A Guide to Homeschooling in North Carolina

North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) believes that homeschooling is a great way to educate children, especially young children, and to nurture future generations. Even though North Carolina homeschool laws are considered “moderate”, advanced legislation has made it even easier for parents to homeschool their students! Whether your student is just starting their education with homeschool or transitioning from a public or private school, below are some resources to help you get started.

North Carolina Homeschool Laws and Requirements

North Carolina’s law defines a homeschool as a non-public school where children of not more than two families or households are educated. A parent, guardian or other household member must determine the scope & sequence of academic instruction, provide the instruction, and determine additional sources of instruction.  North Carolina supports homeschoolers in the state with many support resources including the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education (NCDNPE) – a state department and the only agency like it in the country.

It is recommended that parents desiring to implement a Homeschool program for their students do their research to ensure they are operating within the laws and requirements for the state of North Carolina. More information may be found through the North Carolinians for Home Education page, but much will be covered here. North Carolina’s specific requirements are listed here:

1) Teaching Qualifications

Any parent, guardian, or tutor who teaches your child in your home study program must have a high school diploma or GED.

2) Submit a Notice of Intent

Parents with children between the ages of 7 and 16 are required to file a notice of intent and register their home school with the Division on Non-Public Education (DNPE) to provide academic instruction. You do not need to renew the Notice of Intent each year; operation continues until the school is officially closed. Your Notice of Intent will need to include evidence of a high school education (or equivalent) for each academic provider.

If your child is withdrawing from public or private school to homeschool, you must withdraw them so as to not result in truancy violations.

3) Operate on a Regular Schedule

North Carolina Homeschool Programs must operate on a regular schedule for at least 9 months each year, except for “reasonable holidays and vacations”.

4) Record Keeping

You must maintain attendance and immunization records of each student on the homeschool premises.  Immunization records can be acquired from your child’s health care provider and information about medical and religious exemptions can be found on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

5) Annual Standardized Testing

At least once every year (during school year), you must test each child in your homeschool using a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement.  The test must include testing in areas of English grammar, mathematics, spelling and reading.

North Carolina State Testing and Graduation Requirements

The homeschool “chief administrator” is responsible for obtaining and scheduling the nationally standardized tests during the school year and is required to administer those tests to each of their students on an annual basis. These tests must cover English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics.

While some tests may be administered within the home, some may require a certified proctor/administrator. The test vendor needs to be consulted for specific information.

Test scores should be retained for future reference in the student’s personal homeschool file so they may be made available for inspection upon request by the DNPE. Test results will also aid in proper grade placement if ever there was a desire to return to a conventional public school.

More detailed information on nationally standardized testing may be found here. A list of tests and test services may be found here.

North Carolina Homeschool Graduation Requirements

Students who complete a homeschool program in the state of North Carolina are considered graduates of their family’s homeschool. The requirements for graduation are set forth by the parent/administrators of the homeschool.

The State of North Carolina does not issue a diploma for homeschooled students, however a state-wide graduation ceremony is hosted by the North Carolinians for Home Education. Homeschools wishing to participate in the ceremony will need to purchase a Graduation Ceremony Package.

How to Get Started Homeschooling in North Carolina

If you are considering homeschool for your children, you are probably wondering where even to start. Starting homeschool is a big decision for parents. For North Carolina residents, you’ll need to do your research to make sure you can abide by the state’s regulations. Once you decide on homeschool, you need to submit a notice of intent to operate a homeschool with all the required information.

Next, you should select a homeschool curriculum. Power Homeschool’s online K-12 curriculum covers the core subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and reading, and math as well as electives, foreign languages, and health courses. Our FAQ can answer any questions you may have about our program.

Power Homeschool Student doing Acellus using it in the summer

Get Started this Summer with Power Homeschool!

The Power Homeschool Summer Start-Up Program can help you take the guesswork out of homeschooling by letting you experiment over the summer to save time and see if it’s the right fit for your homeschool needs. If you are considering a transition to homeschool in the fall, the summer season is the perfect time to introduce your student to online homeschooling.

» Learn More

Homeschooling Groups and Support in North Carolina

One of the reasons that homeschooling is on an upward trend is the amount of support that is available to homeschooling families. North Carolina is one of the most popular states for homeschooling. The North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) is the statewide organization that provides support and resources to homeschool families. The organization provides a magazine, a sports league for homeschool students, a yearly graduation ceremony, and an annual conference. Homeschool families can join the association by making a monetary donation of any amount.

In addition to the NCHE, homeschool support groups and co-ops are present across the state. Many local and regional homeschool groups will provide support and advice to parents and allow students to meet peers and make friends. These groups are easy to find with a simple Facebook query.

Homeschool co-ops are more academic-focused than homeschool groups are. Co-ops allow students to learn alongside other homeschool students. Some homeschool co-ops are focused on a specific subject or learning method, while others let religious beliefs drive lessons. No matter what type of homeschool group or co-op you are looking for, you will be able to find one filled with other families that hold the same values and interests as yours.

North Carolina Field Trips

Field trips are a wonderful way to enhance the homeschool experience by seeing concepts and lessons come to life. North Carolina has many field trips sites that teach students about wildlife, history, government, art, and so much. The following are just a few of the MANY field trips available in the state of North Carolina.

  • Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee: Learn about Cherokee history and culture by touring dwellings, visiting work areas, and viewing pottery, masks, and other pieces of artwork. On Mondays, children under 12 years old are free with adult admission.
  • Linville Caverns in Marion: Homeschoolers can explore inside a mountain, learn about the caverns, and observe the wildlife that calls these mountains home.
  • Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill: The interactive exhibits at this museum incorporate artwork from cultures across the globe dating back thousands of years. Guided tours are available for K-12 students.
  • Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora: This museum houses fossil collections of various animal species, Native American artifacts, and rocks and minerals. Educational programs and group tours are available for children of all ages.
  • Guildford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro: Visit the site of a Revolutionary War battle that was a turning point for British military operations. Choose between indoor activities, guided tours, and special events for the whole family.
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont: Explore various plant and animal species through exhibits and educational opportunities, such as special events, group tours, and homeschool days.
  • High Point Public Library in High Point: Homeschool students can explore their love of reading with book clubs, contests, and movies. This library offers special, storytime, and summer reading programs for children of all ages.
  • Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in Carova: See animal species in their natural habitat on this wildlife refuge for birds, fish, and plants that are native to the region.
  • North Carolina Estuarium in Washington: Tour more than 200 exhibits of North Carolina wildlife, artifacts, and interactive displays.
  • North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh: Visit the North Carolina State Capitol to learn about the state’s history and government. Guided tours are available by appointment.

We hope this provides you with the resources you need to begin homeschooling your children in North Carolina. For more information or questions about Power Homeschool’s online curriculum, contact us today!

Disclaimer: The information provided on this web page is for general information purposes only. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and may not contain the most up-to-date information.