South Carolina Homeschool Laws
What are the requirements for homeschooling in the Palmetto State? South Carolina offers three legal options for homeschooling in the state. Despite the option you choose, though, families are required to fulfill the following requirements:
- Parents or guardians must handle the majority of the guidance for the curriculum instruction
- Parents or guardians must have a minimum of a GED as educational credentials
- Core curriculum should include math, science, history and reading (in 1st-6th grade) or literature (for grades 7-12) and writing (grades 1-6) or composition (grades 7-12)
- Homeschool instruction should occur at least 180 days of the year
We want you to feel confident in your decision to take your child’s education into your own hands. Below, you will find information that will guide you in your journey to begin homeschooling your children in South Carolina:
- South Carolina Homeschool Requirements
- Option 1: Homeschooling through the School District
- Option 2: Homeschooling through the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS)
- Option 3: Homeschooling through a South Carolina Accountability Association
- Homeschool Graduation Requirements in South Carolina
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in South Carolina
*This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
South Carolina Homeschool Requirements
South Carolina families have three distinct legal options for homeschooling in the state. Compulsory school ages for children in the state is from five until the 17th birthday. Homeschooling is an acceptable way to fulfill compulsory requirements as long as families homeschool under one of the following three methods:
- Option 1: Homeschooling through the school district
- Option 2: Homeschooling through the SCAIHS
- Option 3: Homeschooling through a SC Accountability Association
Each of these options is explained in more detail below.
More information relating to the home education rules for South Carolina can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Full Details of South Carolina’s Homeschool Laws
Option 1: Homeschooling through the School District
Families choosing to homeschool through option one agree to have their local school district approve their choice of curriculum as well as their methods of evaluation. Other requirements relating to this option include:
- Eligible first graders must take a test to determine their readiness for first grade instruction
- Yearly standardized testing is required of all students, and failure to meet minimum standards can result in additional instructional requirements
- Homeschool record keeping must include a portfolio of subjects and activities covered throughout the year, samples of academic work, and a record of evaluations of the student’s progress
Option 2: Homeschooling through the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS)
The second legal option for home instruction is conducted under the auspices of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. SCAIHS is a faith-based organization that oversees accountability of and keeps records for all homeschoolers who enroll with it. Membership costs for this option can range from $350-$450 per child, plus additional application and other fees.
SCAIHS requires annual testing for children in grades 3-11 and also expects parents to keep attendance records and progress reports for each student. In return, membership in the organization provides families with permanent records for each student, including transcripts for high schoolers and a diploma upon graduation. Services for students with special needs are available as well.
Option 3: Homeschooling through a South Carolina Accountability Association
The third option for legally homeschooling in South Carolina is by far the most popular. Although it still requires families to follow the four main homeschool regulations and to keep adequate records, the curriculum choice and style of instruction are completely up to the parents. There are no testing requirements with this option, either. For additional information on this choice, visit our Homeschool Accountability Groups in South Carolina page.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in South Carolina
Homeschool graduation in South Carolina varies significantly depending on the option you are homeschooling under.
- Option 1 – While the local school district regulates approval of curriculum and testing in this option, they do not provide a diploma nor do they determine when your student has met the criteria for graduation. Parents are responsible for deciding when their student has achieved the requirements for graduation and are also responsible for creating their homeschooler’s diploma and high school transcript.
- Option 2 – SCAIHS offers specific “tracks” that high schoolers can follow toward graduation, depending on what their post-secondary educational goals are. Several different college preparatory and career/technical tracks are available which supply graduates with an official SCAIHS diploma upon completion.
- Option 3 – High schoolers who homeschool under Option 3 can graduate whenever their parents determine that they have met the minimum requirements. Parents are responsible for creating their student’s diploma and transcript. Although many families follow the South Carolina diploma requirements, others may base their criteria for graduation on their child’s chosen path after high school, such as following the recommended courses for a specific college the student plans to apply to.
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
Although homeschooling is a wonderful option for families, there are many reasons why students may need to return to school at some point after a period of homeschooling. Sometimes, a change in family situation or finances disrupts your home education plans. Other times, parents or students simply discover that homeschooling isn’t a good fit for them. Occasionally, families make the decision to return to school for a specific purpose such as participating in high school team sports or because a specific college they want to attend requires an accredited diploma.
If you are wondering how to transfer from homeschool public school, South Carolina has no specific legal requirements about it. Each school district, however, will have different ways of assessing your child for grade and subject placement. You will want to touch base with your local school district to find out how they validate the instruction you’ve completed while homeschooling. This local district validation will also include how they handle the transferring of any high school credits completed while homeschooling.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in South Carolina
Have other questions about homeschooling in South Carolina? You may find the following pages helpful.