Information and Fees
Our 2014-2015 membership year runs from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015.

Apply online for 2014-2015

Fees: $75 for first student, $25 each additional student.

Membership includes:

Option 3 coverage (for SC members)
Field trips, camps, and events
Members-only events
Priority registration for events that have limited enrollment
Discounts for some trips and events
Online book groups, classes, projects, and private community for students (and parents)
Ongoing support for your homeschool, and regular member newsletters to keep you informed about new events and resources
All the extras (field trips, online activities, classes, events, etc.) are optional. You decide what you want to become involved in.

Lost Member Letters/Cards:
There is a $5 fee to replace lost membership letters and cards.

Member FAQs

Join our mailing list!
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest news about our trips, events, and more.

How to homeschool...
Get reviews of favorite curriculum, descriptions of typical days, and more practical advice from hundreds of experienced homeschoolers! [Read Amber's review on the Raising Adventurers Blog.]

Homeschooling Essentials

Available formats:
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook

Membership - Option 3 Homeschoolers
We enjoy offering expanded membership services for South Carolina families homeschooling under Section 59-65-47 (Option 3) of SC's homeschool law, and others who live in other states and countries.

Our fees are $75 for one student, and $25 for each additional student, and are due within 7 days of the date I confirm your application and send payment information.

Are we worth the higher fee?
Every family has different needs, so you're the only one who can decide if our services are worth it. Here's what others have to say about us. We hope their comments help you determine if we're the right choice for your family. (No one receives a payment, commission, or discount for their review of Carolina Homeschooler or resulting memberships.)

I live in (NC, GA, OH, TN, TX, MD, Canada, Puerto Rico, etc.) and want to join your group for the (online activities, trip discounts, member-only events, etc.). What is the fee?

We welcome homeschoolers from other states and countries. The fee is the same regardless of where you live. You'll have access to everything we offer, but I won't need to include your family in the paperwork I do for SC homeschoolers.

How is Carolina Homeschooler different from other SC homeschool associations?
We provide an interactive learning community for students and parents, both online and off. We coordinate field trips, camps, online book groups, classes, and group trips so children (and parents) can get to know each other and have enriched learning experiences together.

We provide transcripts and guidance for our high school students, but we don't rank our students (for various reasons). We provide diplomas (requires an extra fee), and are working on an end-of-year/graduation event. However, we won't provide a graduation ceremony that is typical of the public school system.

Our communication is primarily via email and messaging, not by phone (for time-management and record-keeping purposes). If having telephone support is important to you, please choose a different association for your family.

Will you teach our children the all the required subjects?
No, that's still your responsibility, but we hope you'll use our community and educational activities to enrich and inspire your children's learning and connect with other homeschoolers.

Can we "count" your classes, workshops, and field trips as part of our curriculum?
Yes, absolutely. To make it easier for parents, I often provide a description of skills and topics learned to include in state-required record-keeping.

Do you provide membership cards? A membership letter?
Yes, our membership cards are great to use for discounted or free admission to museums, zoos, etc., if offered. You will also receive a membership letter. This serves as proof of your legal status as a 3rd Option homeschooling family in South Carolina.

I have a high school student, can I join?
Yes. We won't rank your student (for various reasons), but we'll help with transcripts and guidance for LIFE Scholarships, Palmetto Scholars applications, and other financial aid purposes. See our High School FAQ for more information about these scholarships. We'll also provide a diploma (for an extra fee), and we're working on an end-of-year/graduation event, but won't provide a traditional graduation ceremony.

Does Carolina Homeschooler issue transcripts?
We develop a transcript based on the information you provide to us, endorse it, and forward it on your behalf to colleges for admission and scholarship applications.

Do we have to participate in any of your activities?
No, all of our activities are optional. Our goal is to enhance your homeschool experience, not add more requirements and stress. Feel free to join in as many activities as you want, and leave the rest.

What are your office hours? Can I call you if I have questions?
We are a virtual organization and are available frequently throughout the day (and evenings). After providing services, support, and group trips for over ten years, we've found that email is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with our members. If a brick-and-mortar organization and telephone support are important to you, please choose another association.

What am I required to do to homeschool in SC?
If you choose to homeschool under section 59-65-47 (commonly known as the "3rd Option"), these are the requirements:
The primary instructor (parent or guardian) must have at least a high school diploma or GED.
You must teach 180 days (if you begin homeschooling after the school year begins, count any days spent in public or private school as part of your required 180 days).
You must teach, at a minimum, the areas of reading/literature, writing/composition, mathematics, science, and social studies.
You must maintain a plan book, diary, or other record of instruction and activities for each student.
You must keep a portfolio of samples of each student's academic work.
You must maintain semiannual progress reports documenting attendance and progress in each required academic area.

The left-hand menu includes links to the law, information about record-keeping, and more. If you have any questions after reading through those links, post them on my message boards and I'll be happy to help.

What does your association require?
When you submit your registration, you'll confirm you meet (or will meet) all the legal requirements stipulated in Section 59-65-47. At the end of the year, we'll ask you to submit an online form confirming that you completed 180 days of homeschooling and met all of the requirements.

Do you require us to mail our records to you?
No. The law mandates that parents/guardians maintain their own homeschool records. However, Carolina Homeschooler reserves the right to request copies of your records if an audit is requested by any SC agency (DSS, DJJ, Department of Education, etc.). In this case, you must mail a copy of your records within three days of receiving my request.

Do you notify our local school district that we're members of  Carolina Homeschooler?
When you withdraw your children from school, you'll give them a copy of your membership confirmation as proof of your legal status. To protect the privacy of my members, I won't provide member information to any organization unless I receive an official request for confirmation of your legal status.

Do you require textbooks? Do you approve curriculum? Do you require standardized testing?
No, I don't require textbooks, approve your curriculum, or require testing. My experience as a school psychologist (and as a parent with over 20 years of homeschooling experience) has shown me that learning happens all the time, with a breadth and depth that can't be confined solely to textbooks or accurately measured by the narrow focus of standardized tests. Please feel free to use resources and assessment methods that best meet the needs of your family.

Are membership fees refundable if we decide to re-enroll our children in public or private school?
Membership fees are not refunded for any reason.

What happens if DSS (or another agency) contacts me about my homeschool?
Email me at within 24 hours with details about the situation and the name and phone number of the person who contacted you.
Member Events
Become an Outsider!
Visit South Carolina's state parks with us during 2014-2015 and become an Outsider! If we succeed in visiting all 47 parks, we'll get a special Outsider t-shirt and a lot of great memories. We'll have picnics, hike trails, geocache, and participate in educational or cultural programs. Each visit will be different, but all will focus on building friendships, exploring SC's historic sites and natural resources, and spending quality family time together outside.

Oregon Trail Journey!
Travel west with us on our virtual journey along the Oregon Trail! You'll become a part of a wagon family and help to make decisions that will determine your fate. Will you make it to Oregon, or will something happen along the way?

Online Book Groups
Our online book groups will continue this summer! Students read a variety of children's literature (historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, and other genres). We choose favorites that have stood the test of time (and make good read-alouds for those who prefer listening to audiobooks). Students answer questions about the books, earning chances to win Amazon gift cards.

Dinosaurs and Electricity!
Join us in November for the Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit that blends art and science, and features 14 fully interactive, recycled metal dinosaur sculptures with exposed mechanics inspired by actual fossils. We'll also attend Zapped! An Electrifying Experience, a 40-minute educational program that showcases electricity and electromagnetism and the "raging lightning storm" between two brilliant scientists: Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Atalaya Castle Sleepover
Join us at Huntington Beach State Park for a private sleepover in Atalaya Castle! We'll get a special tour of the castle; enjoy campfire cookouts (dinner and breakfast) and s'mores, listen to ghost stories, go on an evening beach exploration, take a morning wildlife walk, and more!

MythBusters: Behind the Myths!
Join us in November for the MythBusters: Behind the Myths show and see Jamie and Adam match wits on stage with each other and members of the audience. We'll watch on-stage experiments and rocking video, and hear behind-the-scenes stories. And, for the first time ever, fans will join Jamie and Adam on stage and assist in their mind-twisting and not always orthodox approach to science.

USS Yorktown Overnight
Spend the night with us on the USS Yorktown, the historic WWII aircraft carrier near Charleston, SC! We'll get a special tour of the USS Yorktown, and have time to explore a destroyer and submarine, a replica of a Vietnam Naval Support Base Camp, and historic Fort Sumter. We'll eat our meals (lunch and dinner on Monday, and breakfast on Tuesday) in the mess hall, and spend the night in the ship's berths, like the sailors did when the ship was in service.