I have a preschooler... Can I homeschool?
- According to SC Law (Section 59-65-10) pertaining to children required to attend school... Children must attend school if they are five years of age by September first-- SO, if your child is not yet five years old or their fifth birthday occurs after September first they are a "preschooler" and not yet required to go to school
- PACESC does not register children under school age.
- You may choose to teach your preschool aged child using whatever methods, materials, and schedule you feel appropriate. However, you are not required to register your child or keep the required homeschool records.
- Yes, you can do Kindergarten material if your child is ready. It is then ok to start your child in first grade material when they are ready. Many parents choose a relaxed preschool/kindergarten curriculum and then do a more intense program for kindergarten when the child's school attendance is required.
Does my Kindergarten student even have to be registered and attending school? What is a "waiver"?
- ATTENDANCE LAW: According to SC Law (Section 59-65-10) pertaining to children required to attend school... Children must attend school if they are five years of age by September first-- SO, if your child is five years old by September first, they are required to attend school.
- The child must by in public school, private school, or a registerd homeschooler.
- THE WAIVER: According to SC Law Section 59-65-10... "A parent or guardian whose child or ward is not six years of age on or before the first day of September of a particular school year may elect not to attend kindergarten." In this situation, "the parent or guardian shall sign a written document making the election with the governing body of the school district in which the parent or guardian resides." The waiver must be signed at the local school or with the local school district NOT with the homeschool association.
What about teaching my Kindergarten student?
- HOMESCHOOLING THE K-5 STUDENT: You may register and homeschool your kindergarten student. In this case DO NOT sign a waiver. Your child will be a registered homeschool student and you, the parent/guardian will be required to abide by homeschool law as with any older child.
- SUBJECT REQUIREMENTS: For Kindergarten -- Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, and Writing
- CURRICULUM? You can choose to cover these subjects using any of many resources available including full curriculum companies, internet resources, workbooks from local education outlets, and even your local library.
- RECORDS? You are also 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.
Subject requirements for 1st grade through 6th grade: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, and Writing
My child is a Middle Schooler...
- Middle school grades 7th and 8th... Some homeschoolers combine these 2 years and make sure that Math skills are very solid; that Grammar and Spelling skills are clean and strong; that the student can write well enough including essays to ready for high school; and that the student is a confident reader. Social Studies is often State History, Geography (to include cultures and religion), a solid systematic study of Ancient history, or Biblical based history studies. This can take 1 or 2 years.
- Some homeschoolers work on improving basic skills in weak areas and allow the child who is ready to begin earning high school credit. Credits are generally accepted from the middle school student if at least 2 credits are taken in the core curriculum areas including foreign language. PE, 8th grade physical science, and pre-algebra do not count as high school credit work.
I have a High Schooler....
How do I know what level my child is at?
There are many diagnostic tests available to determine what level of studies your child should be attempting. Is important that your child be placed on a level that is not too easy (under their performance level) or too hard (far above their performance level). Diagnostic testing will help place your child at their appropriate performance level. That being the level at which your child can perform comfortably so that subsequent concepts can be built upon the solid foundation of skills your child has attained.
Many curriculum publishers offer tests to place your child properly in their materials. Some of these include Saxon for math, Alpha Omega for Lifepac and Switched on Schoolhouse, and ACE- Accelerated Christian Education. You can use these tests to find the approximate grade level and diagnose your student's areas of weakness and strength. Brigance tests are another source for determining academic performance level. Giving these test at the beginning can help you place your student, and readministering them at the end of the school year will help you see if the required concepts have been mastered.
Some homeschoolers will place their child at their chronological grade level and take extra time to reteach concepts and address problems as they arrise. This is a very common approach.
My child is really behind in school.
In this instance, homeschooling is a blessing. You can take the time to reteach material a student has fallen behind in. Perhaps they have a different style of learning than could be served in the classroom. Perhaps they were distracted or embarrassed in a classroom setting. For whatever reason they fell behind, you may now take the time necessary to reteach, fill in gaps, and strengthen weakness to give your child the skills and confidence to succeed from here on out.
Can my child skip a grade?
In many instances children can learn more material in a shorter period of time when homeschooling. This appears to be due to the fact that they are receiving one-on-one instruction with materials that are conducive to their learning style in a nurturing supportive environment. It is no wonder that many homeschooled children spend less hours a day on structured lessons and graduate earlier and/or begin taking college courses at younger ages than their public schooled counter parts.
- ATTENDANCE: A child must attend until he "attains his seventeenth birthday or graduates from high school" according to SC Law Section 59-65-10.
- Subject Requirements: For 7th - 12th Grade-- Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Literature, and Composition
- GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: As a homeschooler, you do not have to choose to follow the SC Public School diploma requirements... you must teach the required subjects (see above) each year you homeschool. To these core requirements, you may add any extras you choose. It is highly recommended that you consult any colleges your child may choose to attend to formulate your high school plan.
- Your child can attend college and can be eligible for scholarships as a homeschooler.
- Dual credit at your local community college (and increasingly online colleges) are very real options for high schooled homeschoolers.
- Many life experiences and extra curricular activities can translate into credit work.
- MILITARY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: see www.hslda.org (search "military" or go to http://www.hslda.org/highschool/military.asp )for up to date articles and information. Military service after high school is a very real option for homeschoolers.
*** 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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