Over the past few months I have been researching homeschooling options to get ready for my son’s first day of school next year. After extensive research, I figured I would share! If you haven’t checked out my very first post about deciding to homeschool that is here. Throughout this post I will be going over the main choices a parent has when deciding to homeschool.
The first decision a parent must make when deciding to homeschool in South Carolina is picking 1 of 3 options:
- Homeschool under the homeschool statute.
- Homeschooling with the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS).
- Choose a homeschool association (also known as a “third option group”) to homeschool with.
The first option requires communicating with the local school district board of trustees for approval. A school year must have 4-5 hours a day for 180 days. The homeschool statute requires semiannual progress reports, submitted to the local school district, and testing annually with a certified school district employee. Maintaining records and ensuring the child has access to library facilities is also required.
The second option is homeschooling with the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. The SCAIHS requires annual testing with a test administrator and test site. There are membership benefits with the SCAIHS, but the membership fees are a bit expensive. Here is a little more about their membership offerings. If this option is appealing I would consider option 3. Although homeschool associations have membership fees, most of them are under $100 for a school year and they also offer perks.
Finally, option 3 is likely the one I will go with. This option allows a parent to choose a homeschool association that matches their teaching style. The homeschool association must have at least 50 members and comply with state law. The parent must teach for 180 days per school year, but most associations don’t specify a certain number of hours. A parent must also include specific subjects in their curriculum. Record keeping is extremely important in all of the homeschool options.
Why option 3?
My reasoning for learning towards this option would be for the testing requirements. Testing a child annually with a school district employee shouldn’t be required. Why isn’t the parent able to administer the test and determine where the child is at in their education? Parents deserve the opportunity to learn from tests and see what subjects need improvement.
Who says that we can’t better ourselves as a child’s educator? In some countries students will stay with the same teacher for years throughout their education. However, in the United States, we don’t have that choice.
Every school year children shuffle from one teacher to the next. Is it possible for teachers to have the time to get to really “know” our kids? To know what teaching style is best for each of them? What really inspires them in their school work? These are important questions to ask. When teachers spend years with the same students they learn each students unique style of learning and what motivates them. We have that unique opportunity, as parents, to learn from our experience of homeschooling and to provide a nurturing learning environment.
Above all, it is incredibly important to note, parents know what is best for their children and their families. Homeschooling for one family may not be a feasible option and that is perfectly fine. Every child and family deserves the option to consider what is best for them. As always, if you have any additional questions contact me!