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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions?  We have answers!  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What’s a portfolio? What’s a progress report? What do I write in a planbook?
  2. How do I “document 180 days of instruction”?
  3. What subjects do I need to teach?
  4. Does that mean I have to teach all 5 of those subjects every day of the 180 days?
  5. When does my school year have to start, and when does it have to end?
  6. Can I homeschool on weekends? Can I take some time off in the fall for a family vacation, and if so, how do I document that?
  7. How do I pick out what is the best curriculum?
  8. Where can I find a place to have my child tested with the Iowa or Stanford test?
  9. How do I know which legal option is the best one for me? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?
  10. My mom, the children’s grandmother, wants to teach my children while I’m at work part of the day (or on certain days). Can I still homeschool this way?
  11. I don’t have a GED or high school diploma, but my husband does. Can we still homeschool, even though I’ll be the one who is doing most of the homeschooling while he’s at work?
  12. Are there certain hours of the day I have to homeschool? I work night shift and sleep until noon each day. I would like to do my homeschooling in the afternoon every day. Can I do that?
  13. Can I count part of our family vacation to state parks and science museums as school? What about our church mission trip? TeenPact? Debate?
  14. I have a 4th-grader and a 5th grader. I’d like to combine them as much as possible to make homeschooling more enjoyable and do-able. Can I do that?
  15. I’m just pulling my child out of public school and I think he is below grade level. How do I find out where he is academically in each subject so that I’ll know which level/grade books to buy?
  16. Why can’t I just borrow the textbooks from the public school where my child was going, rather than spending money to buy homeschooling textbooks?
  17. I’ve heard that some people homeschool high school. How do they do that, and where can I get some information about that?
  18. Where can I get more information on how to write my child’s high school transcript?
  19. I’ve heard about high school co-op classes. How can I get hooked up with some?
  20. How do I know which grades to issue my child? How often do I have to do a progress report?
  21. I want to homeschool my foster children along with my own biological children. Can I do that?
  22. My child has learning disabilities, but he is not doing well in public school. I’ve heard that there are some people who are homeschooling their LD children. How are they doing that? Are they certified teachers? What would you recommend for me if I decide to pull my child out of public school and start homeschooling him?
  23. What’s the easiest way to homeschool?
  24. Do colleges let in homeschoolers?
  25. What do you do about the prom? What about high school graduation?
  26. Aren’t you concerned the kids won’t know how to live in the real world? What are the statistics about homeschoolers doing well – I’ve heard they really do well but I can’t find the statistics on that anywhere.
  27. My child is an only child but I still want to homeschool. How do I find other homeschoolers so I can get him with some other kids who are doing this too?
  28. Are there any good books I can read?
  29. What is the difference between S.C.H.E.A. and S.C.A.I.H.S.?
  1. What’s a portfolio? What’s a progress report? What do I write in a planbook?

    A portfolio is just samples of your child's work from each subject.  You can include things such as worksheet, pictures of projects, descriptions of field trips, and community project participation.  

    A progress report is a records of grades. This can be as simple or as detailed as you care to make it, especially depending on the grade level. In first through third grade, grades can be Excellent, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. By the time your student is in high school, you need to be familiar with the Uniform Grading Scale, especially if you are doing your own transcript.

    A plan book shows what you are teaching your children. This can be a notebook, journal, or spiral notebook that tells what you did on each day of school in each of the required subjects. You can make your own or buy one ready made at a school supply store. It can be as simple or as complex and detailed as you want, as long as you are keeping a record of what you are teaching. It’s also a good way to document how many days you are teaching.

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 2. How do I “document 180 days of instruction”?

 You can document your school year through a simple attendance  calendar, journal, or your plan book.  You can find a simple attendance calendar online.  If you are homeschooling under Option 1 (School District), you will need to include the hours for each day.

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3. What subjects do I need to teach?

You must teach the core curriculum, which includes math, history, science, reading (in 1st-6th grade) or literature (for grades 7-12) and writing (grades 1-6) or composition (grades 7-12). You will not necessarily need to teach every subject every day, but you do need to cover them. For instance, you might teach one semester of history and another semester of science. You might do reading three days a week. Where possible, you can combine material at different grade levels. This works particularly well in subjects like history and science.

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4. Does that mean I have to teach all 5 of those subjects every day of the 180 days?

You must teach the core curriculum, which includes math, history, science, reading (in 1st-6th grade) or literature (for grades 7-12) and writing (grades 1-6) or composition (grades 7-12). You will not necessarily need to teach every subject every day, but you do need to cover them. For instance, you might teach one semester of history and another semester of science. You might do reading three days a week. Where possible, you can combine material at different grade levels. This works particularly well in subjects like history and science.

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5. When does my school year have to start, and when does it have to end?

There must be 180 days of instruction each year. If you are pulling your child during the school year, the days she has already been in school count towards those 180. You can do 180 days any way you want: four-day weeks; school six weeks, take off one; teach Aug-Nov, and take off Dec; school year round; whatever works into your schedule as long as you do at least 180 days between July 1 and June 30.

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6. Can I homeschool on weekends? Can I take some time off in the fall for a family vacation, and if so, how do I document that?

Yes, you can homeschool on the weekends and take time off for a family vacation.  

There must be 180 days of instruction each year. If you are pulling your child during the school year, the days your child has already been in school count towards those 180. You can do 180 days any way you want: four-day weeks; school six weeks, take off one; teach Aug-Nov, and take off Dec; school year round; whatever works into your schedule as long as you do at least 180 days between July 1 and June 30.

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7. How do I pick out what is the best curriculum?

Every child has a different learning style. It’s important that you get to know your child and how he learns. That’s the beauty of homeschooling-there is no one way that is right for everyone. It does help, however, to have a cohesive curriculum, especially your first couple years of homeschooling.

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8. Where can I find a place to have my child tested with the Iowa or Stanford test?

A local support group is a great resource for finding a testing location.  You can find a large list of support groups on our website.

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9. How do I know which legal option is the best one for me? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Each family will need to make the decision that suits their family best.  You can learn about the different options on our Legally Educate page.

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10. My mom, the children’s grandmother, wants to teach my children while I’m at work part of the day (or on certain days). Can I still homeschool this way?

The parent or legal guardian must be the primary instructor (you can still use tutors, co-op classes, and other helps, but at least 51% of the instruction must be under the guidance of the parent or legal guardian). 

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11. I don’t have a GED or high school diploma, but my husband does. Can we still homeschool, even though I’ll be the one who is doing most of the homeschooling while he’s at work?

The parent or legal guardian must have a minimum of a GED.

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12. Are there certain hours of the day I have to homeschool? I work night shift and sleep until noon each day. I would like to do my homeschooling in the afternoon every day. Can I do that?

Yes!  For safety reasons, it is best to homeschool during “normal” school hours; however, that is not mandatory. You do need to be aware, though, that if you are not teaching during the day, your children should not be out running around unattended in public–particularly younger children. While it is totally legal, it also raises red flags and tends to lead to complications you really don’t want. This does not mean your students cannot participate in homeschool activities, Key Club projects, apprenticeship opportunities, etc. Just use common sense during regular school hours and remember not everyone loves home schooling.  

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13. Can I count part of our family vacation to state parks and science museums as school? What about our church mission trip? TeenPact? Debate?

Yes, you can count these activities as part of your homeschool.  You can include it in your Plan Book and may choose to include information in your student's Portfolio. 

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14. I have a 4th-grader and a 5th grader. I’d like to combine them as much as possible to make homeschooling more enjoyable and do-able. Can I do that?

Yes, you can do that! You must teach the core curriculum, which includes math, history, science, reading (in 1st-6th grade) or literature (for grades 7-12) and writing (grades 1-6) or composition (grades 7-12). You will not necessarily need to teach every subject every day, but you do need to cover them. For instance, you might teach one semester of history and another semester of science. You might do reading three days a week. Where possible, you can combine material at different grade levels. This works particularly well in subjects like history and science.

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15. I’m just pulling my child out of public school and I think he is below grade level. How do I find out where he is academically in each subject so that I’ll know which level/grade books to buy?

For any new homeschool family, we suggest that you join a support group. This is not a requirement, but it is strongly recommended as you will meet other parents (and students) who have “been there, done that” and can help guide you along the way.  A local support group can also help you find testing options or give input on curriculum that you may be considering.

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16. Why can’t I just borrow the textbooks from the public school where my child was going, rather than spending money to buy homeschooling textbooks?

On rare occasions public schools will allow you to borrow the books your student has been using. Remember, however, you will not get the teacher’s book, the tests or the answer keys. Most schools will not allow you to take the books, even if you are pulling your student part way through the year. You will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of picking up a new curriculum midstream.

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17. I’ve heard that some people homeschool high school. How do they do that, and where can I get some information about that?

A local homeschool support group could be a huge help.  This is not a requirement, but it is strongly recommended as you will meet other parents (and students) who have “been there, done that” and can help guide you along the way.

You may also choose to homeschool with an Option 3 Accountability Association that will assist you or with Option2, SCAIHS, for guidance during the homeschool years.

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18. Where can I get more information on how to write my child’s high school transcript?

You can get information about writing your child's transcript through a local Support Group, Accountability Association (for Option 3 families), or SCAIHS (for Option 2 families).

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19. I’ve heard about high school co-op classes. How can I get hooked up with some?

Check our Co-ops/Academies page for information.  You can also check with your local Support Group, Accountability Association (for option 3 families), or SCAIHS (for option 2 families)

 

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20. How do I know which grades to issue my child? How often do I have to do a progress report?

You will need to issue a progress report (or report card) on a semiannual basis to document the student's progress in each required subject.  In first through third grade, grades can be Excellent, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. By the time your student is in high school, you need to be familiar with the Uniform Grading Scale, especially if you are doing your own transcript.

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21. I want to homeschool my foster children along with my own biological children. Can I do that?

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.

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22. My child has learning disabilities, but he is not doing well in public school. I’ve heard that there are some people who are homeschooling their LD children. How are they doing that? Are they certified teachers? What would you recommend for me if I decide to pull my child out of public school and start homeschooling him?

Check out the Special Needs resources page for help.  You may find help within your local Support Group from parents who have homeschooled their own children with learning disabilities.

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23. What’s the easiest way to homeschool?

Choose your first day of school, make sure your plan book is ready, have your books in hand, and begin your journey of homeschooling. Understand there will be lots of bumps, curves and side excursions. But hang in there, and one day you will finish the first year of homeschooling…and the second…and the third. Eventually, you will begin to find some answers and will be able to help other people along the way. If you still have questions, give us a call at (803) 772-2330 or send us an email.

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24. Do colleges let in homeschoolers?

Yes, they do!  Check out the College Prep page for information on preparing your homeschooled child for college and the Colleges and Universities page for information that various colleges and universities have sent to us.

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25. What do you do about the prom? What about high school graduation?

Homeschool students don't have to miss out on these!  

Check with your local Support Group, Accountability Association, or Co-ops/Academies for information about a local Homeschool Prom.  

Many families choose to hold a private graduation for their high school graduate, but some choose to participate through a ceremony offered through their Accountability Association or SCAIHS.

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26. Aren’t you concerned the kids won’t know how to live in the real world? What are the statistics about homeschoolers doing well – I’ve heard they really do well but I can’t find the statistics on that anywhere.

Many homeschool parents find that their children actually learn early to talk to people of all ages, just like in the real world, because they interact with others in the "real world" on a regular basis.

If you are interested in statistics, you can find the info on this Research page.

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27. My child is an only child but I still want to homeschool. How do I find other homeschoolers so I can get him with some other kids who are doing this too?

Joining a local Support Group would be a great way to learn about classes and field trips that would allow your child to meet other children.  

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28. Are there any good books I can read?

Here is a great list of books: Homeschool Books

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29. What is the difference between S.C.H.E.A. and S.C.A.I.H.S.?

SCHEA is the South Carolina Home Education Association.  Our association offers information, resources, and statewide events to homeschooler in South Carolina.  SCHEA also monitors legislation to help keep homeschooling legal in SC.  While your SCHEA membership does not satisify the legal requirements of Options 1, 2, or 3, your membership helps provide resources and preserve homeschool freedom for SC homeschoolers.

SCAIHS is the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools.  SCAIHS is also referred to as "Option 2" and is a legal association that a homeschool family could choose to homeschool under.  

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