North Carolina Home Education Information

How to Homeschool in North Carolina

Homeschooling in NC

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

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

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

Can I Homeschool My Friend’s Child?

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

Questions & Answers About Homeschooling Requirements in North Carolina

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

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

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

Download Printable Directions

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

Download & Print Directions From The NCDNPE:  FILING A NOI 

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

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


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

Annual Testing

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

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

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

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

More Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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