Getting started!
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  1. #1
    Mssalvy03 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Getting started!

    Hi there. My daughter wants to homeschool and I think she will be successful at it. She's very mature and disciplined, but has had some health issues that has caused her to miss public school days. Can she still sign up at this point in the school year? Also, is Time4Learning a fully accredited program recognized by SC? How difficult is the record-keeping requirement and is there online help for doing so (Ie, keeping track of her time spent in each course). SC requires end-of-year testing and I assume she can do this at her area high school, but what happens if she does not pass??? She has an IEP for severe test anxiety and generally struggles to show what she knows. Lastly, I see the main curriculum but there are other requirements she must meet, such as 3 more relatives. How can she get these? Thanks for any help or suggestions!- Melissa

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is online now Administrator
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    Default Re: Getting started!

    Hi, Melissa! Welcome to the forum!

    People very commonly experience issues that cause them to sign up at a time that might be different that a traditional "school year". We actually hosted a webinar awhile back about beginning to homeschool mid-year. It's available in recorded form on YouTube.

    Time4Learning isn't an online school (which many people mistakenly think of or refer to as "homeschooling"). Time4Learning is a curriculum to use for actually homeschooling. Schools can be accredited, but a curriculum can't be accredited. Hospitals and other institutions can also be accredited, so that word often doesn't mean what someone assumes it means. Often, they simply want to know if they can use Time4Learning instead of sending their student to public school, and the answer is "yes". Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states, and no state requires an accredited homeschool curriculum, since there is no such thing! Every state allows you to choose your own homeschool curriculum (or even write your own). Just a small handful even want to approve the curriculum.

    Each state has its own homeschool laws and they are all very different. Here is what I found online today about SC homeschool laws. We aren't attorneys and laws change frequently, so this is just to get you started. You should know and understand your state's homeschool laws yourself before you begin homeschooling. Also, SC homeschool laws offer three options, and only the first option is really homeschooling, The other options involve aligning yourself with private schools or organizations.

    1. Obtain approval from the district board of trustees.

    Contact the board of trustees of your local public school district for information about their homeschool application process, and submit an application. The board “shall approve” your application (it has no discretion) if you include in your application assurance that you have completed or will complete the steps listed below.
    Here is what to do if your application is rejected: You may appeal decisions made by the board of trustees to the State Board of Education within 10 days. An appeal from the state board decision to the family court must be done within 30 days.


    2. Teach the required subjects for the required time.

    Your curriculum must include the required subjects listed above. You must teach your child for at least 180 days per school year. A school day is at least 4.5 hours, not counting lunch or recesses. Also know that, when counting hours, parents count things like Scouts, 4H, Little League, driveway basketball with a friend, volunteer work or part time jobs, arts and crafts, piano lessons or piano practice, field trips, and casual parental instruction in things like cooking or auto mechanics. Time4Learning keeps track of the amount of time your child spends on his or her online lessons, but no child should be online all day long.



    Many states do not dictate the number of hours. Note that, while SC does require a certain number of days and hours, they do not dictate any schedule. You can school throughout the summer, on weekends, one-week-off-and-one-week-on, in the evening after work, take the entire month of December off, or any imaginable number of schedules to suit your family (including just fitting the school work in wherever its convenient and different every day).

    You might be interested in this article called How Long is a Homeschool Day?

    3. Maintain records.

    As evidence of regular instruction, you must maintain the following records for inspection upon reasonable notice by a representative of the school district:

    1. A plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities in which you and your child participate.
    2. A portfolio of samples of your child’s work.
    3. A record of your child’s academic progress assessments.



    Time4Learning has prepared this material about how to keep a homeschool portfolio when using Time4Learning.

    4. Submit a semiannual progress report.

    You must submit a semiannual progress report including attendance records and assessments of your child’s progress in each of the required subjects to your school district.


    This is really easy when you use Time4Learning, because you can log in to your parent dashboard to view or print all of these reports.

    5. Ensure your student has access to library facilities.

    6. Test your child annually.

    Make sure your child participates in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program. The tests must be administered by a certified school district employee.
    If your student does not perform well enough on the test to meet the public school standard for advancing to the next grade, the school district will decide if your child should be put in a public school, receive handicapped services, or have instruction support for homeschooling at your expense.


    Did you mean three more electives instead of three more "relatives"? Is she in high school? When homeschooling, the parent creates, maintains, signs, and stands behind any documents their student needs, including their high school diploma and transcript. Time4Learning provides templates within your parent dashboard to help you do that. All fifty states allow a parent to issue a homeschool diploma for their own child. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against homeschool diplomas. Colleges are more interested in a student's entrance exam scores than in how they learned what they know. Many colleges actively recruit homeschooled students.

    If you homeschool, you are not subject to any previous graduation requirements. YOU decide what your child needs to do to graduate from your family's home school. Many parents look at various high schools' graduation requirements online and use those for inspiration, but they modify them to suit their own child's interests and future plans. Every high school will have different graduation requirements, so there is no one magic formula. Knowing a student has a high school diploma really doesn't tell what they have learned, since each school's requirements are different.

    YOU decide what equals a credit. For example, most parents decide simply obtaining a driver's license entitles a student to one driver's ed credit, even if all the driving instruction was informally given by the parents or older sibs. Most families decide completing one T4L course equals one credit in that subject (and they were designed that way, but you can add or leave out whatever you want and still give the student credit for the course). In my home school, 100 hours of instruction equals a credit, so I kept track of the hours they worked (life skills credit), when they cooked the family dinner (home ec), educational parts of our family vacations (credit for geography, culture, or whatever), bicycle trips (P.E.), and so forth.

    You might be interested in this article about homeschool diplomas.

    This is long, but I hope it has helped! Please let us know if you have any more questions. Oh, and one more thing . . . this one-minute video does a great job of explaining how Time4Learning works.


    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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