How to Start Homeschooling in NC
Deciding and preparing to homeschool can be an overwhelming process. Although North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) cannot make this process simple, we will give you a good start and lead you to additional sources of information. NCHE recommends seven steps to get started.
Step 1: Learn
First you need to decide if home education is the right choice for you and your family. It is never too early to start this step. To learn about homeschooling, talk to experienced homeschoolers, attend classes, and read. NCHE's Annual Conference and Book Fair is a must for those wanting to learn more about homeschooling. If you cannot wait until the next conference, ask the NCHE office about ordering tapes from a past conference. Reading is always a good way to learn about homeschooling. As you read, your philosophy of education will develop. You need to invest some time in reading good books on the subject.
Some suggested books are:
- Better Late Than Early, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook (formerly titled Home School Burnout), Raymond and Dorothy Moore
- For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
- Home Schooling for Excellence, David and Micki Colfax
- Homeschooling the Early Years, Linda Dobson
- Homeschooling the Middle Years, Shari Henry
- Learning All the Time and Teach Your Own, John Holt
- The Three R's Series and You Can Teach Your Child Successfully, Ruth Beechick
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, Debra Bell
- Educating the Whole-hearted Child, Clay and Sally Clarkson
Step 2: Notify the State
If your child is seven, but not yet sixteen, or sixteen and over and planning to drive, you will need to file with the state a "Notice of Intent to Operate a School." The preferred method is electronically via the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) (DNPE) website. Families without a computer or internet access at home can use their local library. If a paper version of the Notice is necessary, you can call the DNPE, and they will mail you a copy. You will also need to locate your high school or college diploma, or an equivalent. When the form is filed online, DNPE will send an email to acknowledge its receipt. It is important to keep this email. You are now in compliance with the law.
Department of Administration
Dr. Chená Flood, Director
NC Division of Non-Public Education
1309 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1309
Note: NCHE is not affiliated with the NC Division of Non-Public Education nor any other government agency or organization.
Step 3: Join a Local Support Group
Contact and join your local support group. A local support group is an invaluable asset for resources, encouragement and opportunities. If you need help locating a support group, check our Local Support page or contact NCHE (919) 790-1100.
Step 4: Join North Carolinians for Home Education
Be a part of the state organization that is committed to supporting homeschoolers, promoting home education, and protecting the right to homeschool. We need your help to carry out this objective. Join NCHE online here.
Step 5: Decide on Curriculum and Resources
You will need to decide on a philosophy of education before you decide what curriculum and resources to use. A wide variety of resources is available. The closer your choices fit your family's philosophy and style, the more successful you will be. Most families piece together their own curriculum by picking and choosing the best for their family from different publishers. It is usually best to start small and add later. To get a firsthand look at the a large variety of materials, attend NCHE's Annual Conference and Book Fair. Our conference features about 90 vendors of curriculum and educational materials. A brief description of the most commonly used curricula and resources is provided here.
For a more detailed and comprehensive description we refer you to:
- 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Cathy Duffy
- Choosing and Using Curriculum, Joyce Herzog
- Home Schooling Children with Special Needs, Sharon C. Hensley, MA
- Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling, Mary Pride
Step 6: Plan
Now that you have determined what resources you will be using, you will need to develop short and long-term goals and establish a tentative calendar and schedule.
Step 7: Subscribe to Magazines and Newsletters
For continuing education and encouragement, you may want to subscribe to homeschool magazines or newsletters. Below are some suggestions.
- Greenhouse Report, NCHE's statewide newsletter
- Growing Without Schooling, Holt Associates
- Homeschooling Today, (281) 492-6050
- Home Education Magazine, (800) 236-3278
- The Moore Report International, (360) 835-5500
- Practical Homeschooling, (800) 346-6322
- The Teaching Home, (503) 253-9633
- The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Magazine