Records and Requirements:
What subjects are required?
- For Kindergarten through 6th Grade: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, and Writing
- For 7th - 12th Grade: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Literature, and Composition
What records am I required to keep?
You are required by law to maintain certain records. You must be documenting in a plan book, diary, or other record keeper the attendance of 180 days and what activities or assignments the student accomplished on those days. You must be keeping samples of the student's academic work. You must complete and keep a semiannual progress report indicating the student's academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas required by law.
How should I accomplish this?
There are many formats and methods for record-keeping and parents may choose the methods that suit their particular teaching styles.
- There are lesson plan/ grade books that you can purchase
- systems and forms online,
- and record keeping services available through PACESC.
Some may want to write out daily lesson plans a week or two in advance, while others may want to log in activities after they’re finished. Activities may be logged in daily or weekly.
How do I do a "semi-annual progress report"?
Some format suggestions are
- using the public school report card model many of us are familiar with;
- using a skills checklist to track goals and accomplishments or benchmarks;
- using an inventory of basic skills test like the Brigance Test;
- administering diagnostic tests that are provided by some of the curriculum publishers such as Alpha Omega and Saxon (use the test at in the Spring and again at the end of the year to document progress and assess weaknesses;
- journal in parograph-style how your student is doing in each area stating his strengths, weaknesses, goals met, and needs for improvements;
- use the familiar "U", "N", "S" scale, "ABC" scale, or Numerical Scale.
What about testing?
SC Code of Law 59-65-47 "Option 3" does not require standardized testing (unlike Option 1 and Option 2). Therefore, standardized testing will not be required by PACESC. We believe that in accordance with our philosophy, parents must have the freedom to evaluate their children's progress as they feel necessary and most beneficial.
That being said, the law does require semi-annual, individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas. This could be a curriculum-based test, checklists of objectives, teacher-made tests, an inventory of basic skills, a standardized test, or other creative means of assessment.
Some parents want their children to take standardized tests. Check out the list of testing resources available on the Standardized Testing page.
What constitutes a "school day"?
The wonderful flexibility and parental control aspects of Homeschooling is what makes 3rd Option so appealing! While 1st and 2nd option dictate your time requirements, 3rd option law (AND therefore PACESC) DOES NOT!!!! There are no hourly requirements or restriction on days that can be utilized.
- The Schedule/ Calendar: You, the parent decides your schedule due to your family circumstances, and your child's needs and abilities. In my many years of homeschooling we have followed many schedules. We have gone by the public school schedule, a 6 week on/ 1 week off schedule, a four day school week, schooled on weekends, days that were too hot to do anything else, taken Summer off (once or twice), and schooled through summer and took more time off in the fall and spring...
- Hours-A-Day: Many homeschoolers use about 4 1/2 hours as a good guide mainly because this is what the other options require so that somehow seems legitimate. That is really based on the fact that if you take away the bus ride, waiting for opening bell, changing of periods, lunch, wasted time in class... you get the idea. 3rd Option does not have a specific hourly requirement. On some days you may school all day (4-8 hours) to finish what you set out. Some days you may get done in 2 hours. Some days you may spend most of your time in a Dr's office or the car. We call that "CarSchooling" :-) .
- Daily Subjects: You MUST teach the core subjects as required by law during the 180 day period. But do not feel that you must cover every subject every day. Some days your child will find a bug and next thing you know you spend an entire day observing it, discussing it, reading about it, building it a habitat, finding it food, counting its legs, naming it. And you have not even gotten to math, science, social studies, reading and writing. OR DID YOU? Of course you did! And your child learned, and you grew together, and they enjoyed learning. A very successful day!
- Block Scheduling: Building on the concepts of NOT every subject everyday... which is overwhelming for many students, not to mention MOM... It is perfectly ok to utilize a "block" scheduling system. Let's say we are weak in Math, so we do shorter period of math but everyday...We are used to the concept of doing English on Tuesday and Thursday/ Vocabulary on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday... How about finishing History in 1/2 year, then doing Science the other 1/2... How about doing Science and History and even Literature on monthly or weekly rotations? The point is "Enjoy yourself and this time with your child and teach them the JOY of LEARNING".
What about "sick days"?
Remembering that you MUST MEET THE 180-day requirement under the law... that's 180 days in a 365-day period. Not 170 days... if your child is ill and does NO school work that day, you cannot count the day toward school days. If your child is ill and does ANY educational activity, record the activity in your record plan and count the attendence day.
HINT: It is always good to keep a reference list of "SICK DAY" and "BUSY DAY" activities handy to refer to. List games, educational movies, acceptable TV programing, have recorded programs from channels such as ETV, History Channel, Animal Planet, just for these days, books to read, crafts to do, ....
Can I count "field trips"?
Absolutely! Take advantage of museums, parks, zoos, gardens, movies, plays, community health fairs, community events, family vacations, historic landmarks. Gather with other homeschoolers for organized trips to bee farms, you-pick farms and groves, the local pizza restaurant, the fire station, etc...
*** Nothing we say or post is intended to be legal advice, and is distributed for information purpose only. It is not intended to be and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. For more information about the laws and regulations in SC, please contact your own attorney.***
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