North Carolina Homeschool Laws
North Carolina homeschool laws fairly straightforward and you even get to name your homeschool! You also want to may sure you keep all records because there are no set curriculums or specific criteria to follow, but there is always support groups and recommendations from the division of nonpublic education (the group that you submit your letter of intent to homeschool).
Your child may be asked to pass a standardized test once a year to make sure they are up to snuff. North Carolina homeschool laws are similar to Maryland homeschool laws whereas you have to formally withdrawal your child from the public school system. School starts at age 7 and high school ends at approximately age 16.
Please see our how to homeschool guide for more general information.
North Carolina Homeschool Laws – How To Start
Formal withdrawal letter & choosing a homeschool name
If you want to homeschool your children the state of North Carolina you must do so by writing a formal letter or notice of withdrawal to the NC division of nonpublic education. You want to make sure you send this letter certified mail so that your child won’t be marked absent at the beginning of the public school year. You must do so on an annual basis and this division also inspects attendance records and oversees any national standardized testing.
- Do not send these notices in May or June.
Also, if you move to another state or your child wants to attend public school again, you must write another letter to inform the division of nonpublic education.
Choose a school name for your homeschool. That’s right, you get to select a name and this name will be later used when you create a diploma and on the transcript for your child as well. So, make sure it is simply because you cannot change it once you have submitted this to the NC nonpublic education division.
Letter and school name info:
- Make sure you have your school name on your “notice of intent” letter; otherwise, the division will assign one to you. It should have the chief administrator and school name at the top.
- School name chosen must not be more than 30 characters in length.
- Don’t use an “A” or “The” at the beginning of your school name and don’t use your curriculum name as part of your school name.
- Do not use the following words in your school name: Charter, college, elementary, grade, grammar, high, incorporated (or Inc.), junior, kindergarten, lower, middle, primary, public, residence, schooling, secondary, seminary, senior, the university or upper.
- Let them know if you are operating under a religious or non-religious homeschool – Article 39.
Compliance With North Carolina Homeschooling Laws
A North Carolina homeschool is considered a nonpublic school that consists of children of not more than two families or households. It is when a parent or legal guardian or members of either household determine the academic instruction. In the state, you are allowed to operate an actual homeschool at your home or a private religious school or religious charter school or program.
Two Options for NC homeschooling:
- Homeschool at home by yourself or by another parent, you could jointly do homeschooling with another mom or dad in your area
- Religious charter school or program or a private religious school
Checklist for homeschool parents in North Carolina:
* Submit a notice of intent to the division of nonpublic school education. Make sure your note includes your name, address, child’s name, and a statement of intent to operate a homeschool. Do not start your homeschool, unless you have an acknowledgment from the nonpublic school division.
* You or the homeschooling instructor/parent must have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent diploma
* Provide all the required days of instruction, your homeschool has to operate on a regular schedule that is at least nine calendar months of the year, except for reasonable holidays and vacation time
* Keep attendance and immunization records
Standardized testing annually, and record keeping
The state also requires at least one time during each school year your child has to take national standardized tests. The test you will choose has to show achievement in areas such as English spelling, grammar, reading and math. Always keep copies of your child’s test scores because they are inspected by the state of North Carolina. Also, the state can try to go to homes to check up on you, the state officials have absolutely no right to do so and there is no requirement that parents go to record review meetings.
Regardless of a law in place or not, always keep records. Record-keeping is not only important for attendance, as well as grades or handwritten school work or tests from your child, and your curriculum. It is also important for later on in life because your child may get more questions surrounding his or her homeschooling credentials.
When your child applies to college, or wants to enlist in the military, or for things such as Social Security benefits, or any other instance arises they may need some proof. Also always keep a copy of any correspondence between you and the public school system regarding your homeschooling.
North Carolina Homeschool Curriculums you can follow
In this state, there is no set curriculum, however, as a guide, this site provides subject matters and a grade breakdown and other important information.
Attendance: Your homeschool must operate on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months each year, for at least 5 hours a day, with the except for reasonable holidays or vacation time.
North Carolina Homeschool Vaccine Laws
North Carolina Homeschool vaccine laws state that your homeschool child must be vaccinated. However, proof of immunization files, while required to be kept on file, aren’t required to be submitted to the state. The state can visit the homeschool to verify the documents exist, but popular opinion believes that the state simply doesn’t have the manpower for such an endeavor.
NC Dept. of Health & Human Services (919-707-5550)
North Carolina homeschool laws make it relatively easy for a parent to choose a homeschool option over a public school option.
If you want to homeschool your child in North Carolina you should of course follow all NC homeschooling laws and regulations so your child is getting credit for work they do. Letters of intent to homeschool, vaccines, and yearly standardized testing occur for all homeschooled children. Remember if you are going to do this, you need to have a GED or High school diploma, yourself. Any other inquires or issues can be directed at the state level division of nonpublic education. Unlike most states, NC has a division that addresses homeschooling, not the public education division at a county level.
Official North Carolina Homeschool Laws website.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.