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North Carolina Home Education Information

How to Homeschool in North Carolina

Homeschooling in NC

Homeschools in North Carolina are under the jurisdiction of the Division of Non Public Education  which administers the requirements of the North Carolina General Statutes governing both conventional non-public schools (private schools) and homeschools.

(all of the information here at www.nchomeschoolinfo is for provided for reference and should not be construed as legal advice)

North Carolina law defines a home school as “a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction.”

Can I Homeschool My Friend’s Child?

Two household schools are permitted. The home school academic instructional setting must always meet the home school legal definition of G.S. 115C-563(a) and is limited to students from no more than two households.”

Questions & Answers About Homeschooling Requirements in North Carolina

The North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) is authorized by that section of the state law (G.S. 115C-563a) to receive notices of intent to Homeschool.

  • File a NOI – Parents wishing to educate their children at home, need to inform the DNPE of their intent to homeschool by filing a Notice of Intent.
  • When do I need to File My NOI?  If you have not previously filed a “Notice of Intent” form for your homeschool, one may be filed thirty days prior to your oldest homeschooled child’s seventh birthday. The school will need to be registered with DNPE no later than the child’s seventh birthday. * please see note
  • I Don’t Have My Teaching Degree Can I Still Homeschool?  The main teaching parent needs to hold a high school diploma, or its equivalent, in order to homeschool.
  •  Do I need to Keep Records? Once the Homeschool is established, the administrators (parents/guardian) must maintain at the school their children’s immunization records and attendance records for each student.
  • Do I have to Have My Homeschooled Children Vaccinated? The NCDHHS has details about Immunization Exemptions for medical and religious purposes. The Medical Exemption form can be found there for your physician to complete and instructions on how to document your religious beliefs for exemption.
  •  When Do I Test My Homeschooled Children? Every year homeschooled students aged 7 and up must have a nationally standardized achievement test administered and the testing records should be kept ready for inspection by the NCDNPE by the Homeschool’s Administrator.
  •  Is There a Special Test I Have to Give? No – you can choose any annual test that is Nationally standardized and covers the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Records of the test results must be retained at the school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested.
  • How Much Information Do I Need to Report? Homeschool administrators can now report updates or changes online any time during the school year, this is not a requirement of the law, but is a convenience both to homeschooling parents and to the Department of Non-Public Education as they would like to reflect accurate numbers of the homeschooling families they serve.

Recommendations and details are available at the NCDNPE website and if you click on the links above they will take you there.

Download Printable Directions

The NCDNPE has provided a reference sheet for homeschoolers who want information on how to file their NOI at the updated state Department of Non-Public Education website.

Download & Print Directions From The NCDNPE:  FILING A NOI 

The NC Department of Non-Public Education made changes to their database recently which may affect you if you previously reported online. The Director of the NCDNPE released a TIPSHEET for updating your user information. Download it to use as a helpful reference if you have not yet updated your user information this year.

Download & Print a Reference Sheet from the NCDNPE on how to update your USER INFORMATION at the NCDNPE’s new website:  TIPS


  • If you are filing your Notice of Intent to Homeschool at the NCDNPE website, you will need to file it online during their office hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
  • The NCDNPE doesn’t accept new NOI’s during the month of June.

Annual Testing

For details about types of tests and the legal requirements of annual testing, check out the Homeschool-ology Testing Page and look at the links for testers in your area, or administer the tests yourself at home or use an online achievement test.

Do NOT File a Notice of Intent to Operate a Homeschool When…

*From the NCDNPE website:  “…do not send a Notice of Intent to DNPE for the present school year if the only students to be enrolled in your home school: (a) are currently under age 7 and will not turn age 7 in the present/current school year, or (b) are currently 18 years of age or older. Please send your Notice of Intent a month in advance of your home school’s initial opening date. If any of your children will turn age 7 before this coming June 1, please send your Notice of Intent at least 30 days before the child’s 7th birthday. One Notice of Intent per school, please — not per student. No Notices of Intent are accepted in June. If your home school will operate only during the summer months, DO NOT send a Notice of Intent to DNPE. The State of North Carolina home school statistical year begins each July 1 and concludes the following June 30. Therefore, do not file your Notice of Intent until after July 1 of the home school statistical year in which your home school will begin initial operation.”  

Visit the NCDNPE FAQ section for a detailed explanation of how to file the NOI if they are under seven years old and you are withdrawing them from a public school to homeschool them. 

More Resources

Join us for conversations about home education, resources & activities in your area – Request membership in one of our great Facebook Discussion Groups for your community:

  • Homeschooling in the Coastal Counties? JOIN HERE
  • Homeschooling in the Mountain Areas of NC? JOIN HERE
  • Homeschooling in the Piedmont? JOIN US HERE or Piedmont  Homeschool Teens HERE ( you can join both, there may be a little bit of cross posting)
  • Unschooling in NC? JOIN NC UNSCHOOLERS

Also, please follow the links I provide to the NCDNPE website – that is just so you can read the law and their recommendations for yourself.  I am giving a general and broad overview of how to homeschool in our state, that includes my opinions and includes how I implemented things into my homeschool, but you should interpret my statements as just that – one interpretation or opinion about our state’s homeschool laws.

Please investigate more than one resource and feel free to message me if you think I need to explain something more clearly.

Homeschool-ology is not a legal advice website (see my disclosure page) – for that you may visit the NC statutes themselves, NHELD, HSLDA, NCHE or another source for information on law and policies.

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369 Responses

  1. Racheal says:

    Hi, I will be homeschooling my daughter for the 2020-2021 school year due to the uncertainty around this Pandemic. She will be starting kindergarten and I am a little confused on whether or not to file a NOI. Is a NOI only required after the child turns 7 years of age? Does that mean I don’t register my homeschool while she’s in kindergarten? Thank you for any info you have.

  2. Carlee says:

    Hello. Thanks for all this info! Our two girls are headed to 5th and 7th grade and have asked to be homeschooled all summer. They even created a proposal with reasons and how it will work, been proactive around the house to show responsibility and set alarms to get up early during the summer. So now it’s August 8 and my husband and I have decided to give it a try. We both work from home which will be helpful but is one reason we were hesitant also in addition to some other reasons. Anyway with that said we will probably do an online accredited school. We know we need to file a letter of intent and still apply to the school. They are currently in a charter school and start 8/21. Since the intent can take 30 days to approve do they need to start at the charter school on 8/21, can we keep them until the homeschool is set up or can we start them at the online school before the letter is approved (provided they’re accepted quickly). Second,

    • Carlee says:

      Also are there any statistics or info for colleges attended by homeschooled children. I know there are testing stats and such but I want to make sure all their options are open whether they want to go small or big. Right now the oldest wants to be a vet and go to NC State. She’s extremely smart and very proactive. The youngest wants to be a doctor to focus on the rare liver disease she has (GSD 1a) and go to UNC. She’s also very smart but more laid back. Anyway we are considering Liberty online, NorthStar & Univ of Missouri online. We just want to make sure we won’t hurt their future college and career goals.

      • Jill says:

        Carlee, I just found your post. We sent two of our three homeschooled daughters to top tier out-of-state colleges well prepared, one to the honors college within her university. (Daughter #2 is an actor, preschool teacher, and nanny in NYC and did not need or want a college degree.) Colleges LOVE homeschool students – they bring diversity and the strengths of autodidacts to a student body. We were gluttons for punishment and wrote our own curriculum; you need to do what works best for your family and your girls. There are many good options out there. Regards

  3. Latoya Johnson says:

    Hello. I am looking to homeschool my 13 year old. She recently failed the 7th grade. I am wondering if I start her homeschooling on a 7th grade level will she ever catch up to her right grade. I plan on using the curriculum provided by time for learning. Any info would help us out.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Latoya – good for you being willing to help her catch up. The system often fails kids and homeschooling gives them an opportunity to find their strengths and gain confidence. There is no reason why she can’t catch up to that grade level during your time homeschooling her. I encourage you to let her find some clubs where she can develop skills also and a homeschool group so she won’t feel isolated. You might want to join us on Facebook too – we have community groups there that encourage each other and ask questions or share homeschooling tips, articles and ideas. Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.

  4. Alison says:

    My homeschool has operated since my oldest was 7. He is done with his requirements for graduation and I was all set to graduate him this month until I read something on the Office of Non Public Education website. He is already 18. Can I still give him a diploma or does he need to have him get an adult high school diploma or a GED?
    Thank you!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Alison – you can graduate him if he has met your requirements because he has been enrolled in your homeschooling program. He does not need to get a GED. You will want him to have a transcript of his courses and grades during high school. The restrictions on the NCDNPE site apply for those who want to start homeschooling when their student is 18 – they don’t apply if he is already your student. Let me know if that doesn’t answer your questions and congrats to you both on his graduation!!!

  5. Lori says:

    I am interested in homeschool my son who will be 7 in January. Does this mean in December I need to file for intent? And then I would have to take the standardized testing before December ends at age 6? Also as a simgle working mom how do I fit 5 hours a day in for learning? Can my aunt who watches my child during the day help eith school work or can I makeup work on Friday afternoon and the weekends? Im a bit overwhelmed as a single working mom worried you basically need to be astay at-home mom to accomplish.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi – yes Lori you will need to file your NOI if you are homeschooling this year. You can have help with teaching or can work with him anytime during the day that works for you. The 5 hours per day is only a suggestion made by the state. The law states that we need to have our homeschools active during at least 9 months of the year. Most homeschoolers find that they can complete the same amount of work as public school classrooms in a shorter time since they are not required to wait for other students, deal with disruptions, get in line, change classrooms, etc. and homeschoolers can work at their own pace. Especially since he is young many educators recommend short lessons as more effective, so don’t worry about setting a time-related goal, focus instead on the quality of his work and efforts. Lots of moms work while homeschooling and some single parents too. It is a time commitment but can be done and it sounds as though you will do a great job. Congrats on your decision to homeschool & LMK if you have other questions!

  6. S. Cross says:

    My son started home school just this past year. Based on his educational level in public school, he would have been starting his 9th grade year for the third time, because he had been bullied by the director of the EC department and the school counselor to the point he had just shut down. This school year at home, however, he has worked so diligently on his own that he has all but finished up all of the curriculum that the online resource I’ve been using offers for high school students. As a matter of fact, I’m going to be stretching it for him to finish up the required 180 days because he only has 34 more units of study left in total (meaning all of his subjects combined)! My question is two-fold. At what point is he ready for graduation? And my second question is, how do I determine what end of year test he needs to take? I’m asking here since there’s no way I’m going to do anything his former school recommends, for obvious reasons. I do not trust them not to completely mess him up by giving me the wrong information. It’s important to me, and I never thought he’d take to this like he has. It took a couple months in the beginning to undo the damage done to him by the public school system and their systematic abuse and harassment. Once he realized that he was only hurting himself by acting out and refusing to work, his mental restraints came off and he started to use his brain instead of closing it down. Now he actually asks for new assignments every day instead of me having to assign them and then keep right on him to make sure he’s working. I’m so proud of him. Right now, as it stands, he will only have one-two subjects next year, and those he will likely finish up within a month or two. By the way, he’s going on 18 this year, so it’s not an early graduation by any stretch. He just basically caught up with and passed his classmates in one year’s time. Just goes to show that for some kids home school is a much, much better course.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Wow – what a great testimonial. Thanks for sharing. I am so happy that he is doing well and caught up. We just can’t discount how much of an impact a child’s environment and emotional health can have on their learning! The answer to your first question: when is he ready for graduation – when he has enough credits and you feel he has mastered/completed the material he needs to go on to the next phase of his education/work life, then you can graduate him from your home education program. You will want to have some course descriptions and a transcript for the work he did with you and a diploma for him. He will need those records in the future so be sure to back them up somewhere and make physical copies for him too. Let me know if you have questions about that too. Secondly: Year end tests – you should evaluate which test you will use based on what his future plans are. If he is planning to attend a college, take a look at what they want him to have. Some tech schools have their own placement tests, some school prefer an ACT to the SAT &. If he takes the ACT or the SAT with the essay portion, that counts as his annual testing since it meets the requirements of the NC state laws. Hope that helps!

      • S. Cross says:

        The online resource I am using doesn’t appear to offer transcripts. Do I set those up myself? I am far, far more strict about grades than the schools were, he was required to finish each unit of study test with a grade of 80 or higher. Passing grade in the school was 69. This insures he absolutely knows each unit well before he moves on. He is special needs, as in he had an IEP in public school, particularly because he can’t write well. It’s part of his disability (ASD), so the thought of having to make him do any form of essay is daunting, such as the ACT with essay. I wish I knew how to set all of this up; I had almost no help with setting up my home school, the lady who helped me just told me the state would send out an end of year test each year. She never said I’d have to choose from a long list of tests for him with no idea if the one I am choosing is the right one. Further, at this time, I do not expect him to attend college. Most likely post graduation he’ll go on lifetime disability. The only reason I’m having him go through this is because the public school he was in was trying to force me to put him in the “will never graduate” classes and I know he can do so much better. This way, later on down the road, if he does want to do something he will have a diploma and be able to attend community college or technical school, whichever will suit him better.

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Yes, that’s right, we keep records including high school transcripts for our homeschool students. If he is not attending college, then you should let him do a modified version (accommodating his needs) of whichever test you choose. An inexpensive and untimed version like the untimed CAT test online that I linked too on the tests page or something like that instead of the SAT or ACT – there is no need to stress him or you. The state doesn’t send out tests, we plan those into our homeschool budgets and choose and pay for them ourselves. Good for you ensuring that he gets his diploma. Most technical schools or community colleges will have their own entrance tests, so you shouldn’t even concern yourself with it until he decides what he wants to do later on. If you have questions about transcripts or credits you can FB message me, give me a call or email me too. Sounds like you will do just fine, but sometimes it helps to have someone who has done it to bounce things off of!

  7. Kelly says:

    This is very helpful! I would like to withdraw my son from 5th grade and homeschool for the remainder of the year. We are only about two weeks away from the end of the third nine weeks though – is it too late to do this? If I send the NOI now, would it be quick enough to get started immediately? Thanks for your help!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Kelly – you can withdraw your child anytime including at the end of the year. Your NOI is usually responded to quickly, so you should be able to take in your confirmation email to the school soon if you have your copy of your diploma ready to go to the NCDNPE & fill out the NOI online. Good luck in the new school year 🙂 and happy homeschooling!

  8. Jen says:

    Hey there! Your website is amazing and very informative! I have read a lot of the previous questions to see if my questions would be answered and I found a few…I need to get him out of the school as soon as possible. How long does the finalization take for me to take him out of school? I only ask, because he won’t be going back. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Jen, the NCDNPE is very efficient with getting your school’s ID # and confirmation back to you once you complete your NOI & send your copy of your diploma by email. You should get confirmation within a day or two. I am really glad to hear this website was useful to you! You may also want to check out the Facebook community group for homeschooling high schoolers – High School Homeschoolology

  9. Diana Bjorkman says:

    Hello there. So, my son will be turning 5 in April and I am planning to homeschool him. I see that the NCDNPE site says not to send a NOI for a child under 7? So, what do I need to do for his first two years of education (Kindergarten and 1st, respectively)? I definitely don’t want to wind up being tagged for educational neglect. I just want to make sure I am doing everything right. Thanks!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Diana – you can still homeschool him. You want to look for activities, groups or curriculum that are age appropriate. Things like hands-on lessons, cooking, crafts & experiments, field trips and reading aloud along with pre-reading activities (rhyming, matching games) & workbooks if he like them, are a good way to begin Kindergarten. The Notice of Intent to homeschool only needs to be sent once he will be reaching the compulsory school age in NC (7) but that doesn’t mean that parents don’t teach them anything until that age. Many parents who homeschool allow children to take on more “formal” lessons once they are older but learning in the home takes the form the family and child do best with. So yes, homeschool him and remember – fun is the best teacher 🙂 so make learning the joy that it is meant to be and he will never lose his curiosity!

  10. James says:

    My kids have been real sick and missed a lot of school interested in homeschool them now so they can catch up .

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi James, I am so sorry to hear about your kiddos being ill. It can be stressful for you all especially if the illness is a life threatening one – you are all in my thoughts! If you file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool them and then withdraw them from their school, you can teach them at home to help them get up to speed. If your intention is for them to return to public school as soon as they are doing “grade level” work, then you will want to find curricula that meet the Public School standards (or are higher) so that they will be able to enter confidently back into the classroom. You can find NC PS standards for K-12 at the DPI website online- read through them & then choose materials that will help you reach those goals. Remember too, if you are only planning to do a “summer school” type of plan with them, then you are not considered homeschooling per the laws and you do not want to file the NOI & withdraw them. Your plan will look a little different than homeschooling during the school year, but it can still be a great educational help to them & a wonderful investment of your time to be with them and show them by example how great it is to learn everyday! Let me know if I can help with any other questions or if you want more details here & I hope you all have a great experience and get healthy really soon!

  11. Tanisha Davis says:

    How do I get started for a 9 th grader???

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Tanisha – first no matter what the grade, you need to inform the NCDNPE that you will be homeschooling by completing the NOI online – see the page on Getting Started for links & directions. Then, you will withdraw your student from the school they currently attend with the procedures that they require. Then you can begin homeschooling. Some parents “deschool” their students first to give them time to adjust to being away from a classroom, You will want to involve your high schooler in planning their high school curriculum based on their needs & interests. For example do they know they want to attend college? Techinical School etc.? Formulate your high school program to combine their needs and interests with your requirements to graduate. Decide how you will keep records to make sure that they will have a transcript at the end of their high school years! Does that get you started? Let me know if you have other questions too and congrats 🙂

      • Tanisha Davis says:

        Thank you. I will file that Monday. Where do I go to to enroll her in a program? I’m sorry so many questions. Just making sure I do this step by step .

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Tanisha, as homeschoolers we have the privilege (& responsibility) to choose our own curricula for our home ed programs. For high schoolers, most parents use a combination of shadowing/hands-on/internships, co-op classes, tutors, online programs and literature/textbooks for each course that students need to prepare them for their future endeavors (college, the workplace, the trade they are interested in). There are lots of resources listed here – costs vary, and for most of us, this is a deciding factor in how we will homeschool. Also use Google to find suggestions & you can join us over at one of the Facebook Community Groups for Homeschool-ology readers to ask what others are using. So the short answer to your question is – there is not a specific program that you “enroll” them in. Once you file the NOI, you have “enrolled” them in your homeschool and you plan and execute that program with your student. Use materials that fit their learning style & interests and you are on your way to a good high school education. Let me know how else I can help too. Merit

  12. Curious says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you had any advice for someone considering homeschooling a first grader who also has a 3 month old infant. Do-able or a nightmare?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Curious! How great that you asked this question. It is definitely do-able. My kids are all around 18 months apart so my early years of homeschooling them started off with a baby, a toddler and a Kindergartner. It required some flexibility, dedication, and creativity, but those were some of the best years of our homeschooling. There are lots of ways to work it out. If you are a super scheduled and rigid person, this might be a situation that would not make you happy, but if you are willing to let some things go and willing to figure things out as you go along with your kiddos, then no matter your homeschooling style you will be fine.

  13. Robin Bailey says:

    We homeschool our granddaughter, she’s in 2nd grade. Her mother teaches at a local public school. She had heard that the public school systems were going to be offering elective classes to homeschool students. I haven’t found any information on that, have you heard anything?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Robin, yes, the schools can enroll homeschooled students in some classes. There is a limit (I think it is 1 or 2 classes that students can take) and I believe that each school determines what they will offer. She should contact the administrators directly and discuss it with them. Some schools may not be aware that they can do this, and some may not be interested in doing it, but in my opinion, having a good working relationship with schools, is a great thing and brings more opportunities and a better education to everyone. I would love to know how this goes if you could message me back if she does get with them about this. Good Luck 🙂

  14. Jillian says:

    Hi! We are moving from FL this year. Our kids are enrolled in brick and mortar public and we are pulling them out to homeschool in April for the remaining 2 months of school due to transitioning between a few counties before getting to NC. So we are having them finish 4th and 1st grade in Florida homeschooling. If we want to enroll them in public when we get to NC what is needed to prove they have moved onto the next grade so they can be in 5th and 2nd. I just want to make sure I don’t have an issue moving them to the next grade.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Jillian – it would be up to the school you are enrolling them in to decide what they need from you in order to place them. Sometimes they will use a placement test – it just depends on the school. Good luck with your short term homeschooling & with your move. Hope you will love NC!

  15. Chelsea Jones says:

    who are some of the umbrella schools that cover North Carolina? we currently live and homeschool in Tn and use homelife academy for our online umbrella, however they do not cover nc.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Chelsea, NC doesn’t use umbrella schools. Each homeschool is considered a separate entity and is responsible for their own records, testing etc. You can join co-ops and take classes with others, or homeschool with another family, but you need to send a Notice of Intent to Homeschool to the NCDNPE to get started with homeschooling once you get here, unless your kids are under 7 which is the compulsory school age in NC. Did you have any questions about that?

  16. Vickie Hunter says:

    Hi, trying to figure out exactly where to get information on homeschooling for my child. Could you please email me with information.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Vickie – there is all the information you need on the website. You will need to click on the menu to find out how to get started, but there are even links to the state website where you can set up your homeschool. If you want information about that, I suggest you get in touch with them directly – if you have a specific question for me about home education though, feel free to ask it here. ~ Merit

  17. Haleigh says:

    If someone got their “diploma” through being in prison would that still be considered a high school diploma equivance?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Haleigh – if someone got a diploma or a G.E.D., it is still a high school diploma or a G.E.D. whatever the circumstances surrounding the person’s earning of it, in my opinion. That is not a question about homeschooling in NC and that is really what the page is about – did you have other questions that I may actually be able to help with? If you are looking for the NCDNPE website, you can also contact someone there for direct information about something like that specifically and how it may pertain to you homeschooling for your specific situation.

  18. Angela Davis says:

    Hi Merit, I understand that testing has to be done once per year. Is that per calendar year or per ‘school year’. Reason being, I removed my daughter from public school after one semester. She was tested during that time. Would that count for her 9th grade testing and then I would test her at the end of 10th grade? Or do I have to test her after this semester? (ie. January instead of June). Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Angela, your testing wouldn’t need to be done until the anniversary date of your NOI. Thereafter, you would need to test with a Nationally Normed test that meets the NC laws criteria for annual homeschool testing with a year of that same date. NC Homeschool laws don’t allow us to use the state created tests that the public school use (EOG Tests)to meet our testing requirements.

  19. Carolyn Speight says:

    If my child is 10 years old & is currently in public school (4thgrade) can I still homeschooling her if I choose to?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Carolyn – you can homeschool your child at any time. You will need to follow the public school’s procedures & requirements for withdrawing your 10 year old, as well as opening a homeschool with the NCDNPE at their website. Good Luck & let us know if you choose to homeschool & have other questions 🙂

  20. Brandi says:

    Hi, I was wondering how someone would go about offering tutoring sessions for homeschoolers? I am a hs teacher considering homeschooling my elementary son but would need to vring in some income if I stopped working. What are the rules regarding simply tutoring in a content area and teaching a course?

    • Brandi says:

      **Please excuse the typo!

      • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

        LOL – I have so many typos in my answers on this page I am sure. Sometimes I type before coffee, always dangerous! Thus, I always excuse typos – no grammar nazis allowed here!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Brandi – tutoring while you homeschool is a wonderful idea! I did that for a while too. North Carolina homeschoolers can choose their own tutors and classes, so your only requirements would be to get the word out about your expertise & what you are offering students. Let me know if I can help here & on the Homeschool-ology Facebook page.

  21. Courtney says:

    Hi, I was wondering if my parent was not available to be my teacher/administrator, does that mean we would have to find a teacher or hire one to homeschool me?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Courtney, Your Parent needs to be the one to administer and oversee your homeschool. Your parent can use whatever resources they choose to create your homeschool program including other teachers or tutors, outside or online classes, homeschool co-ops, or an independent curriculum and other learning experiences. They need to be the one to set up your homeschool with the state and make sure that they keep the required records and set up testing annually. There are lots of people who help with those kinds of things though so I hope your family will give it a try. Let me know if you have other questions & good luck! Merit

  22. Patricia Senter says:

    hello, thinking very strongly about removing my ID mild child, who is currently in public school, in a cluster group of 12. who has an IQ between 56-58, to homeschooling. our current IEP was to work on his life skills. i can tell you he will never be able to do advance math or read the Scarlet Letter. What type of approved materials would I need to look for. He is also 9 and at a pre-K level. So could I start him in homeschool, do I need to have any credentials? Are there scholarships available to help pay for supplies especially since I would have to give up my job of 22 years.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Patricia – you can homeschool your child regardless of their needs or IQ. North Carolina doesn’t require a particular curriculum. Home educating parents need to have a high school diploma. There are not homeschool “scholarships”, but there are many resources that are free and many groups that will discount or give memberships based on financial needs. Also, there are lots of parents who homeschool and work or work-at-home so as to provide for their family’s financial as well as educational needs. Other types of financial help might be available for student with special needs, but that wouldn’t be a homeschooling scholarship, it would be through those organizations. Hope you will take a look around the website & begin to network and find the resources you need to give him a great home education!~ Merit

      • PATRICIA SENTER says:

        K-12 Scholarship Grants

        North Carolina offers three programs that expand school choice for eligible students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The Opportunity Scholarship, Disabilities Grant, and Education Savings Account can cover tuition and required fees at a participating nonpublic school. In addition, the Disabilities Grant and Education Savings Account can cover certain other expenses related to educating a child with a disability. The award amounts, eligibility requirements, and application timelines differ. For more information, see the side-by-side summary of the Opportunity Scholarship, Disabilities Grant, and Education Savings Account programs or click the program links below


        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Patricia – yes, I have seen those, but if you take a look at the agreements/requirements, you see that a “non-public school” that wants to apply for them has to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes, and homeschools operate under Part 3, so homeschools don’t qualify for those grants & scholarships. Some local school districts offer special program participation for students with disabilities who homeschool because THEY can qualify for Federal funding and for other program funding through private or state programs. Homeschoolers should always check with their local public schools about that. Even high school Driver’s Ed programs are available to homeschoolers and many schools have good relationships with home educators & desire to help you give your kids a great education. Some families/parents might get some expense reimbursement through the grants you linked to for special education, but reimbursement is not given for any tuition or for “homeschooling”. Those families who meet the requirements for those special ed grants may have some expenses for special education needs reimbursed, so it would be good to check into those possibilities – but again, that has nothing to do with being reimbursed for home educating. There may also be some private funds available for families with special needs student through groups like HSLDA. It’s always good to have suggestions that may be appropriate for some families, so thanks for posting here!

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Patricia – I wanted to follow up with you about this since I found a link for you & some more detailed information. Hope you get this link. I added it to the Special Needs resources section. It looks like still only about 10 percent of students will be eligible, but homeschooling is included as an alternative education. Good news for some families who want to homeschool their children with special needs in the 2018-2019 school year.

  23. William says:

    Is it okay in NC for the teacher and the Administrator be the same person in a homeschool? The parents are separated and the Administrator, the father, is no longer in the home. Should the mother that gives the instruction also change to the Administrator? Does it matter?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      It is ok for the parent who administers the homeschool to also be the home educator. I would update the information on the NCDNPE website so that if someone wants to verify information about the student’s education or homeschool they will know who to contact. Hope this information helps, William!

  24. Ashley says:

    My niece whos 9 and has ADHD has been having some issues with her public school. She brakes out in tears when I ask about her day. She say that her teacher is bullying her, my mother (her legal guardian) and I have talk to the school. They say they cant change her class med year, and have yet to offer any solutions. My dad suggested we look into home school. My question is that even though my mom is her legal guardian would I be able to home school her, since I have the most patients with her? The four of us live in the same house.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Ashley, your parent who is her guardian would be the one who needs to open the homeschool for your niece. She will also need to supervise whomever is teaching her- whether that is you, a homeschool co-op or a paid tutor or teacher. Sounds like homeschooling would be a great way for her to get out of that bad situation. Let me know if you have other questions and good luck with this.

  25. S. Cross says:

    Do I have to have my child’s school records? I got the impression that I did, and I can’t get them. My child’s previous public school is refusing to release his educational records to me. They basically said if I want to see them I have to make a formal request, then allow them to print out ‘certain parts’ so I can view them only in the presence of a school administration member. They said printing them out for me would be a “waste of time”, and if I want to see them I can “come to the school and view certain parts of them.”

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi there – you do not have to have their records. If you do want them, I am pretty sure that as a private school/homeschool in NC you can request them. You may need to follow whatever procedures the school requires, but you really don’t need them in order to homeschool. Hope this goes well for you and congrats on bringing your child home 🙂

      • S. Cross says:

        Thank you! I wasn’t sure if I had to have them by law or not. I had a terrible experience with my child’s school from the start of his ninth grade year until I pulled him out officially this past April. At first, they appeared to be going after me for abuse, but when both his therapist and his doctor (particularly his doctor because he’s one of the best if not THE best pediatrician for special needs children in the state) refused to go along with their agenda they changed their tactics. Next, they browbeat my son, cornering him DAILY in the Guidance Counselor’s office to get him to say things like, “I am having violent hallucinations.” He didn’t even understand what that meant. When his therapist (who I only obtained after he continued to have complete emotional breakdowns every single day at school) heard this she immediately recommended I get him out of that school. His doctor seconded her opinion. Since he’s been here at home there’s been NO need for a therapist. No meltdowns, no crying, no problems at all. In fact, he’s up most days and starts before I get up at 8am! So a child who completely shut down in the school is flourishing at home. I still fear they may try to come after me. The last time I was in contact with his school, the start of this school year, I was told if he wasn’t in school by the following Monday, they’d report me for truancy and I’d go to jail, despite the fact I had done the proper withdrawal and turned in all the paperwork in April. The threat was made by the same guidance counselor who browbeat and bullied my child. When I questioned it, she quickly changed her story and said it was actually another boy with a “similar sounding name” who had coincidentally started home school this year and she got them confused. In the end, I wrote a formal letter to the principal and hand delivered it with a copy of my home school registration paper just to be sure.

  26. Lee says:

    I have recently enrolled my 16 year old daughter into home school in NC. I, however, am stumped as to where to find curriculum work for her. Do you have any ideas. She is very gifted. Looking for pre-cal coursework, american history, english III, and spanish 1

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hello Lee – how great that you and your daughter are going to home school! There are tons of curriculum options. I would recommend that you talk to her about her learning styles and preferences before purchasing anything. Then take a look at some reviews too like at The Homeschool Mom blog & Cathy Duffy’s website to get you started on looking into what types of materials you want to use with her. If she is gifted in a particular area, try to include projects she can do that help her to strengthen her talents. If she is super academic, you can look for AP materials and classes for homeschoolers. Hope your homeschool is exciting!

  27. Stacey L Cash says:

    Ok we haven’t decided on moving to NC but are tossing the idea around. We live in TX and I homeschool my children. Do I just file the NOI just anytime before we move to NC (if we end up doing so) and also, I homeschool at my children’s pace. I just was wondering, if my children don’t always pass the tests, will that be an issue. We don’t have to do any type standardized testing or records keeping at this point. I think it will be pretty good to start doing now, even though we aren’t required in TX. But just wondering about those things. One of my children has a comprehension problem, which isn’t even an issue since I homeschool and we can go at his own pace. I was just wondering if that would hinder me being able to homeschool my children in NC since we go at their pace. Thanks so much!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Stacey – NC is a great state to live in and to homeschool in & none of those things you mentioned should be issues. Annual testing is with any nationally normed achievement test and those are not Pass/Fail tests. Your students are able to move through their homeschooling at their own pace just as you have been doing in Tx. You should file your NOI once you are living in NC and only then if you have at least one child who will be (or turns) 7 during the school year in which you move. Hope this answers your question & feel free to check back in when you know more about your plans 🙂 We would love to have you here!

      • Stacey L Cash says:

        I have 3 kids who are 13, 8 and 5. I just want to make sure I have all the info in my head straight. Do I need to file a NOI for my older 2 children? And can I file for my 5 year old as well? He does school too. We are pretty sure we are moving to NC and I want to make sure I’m not overwhelmed homeschooling there. Oh yeah, and also, do I need to keep up with everything that we do? We just use workbooks. I don’t write down our schedule and the stuff we do daily. My 13 yr old does time 4 learning. My younger 2 do workbooks. They will also be doing time 4 learning eventually as well. I just don’t write out on a notebook all the things we do, it’s just something else to have to keep up with and we know what we are supposed to every day without keeping a notebook full of schedules lol thanks!

  28. Flora says:

    Thank you for the info. I have a question about age. If my daughter who will turn 7 in the beginning of June. U just read that academic year is through June. However their website states not to file in June. Would I file in May? I literally started to feel panicky today as I thought about it, Do I need to file an intent now? I would like to practice and do the proposed standardized test towards the end of the year. Could I still take the test and keep it for personal records even if I do not need to file before June? Your help is greatly appreciated.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Flora- since she will turn seven during the current school year (even though it is at the tail end of the NCDNPE’s administrative date of June 30), you should submit the NOI now or, technically, any time this school year before she turns 7. That follows the general rule/procedure that the NCDNPE has given at their website and solves your testing dilemma too. Your annual test will be due within one year from the date you get your Homeschool NOI confirmation from the NCDNPE. Even those who are not required by NC Homeschool laws to test annually, are able to test their students if they want. I hope that you & your daughter enjoy your “official” homeschool this year 🙂

    • Flora says:

      Thank you. I just panicked because I did not know if there was a deadline each year to do that. 🙂

  29. Lee says:

    Merit ~ you are amazing!!!! I have spent the last two plus hours combing through your q&a section for information for my sister. So informative!!! My question is regarding my niece (17 yr old senior) and nephew (14 yr old freshmen) who will be moving from Colorado to NC mid-year. They are currently enrolled in an alternative school (Therapeutic Learning Center for Elevate Academy). They will be leaving mid-year and moving to the GSO area of NC. My sister would like to home school them for the last half of the school year so they do not have to physically start a new school mid-year.
    Is it still necessary to do the LOI etc or is there some type of online school they could do to finish out their 2017-2018 school year. If they do an online school is it still necessary to do the LOI for homeschooling? Please excuse my ignorance, but I only have dogs and they didn’t require any paperwork in order to school them at home 🙂
    Thank you so much for your time and assistance.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Lee – how nice of you to help your sister by researching for her! Thanks for letting me know you found the info. here helpful. It is super encouraging to hear that! Yes, she will need to complete a NOI to homeschool during the school year, but it is easy to do online. NC still considers them homeschooling even if they are using online curriculum, so she should plan to file the Notice of Intent to homeschool once they get here. There are lots of great groups & activities in the GSO area too 🙂

  30. Shawna says:

    We currently moved here from West Virginia where we homeschooled. I have already filed my NOI and gotten the approval. My question is this. I have a five year old who under WV law had to attend Kindergarten and he will be in the 1st grade this year. Yet I am confused with the age listed in NC. Can I enroll my five, soon to be six year old, as a first grader or will he need to complete Kindergarten again?

    • Shawna says:

      Another quick question that I just thought of. Since my son won’t be seven until next November do I need to list him on my records before then, or do I wait until he is seven and then add him?

      • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

        oops – just saw this, but I think I answered it in my last reply to you, Shawna. If it is still confusing, feel free to message me or reply back & I will try again. In NC we can begin homeschooling with our children at home when they are “school age” and would be entering Kindergarten, but we do not actually open our homeschools with the state until our first student will be turning 7. Then they are “in” whatever grade we already had them working in, they don’t enter as a Kindergartner at age 7 and have to catch up or anything like that. Does that help?

        • That does help since he will be on track to be in the second grade when I will need to list him I can then begin him in the second grade that year. I keep detailed portfolios so I will have all his records. You have been a tremendous help.

        • June Martin says:

          I have a student to begin this year. I have been unable to contact NCDNPE to change my address. Can you advise me. Also, don’t I need to register the new student?

          • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

            Hi June – I am assuming since you mention changing your address that you have already filed your NOI etc. If that is right, then you may just want to create a user at the NCDNPE website & use that to change your address. It is pretty easy. Check out my post on it HERE You can also let them know if you are adding a student. You are not registering them, you are just informing them voluntarily that you will be homeschooling as additional student.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Shawna – nice to have you here in NC. W. Virginia is one of our family’e favorite states to vacation in! You don’t need to “enroll” any students in a homeschool, all the kids in our households are automatically considered by law to be “enrolled” in our homeschools once they are opened, UNLESS you enroll them in a public or private school instead. If your only child is your 1st grader, you really are not supposed to open a homeschool, but if the state didn’t stop you then at least you have that done. If you opened the homeschool for a student who does meet the compulsory age or is more than 7 years old, then you are done and don’t need to include information for your younger child until the school year they are turning 7. That is only if you are comfortable reporting online to NCDNPE’s website. We aren’t required to list our students, but the state understandably likes to have the vital statistics on homeschoolers in our state. (just age & sex – no names are reported) so your first grade stays a 1st grader – no need to keep him from moving on whenever he is ready!

  31. Ali says:

    Hello, there’s a little problem though my parents are originally from Jordan(quwat) a place which is over seas and that’s where they went to school. The thing is though they dropped out of high school and now they are here in Nc, so does that mean I can’t get homeschooled? I feel like I would work so much better homeschool and concentrate but idk if I can since my parents didn’t finish high school and moved here. Also when is the deadline to sign up for homeschool because my school starts back on august 29th. Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Ali! Glad you are here in NC! You do need an adult to head up your homeschool who has a diploma or a GED – that is the only qualification a homeschool administrator needs to have in NC. Your parents can sign up for adult education studies and get their GED, or you may have a grandparent, or another family homeschool you if that is not a possibility. You can also sign up for online public school. If you are enrolled at a school currently, you need to attend there until you get the homeschool confirmation from the state. I hope you are able to use one of these options and hope to hear this all goes well for you!

  32. Karen says:

    This is my first year homeschooling. I have already filed for the notice of intent and got approved. How do I go about withdrawing my child? We are in Gaston County NC.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Karen – I hope you will have a wonderful homeschool year! You will need to contact the school where your child is currently enrolled, and they will likely need a copy of the confirmation you got from the NCDNPE. Then you complete any other paperwork that they need and you are good to go. Let us know how it goes or if you have other questions too!

  33. Sharon says:

    I live in burke county. If I homeschool am I required to follow burke county school schedule as far as workdays, holidays, spring break etc…..

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Sharon – the answer to your question is “no” – you do not have to follow the county’s school schedule. The NC law that pertains to home education states that homeschoolers must “operate the school on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations”. Many NC homeschoolers follow the school calendar for convenience sake so that kids have similar holidays to their public schooled friends, but that is not a requirement of the law. Hope you are looking forward to a great homeschool year in Burke county!

  34. Candace says:

    Is there a pro/con to filing religious or non religious?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Candace, There is no difference in how the state handles religious vs. non-religious homeschools, they just report the numbers.

  35. Carrie says:

    Hi Merit!

    We are moving to NC next week after spending the last 3 years in Japan. Our little guy is turning 5 on August 29 but because of our move – and our preferences as a family – we would like to homeschool for him for his kindergarten year then enroll him in 1st Grade at a local school in the Asheville area. Here’s my question: if I don’t have file a letter of intent or keep “formal” records of it, will we be able to place him in 1st grade. What will they require to do that? Proof that we’ve homeschooled him? Will they test him beforehand? I’m just curious as I have no idea what will be required. Thanks! 🙂

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Carrie – since he is not of the compulsory school age until he turns seven, you are not homeschooling him under NC statues. Thus, what grade he will go into in your school will be up to them. I am sure they will have an entry/placement test for him to do and if you are working with him, he should do great 🙂

  36. Lisa says:

    My son went to public school for kindergarten in NC. That summer after he finished kindergarten, I registered him for homeschool. Once I received the notice of intent letter via email officially approving the opening of our homeschool, I forwarded this to the school he attended for kindergarten, so that he could be withdrawn from the school system. So far, I have now homeschooled him for 3 years. His sister just finished kindergarten at the same public school, and now I want to do the same thing with her. I know I need to go to the website to add her to our homeschool. But what do I send to the public school to withdraw her? Should I forward the same email that I sent 3 years ago for my son, or something different?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Yes, Lisa, if she is enrolled in the school, then send a copy of your confirmation to the school & complete any other paperwork they need to withdraw her. If she is not an enrolled student in a school, then she is automatically considered enrolled in your homeschool and you can report that you are adding her to your school online at the NCDNPE (reporting when we add students is not spelled out as a requirement in the NC statutes, but it helps the NCDNPE and they appreciate it!)

  37. Allison Lord says:

    I am looking to homeschool my daughter who is 19. Since she’s over the age of 18, will that be possible? Also, where can I find your email address for any further questions I may have?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Allison – email me anytime Homeschooling only applies to students under the age of 18 UNLESS you filed a NOI prior to them turning 18. If you have not set up your homeschool, then you won’t fall under the statutes applying to home education, but you can certainly educate at home with her anyway, you can’t give her a diploma under NC Homeschooling laws, but I would imagine you could sign up for online schooling with an accredited school or work with her toward getting a GED. Hope this answers your question.

  38. angel womack says:

    Hey. Thanks for all the information. We are interested in homeschooling our now four year old. Her starting year would be fall next year. She would be five going on six. My question is would we register her or would we just wait until she is seven and use the years the grades already completed on the intent form? And what about testing? Any information is appreciated.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Angel, Congrats on homeschooling this year! You should not file a NOI to homeschool with the NCDNPE until your first student will be turning seven during the school year. You do not need to test your child until they are seven – you test annually once you file that Notice of Intent to Homeschool with the state. It is great that you have been working with her during the preschool years, and you don’t need to report that to anyone. Hope your year is fabulous!

  39. Sheri MacFarlane says:

    We’re starting our first year of homeschooling in the fall, and I was wondering if we’re required to use an accredited program? My son will be starting 2nd grade. Does accreditation matter in the elementary years? Thank you!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Sheri – in NC you can choose any curriculum, or even create your own. Many students attend and graduate from unaccredited programs (charter schools, Christian or private schools) so no, accreditation is not a requirement. Hope your first year is awesome!

  40. Felicia Miller says:

    i have already turned in a letter of intent last year for our school for my older child, but my question is i am getting ready to add my 2nd child to the schooling, how do i add him? and is it the same way to add every addition child?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Felicia – when you go online to the NCDNPE website, you should be able to report that you are including another student and let them know age, sex, etc. You don’t need to give their name. The NCDNPE only wants the information so that they can have an accurate count of students who are being educated at home. The NCDNPE website is a huge mess right now, so you may just want to wait a few days and let them get their newly updated weblinks fixed etc.

  41. Rhonda says:

    Hi, Merit.
    I came to your site because I was searching what to do about testing for my 5 year old son. I read at under “testing” that though children under 7 (and over 16) do not need to be enrolled, if they are enrolled they must be tested. All students with no exceptions must be tested. You may want to clarify your 5th bullet point.
    As a note to other parents, it would have been better for me to wait to officially enroll my son until he turns 7 so as to avoid having to deal with the testing. According to G.S. 115C-364, which is specifically about kindergarten entry, a 7 year old who hasn’t attended kindergarten may be placed in 1st grade. I’m thinking that a 7 year old who has been homeschooled (though not officially) could enter at 2nd grade, since according to G.S. 115C- 288 it is the “principal’s” decision where to place a child entering the school.
    I have homeschooled my 4 sons in 3 different states and one foreign country over the past 14 years. North Carolina has been the best place for homeschooling in my experience.
    Thank you for being a resource for those new to homeschooling.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hey Rhonda – Glad you found my website helpful. I am not sure what you mean by clarifying my bullet point – your 5 year old doesn’t need to be tested. You don’t file a NOI with the state until your child will turn 7 during the school year. You are right, NC is a great state to homeschool in and I am sorry that you accidently were able to register your 5 year old – not sure how that happened, but that is a DNCPE issue and not something I would ever recommend and if you read their website, they make it clear that they don’t want NOI’s until a student is going to be 7.

  42. Stacy says:

    I am exploring the idea of homeschooling my son whom is 10 years old. He is mildly intellectually delayed and has ADHD. He is going into the 5th grade, but is currently functioning at a 1-2 grade level. How would I adjust cirriculum to fit his level? Also, would I continue to move him on in grades like the public school system does? Also, how does therapy services work? Like speech and occupational therapy? Would he still be able to receive those services through the public school system or outside of it? I do not even know where to begin and I am real nervous about it all. Thank you!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Stacy – homeschooling can be such a great experience for students with learning delays or special needs. As the school administrator, you decide what is required for your student to move on to the next grade, so yes, you can continue to move him ahead, even if he is working on different levels in different subjects. As for receiving services, that is going to be up to your school. You should contact them to find out how they can help you. Some have Federal programs they can tap for funding for your student, and some offer programs to home educators, but some will not- it is up to their discretion. If they don’t, there are some great private therapists out there too.

  43. Interested Mom says:

    Hi- First, thank you for putting together and managing this website. It’s extremely helpful. My daughter is only 3, and at a wonderful pre-school. Because of her birthday, she would not start Kindergarten until fall 19, but I am just trying to figure out what we are going to do. I am very interested in homeschooling, and would very much want her to be a part of a home-schooling community. However, I only see Christian-based co-ops. I am just wondering if there are any non-religious co-ops out there? Just gathering information at this point, but would love to hear about any thoughts or suggestions on that.


    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hey there – Congrats on checking into home education. It is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child. There are secular groups that meet IRL (in real life) and online. Take a look at some links here: You may also enjoy looking into Unschooling which offers the ultimate in self directed learning – there are some resources listed here for that too: Some of the homeschool groups have pre-school play dates too. I hope you find what you are looking for and do let me know if I can help with any other questions!

  44. Kirsten Noblin says:

    My high school daughter has always been home schooled. For many reasons, we consider having her attend a 3 day per week, university model private school for 10th grade next year. However, I still would like to teach her two courses at home. Is this allowable? Am I still homeschooling her if she attends a school 3 days per week? Can I use both on her transcript or does her attendance in the 3 day school negate her homeschooling?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Kristen – you are still homeschooling her even if she is taking outside courses unless the school requires you to officially “enroll” her. Yes, put the classes on her homeschool transcript. You may also want to get a course description for the classes, to keep on file. Some colleges ask for course descriptions along with transcripts from homeschoolers and it gets hard to remember all that a class covered if you wait until later to record the information. I hope she enjoys her school days!

  45. Jennifer Brower says:

    Hi I have homeschooled my daughter for 3 years but this is the end of her Jr year and as an upcoming Sr she us wanting to work through the summer to finish up early. She only has 3 credits left in order to have all the credits she needs for her high school diploma. My question are :
    1. In the state of NC can we home school in the summer so she can graduate early or do we need to wait and do the traditional school year calendar in which she will still graduate early due to only having 3 credits left.

    Thank You

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Jennifer – you can graduate your student from your homeschool program as soon as she has enough credits/coursework to complete your requirements for graduation. Congrats to you both!

  46. Dawanne Poree says:


    My daughter’s birthday is in October so she misses the Kindergarten cutoff for this coming school year. However, she well surpasses the Kindergarten readiness academic benchmarks so I was thinking of homeschooling her in K this year and then trying to enroll in first grade next year. Is that possible? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Dawanne – by all means start working with your daughter when she is ready. You still don’t send in a NOI until the school year she will be seven, if you continue to homeschool her. If you choose to enroll her in a school, they will be the ones to determine if she can progress to another grade or if she needs to stay with her peers. Homeschooling means you get to let her progress at her rate and catch those moments when she is crazy to learn about something. It is a wonderful thing even if you only homeschool until she goes to school, but your homeschool is not “official” or subject to NC homeschool laws until you file that NOI with the NCDNPE – good luck and enjoy learning with your gal!

  47. Janet says:

    How do I add my youngest child to my homeschooling list? I have four children, one is 21 soon and is no longer homeschooled. The youngest has not been added. I can’t find any information as to how to add her and take my son off my “roster”.
    Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Janet – I couldn’t find this on the NCDNPE website either – I messaged them to try to find out if we no longer have the option to update them on our homeschool students. By law, you don’t need to report this information. You only need to let them know if you have closed your school or moved. If you have all your required records on file at home, you don’t need to worry about adding or removing students, but I am curious as to if this is a change in procedure or a result of the recent website update they did! I will follow up 🙂

  48. LaQuisha Roy says:

    Hello I am new to it all I will being educating an up in coming 4th grader. I am wanting know the right steps that I need to do in order to make sure that I do everything the correct way. I do not want to have any errors in this process. Please help if you can, also my son has ADHD which I think that being home schooled will help him a lot more than being around other children right now.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI LaQuisha – Do you mean you want to know the process to begin your homeschool in NC? Well that is the easy part – check out this page which attempts to guide you through the process: If you mean how to homeschool doing everything the correct way, and without errors, well I can’t help you there. I am a very flawed homeschool mom and have made mistakes. My kids have thrived in spite of this and are very prepared for higher education and life in general. Your son will be fine too as long as you care enough to try and find the resources that will help him learn. You are the expert on your kid. I am sure that you will be able to accommodate his ADHD much better than a teacher with a class full of students! Congrats on taking a first smart step toward educating at home and let me know if you have other questions. ~ Merit

  49. Monica says:

    Hi! My name is Monica and we are relocating here from Texas. We won’t claim residence here in NC until the closing of our house in Texas which should be May 31. Texas homeschool laws are relaxed and we never had to register with the state. Our 2 older boys will be in 5 and 6th grade next year. They will be doing an online program. My daughter will be in 2nd grade next year and I have her curriculum already planned out. (Not online). I’m kind of confused on the NC homeschool laws. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do. Could anyone help? Thank you!

  50. Ruth says:

    Hello! I have an 8 year old daughter in 2nd grade that I am about to pull from public school and start home schooling. She, as well as many other children her age, has struggled with the horrible common core math methods. I, myself, struggle with it as well at 41 years old! I am trying to find out if there is any kind of “unschooling” math methods I can teach her that will coincide with the yearly testing the state requires. From the research I have already done, it seems that the NC standard testing for home schoolers includes common core. Do you have any advice for me on how to avoid common core as much as I possibly can and teach her the way I was taught? Thank you so much!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Ruth – I think I detect two questions in there, so let me know if I missed something or got it wrong: 1) Math Methods that don’t teach “common core” 2) Tests that meet NC homeschool statute standards for annual testing that don’t include common core. First: Most curricula written for homeschooling is not aligned to any state or federal guideline, so you are pretty safe with most of them if you truly want to avoid those standards. Those that do align with them usually are pretty open about it, because some people are specifically looking for that as an option. You should be able to choose form any number of math texts or programs. Second: NC requires us to use Nationally Normed achievement tests annually- as a result, most of those tests cover a very broad range of skills and some of them were even written before “common core” became a “law” in NC, so again, I think you are safe in just choosing the one you are most comfortable with for your yearly testing. Lastly, I just want to say that whatever textbooks, real life books or tests you use in your homeschool or in unschooling, you can teach the subject matter how you want to your child. You may find that your child doesn’t “get it” from the way you were taught it and you might try something else – that is all ok. There are too many great math programs for me to name just one, but which ever you choose get one that helps you use activities & manipulatives so she can visualize and develop an understanding of math concepts.

  51. Sandra Johnson says:

    I have just submitted the intent to homeschool form and plan to withdraw my son as soon as possible from school. He’s a freshman in High school and we just could not deal with all of his issues until the end of the current school year. I know NC requires annual testing for each student. Will I be required to have him tested during the remainder of this school year since he’ll be missing the final exams and end of course testing at school? He’s been on a block semester schedule so he had testing for the first semester in january and then changed to new classes for this semester. Or since it’s near the end of the year can I wait and do testing during the next school year which we plan to start late August/early September? I plan to spend the rest of this school year (until early June) doing some review in the subjects he’s had issues with (Math, Earth Science).

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Sandra – sounds like he will do well with homeschooling. Your annual testing date will be determined by the date you submit your Notice of Intent & Diploma copy & get confirmation from the NCDNPE that your homeschool is registered. So he will need to test again within a year of that date – not before. Good luck with your new homeschool this fall!

  52. Deona Lloyd says:

    Is there anyway that someone could contact me I’ve been homeschooling my 6 and 7 year olds since this past fall and I just want to make sure that I am on the right track with things. Thanks you it would very much be appreciated.

  53. Michelle Button says:

    I filed my letter of intent on April 10, 2017, and had it acknowledged April 11, 2017. I plan to let my children finish this school year in public school and start homeschooling the 2017-2018 year (that technically starts July 1, 2017). Did I file too early and will I be in trouble for this?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Nah – you are fine, but it will affect your annual testing date. The July-June dates at the NCDNPE site just reflect their administrative dates & not anything to do with our specific homeschools. You will need to be sure and test them by the April date in 2018.

  54. Emma thomas says:

    I’m looking into homeschooling can I home school my five year old as well as my 7 year old

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Yes, Emma – the new student is automatically considered part of your homeschool unless they are enrolled in another school, so you can just begin working with your younger child as part of your already established homeschool. If you have not sent your NOI, you need to do that, then your children are also automatically assumed to be included in your home education program.

  55. Sandra Johnson says:

    What a wonderful site you have! I’m currently looking into options for my son who will be in 10th grade in the fall. He’s struggled with public school for the last several years and now with some IBS issues is finding it challenging to stay in class each day. He tends to do well with one-on-one teaching or small classrooms but unfortunately he doesn’t have that in his current school. He seems to be just slipping through the cracks. I’m finding tons of info online and I’m thinking this is definitely something we can do at home with success. His plans are to go on to a community college in the computer field and after having taken online college courses myself, I think online home schooling will be a big boost in getting him going in that direction. I do have a question though about the NC requirements. They list that the school must operate 9 months on a regular schedule with attendance taken. How does that work with online courses that are self-paced? For example if I wanted my son to take a semester-long class and he finishes up early, do I credit him with being in attendance the remaining time in that semester? I also like the freedom of him being able to work at any time of the day or week. However, i don’t want to end up with a “flakey” attendance record that would be questioned. How do other parents handle this? Thanks so much!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Sandra, I am glad you found the website helpful. Most parents allow their kids to work at their own pace. Kids who complete the work early, get credit for it and get to move on to the next thing. Attendance is taken for each day they are doing educational activities which includes a lot that we do which is not actually paper/textbook work, so the 9 months and the regular schedule are usually not a problem. I hope this reassures you that we do have lots of educational freedom as home educators. Let me know if I didn’t answer your question fully.

  56. Tammy Jarnholm says:

    Hi. My sister wants to homeschool her daughter. Does her GED have to be from NC.

  57. Sidney McNeill says:

    I have been homeschooling my son for the past year (8th grade). Now my daughter and her boyfriend (9th grade and 10th grade) want to be home schooled. My daughter has been accepted in to a local “early college” program but I worry she won’t be successful at the early college (if she stays in public school) because of her math grades. None of them are headed to a 4 year college and to be honest they (and I agree) just want to get high school over with and move on with their lives. Each of them have a skilled trade they are interested in achieving certification diplomas for. I believe that with one year of home school supported by me and a math tutor they can achieve the same level of knowledge as the average high school graduate. Is it legal for me to declare them a “high school” graduate without documenting they attended each “grade level”? For example – my daughter is public school 10th grade. Can she withdraw from public school in May – and start home school in August – doing a combined year of 11/12th grades? If so would she just take the End of Grade testing for the 12th grade only? We live in North Carolina.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Sidney – It is great that she knows what she wants to do. Since you are the admin of your homeschool, you can decide the requirements of your home education program and what constitutes completion of the high school home education program. As long as you meet the annual requirements of NC laws, the state doesn’t require a certain amount of “credits” etc. Of course you are going to want to document her work because she needs to prove that she has the equivalent of a high school diploma in order to enter most training programs and/or to get any job. If she is completing early college while homeschooling, it is my understanding that it would meet the requirements (of high school as well as providing college credits) and they will document her credits with them. Then you create her transcript based on all the work she has done combining her coursework from high school, your homeschool, and through the college. Unless they provide her with a transcript & a diploma, you will need to provide that or have her get a GED. If she just wants to complete coursework through homeschooling, she will still need at some point to prove her coursework was equivalent to a high school diploma, so you will need to provide her with documentation such as a transcript showing her work. I know many homeschoolers who finished early by homeschooling through the summers or doubling up on work to complete the requirements of their parents. State colleges and other programs that she may want to be admitted to will have requirements for acceptance, so be sure to check as to what schools will need from her and then let her go to it and finish up her high school! If this is not enough info for you, feel free to email me or call me.

  58. kathy myers says:

    Was given your contact information to ask general questions. Could you contact me please. Thank you.

  59. Yancie Costner says:

    Hi, I submitted my intent to home school and diploma images on Friday, 2/10/17. I would love to withdraw my daughter (14) from public school ASAP. Do you know how long it usually takes for final approval? Thanks!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Yancie – check your email. You should have already received an email response from them confirming receipt of your online Notice of Intent to operate a homeschool and instructions on how to send them evidence of your high school graduation or equivalence. If you already got that, then you should get an official email with your homeschool ID # within 10 days of sending them your diploma evidence. If you have not received the initial email, do your online NOI again at the NCDNPE website. If you got that & sent the graduation evidence but have not heard from them within ten business days, then give them a call at 919-733-4276. Hopefully you have already heard from them – then all you need to do is print out your Homeschool confirmation email with the ID # and then follow your school’s requirements to withdraw your student.

  60. Velinda Locklear says:

    I started homeschooling my 14 year old on October 31, 2017. Now my 16 year old wants to begin homeschooling. I updated my form online to add him on Monday. February 7, 2017. Question 1: Can I go ahead and unenroll him from school? He just started this semester and hated his classes and has missed 2 days last week and 2 days this week. School has caused a lot of anxiety. Question 2: Do I teach him same subject that he was just enrolled in for this semester. He is in math 2, English 2, political science, and an elective. Question 3: Are there any free courses that North Carolina sees as an accepted curriculum?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Velinda – Answer Question 1: if your homeschool is open, then you can withdraw him as soon as you are ready. Just follow the high school’s requirements to withdraw him. Answer to Question 2: You will probably want to keep him doing similar classwork, but hopefully use a curriculum or a way of learning that he loves rather than hates. Also, consider talking to him about his studies and getting his opinions on what he needs for future interests (further education goals, job interests etc.) and what he wants to study. You would be amazed how much a high school student can love learning when they are invested in it and have a hand in planning it. Answer Question 3: NC doesn’t approve our curriculum in any way. I often recommend that parents take a look at the NC school requirements so that they can feel that they are on track with public school students – if their students goals include a state college or university, they will need to meet certain requirements & the NC standards take that into consideration so it is just an easy guideline. The way we get to those goals will be different depending on our student’s needs, learning styles, and interests. I do hope that we as homeschoolers all take advantage of the fact that we can teach our kids in natural ways and using resources that we prefer to the way public schools have to do things to try and meet the broad needs of the average student. Lots of free resources are wonderful! Enjoy having your guys at home and learning 🙂

  61. Connie says:

    Do I have to resubmit paperwork to continue homeschooling if we are established with ncdnpe?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      No Connie – you only need to open your homeschool once…you close it within 3 months of no longer homeschooling any students and you can easily go online to update the NCDNPE on any changes to your student enrollment, address, phone # or email (they really need that information so they can contact you) as you need to.

  62. John Miles says:

    Im a certified Art teacher interested in offering Art classes for parents who home school their children. Can I get paid for this service and how do I get started.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi John – Yes, you can charge for teaching art to homeschoolers. You may want to get started by deciding some basic things about the content of your classes, where you will meet (most places will charge you which will affect the cost of your classes) what you will provide (supplies) and a date and time that you will offer the classes. Make contact with some homeschool support groups in your area (see the menu on this website under support groups) in order to see what days other activities are going on, so your class attendance is not affected by that. Also check with homeschool co-ops – they may be looking for someone just like you to teach! Good luck with this and let me know if I can help in any way 🙂

  63. alexis says:

    Hi my name is Alexis. I am a junior and wanted to graduate high school this summer through an online class. Is it illegal for me to only be homeschooled for a month even though I will be taking a full credit course online?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Alexis – if you are attending an online school for the summer class, then you are not actually a homeschooler under the definition of homeschooling in NC. You would be graduating with the credits from your high school and your online school. Homeschools are not opened for summer classes according to NC laws. From the NCDNPE:

      Q: May a home school register for and operate only during the summer months?
      No. The home school laws exist solely to provide another means for parents to satisfy the North Carolina compulsory attendance statutes. Compulsory attendance laws are applicable only during the traditional school year — not during the summer months when most local conventional schools are out of session.
      Consequently, a home school which would operate only during the summer months would not register with DNPE. Parents considering such a proposed summer instructional program must first consult with the conventional school which the student attended at the previous school year’s conclusion and especially with the one which the student will be attending at the opening of the next school term.

      The school the student will be attending in the fall determines whether or not credit for such a summer program will be accepted. Usually, credit for a parent/guardian (or anyone else) teaching his/her children during the summer months only will not be recognized by local conventional schools.

      Full year home schools registered with DNPE may, however, choose any nine months of the calendar year in which to operate.

  64. Angela Davis says:

    Hi, I am starting to homeschool my 14 year old. I have set up my school and removed her from public school. My question is – do I have to teach her all the same courses she would learn in high school? Like the higher math classes that she would more than likely never use again. My child is not a big fan of school and does not want to go to a four year college. We are aiming for community college as I think that would be more her speed. Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Angela – you can create a custom curriculum for your student including what courses she will have. Check the community colleges in your area to see what they require for entrance to their programs and devise a plan based on her interests and needs keeping in mind what they need from her in order to admit her. NC does not require homeschool parents to follow a particular scope or sequence for their homeschoolers, but you may find it helpful to take a look at the ones I linked to (see the menu at the top of the pages on the website) to get some idea of what she will need to learn to move on to higher ed or a training program.

  65. Marie says:

    I am strong considering homeschooling my 13 year old for the remainder of 8th grade because of anxiety issues with the goal of having him start at a charter high school in the fall. I understand that I would have to keep the school open for 9 months but since he has already been enrolled in a tradional school setting for half a school year can I legally just complete half a year and have him complete end of the year tests in late June with the goal of starting high school not homeschooling in aug

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Marie – you can homeschool him for the remainder of 8th grade. The 9 month requirement by NC law doesn’t mean that you have to have your homeschool open for nine months to homeschool- it just means that our homeschools need to operate during a nine month period if that is our child’s only source of schooling for the school year. I hope that homeschooling helps with his anxiety issues! Maybe you won’t even need the charter school next year if he loves homeschooling 🙂 Let me know if you have other questions.

  66. Anesa says:

    Hello Merit, how long do I have to wait to start homeschool after I send in a NOI?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Anesa – you should get an email back from the NCDNPE once you file that NOI on their website. You can use a print out of that confirmation to withdraw your student and then begin homeschooling right away. There is not a “waiting period” or anything like that, you can start as soon as you meet the requirements of the school for withdrawing and the state for opening your homeschool.

  67. chelsea douglas says:

    hi I’m going to start homeschooling my 15 year old this year but I’m wondering if anyone can help me with this question.. about how much money will I be spending to homeschool her.?? and exactly how will I get the lessons or curriculums that she needs to be learning? this is all new to me so any feedback helps.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Chelsea – this is a great question. Of course your costs are going to be related directly to how you chose to homeschool. The least expensive method would be using real books from the library and used curriculum – along with some really great field trips (get the group discount by attending with your support group!) provides a good education at a low cost. Addons include costs for tutors or co-op classes or additional costs for consumable type curricula such as the LifePacs or other workbook based texts. I have seen annual averages based on small samplings of homeschoolers of $400-600 per student, and of course on both ends of the spectrum you have those who spend more and those who even claim to homeschool for free. There are some really cost effective supplements to your homeschool such as 4-H or other community clubs, and homeschool get togethers like park days that only cost you your gas to get there. Generally speaking, the addage time is money is true for homeschooling too – the more time intensive for the teacher, the less expensive the items usually are, and a nice new boxed program that saves you lots of time, will cost more. Hope this gives you some idea of what to expect!

  68. Jenny says:

    I have been homeschooling my girls for years and have a lot of records due to not throwing away. My question is how long do I or should keep the work? I’ll keep thier attendance and end of grade test, but the everyday work is what I’m wondering about. Thank you for any help or suggestions you can provide.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Jenny – the statutes don’t require us to keep daily school work, but some of us choose to keep a sampling of the work they have done. There is no reason to hold on to every bit of work they have done, so if you want to keep some of it, maybe consider making a nice portfolio/notebook or scrapbook to keep their best work in and ditch the rest. If you have highschoolers, you may want to keep their lab books (to show they had labs) and a good sampling of their work simply in case they apply at a college that asks for a lot of extra stuff from homeschoolers – most are now willing to concede (after many years of SAT’s crossing their desks & seeing homeschoolers fit right in at college!) that a transcript and maybe course descriptions are enough, but I have heard there are still some that require a lot more from home educated kids. As you mentioned, be sure to keep their attendance and annual tests handy each year. I actually have all of ours, but I believe we really only are required to produce them for the current year if asked. Hope this helps you feel better about clearing some stuff out.

  69. Tessa Riddle says:

    Hello… Im really considering homechooling for my daughters… My niece will be the one doing all of the teaching and schooling as i work full time and wouldn’t be around much during the day.. So that being said, would i send in my high school diploma or hers, seeing as how she will be the one that will actually be doing all the teaching??

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Tessa~ homeschooling is great and under NC law, you can have your niece tutor your child, however the definition of a homeschool in NC states that you need to administer the school and control the scope and sequence of your child’s education, therefore, it appears to me that you need to open a homeschool online and provide your diploma or GED or have your husband do that. Let me know if this leads to other questions for you – it is hard to add all the info. in the comment section sometimes! Here is the NC Statute- Under Part 3. Home Schools, § 115C-563. Definitions: As used in this Part or Parts 1 and 2 of this Article: (a) “Home school” means a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction.

  70. Amy G says:

    Hello, We will be moving to North Carolina by April we currently homeschool 3 of our children and will continue when we move my question is by what age do they have to graduate? This is our second year homeschooling my children are teenagers and we are still working on closing gaps in their education I’m hoping to get an idea of how long we have to be able to complete that
    Thank you for your help

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Amy G. – I hope that you will love NC. It is beautiful in the spring and it is a great state for home education. The NC Homeschooling law doesn’t give a required graduation age. As homeschoolers, we administer our homeschools and determine what the graduation requirements will be for our homeschools. Most homeschoolers utilize the NC University system requirements or the NC pulic school guides for planning their high school program so their kids don’t miss out on subjects or credits they will need for higher education. I have some suggestions and information here at the website under the High School Planning section that I hope helps you get started. If you already know what they want to do after high school, (college they want to attend or Internship etc.) then you will want to check the specific college website to decide what courses you will require. Also you can find the NC public school grad requirements here – they are very helpful, but be sure to check for the year your student entered 9th grade and for the career/college path they want to follow. Public school requirements changed as NC’s standards changed to fit with the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum for the public high schools:

  71. Jill says:

    Hi Merit. I just “opened” my homeschool before the winter break and I’m very excited to get started. I just have a few questions I need answered and i hope you can help. First, the annual standardized test, is that given at home by me? Or do we go somewhere else and they give the test? Also, since half the year is over, when would be correct time to give the test? (My son is in 3 grade AG classes in his current school.) One last question is , the curriculum in homeschooling is entirely up to the chief administrator of the school, correct? Thank you so much for time..

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Jill – welcome to homeschooling. I am excited for you too! You can give the annual test at home, or you may choose to have someone else administer it individually or in a group testing setting. Some homeschool groups organize annual testing in the spring for their members and sometimes the kids love that. Do what works best for your family this year. The test is annual from the time you file your Notice of Intent to homeschool, so as long as you have it completed by next winter break, you will have met the law’s requirements. Curriculum (or not using curriculum) is completely up to you as the educator and administrator of your school, so enjoy choosing and planning and book shopping 🙂 and feel free to switch up to something else if your child is not thriving with the curriculum you begin with.

  72. Kelley Rogers says:

    I am beginning homeschooling for my 11 yr old daughter mid-year. She has social anxiety and has missed all but two weeks of her fifth grade year. Can you tell me how many hours of study per week is required in NC. I also read something about instructing for nine straight calendar months with the exception of holidays and vacation. Can you clarify what the actual requirements are? Also, as far as the standardized test, with her circumstance missing half the school year, is there any exceptions to having to take the test for half the year? I hope that makes since..

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Kelley – it really sounds like homeschooling will work for you daughter much better than regular school. There is not an hourly “requirement” specified under homeschool laws. Most homeschoolers finish their school work more quickly working on their own than they would in a classroom where much of the time is spent organizing the larger number of students and addressing the needs of multiple students. Your homeschool does need to operate during at least nine months during the year, but that doesn’t have to coincide with the public school schedule and you can school year round if you prefer to get her caught up and keep her from feeling more stressed. If you have just filed your Notice of Intent to homeschool, then her annual test for this school year will be due by next winter. Just calculate the year by when you filed your NOI with the state and do the testing within the time frame that works best for her within that annual requirement. Did that answer your questions? Let me know if I need to clarify anything. And I hope she will enjoy homeschooling!

  73. Angelenia E King says:

    Hello…i have a i live in NC and there are so many issues with our schools. i have been asked to start a homeschool school…is that possible? Can i rent a building and hire teachers for the classrooms and have children that are not related to me and start a homeschool school?
    Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Angelenia – a homeschool under NC law, consists of a family teaching (or directing learning for) their children at home. Homeschoolers may include another family’s children in their homeschool. If you want to include more families, you could form a co-op to provide classes that homeschoolers would pay for, or organize a co-op where the parents teach each other’s children. Parents often utilize the expertise of others to provide a great home education for their children, but unless you are teaching your kids at home, you are not creating a “homeschool” that fits the definition of a homeschool under NC law, you are providing a service that would fit better under the private school or business laws. Hope that this info. helps clarify, but if you are confused by anything I said, I am glad to go into more detail, so email me or message me again. sometimes it is hard to give a short answer in the comments section and feel like I have covered all the info!

  74. Chris says:

    My son just turned seven at the end of November this year. When do I need to send the NOI to the NCDPE? Specifically, what is my deadline to do so? We’ve been homeschooling for two years. Does this matter that I have not yet “opened” our homeschool? Thank you.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Chris – now is the time to file your Notice of Intent to Homeschool with the NCDNPE which “officially” opens your school. Since he turned seven this school year, you need to “open” your school. NC law doesn’t require you to file an NOI until your child will be of compulsory school age (7 years old). You can fill out the online form during NCDNPE’s business hours (office hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.) – they will email you a confirmation and directions on how to submit your diploma: If you have other questions, you can check out the blog’s main menu on the front page for tips and links you can use.

  75. Alisa Stein says:

    I want to start by saying this website had been very helpful.
    From what I have read, if your “child” is 18, you don’t have to register with the state. However she is in the 11th grade bc she has failed two grades and she is LD.
    She still needs to learn wherever she can. But when I do her report card is it not valid?
    And at the end of the year, can she not be tested? She has an IEP etc.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Alisa, if you have already sent your NOI to the NCDNPE (before your child was 18) you can keep your school open and test at the end of the year just as you normally would. Once your student completes her high school requirements you can issue her a diploma. According to Diane Allen at the NCDNPE, for a student with disabilities, you can also issue a certificate of completion instead of a homeschool diploma showing that they have completed requirements that are appropriate for their special needs. You can’t send the DNPE a Notice of Intent to Homeschool if the student is already 18 though.

  76. Andrea Landes says:

    My nine year old daughter is a straight A student, but having problems at school being bullied, and treated unfairly the principal is not helping the situation. It is effecting her self esteem as she has been bullied for years at school. I am considering home schooling her and think could work out well for her (with socialization in after school fun activities) have a college degree. I read the NC DPNE rules. My question for you is about standardized tests, and when and where to take them annually. Do you know a good resource to look into those tests? Thank you so much for any information you can provide.

  77. tiffany haines says:

    My son is having trouble in school with other kids and being bullied. I have expressed my concerns with the school and it doesn’t seem to help. He is currently in 6th grade in North Carolina. I am considering taking him out of public school. Can you possible advise me on my first steps as to do this and as soon as possible.

  78. Elizabeth Rudd says:

    My 13 year old wants to be pulled out of public school so she can learn at her own pace through homeschooling, as she feels that her current teachers are just teaching her things she already knows. I have a very busy job and so does her father, so we wouldn’t be able to help much. She has already been taking instruction into her own hand after school and teaching herself advanced high school subjects. I feel like she would learn the best in a home school environment that puts her in charge. Though no matter what article I read, nothing feels like the type of method she has in mind. Would it be required of her to be taught by me or her father, or would we just have to oversee her tests and check in on her once in a while to make sure she is learning well?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hello Elizabeth – what an amazing opportunity it would be for your daughter to be able to learn in a home environment and be in control of her learning! She is obviously a natural for this type of independent learning experience. It sounds as though she is a very motivated learner and sounds like you and your husband would be supportive of her learning at home. The amount of time that parents put into overseeing their kids’ education is as individual as each student and each homeschool program. Many parents who homeschool at the high school level have told me that the time they invested in their child’s early education is now paying off in that their more independent learner’s merely require guidance, tools and (sometimes) taxi service to activities! Our family has found this to be true as well. I would recommend that you conference with her and help determine her learning goals. Then work together to establish what classes, books, websites and or memberships you will need in order to meet those goals together. You can also discuss what type of accountability she needs from you as parents at that time. The great thing is that if you find that she is not meeting goals with the resources and/or accountability you establish together at the beginning, you can always adjust as needed. It certainly sounds as though this would be a great idea for your daughter and would enable her to reach her potential! Let me know if you have other questions I can help with too and I hope that this helps you decide to homeschool your 13 year old – it sounds perfect for her!

  79. Faith says:

    I am wanting to homeschool my 10 yr old who is in 5th grade. She has been struggling with school since 3rd grade and there are 29 students to 1 teacher so she receives no help with school work and is only getting further behind. My question is, my husband and I neither have a GED or high school diploma. Our 19 yr old son does have a high school diploma and will be going to college next year to become a teacher. Can our son register for the homeschool as the chief administrator, and my husband and I oversee everything and help make decisions on our daughter’s curriculum and etc.?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Faith – the law requires that the “all persons providing academic instruction in a homeschool should have a high school diploma or its equivalent”. As long as your homeschool meets that criteria, you can use your son, classes, tutors and/or parent led instruction to meet that requirement. If you and your husband want to provide instruction, then it appears you would need to obtain the GED. It may be easier than you think- most community colleges have programs and it is my understanding that you can get one in around 6-8 weeks. Let me know if I can help in any way! This could be a great way for you both to show your homeschooler that education is not just for “school” years but always has value.

  80. lynn atkins says:

    We have filed intent to homeschool. When we begin will my grandson lose time already been in second. I hope we wouldnt have to start over. Hes excelling in all subjects. Reasons for homeschool are for other reasons. Thanks for any advice.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Lynn – as the homeschool administrator and educator, you have the choice about grade placement. If he has been in second grade there is no reason that you would have to change his grade. Even if he were not yet fully on level in all subjects, with home education, you can leave him in his grade and let him catch up with your one-on-one instruction. So – nope- you can start right where he left off in public school. Hope the rest of your year is fantastic!

      • lynn atkins says:

        So if i think hes ready to move on to third I can do that or should I test him first. Thanks you are a big help.

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Lynn – glad to help! Right, if you have decided that he is ready to move to third, you can move him into curriculum that is on that level. Most kids will be at different levels in different subjects based on their strengths and weaknesses and with home education, we can help them build their skills in areas of weakness without holding them back in areas where they are at or above grade level. Testing can be a tool that will help you with placement if you are unsure of where to begin. Some curricula include placement tests you can use to decide where to place the student and standardized tests provide specific information about areas where students need to improve. Curricula which is written for classrooms will already include review of the previous years’ skills in the beginning chapters of the child’s current level, so you may be able to start there and see how things proceed before paying for additional testing if it is not included in the cost of the materials already 🙂 Hope this helps!

  81. Iliana Rodriguez says:

    Hi, I am looking in home schooling my 15 year old. he not doing good in school and the school is infested with gangs. they wont change his school so I want to home school him. I have never done this and really don’t even know where to start. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hello, Iliana. It sounds like homeschooling your son will take a lot off your mind and give him a better atmosphere in which to learn and grow. The way to begin is by filing a Notice of Intent to homeschool with the state’s Division of Non-Public Education HERE. They will email you a confirmation and tell you how to submit your high school diploma to them. You then follow your school’s requirements for withdrawing your student. While you are doing all this, you will want to take a look at the types of choices you have in curriculum. There are some links on this page you can follow that will show you all the options you have. Find a support group in your area here too- those moms will know the best co-ops, supplemental classes and sports etc. in your area and you will probably find they all have had the same questions about home education that you have. Go to any mom’s meetings or mom’s nights out that you can so you can get your questions answered. And of course, you can always message me here, email me or call me 🙂 Enjoy your son and learning with him and kudos to you for making this big decision.

  82. Jennifer says:

    I am having trouble finding what curriculum I have to follow by law in N.C. The only thing I have been able to find is the guide lines for public schools. Do homeschool’s follow the same guide lines? If not where do I find the correct curriculum?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Jennifer – there is no curriculum that you must follow by law in NC in order to homeschool. One of the responsibilities (and freedoms) we have as home educators is to ensure that our students are learning. Curricula is one tool that we can use to meet that goal. If you take a look at the Scope and Sequence Page, you will see a listing of some suggestions you can look at online to help you make a choice that works for your children. Reviews are really helpful and their are some sites there that offer curriculum reviews…also take a look at the Homeschool Help page for resources that can help you determine the learning style of your child – that helps when you are looking at books to purchase to create a home education plan that your kids will love!

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank you VERY much! That is extremely helpful. I do have one more question I hope you can help me with. My daughter struggled last year,actually since starting school. They passed her on to the 4th grade in public school,but there is still a huge majority of 3rd grade curriculum she struggles with. Can I hold her back in 3rd grade until I feel that she is ready to move forward?

  83. Cristal says:

    Hello My son Shane is 9 years old he has been diagnosed with ADHD ever since kindergarten. I have tried my hardest to get him the help he needs at school but he has struggled every year and I’m not seeing any help with the teachers. He is a smart boy and I is good at the work at home but when he gets to school he says it’s boring and he pretty much doesn’t want to do it. Something new that just started.I have really been considering home schooling him because I know I could do a better job and give him the one on one attention he needs. I have been considering this for the past two years. My daughter also goes to the school but she does great. But this year his grades or worse than ever and again just getting the runaround from school. I was thinking about doing the free online program for him however I didn’t know by doing it online if I would require to have to have a high-school diploma. That I do not have and need suggestions on what I could do. I am a stay-at-home mom. I know I’m smart and I keep great records. I have kept every report card, note from the doctor, note from the teacher everything about him to try to get him the help he needs, whatever that may be. I’m just at a loss. I don’t have a lot of money so I can’t send him to a private school. Homeschooling is about the only option I see right now but like I said I do not have a high school diploma. Please help me figure this out or give me any suggestions on what I can do. Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Cristal – it sounds like homeschooling would be a good option in your situation. There are online options that are online public school ( I think there is a waiting list for this) and there are classes and online curriculum that are private and not through the state. An even less expensive option is to use real life learning, whole books and some textbooks or free online supplements to fill in and create your own home education plan. If you do have a GED, you can still set up a homeschool. If you don’t have one, it is my understanding that you can obtain one in just a couple of months through your community college. if for some reason that is not an option, you can ask another homeschool parent to include him in their homeschool program. If your significant other has one, they could be in charge of the education program for your son which can include tutors, classes and co-ops as well. You have options and if it is going to work best for your family, you seem like the kind of mom who is going to be great at it! Let me know if you have other questions 🙂

  84. Julie Tennant says:

    Hi! I have a question. We filed the NOI 2 years ago and homeschooled for the 3rd grade then enrolled our daughter in public school for 4th grade. Now we are going to homeschool again for 5th. We never “closed” our homeschool and it is still open and registered. Do we need to file another NOI to be able to pull her out from the public school? We filled out the dnpe change/update form online. But are confused as to if we need to file another NOI to re enroll her into our homeschool? Thank you!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Julie – welcome back to homeschooling 🙂 You do not need to file anything new with the NCDNPE if your school is still open. You simply follow the procedures that the school has in place for withdrawing her. You can get right back into your home education program since your school was never closed.

      • Julie says:

        Great!! Thank you so much, Merit. It has been hard to find answers to that question online and we really appreciate your help! Thank you also for the wonderful resources listed here on your site. I have bookmarked your page! 🙂

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Very glad to be of help, Julie. Thanks so much for bookmarking the site and for letting me know it helped you – that is what keeps me going 🙂

  85. Jill says:

    Hi,I homeschooled my daughter till 8th grade put her in a charter school because I thought it would be better for her as a high school student. It has been 3 years..and she hates it. I didn’t know if I need to reapply for homeschooling or if I am still listed as a homeschool. Can you tell me how to find out?

  86. Doreen Melton says:

    Hi I’m inquiring information for my niece, she is in hr senior year of high school but just turned 18 years old. Is it not possible to home school her for the rest of this year? What are my alternatives? Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Doreen – According to the NCDNPE FAQ which is very helpful, you should not enroll an 18 year old or file an NOI for them to open a homeschool. You do however have options in my opinion: 1) they can study at home and obtain a GED 2) they can enroll in an adult education high school diploma program at a community college 2) they can obtain their public school records and enroll in an accredited online high school program from which they would graduate and receive their diploma. I hope that helps you decide…here is the link to NCDNPE FAQ which shows their stance: and if you look online, there are accredited schools offering homeschoolers online credits towards a diploma.

  87. Rick moore says:

    hi my name is Rick Merit my child is 7th grade public school she has always been in a special ed class she wanted to go to regular edd so she could make friends she is so behind she can not do the work how do I go about home schooling her thanks in advance

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Rick – homeschooling is an excellent way to help her get on track. If you have decided to commit to a home education program for her, then you will want to begin by filing your Notice of Intent to homeschool with the state. (see the menu above for the page on How to Homeschool) Then you need to follow your school’s procedures for withdrawing her from the local school where she is enrolled. (there is a page for that here too). If you already have an idea of what curriculum you want to use, you simply begin keeping proper records and teaching her at home. If you decide to give her a little time to deschool and for you to organize your materials etc., that works too. You can look at some of the links for online resources, curriculum etc. decide on one and you are on your way. Let me know if you have other questions once you get started with all of this!

  88. Marisa says:

    Hello I’m seriously thinking about pulling my 5 year old son from the public school. I’m already experiencing racial problems toward my son and multiple back lash from me properly trying to solve the issues. I saw that I don’t have to register to homeschool till he is 7 years old in North Carolina. So does this mean that once I have the curriculum for his kindergarten I can pull him from the public school and just homeschool him? Or is there something else that I would need approval on I am a high school graduate and can provide proof of such as well if I need to?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Marisa – I am sorry you (and your child) are dealing with racial issues. It shouldn’t be going on in our world today, but kudos for recognizing the need to pull him out and teach him at home. Kids learn so much in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Take a look at the page on withdrawing your student: Let me know if you have questions that doesn’t answer for you. Congrats on homeschooling- I hope you love it as much as our family does 🙂

  89. Lisa says:

    Good evening. I have another question. I’m 46 years old and can’t find my high school diploma. I thought I had it but it must have gotten lost over the years. I’m a nurse. Can I use my diploma for nursing or either get my high school transcripts instead of my high school diploma. Thank you

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Lisa – your other documentation should be fine. Go ahead and complete your NOI and the NCDNPE gets back to you quickly to tell you how to send them your documentation and their website does say you can use a college diploma as verification. 🙂

  90. Lisa says:

    Me and my husband are thinking about home schooling my daughter in 10th grade. We both work and can’t afford to quit our jobs. Can we give her independent work or online work to do until we get home from work and also give her work to do on weekends when I’m off

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Lisa – that is the greatest thing about home education – it can work with your schedule. If she is a good independent learner, there is no reason why you can’t allow her to work at her own pace during the day and then review with her and let her ask questions in the evening when you are both available. If your family is more comfortable schooling in the evenings and/or weekends, you can plan your daughter’s schedule accordingly. As long as your child is learning, you can do what works best for your family. NC state laws allow us a lot of flexibility within the regular nine months schedule that our homeschools are required to operate each year.

      • Lisa says:

        Thank you so much for the information. This is all so confusing and overwhelming right now. Another question, How does it work with a learners permit and drivers license. I was told she’ll loose her learners permit and won’t be able to get her license until she’s 18? How do I know how many credits she needs and what classes she needs to take?

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Lisa – take a look at the Driver’s Ed page here: If she has already had her Driver’s Ed Class, then I can’t see any reason she would lose her permit. Homeschoolers get their licenses all the time. Just follow the procedures that you have not done yet. She can even have her “in car” at the school, you just contact whoever is in charge of DE to set that up…if she has not had DE yet at all, then you set it up with the school and pay the fee just like you would if she was still at the high school. If you aren’t comfortable with that, there are some approved companies listed on my DE page that you can check with about it instead. She will be fine 🙂

          • Lisa says:

            She should be ok then. She had drivers ed over the summer and got her learners permit in august. For subjects that I don’t know how to teach, how do you go about getting someone for that. Example: Foreign language

          • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

            Hey again Lisa – sorry I missed this question earlier. WordPress updated and it seems all my notifications are not working now. As for High School subjects that we can’t teach, there are several options: online classes, Cd’s & DVD programs (like Rosetta Stone or Living Language programs with writing sections/worktexts for practice) Co-ops with teachers for those subjects, Tutors or small classes for those subjects. Our family has used all of the above options at one time or another for subjects they wanted to learn about that were not my expertise. If you connect with a good support group in your area, the homeschool parents there will be likely to be able to connect you if you do not find a co-op listed here on the website:

  91. Christi says:

    I have twin daughters who are currently enrolled as 6th graders at a public school and have already begun the 2016-2017 school year. Is it too late to set up a homeschool for this year and enroll them? The school has received serious threats of violence and I do not feel that my children are safe there.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Christi – you can begin teaching your kids at home any time during the school year. I am glad you are thinking about this positive move. It sounds like you and your children will have a lot more peace of mind once you begin. Just follow the links to the NCDNPE page that are here on “How to Homeschool”… then contact your school to begin the process of withdrawing them from their public school.

  92. Mark says:

    I just started home schooling my 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter.. My son is of course in kindergarten this year and I have already setup my home school with the DNPE for my 7 year old daughter.. My question is when my son turns 7 do I have to file another notice of intent to home school even though he would have been schooled for the previous 2 years? Or is there something I let them know via the website when he turns 7 ? I’m a bit confused about this part and any help would be appreciated… Thanks!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Mark- according to NC law, you don’t need to do anything else to notify them. You can update your online information for the NCDNPE database to include him when you do your reporting, but that is totally voluntary. You only file your NOI once for your homeschool. You then keep required records on hand for that student each year in addition to your daughter’s. Super easy!

  93. Angela hutchins says:

    I have decided to homeschool my 13 year old this time. He attended last was a private school and it closed. How would I notify anyone of my child being homeschoo? Thanks

  94. Jennifer christmas says:

    I currently have a 9 year old daughter that is going into 4th grade. With all of the issues with bullies at school nowadays I want to homeschool her. She struggles with math and reading, and the kids are extremely cruel. The teachers/ school system does nothing about it. Anyways on to my question I or my husband do not have a high school diploma or GED. My mother-in-law is a retired teachers assistant she has offered to homeschool my daughter. Can we do that or do my husband or I also have to have a high-school diploma or GED?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hey there, Jennifer! I know what you mean about kids being cruel. Your home education program can give your daughter success with her strengths and time to overcome her weaknesses without the devastating affects of teasing and bulling- so congrats on choosing to homeschool. In NC the law states that homeschools can be made up of one or two households: “Home school” means a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction…. the law also specifies that “…The persons providing academic instruction in a home school shall hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 891, s. 1.)” Your MIL’s homeschool would qualify under the NC homeschool statutes as long as you (the parents) are deciding/overseeing the course of her instruction. Your MIL needs to complete an NOI and send a copy of her diploma or GED to them as requested once that NOI is done. The easiest way is online and if you scroll up, you can click the links to go right to the state website to have her fill it out. Let me know if this didn’t answer your question and I hope your family’s homeschooling experience is wonderful!

  95. Angelique says:

    I cannot locate my high school diploma. I do have my high school transcript however it is sealed. Do I mail it in or can I open it and fax it to your office?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Angelique- I PM’d You the information for the NCDNPE. It looks like that is where you were trying to go. If you have other questions about filing your NOI or about homeschooling. I hope you will stop back here, but this is not the state website. Let me know if I can help with anything else though and Happy Homeschooling!

  96. Jeff Folk says:

    We will be home schooling are child for the first time this year. What type of letter are we required to send to the local public school informing them that our child will be home schooled? Is there an example letter for reference? Thanks

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hello Jeff & congrats on homeschooling this year! If your child was enrolled in the public school previously, then you need to 1) follow the procedure I outlined on this page to file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool 2) follow whatever the school’s procedure is for withdrawing your child from their school. If you are withdrawing, and you want to follow up their procedures with a letter, I would recommend that you date it, and include a statement confirming you have completed their requirements for withdrawing and that your child will be participating in your home ed program- you can add any information that you feel comfortable providing them such as your homeschool number assigned by the NCDNPE and/or the date they confirmed receipt of your NOI to homeschool etc. You are not required to send the school anything in writing, other than whatever forms they require, but if you do send a follow up letter, you should keep a copy to verify that you have appropriately withdrawn your student just in case there is any mix-up with their paper work that may lead to truancy questions. Does that help? Let me know if you have other questions. I hope your homeschool year is amazing! Merit

  97. Steven Mansfield says:

    Hi, We have decided to home school my niece, who would be an 11th grader when school starts in a few weeks. We have filed our intent to home school, and have recieved our confirmation. We need help deciding what curriculum will work best for her, and what is the best method of figuring out her learning style. I’m thinking an online curriculum will be the way to go, and was wondering what is the best way to research and decide on one. I doubt my niece will go to a 4 year college, but community college is definately an option, and I want her to be prepared, not just for community college but for life beyond college. We feel like public school wasn’t giving her the tools for a successful future and we were concerned about the influence of her peers. She has had a tough childhood, and hasn’t been encouraged to do well in school by her mother, but she is very bright and I think with the right influence and a system of learning tailored to her learning style, she can have a happy, fulfiling, productive life. Thank you in advance for your help, and for this very imformative website!

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Steven – what a great investment in your niece’s future your homeschool will be! I appreciate your encouragement about the website too- that means a lot to me! I think you are asking all the right questions – her learning style should be your guide in choosing your curriculum and/or educational program for her. It sounds like you are in touch with where she is and have a vision for where she wants to be. I am still working on the Homeschool Help Page, but I decided to go ahead and publish it while it is under construction so I can refer you to it for some links with LS assessment quizzes. I highly recommend the Cathy Duffy website as help for picking curriculum too. Her link should also show up at the new page: . That should give you a place to start – let me know if I can help with anything else too. I think you can look forward to a great homeschool year 🙂

  98. Laura Malone says:

    Thank you for this website. It is the most comprehensive I’ve found and I so appreciate the time you take to respond to questions. I have one question as well:)
    While filing the NOI online, I see there is a place to choose under which part of Article 39 I elect to operate under, religious or nonreligious. Are there benefits or hindrances to either of them?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Laura – thank you for your thoughtful encouragement- that keeps me going! There is no special privilege or additional requirement to electing either to homeschool as religious or non. I think the legislature simply wanted to better understand people’s reasons for making the choice to teach their kids at home. Both religious and non are treated the same under the homeschool laws in NC. Hope that helps you.

  99. Ratasha says:

    Hi! I’m unfortunately a public school parent who has been thinking of homeschooling for a few years. At my parent’s behest, I kept my children in public school to keep them “social” I have made a mistake by not pulling them earlier. My daughter is supposed to be heading to 3rd grade (8) and my son Kindergarten (5). My daughter excelled beyond her levels in Math, but fell short by 2 levels in reading (comprehension) this year. We were assured that a summer reading lab would ensure her promotion. I discovered yesterday after being ignored for a week that she is being retained in the 2nd grade. At no time during her month of summer school had anyone gave us any inclination that the program wasn’t helping her. A month was essentially wasted and not only am I dissatisfied with the county’s methods, but their educational standards. Now my husband and I are thinking that homeschooling is the best option for both children. Is it too late for me to suit my intent for this school year? Will I have to retain her in the 2nd grade, or can I put her on the 3rd grade track? Thanks in advance.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Ratasha – I am so sorry that your family has been frustrated by the school system. Homeschooling will give you a lot more freedom to meet your child’s needs. It is not too late to open your homeschool. Your students are automatically “enrolled” in your homeschool once it is opened. You don’t need to do anything to add your other kids, unless they have been in public school, then you will need to withdraw them. 1)follow the NCDNPE procedures (you can see them at this page above, or follow the links to their site to read about this) to file the Notice of Intent to Homeschool for your family. That is all you need to do to open your homeschool. 2) you will need to contact the school to find out their procedures for withdrawing your child and follow their requirements. 3) Now that your homeschool is open, you can make your learning goals for the year and then choose how you will meet them (curriculum, co-ops, real life learning, literature based, project based, or a combination of all! You do not need to retain her in her current grade. You can take the time to help her reach grade level in the area where she is struggling, which usually happens rapidly when they have individual attention. Enjoy all that family learning time!

  100. Jessica Lee says:

    My question is regarding high school requirements. Do they have to have electives or is it just based on the number of credits they have?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Jessica~ as the administrator of your homeschool, you will have to decide about the required courses, amount of credits, grade scale, course descriptions of your classes etc. You will want to keep in mind the known requirements of any colleges your student may be interested in. I used the graduation requirements of the NC state colleges as a guideline when I planned my high schoolers’ education plan. So my students did have a number of electives as well as core classes that they received credit for. I have a post here that may help you and I plan to include high school articles in the future, so you may want to subscribe to the newsletter so you can keep up with those articles.

  101. Tiffany Stone says:

    This is my first year at homeschooling my children, ages 7 and 10. I am excited, yet nervous on what curriculum to use. I would love to use the ACE curriculum but looks like it may be out of our price range. I also am going crazy on which national standardized test to use? If I could get any advice on curriculum, test and also school scheduling, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Tiffany – I do plan to write a more lengthy article for my NC News Mag. on testing – that News magazine should be up and running by next month for the new school year! But in the meantime, I have found that since my homeschool style has always been very relaxed, project based and hands-on, that it didn’t matter which version of the test my kids used, they always confirmed pretty much the strengths and weaknesses I knew they had before they took that test! My choice was to use an inexpensive and easy to use version and test at home the majority of the time. Online tests can be good if your kids like them – some kids just do better with that paper & pencil bubble-to-fill in kind of test! A test with a group was a great experience for them too, so once in a while we did those and my kids thought that was pretty fun. Curriculum can be pricey, but you can sometimes find good ones used. My curriculum advice would be to take a look at some Learning Style information before you purchase anything and try to find a fit that works for your family. Unit studies can offer a lot of flexibility and are inexpensive relatively speaking.

  102. Natasha says:

    Hello…im Relocating from Florida to Raleigh NC, What should be the steps i take as a new resident of your state for my soon to be 8 year old who is headed into 3rd grade. Thank you for your Help in this matter.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Natasha & welcome to NC!!!! Raleigh is a fabulous place to homeschool! You can find some great support there. Click over to how to homeschool (on the front page) and you will find some details and links to get you started. You will need to send a Notice of Intent to homeschool (you can do that online at the state’s website- the links on my page should take you there). Let me know if you have other questions.

      • Andrea says:

        Glad I started reading through the comments 🙂 I currently live in FL and there is a large unschool community here. How would this work in NC?

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Andrea! In NC, you file your Notice of Intent to homeschool with the State to begin. You then, as the administrator of your school, have the privilege and responsibility of choosing what type of home education program you will follow. There are Un-schooling groups and re-sources here too. Lots of amazing learning experiences to be had in NC. Your further responsibilities are to document your student’s attendance and vaccination record (or exemption as appropriate), test each student annually with a nationally normed standardized test and keep those records on file at your home. If we chose, we can submit verification of our meeting those requirements online or when requested to meet up with a DNPE official.

      • Andrea says:

        Thank you 🙂 how would I find any of these unschooling groups in NC? I’d love to be able to connect with other families who are active unschoolers in NC 🙂

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Hi Andrea- you could take a look at some of the links on the support group page, also search on Facebook. There is support in regular support groups too since many of them plan educational activities and trips. A lot of fellow unschoolers can be found at the NC Unschoolers discussion group at yahoo too.

  103. christy says:

    My daughter wants to finsh school not get a ged she is now 19 but has 2 children can she do a gone school are not

  104. Shirley says:

    Hi Merit! I have just stumbled upon your site! Thanks for all the wonderful info! I have two boys graduating this June and I have a 6 year old finishing up kindergarten. He is still under the radar due to his age :). I have read a few of the comments and have a question re: sending info in to Raleigh. When we started with the two oldest – we were required to mail in a copy of the attendance record and a copy of the standardized test results. Am I reading correctly that we no longer have to mail in yearly? I have been doing so each year, even this one already for my two oldest. Thanks again! Shirley aka abzymomx4

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Shirley – the NCDNPE wants us to utilize their new website to do all our reporting. It is voluntary, but you do not have to mail anything in to them.

  105. Virginia Spruill says:

    Hi everybody, my daughter is in 10th grade, and last year she decided she wanted to do online school. We chose Keystone, and that is the school that she has been “attending” for the past 9 months. We did not register a homeschool, is this a problem? She also wants to go back to public school next year, so does she need to take standardized testing? Thank you so much in advance.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Virginia, if Keystone is a private online school and is accredited keeping her transcripts etc. then in my opinion, she was enrolled in that school last year and they will just transfer her records from that school to the public school when you enroll her this fall – you should not need to do anything else. However, according to the NC Department of Non-public Education, even though she is enrolled in the private online school, you should have sent a Notice of Intent to Homeschool so that she can get her driver’s license. As she is going right back to a public school, you shouldn’t have an issue, but if you are going to continue to teach her at home using Keystone, you will need to file the NOI and then follow the homeschool laws of NC.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      If the distance-learning program or virtual school is based in another state (not NC Virtual School) they you need to file a NOI. If it is just for a summer program, you don’t. Students all need to show enrollmentin a legal NC school (either a local public, conventional non-public or a home school registered with DNPE). For compulsory attendance purposes, the home school would then be the North Carolina school in which the child is enrolled, and the distance-learning program or virtual school would be considered the curriculum the parent is using to home school his/her child. from the DNPE: “In completing the Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School form, the parent must give his/her own name as owner, chief administrator and provider of academic instruction as well as his/her US Postal Service and e-mail addresses and telephone number for the home school – not for the distance learning program.
      On the form, do not list any information about the distance learning program in which the student is also enrolled. “

  106. Flare says:

    Hey, i’ve heard that if you homeschool for high school and finish by the time you are 16, you’ll get 2 paid years of early college or college from Wake County. Is that true?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Katie – there are great programs for early college and homeschoolers enrolled in an NC homeschool are eligible for them. You will need to check out your community colleges as they are the ones who would decide if you qualify, but yes, homeschooled students, just like public school students, can receive early college credits when they take college courses during highschool. It is my understanding that there are only certain core courses that are “free”, but again, that may depend on Wake’s community college program itself. There is also a good program in your area for highschoolers who want to go into health technologies: It is considered public school, not homeschooling, but looks like good program you may want to check up on too. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  107. Esther says:

    We are filling my daughter Community College application and they are asking us for an NC id number or wise number. Where do we find the number?


    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Esther – you can get that info on your old homeschool card (orange card or gray one have this) or if you lost that or you opened your homeschool after they stopped sending those out, you can go online at the NCDNPE website , they will help you retrieve your school ID #.

  108. Aysel Suazo says:

    My daughters are currently in a charter school. My eldest daughter has selective mutism and there are therapies that are held outside of the state. There are intensive camps that have a possibility of helping her. These camps are in May and with what is left of school, I was wondering if I can home school them the last six weeks of school. How does that work

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Aysel, I don’t think this would be considered homeschooling since it would only be during the summer. If I were you, I would just remove her from school early only after approval from the school to substitute those specialized educational programs. If she is not going right back to that public school, in the fall, then you will need to open a homeschool right away for whatever time period she is not enrolled in that or any other school. She must be enrolled in a public, private or legal homeschool according to NC law.

  109. Robin says:

    My son turned 5 this past November, meaning he will start kindergarten this school year. I want to homeschool him just for kindergarten (I don’t feel he’s quite ready for school-school yet, behaviorly{he’s really smart though}and we’re moving, so i think it may be the best option for us right now) I see you don’t have to do anything until 7, but will starting 1st grade in a public school next year be a problem?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Robin – it is usually not a problem to do that. You don’t need to file with the state since he is not compulsory attendance age (7-16). Once you enroll him in public school, the school administration may want him to take a placement test in order to be sure he is ready, but that all depends on your school district. If you keep homeschooling, you will need to go online and do the Notice of Intent to Homeschool at the NCDNPE website for the school year in which he will turn 7.

  110. Brianne says:

    I homeschool in TN but we are moving to Winston Salem. Do you have to register with the state? Or can you just register under an umbrella school. In TN we do not have to let the state know.

  111. Shana says:

    We just recently moved to NC (been here two weeks), and i have no idea where to begin to get signed up to homeschool my two boys ages 8 and 5. I have tried to find local to me homeschool groups, but being new to the area, i have no idea what is close enough to me, even if i may need to drive. I have so many questions, and really no one to personally talk with in my area. Any good ideas? Feeling lost out here, and really need to get them signed up now that we are all adjusted to the new time difference…

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Shana – did you find the website to file your Notice of Intent to Operate a Homeschool in NC? I hope you are getting settled in and have found a good support group. I am updating the listing on this site, so check back if you haven’t found one yet.

    • Cindy Smith says:

      Go to, find your county and identify your region. If you contact the regional directors, they can help you find groups in your general area.

      • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

        Hi Cindy – I actually started this blog because so many people (myself included) had trouble getting anyone with that state group to respond to them with any information. In addition, if you go to their site, you will see that many of the links to support groups are out of date &/or broken. I remember what it was like trying to find help and support and answers to my questions. State groups like the one you linked to from my website, do some things so amazingly well (Law and policy stuff, conferences, christian devotionals etc.) but when it comes to support and connections, I think there is nothing like other homeschool moms like me.

  112. Sharon says:

    I want to home school my High schooler. I received a letter today for the school my son attends, which he attends out of district, saying that he no longer will be allowed to attend this school out of district because he failed 3 out of 4 classes last semester. It is now Friday and he is supposed to register for his home school by Monday, anyway very frustrated with the school system, they have failed him. I had a few questions, after send NOI and notifying his current scholl, can I just keep him home, or is there a waiting period? Are there completely free options, I am low income?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Sharon – so sorry you are frustrated. You can file a Notice of Intent to Operate a Homeschool any time with the state at the NCDNPE website. They will email you back to tell you what else they need you to do (submit proof of your high school diploma) Their website has very specific instructions. I hope this has all worked out for you and your son. Everyone deserves a good education. There are free and inexpensive options online. Most of them take more work to plan, but are still high quality options. There are some links on the website for Frugal Homeschooling, one of which is “Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping” which is a great Facebook group and website with super inexpensive options for curriculum. I hope you check them out.

  113. lizeth says:

    Hello, I have a question and was wondering if you can help me. We are new to the area in Sanford from Florida. My son has autism and has an iep that was just put together by his school. He came from a private autism school and has recently been placed in the life skills classroom. I sent in a noi in August and i received the confirmation email to pull him out in September. I went ahead and left him in his school because they were going to do placement testing, and psychological testing. They finished the testing and decided his best placement was in the life skills classroom. I’m not very happy with the changes and I don’t feel like he belongs there so I’m considering pulling him out and homeschooling him. I put in the request in August just in case i decided to do that and I feel like i’m ready to pull him out. Do i just print the email they sent me back then and pull him out? Will he still have to get the testing done this spring since he has been enrolled in school this whole time? I’m a first time home schooler so I don’t really know what I am doing. Do I have to purchase a curriculum or can I make my own by printing work pages, buying books at stores or the library? He is special needs and non verbal. I’m worried that he won’t be able to take the standarized tests. I would appreciate any information. Thanks in advance. Liz

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Lizeth – I can really tell that you want the best for your son! If you are not comfortable with the school program, then you can simply let them know you will be continuing with a home education program. If you never closed your homeschool with NC Division of Non-public Education, (you may want to just check the website to be sure your school is still listed) then you are all ready to go for the fall, once you let them know. You just need to do what the school needs for withdrawl and then plan your curriculum. Many kids can still receive federal special education services thru their local schools, so check into that with them too. There are lots of curriculum choices; you of course, want to choose based on his strengths. Unit studies are a good hands-on approach and very integrated. They utilize a lot of activities and library resources so can be an inexpensive options too. You may want to check out some of the links on this website and do searches on the internet, or find a local homeschool store or library in your area.

  114. What an incredible resource this site is! My daughter transferred from Montessori into public school in the 7th grade. She was and is a math whiz and it’s her favorite subject. She’s always made A’s and takes all honors classes now in 9th grade. The problem is that in Chapel Hill, they’re trying to “close the gap” by keeping kids back in math. My daughter is bored out of her skull in Math 1 (she’s in 9th grade). She’s studying Khan Academy online in order to learn Math II in hopes of starting Math III with her peers next school year – in 10th grade. The problem is that she’ll need a CDM test which they don’t give in the summer (they give it in February). She needs until summer to master Math II. Also, she wants to get into NCSSM and has no hope if she doesn’t start Math III next year. Are there any homeschooling options we could use over the summer to help this work out for her? Even her math teachers are disgusted with the system and have urged us to try to find a more challenging placement for her.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Thanks for your encouraging compliment of the site – Rachel! I am so sorry to hear about the Math situation! Like your daughter’s teachers, it is my opinion that students in public schools should be encouraged to move at their own pace more. As a home educator I feel blessed that we have been able to do this, for the most part. I read over your question and the NC School of Science and Math site and I think your solution is not going to be a homeschooling one, unless you want to homeschool for the other subjects and for longer than the summer. I would suggest, that you look for an accredited online option for her to complete the required course so that she is up to date and ready to apply to the NCSSM program which looks like it will be perfect for her! That way, her transcripts will be up to date with the courses they want her to have and she will be ready to Knock them out on the new SAT. I hope you find a great solution – please let us know how this works out for you. I really hate to see kids kept back from learning the things they love!

  115. Nathan says:

    Hello Merit

    After reading this forum, I am more interested in homeschooling my Kindergarten son next year for Grade 1.

    My son is in Kindergarten with an IEP. We are not satisfied with his progress in school. We strongly believe that he can perform well if we homeschool him. So we are seriousley considering him to home school for grade 1 and perhaps grade 2 until he masters all his IEP goals.

    My question is, if we want can we enroll him public school in the future for grade 2 or 3. At that time what will be the requirements to enroll in public school.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Nathan! I am glad you found the blog and want to homeschool. Homeschooling is a great educational choice! Your public school will let you know what they want you to do to re-enroll when the time comes- usually they will give placement tests, but if you have good records of his progress, they may accept those at their discretion- it will depend on your school. If you want to know ahead of time, you can contact the school district and try to find out if they have set requirements for re-entry. I hope it goes well for him this year!

  116. Shari Theusch says:

    Hello. I just signed up for homeschooling for my two children. Everything is accepted but I have no idea where to begin. I don’t know where to get books…what lessons are needed…how to test… I have no clue what to do next. Please help

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      HI Shari – the first step I recommend for you is to locate a homeschool support group. Their leadership may be able to help you find a lending library for curriculum and help you decide what books/curriculum you want to use to start. They often have mom’s groups that meet to discuss that kind of info. , or have seminars you can learn from. If there is not an active group near enough for you to travel, try yahoo forums, or Facebook to get some questions answered. If you are in the Piedmont area, try the Piedmont Homeschoolers Yahoo group that I moderate – there is always someone who will answer a question or offer advice on this wonderful group and lots of used curriculum for sale too. A good resource for looking at curriculum is Rainbow Resource Center – they have a lot of information on the types of curriculum that they sell. In the meantime if you want to start homeschooling while you decide about books, I recommend you spend some time with them learning what they want to learn about this semester of school. Once you have some topics, take them to the library and allow them to find books on those topics to take home, let them watch videos or read magazine articles, and listen to audio books on the topics and make sure to take them on trips and do activities and projects/crafts related to those topics. Keep a record of the materials they are using, field trips they take and projects they do. This is your “unit study” or topical study time. Our family loved this so much, we used it as a curriculum (Unit Studies) throughout the kids elementary years. Let me know if you have other questions and enjoy your home school!

  117. Ashley says:

    Hi, I was homeschooled and graduated in 2005. The problem I have is my transcript. My mom passed away in 2008 and nobody has a record of my transcript in the state of NC it seems. How can I get this issue resolved and get a copy of my transcript? Who do I need to contact?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Ashley – I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Since each homeschool is required to keep copies of your transcript, your school admin would have been the one to track that for you. If you attended college, you may be able to explain your situation to them and see if they still have copies of your transcripts in your records. I am not sure if they keep records for a decade or not, but they may be able to help. If you used an online school, co-op or a tutor, during high school, they may have some records or grades for you to use to recreate your transcripts. If your Dad recalls your grades, (old report cards or your notebooks etc.) and you can remember your coursework, you can always use an online transcript service to recreate them with the help of your remaining parent. I hope these ideas help!

  118. Amy says:

    My son is having a lot of trouble in 8th grade math and more specifically with his teacher. The school is unwilling to work with me on switching math teachers. My question is… can I homeschool him for just 8th grade math or is it all or not at all in NC?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Amy- if you choose to homeschool your son by registering with the state, then you are taking on responsibility for his full education. As of now, the public schools are not required to work with us to provide classes, but there are wonderful homeschool co-ops, teachers and tutors for every course you can imagine for home educators. If you just want him to get help with that one class, you are probably better off trying to find an online resource or a tutor to help him study independently. You might also see if the school would allow him to change to a different teacher for that math class. There are options for him and I hope you find the best ones for him. If you look around my website, you may find some online resource ideas to supplement what he is learning in his class. Let me know if I can help with anything else too.

  119. TAMMY DAVIS says:


    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Tammy- we used Time4learning for a little while when my kids were in those grades and they really liked it. I used it as a supplement and not for their full curriculum, but I know those who have used it as a sole curriculum and have told me they thought it was great.T4L also now has a really good support forum online for NC homeschoolers. I hope this helps!

  120. Melissa says:

    My daughter is 6 but turns 7 in December 27th of this year which is 2 months away and is in first grade.. I know I need to file the notice of intent 30 day prior to her turning 7 but my questions is do I have to wait for all final paperwork for homeschooling before I can withdraw her or can I go ahead and do so once I file my notice of intent online

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Melissa ~ The NCDNPE recommends that if your student is in school currently you wait until all your paperwork is finalized before pulling your student out of school. Of course you want to be positive the school understands that your student is not truant so you don’t have any issues with that. If your child is not registered and attending right now, than all you need to do is file your NOI with the NCDNPE. No need to inform the Public school unless she is currently enrolled.

  121. Stephanie VanDusen says:

    I have a11,12,13 year old and they are begging me to homeschool them. I really want to and I know I can do it but I am so torn that they will miss out on the social interaction with other kids as well as how do you know if it is the right thing?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Oh wow, Stephanie. I just want to reassure you that your kids can have as much social interaction as they (or you) can handle when they homeschool! If they are begging to homeschool, you have the perfect combination for success. It sounds to me like you already know it is going to be the right thing, but just want assurance that it is going to be a good experience for them. Seek out support and activities and socializing will not be a problem (except maybe too much sometimes!) You and your kids are going to have a great time together. Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you!

  122. vanessa rodriguez says:

    I have a question? I recently took my daughter out of a NC public school on 9/22/15 due to soo much bullying in the school. She is in the 11th. grade and only needs 6 credits to graduate. She is on time 4 learning for English III, algebra II, physical science and us history 1 and 2. Is there a specific subject that I can test her for the annual standardized test? She has taken a lot of her tests and this year only needs what she is taking on tip me on time 4 learning. Can anyone help or have any resource information on this?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      Hi Vanessa! So glad you rescued her from bullying at school! If she is going to graduate early, the perfect test for her is the ACT. It serves as her year end testing and as an entrance exam for many colleges. Other options: SAT SUBJECT tests (not the regular SAT), or any other nationally normed standardized test, like the Stanford Achievement, CAT5 online or the Terra Nova. There are some links on the website to testing sources, check those out and let me know if I can help with anything else too 🙂

  123. Angie P says:

    My daughter wants me to start home schooling her. This all new to me. My question is can you start any time, or do you have to wait until a new school year?

    • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

      You can start any time Angie – just be sure to complete your Notice of Intent to Homeschool (online at the NCDNPE) the link is on the “How to Homeschool” page. Then you will want to inform your school of the withdrawal from their school, so that there are not any confusing truancy issues.

  124. Antoinette says:

    I’m 18 and I want to be homeschooled my senior year cause I haven’t been enjoying going to school also to take classes I want. My parents also agreed that I can be homeschooled, but I’m really confuse on how I’m suppose to register to be homeschooled I’m thinking of taking an online program

    Can you please help me out, thank you

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Antoinette~ That is great that you are going to homeschool for high school. Registering: The North Carolina Division of Non-public education has made it super easy for us to register. Go to their website and complete the online form, “Notice of Intent to Homeschool”, to get started. Your parent will need to oversee your education and they will need to send them a copy of their high school diploma. You will need to keep records of your attendance and vaccination information on file and will need to complete a nationally normed achievement test that covers grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics within one year of filing your NOI. If you are planning to attend college, then the ACT kills two birds with one stone for you as both a year end test, and a college entrance exam. If you want to attend college, you are also going to want your parents to keep track of grades so they can create a transcript (report) of your courses to include with your public school transcripts (Fast Transcripts). There are lots of good online programs and some of them keep track of your grades too. Check out the sidebar at the blog to see some suggestions for online classes. Have a great Homeschool Year!

      • Michelle Evans says:

        The way I read the regulations in NC, you can’t start a new homeschool for a child that is 18 years old. Is that correct? My son is struggling with the second semester at his high school. He needs to get away from that school and I would like to just pull him out and home school him for this final semester. Can I do that?

        • Merit Kirkpatrick says:

          Michelle – It seems to me that you would be talking about an exception here. He is beyond the compulsory age, but if you remove him from school, you will need to provide him with a transcript of grades for that time period. I would suggest you contact DNPE at 919-733-4276 to see how they would like you to handle it. If you get a chance to let me know what they said, I would love a follow up!

  125. Hope says:

    My son is 5 years old, and currently attending public school. From what I understand you can not submit a letter of intent for children under 7. We would like to begin a home education program. Do I need to send in a LOI since he is already enrolled? Surely he can’t just stop going to school. What is proper procedure to follow here?

    • Merit K says:

      Hello Hope – You are correct, you don’t want him to just stop attending school and you do not need to notify the Division of Non-Public Education until he is seven, since that is the compulsory school attendance age in NC, but you do need to notify the public school your son is attending that you are withdrawing him and will be schooling him at home. Call or visit the school to find out what paperwork they need you to fill out and what procedures you need to follow with them. To be sure you will avoid truancy mix-ups, I suggest that you keep copies of everything for your records and document your actions or follow up with them in writing. Enjoy your homeschooling experience!

  126. Nikki says:

    I’m extremely interested in homeschooling my 7yr old, school has already started and he is already asking to be home schooled Bc he’s bored and he no longer interested in school. He said it takes to long and information is redundant. My only problem is finding a curriculum for my 2nd grader. There are so many options and I’m truly overwhelmed and have no clue how to choose one. Please help me choose one son that we remain compliant with the State of NC Curriculum and so he will remain on track of he decided to go back to public school

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Nikki – congrats on your decision to teach your child at home. It sounds like just what he needs right now! There are so many great choices when it comes to curricula. I recommend that you take a look at the NC Standard Course of Study and then keep that by your side while perusing curriculum that you think you might be interested in using. If you take a look at Cathy Duffy’s Review website, you will find some good information on selecting one. Also look up learning styles information which will help you decide which types of curriculum will be the best fit for him.

  127. Kimberly Hull says:

    Oh, I also meant to ask..are electives and PE required in homeschools in NC?

    • Merit K says:

      Hi again Kimberly- you get to choose your curriculum and the subjects you want to cover. Of course PE and electives add fun and pizazz to our homeschool days, so most home educators will add them into their core classes whenever it is appropriate. It is also appropriate to back off on the extras if you need to due to a home situation and/or a child needing to focus on academics, but I would recommend that you try to add and/or integrate into your lessons, things that are considered electives like Art and Music. In highschool you will want to re-visit what courses they need to have, but with a 3rd and 6th grader, you are fine choosing for yourself how many extra curricular and elective classes you want. In our house the creative stuff is really not optional – lol! But the beauty of home education is that every family can decide what works best for them!

  128. Kimberly Hull says:

    Hi…This is my first year homeschooling. 3rd grader and 6th grader. I have everything figured out I thin, except the end of grade test. Where do I order/obtain those from?

    • Merit K says:

      HI Kimberly – congrats on your first year! There are lots of places with different types of tests that you can order from when you are ready to do your annual test. As long as it is a Nationally normed achievement test that covers grammar, reading, spelling and math, you can choose your own test and/or testing services. If you scroll down the side bar at the home page, there are some links to tests and to vendors who sell them. Also check out the Annual Testing tab in the menu on that page for further details.

  129. Amanda Long says:

    I have a question. I am going to start homeschooling this year with my twins who are 6 and my oldest daughter who is 14. Seems a little scary and overwhelming at times but I have thought on this for 3 years. So we’re going for it this year.

    I also have a friend who wants his daughter homeschooled with me. She is 15. And I am completely greatwith that. Heres the issue…he doesnt have a GED or high school diploma and he is a single dad with full custody. Is there a way I will be able to homeschool her with my kids?

    • Merit K says:

      Yes, Amanda. You would include them in your homeschool. In NC we are able to homeschool one other family along with our kids. YOu would be the school’s administrator, so you would be taking on the responsibility of making sure all the records are kept, so you would just make sure you keep his daughter’s state required info. (testing, attendance, immunization) grades and you would make up a transcript of them when you do one for your daughter and your school will be giving out the diploma. You will just report on that child when you do your reporting online to the NCDNPE. It sounds like a great arrangement – your kids will have company and support. Let me know if you want help later on with your high school records. Homeschooling high school is so awesome!

  130. Hi,
    We have guardianship of two of our grandchildren and have decided to home school. We have registered with DNPE. My question is, do we need to notify the elementary school they were attending of our intent to home school so that we do not run into a truancy issue? Thank you for your time.

    Dana in Wayne County

  131. Brynn Goin says:

    I’m very new to homeschooling. This will be my first coming year to start with my children. I see that you are required to send in proof of your high school diploma. What if I don’t have that? I can get my high school transcript, but apparently there’s no way to retain a copy of the actual diploma. Will my transcripts be sufficient in sending in with my notice of intent? What should be my next step?
    Thank you for the help.

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Brynn – Your transcripts will be accepted by the DNPE as proof of your education. They will send you a number where you can fax that documentation once you fill out the online form. You can also send your college diploma instead. Congrats on choosing home education – be sure to let me know if you have other questions. I am excited for you as you get started this year 🙂

  132. Michelle says:

    My son misses the cutoff by a couple of weeks to start kindergarten. He should be starting September 2016, but because of the cutoff date he has to wait a whole year to start!! So I was wondering if it is OK that I homeschooling him during the 2016 school year, instead of him doing nothing for a year. Do you think if I do that and get him evaluated after the year is over, the public school will let him start first grade? Or are they going to make him redo kindergarten again? I don’t want to hold him back, he is three now and knows more than the four year olds in our neighborhood. He is starting to read and sound out words and can write his name, just to name a few of his abilities. Plus he is alot bigger than kids his age already, I don’t want him sticking out even more. I have no problem homeschooling him for a year, I am a stay at home mom and taught pre-k for three years. So I already work with him daily to get him ahead of the pack. Please let me know if you have any advice. Thank you 🙂

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Michelle – it sounds like you have already been doing a great job of teaching him at home. Since he is not yet of compulsory school age (7-16 yrs), you are not required to notify the NCDNPE and set up a homeschool, which means that your home education program doesn’t actually fall under the “officially” homeschooling category at this time. The public schools consider the point of entry for school Kindergarten and may (they don’t have to) put him in grade K to begin his school year to see if he has progressed enough to move up into 1st grade. The DNPE recommends, and I would agree, that if you decide not to continue homeschooling, you should contact your local school administrator at the school where he will be enrolled next year, and see how they would choose to handle his entry into school next year. Here is what the DNPE says:

      Grade placement for home schooled 5 & 6 year old students:
      G.S. 115C-288(a) empowers public school principals to grade and classify pupils in their respective schools.
      G.S. 115C-364(c) states that the official student entry point into North Carolina’s public schools shall be at the kindergarten level. The law, however, does not mandate how long the student must remain in that kindergarten class.
      The principal may determine through assessment (or upon recommendation of the public school classroom teacher after the first several days/weeks of school) that the child would be better served and challenged in a first or second grade classroom instead of a kindergarten class. Hope this helps, and hope you both have a great school Year!

  133. Shanon says:

    First year as a homeschooling parent here! Are there any records you are supposed to send in at the end of the year (attendance, grades or testing) or do I just keep them on file at home? If you do have to send anything in, where do you send it? Also, do I have to notify the public school or school board of my continuing intent yearly? Thanks in advance!

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Shanon! Congrats on making through your first year- I hope it was awesome! You are required to keep on file records of attendance, immunization and annual testing. They do not need to be sent anywhere. Homeschool updates and changes can be made at their website now (replacing the annual survey), including informing them of your school’s closure, but other than that, you do not need to let them know you want to continue to homeschool- they will assume your school is open until you close it with them

      • Jason Wilson says:

        Hello I was wondering, because I have never home schooled before. The public school year is over, can I begin homeschooling my children at the end of summer vacation? If so who do I need to notify and when is the deadline?

        • Merit K says:

          Hi Jason – congrats on deciding to homeschool! You can begin your homeschool program at any time, actually, but you need to wait until July 1st to notify the state since they don’t accept NOI in the month of June. You send your Notice of Intent to operate a homeschool to the NC Division of Non-public Education (NCDNPE). Their preferred method is online submission here: If your kids have previously been enrolled in a public or private school, you may want to send a letter explaining that you plan to begin a home education program with them so there are no questions about truancy. Hope this helps and keep in touch!

  134. Shelly Brazinski says:

    Thank you. I understand. I figured since I had already bought the test and since it’s questionable, we’ll go ahead with it. Thank you so much for your help.

  135. Shelly Brazinski says:

    Thank you so much. The NCHE contacted me back and said that to be in compliance with the law he would need to take it. He took the other tests junior year and is registered for college in the fall, so really it’s a formality for us. I get the impression that the law wants a test each year of high schoo regardless of age, so that’s what we’ll do. Thanks for your help.

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Shelly- NCHE is a good source of information, but they are not the State – the division of NC rules are the information that I have posted here for you. I am glad you got another opinion, which I mentioned you would get :), but remember that you are the one who decides what you are comfortable with and sometimes the NCHE group along with other groups tends to err on the conservative side of most issues.

  136. Shelly Brazinski says:

    Hi, I am graduating my first homeschooled child this weekend. Yay! I was preparing to do his last standardized test this week. He has informed me that he heard that if you’re 18 you don’t have to take a standardized test in NC. He has not taken any other tests like the ACT or SAT this year. Do I still need to test him or can he opt out? I have researched like crazy this morning, but can’t find an exact answer to my question. Thanks.

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Shelly- according to the NC Division of Non-public education rules and the NC Statues Article 39, 115C-547 through 115C-565: students who are under 18 and enrolled in your homeschool, have to have annual testing if they wish to keep their NC Driver’s license, but the rules say nothing about students who are 18 and are enrolled in your homeschool. He would need a college entrance exam (ACT, SAT) only if he wants to further his education by college attendance, so if he is taking another path, he wouldn’t need a test that complies with the NC homeschools laws this year, in my interpretation/opinion of the statutes. Because of the wording in that NC statutes, “enrolled in a homeschool”, I am sure that you will find opinions on the other side of this, so if you are not sure and feel more comfortable, you should go ahead and sign him up for an ACT, but in my opinion, he is not required by law to have one.

  137. Esther Stoltzfus says:

    Hello! i have a few questions……….we just moved to MOcksville NC,we have an 8yr old[who was registered in PA]a 6 yr old [she is working on school books but not registered] do i need to register my 8 yr old? how do i find an evaluator? is there a good website that would answer all my questions or can u help me? :-] i was also wondering,do they[the school district] need tests/every yr after theyre registered? i hope this isnt too many dumb questions. lol. thanks! Esther

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Esther – Welcome to NC! Your questions are not dumb- they are very familiar since they are the very ones I wanted answers to when we moved here ten years ago! You can register your homeschool online at the Division of Non-public Education website, M-F from 7:30am-4:30pm: . Since you have an 8 year old, you would register your school. You do not then need to do anything other than update your school/student information online each year- if you choose to do so. Once you have done your “Notice of Intent” to Homeschool, the DNPE assigns you a school number and you are listed as a private homeschool by county. You do not need to report to your school district. Your annual testing is done each year according to your preferences as long as you follow the law (see the Homeschool-ology testing page) in choosing your tests. You just need to keep the tests on file and have them available if the DNPE asks to see them. You also need to keep an attendance record for your students- you can download it here: – Check back if you have any other questions!

  138. Twyla says:

    Hello! First of all, kudos to you for maintaining this site! Here’s my question, I would love to homeschool my son. He is failing miserably in the 8th grade and is not excited about school at all. I think his teachers just pass him along each year not truly teaching him anything. I can’t do his math homework with him because he doesn’t have the basic building blocks from the year before. I work a full time job though and while my husband is a stay at home dad, he has a learning disability and couldn’t possibly teach. How do I find a qualified tutor in my area and how much can I expect to have to pay for that service? Again, many thanks for creating this site!

    • Merit K says:

      Twyla- Thanks so much for your encouraging words! It definitely sounds like your son will benefit from a good home education program. Tutoring services vary, as do their costs. There are good options such as, which is an easy to service to use and will help you choose a tutor in your area. I would also suggest that you look for Co-op Classes- check around with a local homeschool group or google. Your husband might not be able to teach, but he could make sure that the co-op homework is completed and supervise your son’s work schedule. Another option is online classes such as Landry Academy (ses link on side bar) and or online learning website like ALEX or “Time for Learning”. There are so many great resources out there to help us homeschool, or teach subjects that we are not strong in! I hope you will let us know how this goes for your family!

  139. Traci Davis says:

    Hello. I am so happy to have found this website! I am a single mother of 5 children ages 4-10. My 4 oldest ones are enrolled in elementary school at the moment. I am working on getting my GED in order to meet the requirements to home school all of them. I should be done my testing by August 23rd. I have three questions if you have the time to answer.

    My first two are – Once I receive the necessary paperwork required to complete the Notice of Intent to Home School, my understanding is that I should wait 30 days before removing my children from their current public school. Is that correct? I plan on, and would love to start, as soon as possible. I am not certain on the proper way of removing them, so I would appreciate any insight you have on doing that.

    Finally, I help my brother run his business. Our families are extremely close, but we do NOT live together, and he has expressed that he would like for me to home school his daughter as well. I would not mind at all, seeing as though she and my daughter are the same age and grade level. Is that legal for me to do so? I have scoured the internet, and I know I have read that in NC you can home school your children and one other family. But then in another paragraph it says something completely different. If it is legal, and I am able to do this for them, how would we go about doing that?

    I know it’s a lot, and I apologize for the lengthy message, Haha, but I am a loss when it comes to finding information on these questions. Thank you so much for your help.


    • Merit K says:

      Hi Traci- I am glad we have connected too! Congrats on obtaining your GED and on your decision to teach your kids at home. In answer to your questions, there is no required or “official” procedure for removing your kids from public school. Most of the homeschoolers I know who have done this have recommended that you be certain the school is aware of your child’s enrollment in your homeschool by doing everything in writing and complying with the local school’s procedures to remove the students, to avoid any confusion and/or truancy questions from the schools later on in the year. I would also talk directly with the school admin in charge to be sure they know all that is going on. Secondly, you may homeschool another family’s children under the umbrella of your school. I don’t know if you have seen the Homeschool Guide from the NC Div. of Non-public Ed., but it is really helpful and there is a brief section in it explaining about teaching the children of one other family- , you would also need to be responsible for any info. the schools of your brother’s children might need once they are enrolled in your homeschool. I hope you feel reassured and confident. I hope your school year is the best ever!

      • Priscilla Saravia says:

        Hi! I have a six year old who I homeschooled for kindergarten, she turns seven in December. I wanted to start the home school year in September 2014. I wanted to do the intent notice for her but it says you can no longer do it for this school year???! I am so confused as for what to do because if I would’ve done the intent in June or July, she is still six. It clearly states in their website that you cannot notify them of any child under seven. Please help. What exact steps should I take?

        • Merit K says:

          Hi Priscilla, if your child will turn seven during the school year, then this is the year for you to send your NOI to the NC Division of Non-public education. You can just get on their website and submit it there. They don’t take them in May/June, but right now, it will be fine to send it in, but you now have to do it during business hours m-f 7:30 am-4:30 pm if you want to use that method. It is confusing that they have posted that message online, but early birds like us will just have to wait until those business hours to use the online form 🙂 Let me know how it turns out, if you get a chance- and have a great school year!

  140. Candice says:

    Thanks for the advice i figured i would just keep an organized file of her progress as proof of attendance and progression again thank you so much!

  141. Candice says:

    I have a five year old that is not currently enrolled in any school and want to home school her she is up to date on shots and everything do i need to contact the state and let them know i want to homeschool ?? We will move to alabama next year where i will enroll her in a public school so how would i prove to alabama that she is ready for first grade being i am home schooling her for kindergarten ??

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Candice~ you will have so much fun homeschooling Kindergarten! You don’t need to do inform the state of anything when homeschooling your 5 year old. Although all NC students are entitled to attend school beginning at age 5, the compulsory school ages in our state are 7-16 and the state doesn’t want to be informed of your homeschool formally unless your child will be turning 7 by July 1st of the upcoming school year. You are going to need to check with the state where you are moving to see how they determine where to place your child. They will most likely have a placement test they will give the child to determine readiness to move on to first grade. You can also keep records of your child’s accomplishments in a “transcript” type format and some schools may accept that. You are not considered an “official” NC homeschool, but you may still legally teach your child at home! You can read all of this at the NCDNPE website FAQ section; and let me know if you have any other questions.

  142. sally says:

    We are considering home school for both of our sons. N.C. says high diploma is required. My husband has his plus multiple college degrees. For personal reasons. I do not. I am planning to. My question is can we homeschool now or do we have to wait until I complete this?

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Sally- Kudos to you for being a great example to your boys and working on your own education! Congrats on choosing to homeschool too. Our family has found it to be a wonderful lifestyle. The law requires that at least one of the adult in a homeschool household have a HS diploma (or a GED). In my opinion, you can certainly still participate in the home education of your children. Your husband would need to verify to the department of non-public education that he holds a high school diploma, (if you do not have a diploma or your GED). He would be the owner and administrator of your school. This means that he will oversee their instruction/education, specifically, all instructors, which may include you, tutors, co-op classes and online courses or self instruction, as well. You submit your “Notice of Intent” to homeschool to NCDNPE by email and (they reply by email with a fax # ) fax a copy of his High School Diploma or a GED. You can read all this on the NC Department of non-public education website or take a look at their guidebook which also includes this information. Hope you find this information encouraging and helpful!

  143. Alicia says:

    Hi, I have been homeschooling my 2 girls for a year and a half now. But when we started only one was above the age of seven. But as of this year the youngest turned seven. I know that means she will need to be tested this year along with her sister, but do I need to notify NCDNPE of me homeschooling them both because when we started and sent in our intent we only told of the one child. Does that make sense? Also I have a 3yo son who I will also be homeschooling but when it comes time that you would register him in public school would I need to notify anyone that he is being Homeschooled to? Thanks in advance! Alicia

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Alicia- This is a very common question. You don’t need to inform NCDNPE of the additional student. Your notice of intent to homeschool is good for all the students in your home. When you get an email from NCDNPE and then go to the link to do your online reporting (similar to the old gray cards we used to get), the administration does ask for information on how many students are being homeschooled and you can provide that information at that time, if you choose to do so. Your 3 year old is not considered of compulsory school age (7-16 years old) and thus, you do not need to report him at all, at this time. I am glad that teaching at home seems to be going well for you!

  144. Rachel Littell says:

    Hello I was wondering if I could teach my kids and two other families kids.

    • Merit K says:

      NC allows us to teach our children and one other family’s children in your homeschool. You can tutor other children, or teach classes for other families, but they must each be enrolled in their own home school. Hope this info helps.

  145. Kati says:

    HI! We are about to jump into the “homeschool” world with our 11/13 year olds and are very excited for them. They will be schooled by their now tutor….they are both very athletic and would still like to participate in their old school (which is a private catholic school)…. what options are there? Can they still play sports with school or even participate in other extra curricular activities with their old school? I was also wondering if there were any rules in regards to the fact that their main schooling will come from someone other than ourselves… I realize this might be a bit non-traditional, but we feel that it is the best decision for us.

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Kati- Congrats on your new homeschooling adventure! In our state, you can have your children homeschooled by another family and/or use a tutor as long as you are ultimately the one making the decisions about your homeschool. If your school is interested in allowing them to participate in their sports programs, that causes no problem for your homeschool in the eyes of the Department of Non-public Education. There are also a lot of homeschool sports teams- you will find some links to their websites on the sidebar if you scroll down and on the tab/page for Sports at the top of our webpage. Glad to hear that you are confident in your decision – that is the best indicator of success in homeschooling, in my opinion! Let me know if we can answer any other questions or help in another way. Blessings~ Merit

  146. Nicole says:

    I moved from Western NY with my son who is 18, but by NC he has enough credits to be a Sophmore with an IEP and is on the Spectrum. He has been miserable and the administration is fighting me on everything. He is so anxious at school because of how they treat him so after the last meeting I gave him the choice with all the pros and cons. Today I faxed the intent to honeschool, have my registration number, the district is willing to offer related services. My problem? He has the right to attend high school until age 21, but I read I can’t operate my homeschool that has only a student who is over 17. Did I read the law wrong? Any information I am very grateful to you.
    Thank you

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Nicole, Your question is very valid. It is so great that you are going to teach him at home and allow him the time to grow. I am not giving any legal advice to you, but it’s my opinion that if you re-read the law, you will see that the meaning behind it is that students who do not fit into the parameters of the law (ie. pre-schoolers and students over 18) are not required to follow the homeschool law. It doesn’t mean that you cannot operate a homeschool, just that you do not have to report to the state your intent to homeschool students over 18 and/or under the compulsory age of 7 years old. FROM the NCDNPE website: “Please DO NOT send a Notice of Intent to DNPE for the present school year if the only students to be enrolled in your home school: (a) Are currently under age 7 and will not turn age 7 before this coming June 1; or, (b) Are currently 18 years of age or older.” Thus, I would say that although you are not considered an NC private school as is one that is registered, there is nothing keeping you from teaching him at home and then graduating him when he meets the criteria you have decided he needs to meet to graduate from your homeschool program. In my opinion, you can still provide transcripts of his work and present him with a diploma upon completion of his credit. I don’t see anything in the law that prevents you from continuing his education at home, just that you are not under the umbrella of the NC Homeschool laws. Does that help? If you want specific legal advice, and not just my opinion, you could contact HSLDA- I found this on their site: or contact the Div. of Non Public Education (919) 733-4276.

  147. rex ledford says:

    hey everyone we are new to this a week an cant find anyone to help us out.what do we do to homeschool do we buy the books an where anhow do we do homework classes an test pls help

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Rex- welcome to home education. As you have already noted, there is a lot to figure out. I am assuming that you already started out by sending in your Notice of Intent to Homeschool at the North Carolina DNPE and once you have done that, you are on your way. If you are withdrawing from a public school, you should have informed them in writing of your homeschool program’s commencement. Now you should follow my advice and find your local homeschool support group. Most of them have great members who know all the answers to classes in your area and if there are educational stores around. Look in our sidebar for your county and go to the links. There are also links to information about testing at the testing page. Google is great for finding out about curriculum for each subject. In NC, we have to purchase all our own materials so although that gets pricy, we have all the FREEDOM to chose! ALSO, the NCHE Conference is coming up and you can look at all the books & items there at the Book Fair. It is fabulous and will be in Winston-Salem in May.

  148. Brandi Houston says:

    Hello. I have been homeschooling my two oldest children for four years now and this year my 6 year old is in “Kindergarten”. I have looked over the testing requirements for 5/6 year olds on the ncdnpe website about whether or not she will need to be tested this year. The way the website makes it sound, if there are older children in the homeschool, then she will also have to be tested. Is this correct? It’s time to order tests and I am not finding the answer anywhere. If any of you know, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Merit K says:

      The way I read it Brandi, it is by the individual child’s age so she wouldn’t need to be tested yearly until she is 7 years old which is the compulsory attendance age in NC and the time when your child will “officially” be included in your homeschool. Do you see what I mean? Hope this takes some of the pressure off you, but let me know if you still have questions.

  149. Monica says:

    I have a 10th grader who I am going to have to home school d/t depression and anxiety he just can’t make through the day. After reading your blogs. Colleen mentioned Penn Foster and I too have the same concerns about if it is accepted by NCDPI and if our children can continue on to college. I am a Public School Teacher and the Public Schools Admin do not want to comment on home school. Most of the staff I work with still have the old school feelings about home schools. I did home school my child in 6th grade and it was a good experience, but high school is different. Any more on Penn Foster?

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Monica- this isn’t Colleen, (it’s Merit) but I would love for her to share her opinions too, if she sees this. Good for you going against the school teacher “norms” and doing what is good for your son. I am a former teacher, myself and my teacher friends have been surprisingly supportive of all I do. There are many options when you homeschool. Your home is considered a private school under NC laws so even if you use an online school, ultimately the diploma will come from your school. I do not know anyone using this program, but Penn Foster is accredited by Pennsylvania which is a good education state. I did notice their average student is older (24), so I think that much of what they do is geared toward those who are returning to school rather than High School at home students so there might not be much interaction with other students his age and you may need to seek out activities in your area so he doesn’t feel isolated. Check out all your options before you decide. Connect with a support group in your area and find out about online classes members use in individual subjects like the “Life Classes” or in Co-ops, they are a good choice academically and might cost less than the online schools’ tuition fees. If your son is a good reader, you might want to set up some course descriptions for him yourself so that you can include projects and field trips that might get him moving when his depression is making him feel unmotivated. It looks like you are looking for a self paced course so that when he needs to, he can take a break from the work and then work more when he is able. Keystone, Time for Learning, NC Virtual Schools, seem to have good basic classes and levels of learning. Some major colleges, like Stanford now offer online classes as well if he likes to stay busy and is good academically, but just bogged down by anxiety and depression. I am saying a prayer for him and for you to have wisdom in your decision.

      Homeschooled students are being recruited by colleges- home educated students attend college at a higher than average rate. My daughter graduated from my NC homeschool (Creative Learning Academy) last year and was accepted at her first choice college. She received both merit based and needs based scholarships.

  150. Katie says:

    I have an 11yr son in the Austim Specturm and he struggles everyday in public school! He wants to be homeschoold and the thought used to scare me but I’m to the point that the thought of sending him to school scares me more. Do I have to wait until a new school yr to begin homeschooling, or can I begin the process in the middle of a semester? His depression over public schooling is growing worse. Help!

    • Merit K says:

      Katie- It is a lot of work to teach at home, but it is so worth it. You do not need to wait. If he is not thriving, there is really not a reason to wait so don’t worry, just use this link to go to the Department of Non-public Education in order to register your homeschool by completing your Notice of Intent to Homeschool. I would let the school know (in writing) you are going to begin a homeschool program as soon as you get notification from the DNPE. You are entitled to his school records as well if you want them. Feel free to contact me here if you have other questions. You can click on my avatar to get to my profile and email me.

  151. Colleen says:

    Wow, I’m so happy to have wandered into your site today! I’ve been homeschooling my children since Kindergarten. We were from Ohio, which has absolutely wonderful state-funded home-based programs and when we moved here to NC 5 years ago, I wanted to continue schooling my children from home. It’s been a struggle! Local public schools don’t know who their home school liaison is and every question I’ve asked has been shut down by some very uninformed people. My daughter is currently 17 and I ended up breaking down and enrolling her in the Penn Foster high school program, but still worry about whether or not the local community colleges will accept that diploma or whether she will still have to take the GED. Also, I was informed that she could receive classes for free (electives only) through the local community college, but nobody there seems to know what on earth I’m talking about!! Ah! Sorry for the rant. I’m just so happy to have discovered this blog and will now set about reading. Thank you!

    • Merit K says:

      Colleen, I am glad that you were encouraged by the site. I hate to hear that you have had a struggle here. NC is an easy state to homeschool in and it is sad that so many are uninformed about it. I do not know much about the online program you are using, so I am afraid that I am not a help there, but I do know that if you want to find out about the Community College courses that are available to high school students that are homeschooled, you should contact the colleges. They are more informed about this than the public schools will be. Our CC offers high schoolers classes in the basic required courses, such as math and science. Feel free to share here anything that you learn that you think others will benefit from as well and email me if you think I can help with anything else 🙂

    • Monica says:

      hey colleen, I am in a similar situation and I am looking at Penn Foster too. I have the same questions you have. Can you share how it is working for you.

  152. Nikki Brooks says:

    I just found this site. We moved to NC, from Virginia, in August 2008. After private schools from Pre-K through 2nd grade, we decided to try to put our son in public school here in NC. We tried it from 3rd grade until a few months into 6th grade. What a mistake that was! Each year was uglier than the previous year. I couldn’t believe it! To make a long story short… the system beat a once pleasant, optimistic child (who was known as “smiley” and “sunshine” by the teachers, helpers, parents and even headmasters) into a cranky, sullen, school hating child. 🙁 I am trying to get him back to his old self. Thanks for your help, Nikki.

    • Merit K says:

      Wow Nikki- that is so sad! So are you teaching him at home this year, or considering it? I am glad that you found the website a help. Let me know if you have specific question too. Blessings, Merit

  153. sanderson76 says:

    Thank you so much for all of thisl We have decided to homeschool this coming school year and it has been overwhelming to me in trying to get everything figured out. My son will be going into the 1st grade so I have been doing tons of homework over the past few weeks. Just today I ran across your site and love it.

  154. fitzaddict says:

    I’m in the Sanford/Spout Springs area. We have three children, 8, 5 and 3. Our 8 year old son is in the second grade this year and has been on an IEP for about four years now. His IEP was mostly for language and speech, but it also included math, reading and occupational therapy. He was recently taken off occupational therapy and is on a consultation basis for reading. For reading he is now left in the general education classroom instead of being pulled out. However, he is still pulled out daily for math and twice a week for speech.

    Our 5 year old daughter is in Kindergarten after completing two years of school in a PSCD classroom also on an IEP for speech, occupational therapy, sensory and nervous system issues. She has overcome them all and taken off the IEP altogether and doing wonderfully.

    Both children have come a tremendously long way and are doing fantastic.

    Our other daughter, 3, seems to be on the right track developmentally with no worries at all…aside from thinking she’s the boss 😉 lol

    I’m writing to you because I am interested in pursuing homeschooling them next year. There are numerous reasons for this idea, but one of the main ones is plainly that I feel God has laid it on my heart to do so. I have many questions about pursuing this avenue and wondered if I could connect with you or if you could point me to someone available to answer questions for me. We moved to NC about six months ago, so we’re fairly new to the area.

    The idea of officially announcing to NC, Harnett County, that I’m going to be homeschooling is feeling a little overwhelming. There seems to be lots of red tape I need to cross before I’m allowed to homeschool my kids. I was wondering if someone familiar with this realm could help me navigate my way through. I want to do things right, and get some groundwork started to be ready for next year. I feel like I have lots of questions…but at the same time I don’t know where to start to ask them lol.

    Thanks for any help!

    • Merit K says:

      Hi Rebekah- I am going to email you and try to follow up with you! Welcome to NC BTW- it is really a good state in which to Homeschool 🙂

      • Amber Toler says:

        I actually was curious about the options available to homeschooling a child with an iep. I have a 10 year old who has aspbergers and an iep for reading
        In her public school and she has been improving since she got it but I am planning to homeschool my almost 4 year old and she and I both are interested in me homeschooling her next school season. I have read alot and looked at programs…I have seen some where that she could still get her iep at the public school along with access to still joining in sports and other public school extra activities…does anyone know if this is true ir where and who u can go to ask for sure. I would like to get as much Iinformation as possible so I can set up a routine and program that will be best for her. Any help would be appreciated.

        Thanks Amber

        • Merit K says:

          Amber- in NC your homeschool is considered a private school, therefore there is not a obligation to the public schools to provide services to your student, however, many NC school districts will work with you to provide special needs students with testing or other programs and you should contact them to investigate what might work for your student. There is a scholarship program as of 2014 which your family might qualify for since your child has been in the public school-

          Check the above website and I do encourage you to speak with the school about your educational goals, some of them will try to find ways to work with you and it never hurts to ask.

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