To aid those considering homeschooling, or are new to this fantastic adventure, here are some helpful FAQs:
In the words of Lewis Carroll “Begin at the beginning...” The NC DNPE (North Carolina Department of Non-Public Eduction) is where you register your homeschool and find out all NC state requirements.
The Homeschool Gossip’s Homeschooling Q & A’s Support Group can help you find answers to your homeschooling questions! https://www.facebook.com/groups/696919220509549/
There is also the Homeschooling 101 in NC from The Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
So...many...choices...it can be overwhelming! BUT here’s the good news: they are ALL good. Yep, every one. All of them will teach your child. It’s just a matter of picking the one that best speaks to your child. The goal: no tears. Seriously, that’s it, that’s the goal of picking the right curriculum, no tears for you or your child. Let’s say you picked a math curriculum that made them cry, no worries, they still learned something. You picked a grammar curriculum that made you cry, they still learned something. Just smile as you gather up the pieces and post that curriculum on the Marketplaces and just pick a new one!
To find helpful extensive reviews of nearly all the curriculum choices out there, you can go to www.rainbowresource.com or www.christianbook.com . You can also ask opinions on the different support groups (see below), veteran homeschool mom’s are very willing to help! You can post your questions in the Homeschooling Q & A’s Support Group. If you want to see the curriculum in person, to compare side by side, you can go to places like The Homeschool Room in Huntersville or Matthews. Once you decide on a curriculum, it's best to first see if you can get it used. You can find used curriculum in The Homeschool Gossip’s Marketplaces these are local buy/sell groups of all things homeschooling. You can always find it online at Amazon.com, eBay, or directly from the publisher for discounts like Apologia Science.
To find out all about the yearly Nationally Standardized Testing requirement for homeschools in North Carolina visit the NC Department of Non-Public Education. Here is the link to the Nationally Standardized Testing Requirement page at the NC DNPE.
For those new to homeschooling, this is not as scary as it seems! These tests are a wonderful tool to see how well your child(ren) are doing and where you may need to spend some more time. They are also a great way to evaluate how well your curriculum is working for your child(ren). We are only required to test, we are NOT required to have any particular score. Even if your child didn’t fill in the bubbles completely and received a zero, you have met the yearly requirement. That example is to take away the anxiety of testing.
Here are some options to meet the yearly Nationally Standardized Testing requirement:
- You can administer the test yourself. There is a list of test vendors at the NC DNPE.
- You can find a service where you can pay to have someone test your student(s): Woodcock Johnson Testing at The Homeschool Room in Huntersville and Matthews. (a great option for the required annual testing for home schoolers) is available throughout the year. Shawn Hill has been administering this popular testing option with us since 2008. Please contact him directly for scheduling appointments and questions about Woodcock Johnson Testing. His contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (704) 607-9092.
- There are more options! Please see The Homeschool Gossip’s List of Enrichment Classes and Services for the most current list of test services.
For our neighbors that homeschooling in South Carolina, we share lots of social events, but our homeschooling laws are different. Here is a link to a group that can help you figure it all out! http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/
The Homeschool Gossip's Links for Socialization Opportunities:
Click this link to view The Homeschool Gossip's calendars completely in a scrollable list with clickable links to all event details! Book mark this link for easy access.
- The Homeschool Gossip’s Social Network: The Homeschool Gossip Social Network, is a network of social groups to help you connect with other homeschoolers through common interests and ages! These groups are for coordinating meet ups and to stay connected. http://www.thehomeschoolgossip.com/p/the-homeschool-gossip-social-network.html
- List of homeschool support groups
- List of homeschool dances and proms:updated during the school year
- List homeschool Adventure Groups such as 4h, Girl Scouts, AHG, Boy Scouts, Trail Life and others.
- List homeschool field trip and outing ideas
The Homeschool Gossip's Links for Academic Support & socialization opportunities:
- Homeschool Enrichment Classes & Services: For classes and services outside the home. http://www.thehomeschoolgossip.com/p/the-homeschool-gossips-lis-of.html
- List of homeschool co-ops & tutorials: https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-homeschool-gossip/homeschool-co-ops-in-the-charlotte-lake-norman-and-surrounding-areas/137291519997038
AMAZING FREE SUPPORT RESOURCES!
- Crash Course YouTube Channel : Tons of awesome courses in one awesome channel! Nicole Sweeney teaches you sociology, Carrie Anne Philbin teaches you computer science, Craig Benzine teaches film history, and Mike Rugnetta is teaching mythology! Check out the playlists for past courses in physics, philosophy, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, biology, literature, ecology, chemistry, psychology, and U.S. history.
- Virtual Homeschool Group :We are an online homeschool course co-op. Think of it as your local co-op gone electronic with no geographical borders. It is all-volunteer run and donation supported so that we can offer the classes tuition-free. We offer at your own pace and live online classes. August 1st is the big registration day each year for live online classes. At your own pace (ayops) can be started at any time. Contact Tammy Moore at email@example.com if you have any questions.
- Donna Young offers the largest selection of Printable homeschool planners. Not only will you be able to print a complete homeschool planner, you can also read Donna's How to Plan Homeschool articles with examples and suggestions.
- Free MIT courses, including videos, audio, simulations, lecture notes and exams!
- HSLDA’s Membership for Parents of Preschoolers This FREE HSLDA membership is for parents or legal guardians whose oldest child is under age 5. Here are the benefits you receive! Personal phone and email access to legal staff for your state, for any legal concerns regarding your homeschool Toddlers to Tweens consultant (preschool–8th grade) who can answer your homeschooling questions about everything from getting started to learning styles, from curriculum to lesson planning, and more www.hslda.org/ToddlersToTweens Struggling Learner/Special Needs consultants who can assist you in diagnosing and addressing your homeschooled child’s special needs www.hslda.org/StrugglingLearner
- LibraVox – free and low-cost audio books
- Forgotten Books is a London-based book publisher specializing in the restoration of old books, both fiction and non-fiction. Books available to read online, download as ebooks, or purchase in print. https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en
- Where to Go Wednesday: NC Aquariums As the weather cools down, maybe your family enjoys a trip to the coast? Consider a visit to one of our wonderful aquariums. With preregistration, homeschools are allowed on free visit per school year. You must be a registered homeschool with DNPE.
- Lynda.com through CMS Library - Lynda.com is an online educational site that includes over 3,000 courses (and over 130,000 videos) in popular fields like web design, web development, IT, education/instruction, media production, and business. Normally, using lynda.com requires a paid subscription, but Charlotte Mecklenburg Library cardholders can access lynda.com content FREE with their library card number following these instructions.