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LET’S GET LEGAL: UNDERSTANDING SOUTH CAROLINA HOMESCHOOL LAW

Updated: Dec 6, 2023



The thought of homeschooling can leave many of us feeling overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel before we even start. Finding information on how to get started and the current state regulation—yes, this varies according to state, is a difficult task for some newly homeschooling families.

Some may turn to their local school system to gain information, which in some cases, has been proven to be counterproductive—leaving parents misinformed and discouraged.


Even though homeschooling is growing in popularity, there are still those that are against it leaving families isolated in their pursuit of important information. This rings true especially for black and brown families choosing to homeschool.


With that in mind, let’s take a look at what regulation looks like for South Carolina homeschoolers and how easy it really is to take the first PRACTICAL steps towards your family’s homeschool journey.


There is emphasis on practicality because there is much to explore mentally and emotionally in preparation for homeschooling, however, we’ll save that for a later date!


Without further delay, let’s explore the homeschool options and regulation in South Carolina.


South Carolina offers parents and guardians three options to homeschool and has a school age requirement of age five. This means that children are required to attend school, whether it be at a school or a homeschool, in the school year that the child is five years old before September 1st. Once school age is reached, parents choosing to homeschool must choose from one of the following options.





OPTION 1:


Option 1 allows parents to homeschool under the umbrella of a school district upon the approval by a board of trustees.


Parents must have:


-a high school diploma or GED—and in some cases, pass basic assessment testing depending on the year their GED was obtained


-OR hold a bachelor’s degree


Parents or guardians are expected to:


-submit evidence of maintaining consistent instruction to the school district if requested and maintain attendance and academic record keeping


-provide four and half hours of school a day for a total of 180 instructional school days


-provide instruction in a particular set of subjects (included but not limited to reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies—and in 7th-12th grade, composition and literature)


- obtain approved annual student testing


OPTION 2:


Option 2 homeschooling allows parents and guardians the choice to homeschool their children under the guidance of the South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools (SCAIH).


With association membership, parents are required:


-to have a high school diploma or GED


-adhere to the guidelines and processes set by the South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools


The South Carolina Department of Education reviews the SCAIH annually to ensure that, at minimum, curriculum requirements are met and at least 180 days of school are completed.

You can find out more about the SCAIH membership fees and process by visiting:


OPTION 3:


Option 3 provides the most flexibility to parents and guardians when it comes to homeschooling.


Under option 3, parents are required:


-to choose an option 3 association that has at least 50 members and meets the South Carolina Department of Education’s option 3 association requirements


-to have a high school diploma or GED


-provide instruction in a particular set of subjects (included but not limited to reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies—and in 7th-12th grade, composition and literature)


-maintain academic records including work samples and student attendance


-to complete 180 instructional school days

There are currently over 40 option 3 associations to choose from in the state of South Carolina. You can find a list with contact information here:



This is a very basic overview of what is required for homeschooling families in South Carolina. For a more detailed description of each option, visit:






After reviewing each option, which one is the most appealing to you and why?

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