Home schooling lets families pick their own curriculum, instruction style

For some parents, homes schools are an attractive alternative to private, public and charter schools.

North Carolina law defines a home school as a non-public school with no more than two families/households where the parent or guardian determines the academic instruction. Parents are allowed to hire tutors, let their children participate in group instruction and enlist an expert who is not a part of the household.

Last year, the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) listed 5,607 registered home schools in Mecklenburg County serving 8,773 students. DNPE is responsible for registering home schools and inspecting the school's student attendance and nationally standardized achievement test results periodically.

While parents choose to home school for a variety of reasons and can use the curriculum and instruction methods of their choice, the DNPE website lists some suggested guidelines that will facilitate recording keeping and provide some continuity in the home schooling process:

▪ Offer instruction similar to the quality, scope and duration of local conventional schools

▪ Provide at least five hours of instruction each school day

▪ Conduct instruction each school year for 180 days

▪ Maintain a daily log, journal or lesson plan book throughout the entire school year, detailing time spent on each subject and information covered

▪ Retain student records until the student has enrolled in a conventional school or has graduated.

There are also a number of state and local support groups for home school families. Check out for more information.