Special Needs and Special Circumstances:

Is it legal to homeschool a child with special needs?  Are the laws the same?

Yes, it is legal to homeschool a special needs child or a child who has been in special education classes.  Sometime school officials may intimidate parents making them feel as if you have less of a right (or no right at all) to homeschool a learning disabled or special needs child.  Parents have even been told they could be considered to be educationally or medically neglegent.  DO NOT be imtimidated... You have the same rights to homeschool your disabled child under protection of the homeschool laws of SC as do parnets of non-disabled children.

The homeschool law for 3rd option states you must teach math, science, social studies, reading, and writing (and in 7th - 12th grade add composition and literature).  It does not dictate on what level and by what method your child has to be insturcted.

Homeschooling is ABSOLUTELY the most Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) that a child can receive.  You as the parent-teacher are constantly evaluating your child's progress, assessing their needs, and accomadating their learning requirements to produce the best opportunity for success your child can achieve.

Can a special needs child still receive assistance and resources from the district if we homeschool?

IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disibilities Education Act) is a federal law that requires each state to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to all elegible children with disabilities residing in that state.

According to the office of the General Counsel of the Department of Education, the state treats students with disabilities in home schools in the same manner as parentally placed students with disabilities in private schools.

The testing and services are provided by the State Department of Education through the local school district.

Testing and services can not be forced upon a parent nor can they be given without the parents consent. (See

For more information about IDEA, see the following resources:

I suspect my child has a disability.  Where can I get information and help?

 My child has been expelled.  Can we still homeschool and get credit for it?  OR  My child is up for expulsion, but has not yet been expelled.

First, about an expelled child... Know that SC Code of Law Section 59-65-80 deals with expelled students and states:

SECTION 59-65-80. Enrollment or attendance of expelled or suspended child not authorized.

Nothing herein shall be construed as granting authority to require enrollment or attendance of a child who has been or may be expelled or suspended by the board of trustees of the district or any other person acting with authority from the board of trustees. 

An expelled child is not required to attend school under the compulsory education law (exception would be where the child is transferred to the "Alternative School" in the district). They cannot transfer into another school in the district or another district within the state. It is up to the individual private school if they will be accepted for the remainder of the school year and under what circumstances.  **PACESC accepts children who have been expelled (as long as the SC requirements have been met for homeschooling- parent/legal guardian having a minimum of a GED).

Second, about receiving credit and or gaining grade placement upon returning to the public or private school...

It is very important for you to understand that the public or private school that the student was expelled from is not required to accept any work completed or high school credits earned while a child was expelled. Most public schools will not honor any grade level completed or high school credits earned. Private schools may or may not. The parent and student need to consult with the principal or administrator and find out what the school's policy is. If they say they will accept you child's home school program, and honor the grade placement and/or the credits that they earn, make sure to get all in writing (include their policies and stipulations). Make sure you find out what curriculum they consider acceptable and if your child will have to take a test of their choosing to get credit.

The education of our children are always the goal.  A child should not be rewarded with "no school" for being expelled.  Instead, a child should be made continue to work toward their educaiton.  Perhaps the homeschooling experience will help them to get back onto the right track.  Take time to find out what level they are on and what may have caused their downfall to begin with.  Sometimes it is not being challenged enough (boredom), or being embarassed and ashamed of being behind, maybe it is feeling threatened or bullied.  Certainly continueing with a child's education teaches them a great life lesson, can improve a child's chances for later success, andwill certainly help others to see that the student is trying to change and aiming for success.

PACESC's policy is that if a child continues to homeschool for a longer period than just the year in question, a child can retain the grade level placement and credits earned while enrolled in our association.

 Thirdly, about a child who is "up for" expulsion but has not been officially expelled...

PACESC has had situations where a parent has wanted to RUSH to get registered and withdraw their child from a school district because an expulsion hearing was pending and they did not want that to be on their child's record or have an expulsion keep their child from earning credits.

Be aware that even if you withdraw your child to homeschool before the hearing takes place, there have been instances where the school board has still moved forward on the matter and officially expelled the child under their policies.  In these cases, the child was still expelled by the district and had all the hurdles as dealt with above.

My child is under a court order to attend school (due to legal, behavioral, or truancy issues, etc.).  Can I legally withdraw my child and homeschool?

If your child is already under a court order to attend school, HSLDA has advised us that you must get court approval before homeschooling.  DO NOT JUST WITHDRAW YOUR CHILD FROM SCHOOL... Do not join an association and homeschool your child without consulting your attorney.

That being said, IF it is approved by the court that homeschooling is an option in your child's case... you may be directed by the court what legal option/ homeschooling law is approved and what course of study or form of oversight will be required.

**PACESC will not be held legally liable if you enroll in our association to homeschool and have not informed us that your child has been expelled or is already under court order to attend school.**

Can I homeschool my adopted child?

You are the legal guardian and parent of an adopted child.  Check with your adoption agency if the process is not complete.

Can I homeschool my foster child?

There is a provision in the SC Code of Law Section 59-65-46 which deals with Home schooling a foster child.   It states 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.

*** 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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