How to Homeschool in NC?

Homeschooling in North Carolina offers a unique opportunity for you to shape your child’s educational journey.

As a parent or legal guardian, you have the right to educate your children at home, a practice that is both supported and regulated by the state.

North Carolina law requires that your home school be set up as a non-public school and that you adhere to certain legal requirements to ensure a successful and compliant educational environment.

Homeschooling in North Carolina

Homeschooling in North Carolina refers to the practice of educating children at home rather than in a traditional public or private school setting.

You, as a parent or a legal guardian, have the option to deliver academic instruction yourself or with the help of other members of your homeschool. The primary difference between homeschooling and other forms of education in North Carolina is that it allows for a tailored educational experience that meets the individual needs of each child.

You need to file a Notice of Intent with the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education to operate your home school.

This is an essential first step that signifies your commitment to following the state’s educational statutes.

North Carolina’s approach to home education allows a great deal of flexibility in choosing curricula and instructional methods, giving you the ability to tailor the educational experience to your child’s needs.

Let’s dig into more details about homeschooling in NC.

What are the legal requirements for homeschooling in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you are expected to meet specific legal requirements to legally homeschool your children. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Age Requirements: You’re required to homeschool your children between the ages of 7 and 16.
  • Notice of Intent: You must submit a Notice of Intent to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, including the name and address of your school and the chief administrator.
  • Qualifications: At least one of the parents or guardians must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • School Records: You need to maintain attendance and immunization records.
  • Annual Testing: Conduct standardized testing annually and keep the results on record.
  • School Structure: Operate on a regular schedule during a nine-month calendar year, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations.
  • Safety Regulations: Comply with state health and safety regulations.

Remember that no state-mandated subjects are required; however, keeping a well-rounded curriculum is crucial for your child’s education. Additionally, it’s important to periodically review the legal requirements, as homeschool laws are subject to change.

For more detailed guidelines, you can consult the Home School Guidebook published by the North Carolina Department of Administration.

Setting Up Your Homeschool

To officially open your school, there are some key steps you need to follow:

  1. Determine the name of your homeschool and identify yourself as the chief administrator.
  2. Submit a Notice of Intent to the DNPE, which can be done online from the comfort of your home.
  3. Receive a home school ID number from the DNPE, designating your homeschool as a recognized educational entity.
  4. As per state law, keep precise records of everything, including attendance and immunizations.

By setting up your homeschool according to North Carolina’s legal requirements, and maintaining the necessary documentation, you can ensure a stable and recognized setting for your child’s education.

Learn more about NCEDCloud login here.

Where can you find a comprehensive list of homeschools in North Carolina?

If you’re searching for a comprehensive list of homeschools in North Carolina, the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) is the primary resource. Here’s how you can access this information:

  1. Visit the official DNPE website: For a centralized repository of home schools, the NC Home School Information page is your starting point. It provides a doorway to various resources, including a guidebook and frequently asked questions.
  2. Use the DNPE’s online portal: To find details about homeschools by county, navigate to the North Carolina DNPE System. Here, you have the option to search for schools using the chief administrator’s last name and county of residence.
  3. Download the Home School Guidebook: A comprehensive North Carolina Home School Guidebook is available for download. This guidebook includes information on qualifications, legal recognition, and school names.
  4. Check Requirements and Recommendations: Understanding legal requirements is essential. The Home School Requirements & Recommendations section outlines the instructional criteria that homeschools must follow.

Remember, these resources provide you with official and accurate lists as well as guidelines for homeschooling in your state.

Which online platforms offer the best homeschooling programs in North Carolina?

When you’re searching for the best online homeschooling programs in North Carolina, you’ll find several reputable options to consider. Here’s an overview of some platforms that are known for providing quality education.

  • K12: A popular choice that offers a virtual academy for grades K–12. This platform provides a comprehensive curriculum and a vibrant online community for students and educators.
  • Time4Learning: Renowned for its engaging curriculum, Time4Learning is user-friendly and allows you to start homeschooling at any time during the school year.
  • Verywell Family: highlights a list of the seven best online homeschool programs, giving you a good starting point for your research.
  • North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE): Offers resources and information about various online homeschool options, including virtual classes offered by public school districts.
  • TheHomeSchoolMom: provides resources and tips for homeschooling in NC, ensuring that you’re well-informed about the requirements and best practices.

It’s crucial to evaluate each program to find the one that aligns best with your educational goals and your child’s learning style. Keep in mind the importance of understanding and complying with the North Carolina homeschooling laws as you embark on your homeschooling journey.

How can you access the North Carolina homeschool login portal?

To access the North Carolina Dept. of Non-Public Education’s (DNPE) homeschool login portal, you’ll first need an account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account with the DNPE. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to logging in:

  1. Visit the portal: Start by navigating to the DNPE Non-Public Education system.
  2. Enter your credentials. Input your user name and password in the designated fields.
  3. Troubleshoot: If you’ve forgotten your user name or need to reset your password, select the appropriate link: Forgot User Name or Reset Password?

Once logged in, you can manage your homeschool’s information, access forms, and submit your Notice of Intent to homeschool if you are beginning. Make sure to keep your login details secure and accessible for future reference.

For first-time users who need to establish a new homeschool, the Open a Home School section contains the necessary steps to notify the DNPE of your intent to start a homeschool.

Remember to review the additional resources and guides offered, such as the NC Home School Information page and the detailed Home School Guidebook for comprehensive requirements and tips on homeschooling in North Carolina.

Are there any standardized testing obligations for homeschooled students in NC?

In North Carolina, you are required to administer a nationally standardized test or an equivalent measurement to your homeschooled student each academic year. Here are the key components of this requirement:

  • Testing Frequency: Annually
  • Subjects Covered: English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics
  • Score Reporting: Must report scores at least as Grade Equivalent (GE) or Age Equivalent (AE), plus national percentile rank

The law, as outlined in G.S. 115C-564, mandates that the chief administrator of the homeschool, which is typically you, the home school chief administrator, is responsible for this testing.

  • If your student has learning differences, accommodations can be made. You will need to ensure proper provisions are in place to meet their specific needs.

It is essential to maintain records of the test results for at least one year. These records should be available at the home school and provided to the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) upon request. Failure to comply with the annual testing could result in your homeschool not being recognized as a legal school within the state.

For more detailed FAQs on testing requirements, you may refer to the Home School Testing FAQs.

What are the cost considerations when budgeting for homeschooling in NC?

When budgeting for homeschooling in North Carolina, consider the following expenses:

  • Curriculum and Learning Materials: You may need to purchase textbooks, online courses, and supplementary materials. Costs can vary widely based on whether you choose brand-new, used, or free resources.
  • Co-ops and Classes: Joining a homeschool co-op or enrolling in specialty classes (like art or science labs) can add to your expenses. These are optional but can enhance your child’s education.
  • Testing and Assessments: North Carolina requires annual standardized testing for homeschooled students. Budget for test fees if you choose a paid assessment.
  • Supplies and Equipment: Allocate funds for basic supplies (paper, pens, and art supplies) and any necessary equipment (computer, printer).
  • Field Trips and Extracurricular Activities: Hands-on learning experiences and socialization activities help round out a student’s education. Plan for admission fees and transportation costs.
  • Time Investment: Your time is valuable. If homeschooling impacts your ability to work, consider the financial implications.

Breakdown of Potential Homeschooling Costs:

ItemEstimated Cost Range
Curriculum$100 – $600+ per year
Co-ops/Classes$0 – $500+ per year
Testing/Assessment$0 – $50+ per year
Supplies/Equipment$50 – $300+ per year
Field Trips/Activities$0 – $400+ per year

Keep in mind that homeschooling costs in North Carolina can be mitigated by utilizing second-hand resources, free online material, and public library resources. Each family’s situation is unique, so tailor your budget to fit your educational approach and financial circumstances.


Embarking on the journey of homeschooling in North Carolina requires fulfilling certain legal mandates. Begin by submitting a Notice of Intent with the NC Division of Nonpublic Education. Remember, obtaining at least a high school diploma or its equivalent is mandatory for you as the teaching parent.

Key Steps to Follow:

  • Submit a Notice of Intent: Necessary for the Legal Operation of Your Homeschool.
  • Naming Your School: Choose a unique name for your homeschool, which is a compulsory step.
  • Curriculum Selection: Select the appropriate curriculum to ensure effective learning.
  • Ensure you meet the state’s testing requirements and maintain attendance records, as these are crucial for the state’s annual evaluation.

As you step into this new role, stay informed of any changes or updates in North Carolina’s homeschooling laws. Your dedication, coupled with your compliance, sets the stage for a rewarding educational experience tailored precisely to your child’s needs.