How to Homeschool 172

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.”

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.”

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.

  • Parents wishing to educate their children at home, need to inform the DNPE of their intent to homeschool by filing a Notice of Intent.
  •  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
  •  The main teaching parent needs to hold a high school diploma, or its equivalent, in order to homeschool.
  •  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.
  •  Every year the 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.
  •  The annual test must be Nationally standardized and cover 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.
  • Homeschool administrators can now report updates or changes online any time during the school year.

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

A very valuable printable, guide is available to download from the NCDNPE as well: Homeschool Guidebook.

Note: 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.

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.

*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. 

Please follow the links I provide to the NCDNPE website so you can read the law and their recommendations for yourself. This website attempts to give a general and broad overview of how to homeschool in our state, but you should interpret my statements as 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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172 thoughts on “How to Homeschool

  • Julie Tennant

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Jill

    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?

  • Doreen Melton

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Rick moore

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Marisa

    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 Post author

      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 🙂

  • Lisa

    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 Post author

      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. 🙂

  • Lisa

    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 Post author

      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

        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 Post author

          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

            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 Post author

            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:

  • Christi

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Mark

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Angela hutchins

    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

  • Jennifer christmas

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Angelique

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Jeff Folk

    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 Post author

      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

  • Steven Mansfield

    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 Post author

      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 🙂

  • Laura Malone

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Ratasha

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Jessica Lee

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Tiffany Stone

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Natasha

    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 Post author

      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

        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 Post author

          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

        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 🙂

  • Shirley

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Virginia Spruill

    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 Post author

      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 Post author

      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. “

  • Flare

    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 Post author

      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!

  • Esther

    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?


  • Aysel Suazo

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Robin

    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 Post author

      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.

  • Brianne

    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.

  • Shana

    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 Post author

        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.

  • Sharon

    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 Post author

      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.

  • lizeth

    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 Post author

      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.

  • rachelconerly

    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

      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!

  • Nathan

    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

      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!

  • Shari Theusch

    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

      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!

  • Ashley

    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

      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!

  • Amy

    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

      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.

    • Merit Kirkpatrick

      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!

  • Melissa

    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

      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.

  • Stephanie VanDusen

    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

      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!

  • vanessa rodriguez

    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

      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 🙂

  • Angie P

    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

      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.

  • Antoinette

    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

      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

        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 Post author

          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!

  • Hope

    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

      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!

  • Nikki

    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

      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.

    • Merit K

      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!

  • Kimberly Hull

    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

      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.

  • Amanda Long

    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

      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!

  • Dana Reed Rickels

    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

  • Brynn Goin

    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

      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 🙂

  • Michelle

    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

      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!

  • Shanon

    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

      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

        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

          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!

  • Shelly Brazinski

    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.

  • Shelly Brazinski

    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

      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.

  • Shelly Brazinski

    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

      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.

  • Esther Stoltzfus

    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

      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!

  • Twyla

    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

      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!

  • Traci Davis

    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

      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

        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

          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!

  • Candice

    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!

  • Candice

    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

      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.

  • sally

    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

      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!

  • Alicia

    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

      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!

    • Merit K

      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.

  • Kati

    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

      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

  • Nicole

    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

      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.

    • Merit K

      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.

  • Brandi Houston

    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

      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.

  • Monica

    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

      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.

  • Katie

    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

      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.

  • Colleen

    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

      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

      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.

  • Nikki Brooks

    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

      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

  • sanderson76

    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.

  • fitzaddict

    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!

      • Amber Toler

        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

          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.