer a variety of interesting field trips to coordinate with your homeschool studies.
Need help coordinating a field trip, check out our Homeschool Field Trip Planning Tips.
Here are links to help generate homeschool field trip ideas:
- North Carolina Historic Sites
- The North Carolina Theatre Company has a list of theatres with live performances
- Aquariums in North Carolina
- List of History Museums in North Carolina
- List of Observatories in North Carolina
- NC Museum of History
- List of Art Museums in North Carolina
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
NCHE works with museums and event venues across North Carolina to arrange discounted admissions for homeschooled students. You can access their field trip and family outing