How to Homeschool in North Carolina: 2024 Unbiased Guide

Looking for an unbiased homeschool resource that doesn’t have a hidden agenda? You’ve come to the right place to learn how to homeschool in North Carolina.

To homeschool in North Carolina, a parent or guardian should become familiar with the state’s homeschooling laws and regulations. Families must decide on a curriculum that fits their needs and be prepared for the self-discipline required to maintain a robust academic schedule.

Home helping homeschooled daughter

How to Homeschool in North Carolina

Homeschooling in North Carolina is regulated by the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Instruction. If you are considering homeschooling your child in North Carolina, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Notify the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Instruction of your intent to homeschool. This can be done by filling out the Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School form and submitting it to the Department.
  2. Develop a homeschool curriculum that meets the requirements set by the state. In North Carolina, homeschooled students are required to receive instruction in certain subjects, including math, science, social studies, reading, and English.
  3. Keep records of your homeschooling activities. This may include attendance records, lesson plans, and any evaluations or assessments you conduct.
  4. Administer standardized tests or have your child evaluated by a certified teacher at least once during each school year. This is required by the state of North Carolina in order to ensure that homeschooled students are making progress in their studies.
  5. Submit an annual report to the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Instruction. This report should include information on the curriculum you used, the number of days of instruction, and the results of any standardized tests or evaluations.

It is important to note that homeschooling laws vary by state, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements in North Carolina. You may also want to consider joining a homeschooling group or network in your area for support and resources.

Homeschooling with a private tutor

Free North Carolina Homeschool Programs

North Carolina provides numerous no-cost homeschool programs to facilitate providing a superior education for your children. These programs have learning resources, support and activities to aid in educational development.

These online programs offer a range of lessons in language arts, math, science and history, providing students of all ages with an engaging learning experience.

Through these educational opportunities, your children will benefit, and you as a parent or guardian can access resources that allow you to be part of their learning journey.

North Carolina homeschool programs offer a range of services, including tracking student progress and accessing support.

To find more resources for homeschooling your child in North Carolina, check out the North Carolina Department of Administration.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) offers updates on homeschooling laws in North Carolina, as well as webinars and articles to assist parents with homeschooling.

Between 2019 to 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.

Does Homeschool Have to be Accredited in North Carolina?

Homeschooling in North Carolina is a popular alternative to public and private school education, but it does not have to be accredited by the state. Families who choose to homeschool in the state are required to meet their local school district’s standards for attendance, progress reports, and assessments.

However, these requirements do not include an accreditation or monitoring program from North Carolina.

While some parents may choose to pursue other types of accreditation for their children if they plan on applying to college, there are no legal requirements to do so when homeschooling in the state.

Those looking for more information on homeschool regulations should contact their local school board to find out what programs they may offer.

67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.

North Carolina Accredited Homeschool Programs

To remain accredited, homeschools must provide enrollment and attendance records, maintain grade records, take state-approved standardized tests annually, have a certified supervisor with at least a high school diploma or equivalent and ensure they are meeting all required curriculum standards.

Accredited private schools must list their adherence to laws and regulations pertaining to compulsory attendance in their admission policies in order to stay compliant with state requirements.

Homeschooling, when done through an accredited program, provides parents with an opportunity to give their children a quality education in an environment where they are comfortable.

Boy at home studying

Create a Designated Learning Place

Homeschoolers should have a specific area set aside for learning, to help establish a daily routine and provide an environment where their child can concentrate on schoolwork.

A dining table is an ideal spot for studying. It’s easily cleared off at the end of each day which allows it to be used for eating as well.

You can also provide your child with their own desk in their bedroom for added privacy and the opportunity to decorate it. Whatever you decide, be sure to create an environment that helps them focus on learning.

Over 300 million students were homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay On Track with a Daily Schedule

Sticking to a daily schedule for homeschooling has many advantages; here are some of them:

  • Establishing a daily routine can help homeschoolers prioritize tasks, complete more in less time, and improve productivity. Families with multiple students or other outside commitments may particularly benefit from this strategy.
  • Effective time management begins with planning. A daily schedule makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done and when, and prevents feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Allocating specific blocks of time to tasks can help your family stay organized.
  • Homeschooling can provide a sense of structure and regularity, especially beneficial for kids accustomed to attending a traditional school. This can make them feel safer and more prepared to learn.
  • Families can benefit from daily schedules to stay accountable and meet their homeschooling objectives. This is important for those who tend to be easily distracted or delay their tasks.
  • Having a daily schedule in place can facilitate better communication among family members, helping to avoid misunderstandings and building a stronger bond between them.
Homeschool Calendar

Ease Into It

Homeschooling for new parents can be a big shift, so it’s crucial to not apply excessive pressure from the start. It is best to ease into this transition and move forward at a steady pace.

Homeschooling parents can begin with just a few basic supplies and then build on their resources as they get more confident with the homeschooling process.

When it comes to homeschooling, there are numerous options, so you should find one that works best for your family. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with different techniques; the less stressed you feel, the more successful your learning experience is likely to be.

Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.

Involve Your Child in Setting Learning Goals

Involving your child in homeschool assignment planning and curriculum scheduling is important for several reasons:

  • Offering students a sense of importance and ownership in their education will provide them with motivation and boost engagement.
  • Involving them in the homeschool process will help them feel that they are part of it, rather than it being done to them.
  • Getting your child involved in the homeschooling decision-making will give you a better understanding of their likes, talents, and shortcomings; allowing you to modify the learning environment to better accommodate them.

Generally, having your kid involved in homeschooling planning is key to a successful experience for everyone.

Mom and children looking at a globe.

Explore Other Ways of Learning Outside the Classroom

Homeschooled kids have an advantage as they can explore many educational possibilities not found in a regular school. This helps them gain a diverse range of knowledge and experience, resulting in a more comprehensive education.

In many cases, homeschoolers benefit from strong connections in the community. These relationships can open doors to new learning opportunities, such as classes and workshops taught by experts or members of the community.

Parents who homeschool their children should seize these chances to broaden their kids’ education.

Homeschooling families can give their children a very enriching education by exploring different learning techniques.

Children learning at a museum

Reach Out to Other Homeschool Families

Homeschooling can be difficult, especially for families without a support system. Luckily, there are various ways to make connections with other homeschoolers and build a community. One way is by connecting with local homeschooling organizations.

Homeschool groups can provide emotional support, practical advice from experienced homeschoolers, and opportunities for field trips and social interactions.

Joining an online forum or Facebook group is an excellent way to network with other homeschool parents.

Joining a parenting group can be helpful for exchanging resources, asking questions, and obtaining advice from parents who have the same experiences.

Making connections with other homeschooling families can help parents lessen the feeling of isolation and build a supportive environment for their kids.

When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.

Can Homeschooled Students Play Sports in North Carolina?

Can homeschool students play sports in North Carolina? No, homeschooled students are not allowed to participate in public school sports. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) requires student-athletes to be “in attendance” at the public school they represent.

The NCHSAA Eligibility Rules state that a student must be enrolled in and attending the member school for at least four months prior to the start of the sport’s season in order to be eligible to compete.

This rule applies to all sports except football, which has a six-month requirement. For more information, please visit the NCHSAA website or contact your local school district. Thank you.

Homeschooled boys playing soccer

How to Homeschool When Both Parents Work

North Carolina parents who opt to homeschool their children have to be creative with balancing work and school, as it is a difficult task.

With some ingenuity, it’s possible to work and homeschool at the same time. Let’s examine some pointers to help you achieve it.

Prior to February 2020, just 68% of parents who had homeschooled their children said it had been a success.

Get Your Childcare Involved

Some parents are lucky enough to have assistance in homeschooling while they’re away at work due to childcare.

When it’s not achievable or budget-friendly for all households, one should think outside the box to devise a plan that fits everyone’s needs.

Boy doing schoolwork

Delegate Chores

Involving your children in household tasks is an effective method to reduce the strain you may be facing between work and homeschooling. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about responsibility.

It’s prudent to be mindful of your child’s abilities. A five-year-old probably won’t be able to do the laundry, but they can lend a hand with things like dusting or laying the table.

As they age, give your children more chores. By involving them in household tasks, you can reduce your work while teaching them essential life skills.

Before the epidemic, 69% of homeschooled children expressed a desire to continue their studies in this manner for the upcoming school year.

You and Your Spouse Work Alternate Shifts

Balancing homeschooling with both parents working can be difficult, especially if you and your partner have alternating shifts. Here are some strategies to help make it work:

  • It’s important to organize your week in advance by creating a schedule that includes all of your work hours and other responsibilities. This will help you plan effectively for homeschooling.
  • Make use of online materials: Utilizing online components like lesson plans, videos, and virtual excursions can be a great way to supplement your kid’s schooling when you are not able to be with them in person.
  • Be flexible with your homeschooling: If your daytime commitments don’t make 9 to 3 schooling feasible, think outside the box. For instance, you can do lessons at night or at the weekend. Or, break up the day into shorter chunks of time for educational activities.
  • Ask for assistance: Don’t be scared to look for support when you need it. This could involve employing a tutor or nanny to aid with home-based instruction while you are busy, or requesting the aid of relatives and friends.
  • Homeschoolers should be aware that it’s okay to take breaks. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling will help ensure that commitments are met on both fronts.

Homeschooling can be a tricky task if both parents are working. But it can be done with the right amount of planning and creativity, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.

Girl doing schoolwork on the computer

Take Advantage of Online Curriculums

Homeschooling is a great option to personalize your child’s education, yet it can be difficult to fit work and school into one schedule. To make it easier, why not opt for an online curriculum?

Structured learning programs can assist your child in their development and ensure concentration while you are away.

Furthermore, online learning can be tailored to your child’s individual requirements, making it convenient to discover a course that suits their distinctive learning approach.

In their children’s upcoming academic year, 54% of parents who were homeschooling before February 2020 were likely to do so full-time.

Assign the Child Solo Activities to Do While You’re at Work

Parents in North Carolina who teach their kids at home must find ways to keep their children entertained while they are working. One way is to assign independent curriculum projects.

Tasks such as reading assignments, research projects, and math and writing exercises may be included.

It’s essential to select activities that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level.

If your child attends childcare, ask your provider to remind them to complete their homeschooling tasks daily.

Proper planning can help your child become independent and accomplish tough tasks during the workday.

Homeschooled girl doing school work

Allow Yourself Flexibility and Grace

Balancing a job and homeschooling can be difficult for parents, so it’s vital to give yourself some leniency and kindness while managing these duties.

Striving for perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to disappointment. Focus on the successes, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Keep in mind that your kids are observing you, and will take after you. By displaying a positive outlook and openness to change, they’ll be more likely to do the same.

Balancing work and homeschooling can be difficult, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to impart valuable lessons to your children. Show them how to be adaptable and graceful in any situation, setting them up for victory down the line.

The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).

North Carolina Homeschool Curriculum Requirements 

North Carolina homeschoolers have the freedom to select their own curriculum but must provide instruction in key academic subject areas such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Physical education

Homeschooling provides families with lots of options; they can concentrate on particular subjects or teaching techniques, for instance.

North Carolina parents have the option to customize the curriculum for their children, which makes homeschooling an effective educational choice.

Parent writing a letter of intent to homeschool

Letter of Intent to Homeschool in North Carolina

According to the North Carolina Department of Administration, parents wanting to homeschool must submit a Letter of Intent to their school district. This letter gives an overview of the family and their plans for homeschooling.

This information includes the names and ages of the children, plus their dates of leaving public school.

The Letter of Intent outlines the curriculum that will be taught.

By signing this form, parents show their promise to give their children a high-quality education.

Moreover, the Letter of Intent guarantees that homeschooled students have an education that satisfies state regulations.

Consequently, it is a useful resource for families who are exploring homeschooling in North Carolina.

The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.

Is the North Carolina Homeschool Curriculum Free?

In North Carolina, the number of households that homeschool their children is increasing due to numerous reasons. One major worry for those families is the high cost of curricula, however, there are a lot of free online sources and curriculums available.

By searching online, you can find plenty of free homeschool resources like lesson plans, worksheets, and even full curriculums.

Homeschooling families often get discounted or free memberships from educational organizations.

With dedication, you can homeschool your kids without spending a fortune.

Older girl sitting holding a jar of money

How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool in North Carolina?

Home education in North Carolina has variable costs based on factors such as the curriculum chosen and whether parents opt to participate in a homeschool co-op. All families should be prepared to cover some general expenses when homeschooling.

  • Materials such as textbooks, workbooks, and educational software
  • Field trips and other extracurricular activities
  • Membership in a homeschooling organization.

Families considering homeschooling should take into account the cost of their time, as they will need to plan and teach lessons.

Homeschooling can be costly, however, it can also provide students with a personalized education tailored to their needs.

A safe environment was cited as the main motivation by 50% of parents who homeschool their children.

How Many Days Are Required for Homeschool in North Carolina?

In the state of North Carolina, there is no required number of days or hours that a child must be in attendance for school. However, it is generally advisable to maintain a consistent and structured schedule that is in the child’s best interest.

Attending school on a regular basis can help to promote academic success and socialization skills.

It can also provide structure and routine for children who may not have a lot of structure at home.

Of course, every family’s situation is different, and there may be times when it is necessary to miss school.

However, as a general rule, it is best to try to keep your child’s attendance consistent.

Homeschooling months of the year

North Carolina Homeschool Record Keeping 

Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling in North Carolina. The law requires that parents keep records of their children’s academic progress, including portfolio samples and standardized test scores.

These records can be used to demonstrate that a child is receiving a quality education and making academic progress.

Maintaining records can be helpful if a family ever needs to transfer to a new school district or state.

Good recordkeeping can also help parents track their child’s progress over time and identify areas that may need improvement.

Here are some things that are important to keep a record of during the homeschooling years:

  • Test results
  • Samples of your student’s academic work
  • Documentation of the type of curriculum being provided to your child
  • Dialog with state and/or school officials
  • Attendance records

A good rule of thumb is to save these records for at least two years or longer if required.

By taking the time to keep accurate and up-to-date records, parents can help ensure that their homeschool is in compliance with the law and provide their child with a high-quality education.

Test results, extracurricular activities, and socialization were mentioned as reasons for homeschooling by 14% of the parents.

North Carolina Homeschool Graduation Requirements 

The state of North Carolina does not have a specific homeschooling requirement in place for a student to graduate. Graduation standards are set by the parents as the facilitators of their child’s education. Once the student accomplishes the expected milestones set forth by the parents, they will graduate.

HS diploma

North Carolina Homeschool Diploma 

For homeschooled students in North Carolina, earning a diploma can be an even greater accomplishment. Homeschooled kids don’t have the structure of a regular school schedule, so they have to be self-motivated and disciplined to do well. A high school diploma is a symbol of hard work and dedication.

Earning a diploma shows that they have what it takes to set goals and achieve them.

In addition, a diploma for North Carolina homeschoolers can open up new opportunities, such as colleges and scholarships.

For homeschooled students, a high school diploma is an important milestone on the road to success.

As of February 2020, at least 9 million Americans had been homeschooled at least once.

How Does a Homeschooled Student Get a Diploma?

According to the North Carolina Department of Administration, parents in North Carolina who homeschool their children have the unique opportunity to be the sole provider of their child’s high school diploma. This means that they get to decide what criteria must be met in order for their child to earn the diploma.

Of course, parents will want to ensure that their child meets all the necessary requirements for graduation, such as taking required courses and passing exams.

However, they also have the freedom to tailor the curriculum to their child’s interests and learning style.

As a result, homeschooled students often emerge with a well-rounded education that prepares them well for success in college and beyond.

Before COVID-19, 42% of parents said they wished their kids had more freedom to pursue their hobbies.

Are Homeschool Diplomas Valid?

The homeschooling movement has been growing steadily in recent years, as more parents opt to educate their children at home. While homeschooling can provide a number of benefits, there is one potential drawback: homeschool diplomas may not be as recognized by colleges or employers.

Some institutions may require additional testing or coursework for homeschooled students, so students should be prepared to take some tests to show their level of academics.

It’s not uncommon whatsoever for homeschooled kids to be more academically advanced than their peers who attended a public school, so in the long run, homeschoolers are quite capable of holding the advantage.

However, it is important to note that homeschool diplomas are becoming increasingly common and should be accepted by most colleges and employers.


Although the information in this article was researched with the utmost integrity and sincerity, it cannot be held legally liable or expected to take the place of legitimate legal advice for your specific situation.

Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.