Information and Fees
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 and private community for students
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.

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

Membership Year:
Our 2014-2015 membership year runs from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015.

Apply online for 2014-2015

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 our homeschool law, and others who live in other states and countries.

To spread our workload more evenly throughout the school year, we're offering discounts for families who apply early, beginning in January and extending through April. The earlier you apply and mail your payment, the more you'll save.

April's discount: $5

After April, fees revert back to the non-discounted rate ($75 for first student, and $25 each additional student in the same family).

Your membership fee will be due within 7 days of the date I confirm your application and send payment information. You won't receive your 2014-2015 membership materials until June 2014, but you'll be able to register for next fall's trips (scheduled for June or later) at the member rate.

Are we worth the higher fee?
Each family has different needs and we believe you're the only one who can judge if our services are worth the fees we charge. Here's what others have to say about us. We hope it helps you decide whether we're the right choice for your family.

I live in (NC, GA, OH, TN, 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 have 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.

We provide transcripts and guidance for our 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.

Also, 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 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
Writing, Latin, and Spanish
Optional writing, Latin, and Spanish classes for students are available now in our Members Area!

Online Book Groups
Our online book groups encourage students to read a variety of children's literature (historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, and other genres). The books we choose are favorites that have stood the test of time (and make good read-alouds for those who prefer listening to audiobooks). As the students answer questions about the books, they earn a chance to win Amazon gift cards.

Civil War Living History
Join us at the Battle for Columbia Living History Day to immerse yourself in the Civil War era!

Space Missions
Join us at the Challenger Learning Center in Columbia, SC for our Space Mission. Students in grades 4-12 will participate in a 2-hour simulated space mission, build a bottle rocket, watch a video in the astronaut theater, enjoy a flight simulation!

Rocketry Lab
We're going back to the Challenger Learning Center in May for a one-day Rocketry Lab. Students will build three rockets with increasing complexity as skills are learned. Materials will be provided, and students will be able to take their rockets home with them.

Sleep with the Sharks!
Join us in June for our Sleep with the Sharks event at Ripley's Aquarium (Myrtle Beach, SC) for a fun-filled night that includes a dive show, behind-the-scenes educational program, and a creature feature scavenger hunt. To make it even better, you'll have the option to Swim with the Stingrays, too (includes a behind-the-scenes tour)! Then we'll wrap things up with a late-night snack and activity before setting up camp in the aquarium's Dangerous Reef Tunnel, where the sharks will keep a watchful eye on us while we sleep.

Barrier Island Adventure!
Join us for an eco-tour of Charleston's salt marches and Capers Island State Heritage Preserve! We'll explore the tidal creeks and discuss plant and animal species, adaptations, oyster bed communities, species diversity, and marsh ecology. We'll also spend time at Capers Island to learn about sediments, barrier island formation, sand dune function, loggerhead sea turtles, erosion and deposition, beach ecology, and the maritime forest. A cookout lunch on the beach of Capers Island will be provided.

Boone Hall Plantation and Fort Moultrie tours
Tour historic Boone Hall Plantation with us in October! We'll visit the mansion, gardens and original brick slave cabins, and watch a live presentation about Gullah culture. After lunch, we'll meet at Fort Moultrie to learn about its history, spanning from the Revolutionary War to World War II. Join us!