North Carolina Homeschooling Laws
The law in North Carolina describes a homeschool to be a non-public school providing education to children from 1 or 2 families. The parents/guardians of the children choose the curriculum as well as the instructional materials to be used in giving the instruction. The parents or guardians provide the instruction to the children.
Families can choose either of the following options of operating a homeschool: a non-public school that is qualified or a religious private school also known as a school of religious charter. Regardless of the option one chooses, the requirements remain to be:
- File a notification of intention to homeschool
- Give instruction for the required days
- Have qualified teachers in your homeschool to give instruction
- Maintain records of the child’s attendance and immunization
- Give standardized tests every year
- Close the homeschool
This page provides information on homeschooling in North Carolina including:
- Registering a Homeschool in North Carolina
- Filing a notice of intention to homeschool
- Recordkeeping for homeschoolers in North Carolina
- Requirements for Graduation in North Carolina
- Switching from Homeschool to Public school
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Registering a Homeschool in North Carolina
The most important considerations while starting a homeschool include:
- File a one-time notice of your intention to homeschool with the division of Non – Public Education in North Carolina. This should be done when starting the homeschool program and submitted via the Division of Non-Public Education website. The notice should include the name of the homeschool as well as the physical address, the chief administrator and the name of the owner of the homeschool.
- Maintain the student’s records on attendance and immunization which can be obtained from the health care provider of the child. The form on homeschool attendance can be downloaded from the website on DNPE; it is voluntary to use this particular form. Students who wish to be exempted from immunization due to religious or medical reasons can access the details on the procedure to be followed on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.
- Having a qualified teacher to give instruction to the students. The teacher must have a high school diploma or an equivalent.
- Provide instruction for the required days. This should include a regular schedule for not less than 9 months every year with an exemption to holidays and vacations deemed reasonable.
- Give a standardized test every year which evaluates the student’s progress in grammar, spelling, reading, English and mathematics. The scores of the test should be maintained and made available to the principal’s office for inspection by a North Carolina appointed representative during all reasonable hours.
The state representative is only allowed to evaluate test scores, nothing further. Parents are not forced by any law to attend the review meetings the state may request by the Division of Non-Public Education.Closing the homeschool can be as a result of family relocationto another state or a decision to end the homeschool program. Regardless of the reason, the parent must submit a notice to the Division of Non-Public Education informing them that the homeschool has closed. This can be done online via the DNPE’s website.
Closing the homeschool can be as a result of family relocationto another state or a decision to end the homeschool program. Regardless of the reason, the parent must submit a notice to the Division of Non-Public Education informing them that the homeschool has closed. This can be done online via the DNPE’s website.
The North Carolina portal on homeschool information provides more details on the regulations and the forms necessary to observe compliance with the rules.
Notice of Intent to Homeschool in North Carolina
Homeschooling is governed by the department of non-public education of North Carolina. Children between the ages of 7 and 16 should attend school, and for families who choose to homeschool their children must submit a notice of intention to homeschool. The notice should indicate the name and address of the homeschool, the administrator’s name and whether the parent is qualified to give instruction, that is, has a high school diploma or an equivalent of a diploma.
Filing a notice is a one-time activity and can be submitted at any time during the school year. In case of any changes as to the location of the homeschool as well as closure of the homeschool, the DNPE requires parents to update such information in the records.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in North Carolina
Records shall only be made available to the DNPE upon request. Parents are advised to maintain a professional, detailed and accurate homeschool portfolio for every student in the homeschool. Some of the things parents may consider including in the homeschool portfolio are:
- The subjects taught every academic year
- Scores of the Annual standardized tests
- Assessments or report cards administered by parents or given online
- For every student between 9th grade and 12th grade, a high school transcript
Such records are useful especially in enrolling back to public schools for they assist to determine the appropriate grade for the student.Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Requirements for Graduation in North Carolina
Homeschool parents in North Carolina are free to set the graduation requirements for their student. Parents also determine if and when their student will graduate and are also able to award a high school diploma under their own terms. Parents are advised to consult with colleges the student may be interested in to know the requirements the child must meet so as to align the homeschool goals and curriculum with those requirements.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in North Carolina.
Diploma requirements in North Carolina
22 complete credits are required to receive a diploma in North Carolina.
Parents in North Carolina have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in North Carolina||Students are not forced to take any test to graduate.||
There is no law in North Carolina that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school. Students may choose to undertake the EOC evaluations with the approval of the school district.
North Carolina high school transcripts
The transcripts include information such as: name of the student, information on attendance, scores of the standardized tests taken, credit totals and a history of the credits completed by course including the subjects taught, grades awarded every semester and the final grade for every subject.
Parents in North Carolina can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in North Carolina
High school students who wish to graduate must have 4 credits in math, social studies and sequential English, 3 credits in science including biology, physical science and an environmental/earth science course, 1 credit in physical education/ health and 6 electives.
Many parents in North Carolina choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in North Carolina
There are two options that equate a high school diploma: HiSET and GED which are offered via the community college system Basic Skills Plus programin North Carolina.
Homeschoolers are subjected to the same requirements as students from public school
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in North Carolina
Families in North Carolina who wish to transfer their children to a public school after a period of homeschooling should follow these two steps:
- Submit a notice to stop homeschooling and close the homeschool to the Division of Non – Public Education of North Carolina. The law allows one who wishes to re-open a homeschool to do so.
- Enquire from the principal of the school you wish to enroll your child on the process of enrollment.
Different schools have different enrollment procedures for homeschooled students. Some schools may allow the parent to decide what grade the student should be placed while others may request homeschooling academic records, information on the curriculum used and the student’s progress for review. Other schools may require the student to take a placement test
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in North Carolina
Have other questions about homeschooling in North Carolina? You may find the following pages helpful.