North Carolina Homeschooling

Helpful Information, Links & Tips for Homeschoolers in North Carolina

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Homeschooling in North Carolina

Hi, my name is Michelle, and I homeschool in North Carolina! I have been homeschooling my two boys. I love the time I get to spend with my boys and the experiences that we share every day through homeschooling..

Hi, my name is Marleene, and I also homeschool in North Carolina! Homeschooling has been a part of our lives for over five years. Time4Learning has helped keep us on track, made our lessons more animated, and my daughter has fun!

If you have questions or comments about homeschooling in North Carolina, check out the homeschooling tools and resources or visit the online North Carolina support group.

To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in North Carolina, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:

Legal disclaimer: This section is two family's stories and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in North Carolina. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.

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How Michelle Finds Resources in NC

I love all the different history, science and learning sites that help make our homeschooling experience one that includes daily lessons at home, field trips, and classes outside the home.

Cary Homeschoolers is a local group of support and resources for families who homeschool. As a group, we set up different classes, park days, game days, etc. to make sure that we are getting support from other families and that the children are getting socialized with their peers.There are other local chapters with the same basic support in almost every city or county. But this is the one that I am a part of and I really enjoy it.

The original Spice-line is a fully moderated, Christian-based loop which, for more than a decade, has provided information and encouragement to homeschooling families in the Triangle area and surrounding counties of North Carolina. This is a great resource for Christian-based families. I am not a member, however, I know of several families who are and love it.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op is a great site for getting deals on books and curriculum. As a member, you get group prices on a lot of great homeschool products.

Michelle's Take on Homeschooling

I personally find North Carolina to be one of the easiest and friendliest states for homeschooling families. In North Carolina, you have to fill out a notice of intent with the state. Once that is done, you must keep records which include attendance and vaccine information along with yearly testing results on all children over the age of 7. You are also required to operate a normal school year at least nine months out of the year (roughly 180 days). These records must be made available if they are requested from the state at any time, along with your orange card that the state issues once all information has been accepted.

I had to get a copy of my high school transcripts to prove to them that I had graduated from high school and where. To do this I simply called my old school and they faxed it to them. I had to supply the state with my school's name, address, administrator (me), and the names and ages of the children in the school. That is just about all you must provide to get started. I recommend reading all the information in the NC Dept. of Non-public Education to see if I have missed anything.

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After his first day using Time4Learning, my son looked over at me and said 'I'm really smart mom!' That statement is priceless!
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Time4Learning started out as a supplement, but has now become more of a center piece to our homeschooling. I wasn't expecting that at all!

A Day in Michelle's Homeschool

A typical day here in our school begins around 8:00 a.m. Everyone then gets dressed, has breakfast and does their morning chores. By 9:00 or 9:30 a.m., we start our day. I do a lot of one-on-one with each of my boys -- this is where Time4Learning comes in and helps me accomplish all the things we need to get done in each day!

We usually start with math or language arts and while I am teaching a new concept to one of the boys, the other one gets a head start by using Time4Learning to go over what they will be doing with me. We do two to three activities in each subject (math/la/la extensions) a day from the Time4Learning program. I have a son with ADHD who is a very visual learner. I love that Time4Learning makes things fun for him to learn. He enjoys the cartoon-like lessons, and it prepares him for the more traditional learning that he will do with me.

I continue on with my lessons for them until we break for lunch at 11:00 a.m., and then they get a break until noon. Then we start up with our afternoon lessons -- usually history, science or Spanish. The boys have an assignment page, so once I am done with them they finish up their individual work. We also have Tae Kwon Do three times a week and music lessons once a week. We usually do our art on the weekend so that my husband (an artist) can teach them.

How Marleene Finds Homeschool Resources in NC

The local library has a homeschool section with books that talk about different programs that are available for homeschoolers. I have also found that visiting local homeschool conventions is beneficial in deciding which books would work best for our school year. Not only can you browse through the curriculum, you can also ask questions and receive useful information and suggestions. When I attended my first convention it was very comforting to be around other homeschooling families and I found the guest speakers to be very knowledgeable -- it was nice to learn from such seasoned teachers!

In the beginning, I ordered a boxed curriculum (everything you need for homeschooling in a box). I ordered from Calvert and really enjoyed the convenience of having everything put together for me. After a few years of doing it that way, I realized that not all of our needs were being met to keep our homeschooling day spontaneous and fun. So for the past few years I've been doing a lot of research on different books, and I currently buy each subject's book from different websites. I purchase from Amazon, Rainbow Resources, Ebay and other homeschooling families who sell previously used books. This way, I can choose the books that will keep my daughter's attention and meet her needs.

My favorite schooling websites are BrainPOP, CurrClick (we love to use lapbooks and notebooking for more hands on schooling), (you can input your own spelling words and it gives them fun activities/extra practice), and of course Out of all the different sites we use, my daughter loves Time4Learning the best! To her, it's like watching a fun cartoon and playing a game. To me, it has been a useful tool in our everyday schooling. She looks forward to each lesson and her test scores have improved considerably since we started using the program.

North Carolina Homeschool Regulations with Marleene

The state of North Carolina requires that all homeschoolers send a Notice of Intent to Operate a School to the Department of Non-Public Education. A copy of this form can be found on their website. They also require that you keep yearly attendance, as well as administer a yearly nationally standardized achievement test. Both of these must be submitted to the DNPE yearly. I have chosen to administer the California Achievement Test each year, and I turn this in along with our attendance record on or before the 30th of June each year.

I was a little intimidated when we moved to North Carolina and found out how different the requirements were for homeschoolers; however, after three years, I have learned what's required and feel more relaxed in regards to our curriculum choices and what's expected of me. What I love about homeschooling in North Carolina is that our most favorite subject, science, can be more hands-on since we live in a state with so many parks and wildlife.

A Day in Marleene's Homeschool

You might wonder what an average day in our homeschool looks like. Our homeschool schedule varies from day to day, but basically, this is what we strive for:

  • 20 minutes of Bible reading. It takes my daughter a little while to get going in the morning, so we found this works best for us -- she relaxes in her jammies while we cuddle and read together.
  • At this point, it's time to get ready head to toe: brush hair, wash face, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.
  • 30-40 min. of math: this includes instruction, then daily bookwork/worksheets. Sometimes this includes using marshmallows or M&M's as manipulatives, other times it means using a jumping rope while counting by twos, fives, and tens, etc. - anything to keep it fun and interesting! I have found that getting math done first helps the rest of the day run so much smoother as math is her most challenging subject.
  • 25 min. of either science or geography. We do three science lessons per week and two of geography per week. Science is her favorite subject so we try to do some during school time, but we also read through different science books at night just for fun. Her school time science book contains information on all different science concepts; however, since she loves animals, we read through her Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day book every night. We also look up websites and check out books from the local library on whatever animal fascinates her for that day!
  • BREAK - 10 minutes of dancing, jumping, laughing, snacking, fun!
  • 20 min. of Time4Learning language arts - I especially love to use Time4Learning for language arts (grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, language mechanics, etc.) My little one used to hate these subjects and now it's her most FAVORITE (after science, of course). It's a well rounded curriculum and it definitely helps keep her in a happy, ready-to-learn-more mood!
  • 15 min. of worksheets: These can be resources from Time4Learning or other grammar/vocabulary worksheets selected for the day.
  • 20 min. of handwriting - cursive. We like using Handwriting Without Tears.
  • 20 min. of journal / drawing - I like to give her time to sit and write out stories, small journal entries or sometimes even draw and color pictures and write a little bit on what she drew. I enjoy keeping these entries and letting her look at them after some time so that she can see her improvement in spelling, grammar and handwriting. Sometimes it's just fun to re-read some of her own work!
  • Short BREAK - Drinks, potty breaks, etc. then back to work.
  • 30 min. of quiet reading time. She chooses a chapter book which she reads, then shares the stories with either her dad or me. Sometimes she draws pictures about what she's reading, or includes her thoughts as part of a journal entry.
  • 30 min. of piano.
  • Lunch time, work on vegetable garden, play with pets, bake homemade bread, swing, laugh, relax, kisses, hugs and love being homeschooled!
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I LOVE Time4Learning! It holds the attention of my kids, plus I can keep track of their learning without hovering over their shoulders.
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I am really pleased with Time4Learning. It has made a world of difference in my son's academic performance in school!

Using Time4Learning for Homeschool

Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.

For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.

Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:

  • Time4Learning appeals to a wide range of learning styles. Our online learning materials are especially well-suited to children who are visual or kinesthetic learners. These children can take advantage of Time4Learning's interactive, multi-media materials.
  • Children like using the computer to learn. It's a convenient, interactive homeschool resource that provides a welcome change each day to paper-and-pencil workbooks and textbook-based lessons.
  • Parents like that it tracks progress and helps children advance by clearly presenting and reinforcing each lesson.
  • Time4Learning's self-paced, modularized lesson plans allow you to move forward and back through the materials whenever you want. You can skip lessons that teach concepts your child has already mastered and repeat those he or she has not. The choice is yours. With Time4Learning, you are always in control.

Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!

Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.

If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in North Carolina, head over to the North Carolina Parents Forum.

Some Helpful Tools and Resources

How to Homeschool Guide

Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.

Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of what's available for each grade and subject.

Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.

Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.

Hints & Help Section - Whether you're new to Time4Learning, a long term member, or a future member with questions about how the program works, this section answers questions about navigation, lesson planning & previewing, how the teacher guides and worksheets work, and more!

Puffin Academy App - Learn how to use Time4Learning on most mobile devices with the Puffin Academy app for iOS and Android! Get details on this kid-friendly app, including how to download and use it on the go with Time4Learning.