FAQ’s

Why would I want to homeschool? Why would I not want to homeschool?
Preschoolers and Kindergarteners First grade
Sitting still during lessons Legal requirements
My friend hated homeschooling What subjects must I teach?
How many hours do I teach per day Is testing required?
Removing a child from school Virtual public schools
Beginning/End of school year Year-round schooling
Is homeschooling legal in South Carolina What if authorities knock on my door?
Who does Faithful Scholars Am I qualified to teach my children?
Socialization Does our home school require a name?
Staying home all day with your kids Homeschooling a highschooler
Official transcripts Fees
Discounted memberships How long will my application process be?
Statement of faith Contact information

WHY WOULD I WANT TO HOME SCHOOL?  turn off the box

  • Increase family time and weave academics calmly into your daily schedule.
  • Teach higher levels of academics in less time that a traditional school day.
  • Allow children to explore areas of interest to greater depths and breadths.
  • Relate all subjects to one another to educate in whole and not in parts.
  • Have more ministry time.
  • Offer your children alternative approaches to learning.
  • Involve your children in increased (yes, more!) and in personally acceptable social situations.
  • Flexibility to travel as a family.
  • Increased safety.
  • Instill personal, philosophical and religious values.
  • Enjoy well-earned fun and extreme rewards as a family.m
  • Formation of lifelong friends for children and parents.

WHY WOULD I NOT WANT TO HOME SCHOOL?

  • My spouse is positively opposed to even considering homeschool.
  • My spouse feels that we have tried homeschooling and should make a change.

DO YOU REQUIRE A STATEMENT OF FAITH?

  • No, we welcome and represent all denominations.
  • We are decidedly Christian and operate Faithful Scholars upon Biblical foundations.

REQUIREMENTS FOR HOMESCHOOLING A PRE-SCHOOLER…… KINDERGARTENER:

  • There are no absolute requirements for preschoolers or kindergartners.
  • Our kindergartners never do more than forty-five minutes of desk work on any given day.
  • Their primary method of learning is living school all day long at Mom’s and/or Dad’s knee.
    • Conversing, exploring, discovering all things all the time.
    • Counting items as we move them or put them away.
    • Naming the colors of items and matching them.
    • Cutting up the circulars with free abandon and gluing them together in patterns.
    • Science always seems to be carried indoors- giving purpose to resource books.
    • Continuous, voracious reading at all levels (to them or with them or both).

HOW DO I BEGIN HOMESCHOOLING MY PRE-K, K, OR FIRST GRADER?

  • Families teaching pre-schoolers and kindergartners are welcome to join Faithful Scholars, but also have the option to opt out of school until age 6*.  To do this you would contact your local school district ‘s Special Services to request an Opt Out Waiver. This waiver will allow you to opt your child out of school until first grade. The law does not state that you must not homeschool, or that if you do that you must join an accountability association. It simply states that you are choosing your legal right to not send your under 6-year-old to Kindergarten.
  • First graders and above must be registered with one of the three homeschool options available in order to homeschool legally in South Carolina.
  • If your child is age *6 by or before September 1st of the academic year, you are required to join an accountability association in order to legally homeschool.  Faithful Scholars would be pleased to serve your family, takes applications year ’round, and focuses on communication, encouragement, and equipping our families.  
  • If you are withdrawing from traditional school include the school’s fax number and we will notify them of your option to home school.  This is best done a month or more before September 1st.
  • No personal information of any member is ever shared with any third party unless it is requested by you in writing.  By including the school’s fax number in your application we will interpret that as a legal request to share a copy of your member letter with your child’s previous school unless otherwise state by you (on the application or immediate email).
  • Decide upon your curriculum, which should be very basic and inexpensive at this level, and dive in slowly and deeply weaving subjects together as often as possible.
  • Talk to other homeschool moms.
  • Read recommended books.
  • Join a local support group.
  • Allow yourself to trust your instincts that you are more than able and well-equipped for this wondrous task. No one knows your child like you do nor has as much vested interested in his/her success.

MY ELEMENTARY-AGED CHILD WON’T SIT STILL DURING LESSONS!

  • That’s alright. There is no single correct best method of learning or teaching.  elementary learning
  • Boys will tend to require more movement while learning- especially auditory lessons.
  • Helpful suggestions to assist in your student’s focusing while you give instruction verbally:
    • playing with Lego’s
    • drawing or coloring on topics of study
    • stringing beads
    • building anything
  • We are programmed to think that sitting still while learning is the most effective and the appropriate method of learning. However, up to a certain age, children, boys especially, seem to need to move in order to pay attention especially when it is a non-interactive, non-tactile lesson.
  • Question your child to see if they heard what you said, or understood what you’ve just completed. If their comprehension is adequate, joyfully allow their wriggling to continue.  Train yourself to not allow it to bother you simply because it is not what you expect nor how you learn.
  • Eventually settle into a chair around 3rd, 4th or 5th grade and you will sweetly remember these times.
  • There is a theory that adequate movement -wriggle room- while young creates neurological connections actually allowing the body to settle down and be still. IF those connections are not allowed to be created due to forced stillness, the inner ability to be still is unable to develop. Being still in front of technology is equally to be considered as being forced to sit for formal, traditional lessons for hours on end.

WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES IF I DECIDE TO HOMESCHOOL?

You have three options to legally homeschool in the state of South Carolina. You must register under one of them or you will be acting outside of the SC law, and you may be issued truancy charges.  The majority of the 10,000+ homeschoolers (2014) in SC utilize Option 3.

  • Option 1: You would petition your school district to be allowed to homeschool your student(s) under Section 59-65-40 of SC law. Gaining approval of your local school district and following their directions can be difficult, does come with financial costs, includes requirement to teach lessons a minimum of 4.5 hours each day, causes you to need to abide by the traditional school calendar year, and to participate in statewide testing.         *Virtual Public Schools do not fall under any of these as they are public school.
  • Option 2: SCAIHS- South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools operates under Section 59-65-45 of SC law. This is a wonderful but expensive association. They require some testing, encourage a 4.5 hour day, and request  intensive accountability.
  • Option 3: Accountability association, such as Faithful Scholars, are patterned after SCAIHS but place greater trust and responsibility on the parent-teacher in the areas of teaching, testing and record keeping, are far less expensive, and less intrusive.

MY FRIEND HOMESCHOOLED AND HATED IT…

The basics of homeschooling can be found in various places. We recommend taking some time with this very important decision. As beautiful as home schooling is, it is not the easy road. It takes true commitment and awareness of what lies ahead, as well as determination, diligence, and consistency in applying especially yourself and your student(s) each lesson day. The decision to homeschool should never be a knee-jerk reaction to a negative school situation. Although sometimes quick action may be required consider if you are looking toward homeschool as a committment or an emotional statement. To avoid these steps often leads to frustration, burn out, and placing your child back into the situation from which they were first removed.

  • Pray about your desire to educate your children at home.
  • Make certain that your spouse is in agreement with you. You and your children will need his/her support more than you think. If he is not in agreement, you will never go wrong choosing your marriage over your child.
  • Talk with experienced homeschoolers about learning styles, curriculum options, daily schedules, local support groups, etc.  Be pointed and ask them about the lows as well as the easily shared highs.
  • Find a support group in your area and talk with them about what they offer: field trips, picnics, events, yahoo loops, mom’s night out, play groups, park days, etc. Join the one that best fits your location and family. They are very inexpensive and invaluable in the support, event offerings, and information connections that they provide.
  • Read several books on homeschooling by several authors. We appreciate Raymond & Dorothy Moore, Charlotte Mason, Leigh Bortons, Ruth Beechick, Oliver Demille, and many more.
  • Finally, register with one of the above three options and begin homeschooling. We at Faithful Scholars would be honored to serve your family. Regardless of membership we would be pleased to help you in whatever ways we are able. Research several associations, contact your top three and ask them about any unanswered concerns or wonderings. E-mail is typically the most expeditious and all sits should have a Contact Us section.

WHAT SUBJECTS MUST I TEACH?

  • Basic instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, science and social studies for 1st – 6th.
  • Grades 7th – 12th require these same subjects as well as composition and literature.
  • Most families teach more than is required which is one of the many wonderful things about home centered education–joyful freedom to explore subjects that interests your student and you with no lack of time due to travel to/from school, homework, clubs, etc.

HOW MANY HOURS DO I HAVE TO SCHOOL PER DAY?

  • There are no time requirements under option 3 Section 59-69-47.  Think ‘tutorial session’.  One on one teaching, or even one on seven teaching, is accomplished far quicker than a class of one to 25.  When a lesson is learned, move on.  If a lesson needs more time, take it over a matter of days, weeks, or months.  Take a break from it even as the child catches up within.  This is not a race to accomplish, but a journey to remain upon forever.
  • Each child learns at a different pace with varying attention spans. We have found that the greater their reading ability & comprehension (check this through having the child narrate the story back to you), the greater amount of schooling can be handled independently. It is important to note that it is never encouraged to push a child to read earlier but always to follow their natural pace. The book Better Late Than Early by Raymond & Dorothy Moore addresses this wonderfully.  It does encourage tons of reading, tell back, narration, etc between parent and child.  The younger the child, them ore time should be spent on this.  Not as ‘desk’ work but as snuggle times of enjoyment.
  • You know your student best and how long a typical lesson should take when properly attended to. Children will always push to discover the parent-teacher’s limits. Learning should be relatively smooth and fun for both student and teacher with proper training, encouragement, and consequences.  Try to balance them.  But know that it may not be enjoyable every single day.
  • Sometimes a day should be cut short and diverted while other days it ought to be lengthened and pushed through.  Train your student to respond to your requests before they train you to react to their desires.
  • The younger the student, the shorter the day. Set your time limits according to age, ability, and experience. Our personal experience has brought us to the following general rules– there will always be exceptions:
    • Pre-school- no more than 15 minutes of deskwork per day.
    • Kindergarten- a maximum of 45 minutes of deskwork per day.
    • 1st grade- an average of 1.5 hours of deskwork per day.
    • Add 30 to 60 minutes per grade, never exceeding an average of 5-6 hours per day until high school.  High school is a time of deeper exploration into education mastery.
    • **These approximations are based upon student’s who do their work in a timely fashion.**
  • Some basic and some creative examples:
    • field trips count as a school day, including travel days
    • completion of double lessons on one day counts as two days
    • cooking/baking/gardening/projects teach many academic subjects
    • sorting anything by type, size, color, etc is education
    • learning at mother or father’s knee is education
    • apprenticing is hands-on education
    • parties and celebrations offer time to praise, encourage and move forward with a few being fine to count as a part of a school day if not a full school day.
    • cleaning and chores are a part of every school day- public, private and home
    • extending days through worksheet worship is not beneficial
    • racing through the (especially early) grades is not beneficial
    • follow your students lead weather fast or slow
    • the nature of a child is to be curious and learn.  That comes with spurts and slow times.  Follow them, allow them.  Study the nature of a child.

IS TESTING REQUIRED?

  • Testing is not required through South Carolina 3rd option accountability associations such as Faithful Scholars.
  • Many families choose to test starting around 3rd, 4th or 5th grade in order to teach their children test taking skills in preparation for SAT/ACT or as a life skill.
  • Testing also reassures the family of their child’s educational level. Rarely are parent-teachers surprised with their children’s results.
  • Standardized testing information.

HOW DO I GO ABOUT REMOVING MY CHILD FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL?

  • You are required to notify your child’s school that you are withdrawing him/her in order to pursue alternate educational choices.
  • This is best done in person prepared with a letter of intent that includes a request for your child’s school transcripts. Legally they belong to you and there is no reason the school cannot release them directly to you.
  • Faithful Scholars will send a letter of notification of your family’s legal homeschool status under SC Section 59-65-47 upon joining Faithful Scholars and per your request through inclusion of the school’s fax number on your application or upon email request including the school’s fax number.

….AND, CAN I PLACE MY CHILD BACK INTO PUBLIC SCHOOL?

  • Yes, public schools cannot deny entrance to any child.
  • They will most likely require your home school records and precise documentation in order to assess your child’s education/grade level for re-entry.
    • Highschoolers with credits to transfer have two options:                                                        1. test out of each subject previously covered at home; or                                                     2. submit a formal transcript generated by Faithful Scholars, signed and sealed.

WILL IT BE EASY TO PLACE MY CHILD INTO A PRIVATE SCHOOL?

  • Yes, through a required entrance exam or placement test and interview.
  • Homeschooled children typically score well on these tests and present themselves maturely during the interview process which leads to a high rate of private school acceptance.
  • Do not worry that your child will be behind.  Any transfer school from another school setting will be behind.  If they have been taught to understand the learning process, they will quickly catch up and have the advantage that they have not learned toward a test, but rather for the sake of learning, understanding, and mastery.

CAN I USE A VIRTUAL PUBLIC SCHOOL AND BE A MEMBER OF FAITHFUL SCHOLARS?

  • No, virtual schools are public schools and you would be accountable to them.
  • www.schomeeducatorsassociation.com  This links you to a great page on SCHEA discussing the differences- virtual public school is not home school.
  • If you wish to teach other subjects outside the scope of your virtual school in order to earn additional credits you may dual enroll with Faithful Scholars.

WHEN SHOULD MY SCHOOL YEAR BEGIN AND END?

  • You are legally required to attend 180 days of school, but Faithful Scholars does not set deadlines as to when your home school year should start or end unless you are a high schooler and then you must have your year end numerical grades submitted by June 10th.
  • Our registration period is open year-round from September 1st to August 31st with our membership being one full year in which to complete your 180 academic days.
  • We request that you use September 1st as your latest target date for being signed up, but it does not need to be your start date.

WHAT IS YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLING?

  • Using the full 365 days/year in order to teach (the required) 180 academic lessons.
  • Allows for a more relaxed weekly schedule.
  • Gives more flexibility to spontaneous learning moments.
  • Offers grace on those days that just do not seem to be flowing according to desire or design.
  • Our family enjoys year-round schooling for the flexibility it offers us during our weeks, but this schedule is not for every family.

IS HOMESCHOOLING LEGAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA?

  • Absolutely!
  • It is relatively easy to home educate, utilizing most any methods, and fulfil your legal requirements under option 3 S.C. State Section 59-65-47,
  • Option 3 allows homeschoolers to self-govern and home educate without restrictive state oversight.
  • ***Maintaining these freedoms requires responsibility and adherence to the legal requirements set forth for the S.C. homeschooling community.
  • To encourage and equip our members understand the legalities of S.C. homeschooling we offer several workshops and retreats each year.  You need not be a member of Faithful Scholars to attend.  We would be happy to help anyone homeschooling or considering homeschooling.

WHAT IF AUTHORITIES KNOCK ON MY DOOR?

  • Know where your current Faithful Scholars letter of membership is located (Records Notebook).
  • Keep your teacher’s card on your person when out and about.
  • Show these stamped/dated documents to the authorities and allow them to take down only the information on the letter/card.
  • Do not allow them entrance into your home or to question your children unless they have a warrant. To do so may allow them to inspect other areas of your home and home school that may be in perfect order, but their intentions may not be as well educated as your home.  More and more they understand what homeschool is and is not.
  • Contact us within 24 hours after the authorities leave so we can answer their questions intelligently.
  • These investigation are uncommon in S.C.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about homeschooling for any reason consider joining HSLDA: Home School Legal Defense Association or Homeschool Legal Advantage
    • wonderful associations of lawyers that can educate you on and protect your home school rights
    • annual fees provide you with phone consultations and court representation should it be needed
    • join/renew HSLDA using Faithful Scholar’s member #299190 and save

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ACCOUNTABILITY ASSOCIATION AND A SUPPORT GROUP?

  • An accountability association is legally required to homeschool in South Carolina.
  • Support groups are local families joining together to offer social events, field trips, celebrations, networking, and much more in support of and to assist families along this beautiful road less taken.
  • Faithful Scholars has a heart to encourage and equip all homeschoolers in various aspects of homeschooling through workshops and retreats.  We also communicate regularly with our group and individual families about events and with encouragement, but we are not a support group.

TO WHOM DOES FAITHFUL SCHOLARS REPORT MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?

  • We never report a member’s personal information to any individual or organization.
  • Faithful Scholars does report each student-members grade level (no names or personal information) to their respective school district.
  • Annual reports of member’s compliance, in accordance with section 59-65-47, will be filed with the State Board of Education. Again, no personal parent or student information of any sort will be divulged.
  • The data that you send us is stored in protected, off-line data bases, and is kept absolutely confidential.

AM I QUALIFIED TO TEACH MY CHILD(REN)?

  • Yes. God has fully equipped you for every task to which He will ever call you.
  • Only a parent or legal guardian may teach their children.
  • You can receive assistance in the forms of tutors, classes, co-ops, secondary schools, and etc.
  • One parent-teacher must have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate.
  • After meeting these legal requirements, our personal opinion is that if one man can do it, so can you.
  •  In order for one to teach the material, first one must understand the material.  Teaching is to research, learn, and understand the material before you impart it to your student.  There is no time stamp as to how far prior this must be accomplished.  Sometimes a minute is all you need as you go over the instructions with them.  Sometimes more in depth private study is needed.  Homeschool parents are notorious for burning the nighttime fuel studying new and interesting material, becoming masters on subjects that threw them for loops in high school, and becoming so enamored of learning that they enroll in formal classes of interest.  Especially when we realize that our child needs to learn a subject of which we don’t feel qualified to teach.
  • For areas such as higher math, physics, composition, etc in which you may feel overwhelmed (and not have time to take a course), it is usual and acceptable to hire a tutor or place your child in one of the many wonderful local programs being taught by qualified teaching professional. Often they are home schooling moms & dads with extensive knowledge gained through personal study.
  • The grey rule is that in order to homeschool, you must be in charge of 51% of your child’s education.

WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?

  • It is a problem, she types while laughing.
  • There are SO MANY social opportunities open to home schooling families that it can be difficult to carve out adequate study time. Instead of a few minutes of visiting between classes or over recess, your child will be able to form deep and lasting friendships during hours of intense play, work and/or learning.
  • In addition, the parents also form their own deep and lasting friendships, which enhances and supports our homeschooling journies.
  • Local support groups have a vast array of social, educational and ministerial opportunities.  So many offerings that you must pick and choose.

DOES OUR HOME SCHOOL REQUIRE A NAME?

  • No, but it is lots of family fun, as well as enlightening, to create a school name along with a missions statement.
  • It eases time when filling out forms.  We use our school’s initials on forms which cuts down on questions.
  • Your children will have a sense of security and pride in their formalized school.

YOU LIKE STAYING HOME ALL DAY WITH YOUR KIDS?

  • An emphatic “Yes!” is the only way I can answer this question.
  • As far as staying home, that is a relative term. We are together all of each day and it’s wonderful- unless it’s not, and sometimes that is just how it goes.  But the wonder always out weighs the full.
  • Make a plan of how you desire your children to behave and then decide how to guide them toward your goals.–And consistently follow through. You can live your dream of family unity in a peace filled home.
  • Training is part of our daily, and sometimes hourly, lessons. As we all, mom/dad, this means you too, progress in doing as we ought we enjoy being together more and more.
  • There are moments when we realize that our training has become lax and is in need of tweaking, but we are together all day so a little while at the drafting board, some determination, and focus, and the results come readily.
  • We are nurturing souls for eternity.  We are not creating subjects to be measured. Thus, while you may not think that the above does not really touch on academics it is where being able to build a strong education begins.  When the spirit is in order, the mind automatically follows. From character leaps education.
  • It is wonderful, not always easy, but  always wonderful!

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HOMESCHOOL A HIGHSCHOOLER?

  • Absolutely, it is done every day by tens of thousands of families.
  • We are happy to help and encourage you in this area. Our high school specialist has over 25 years of experience in traditional private school settings. He can talk real world, real time experience and expectation.
  • By this time students become adept at self learning, self pacing, and self motivating.  If they are not yet there, that should be added to the curriculum as one of both mom and dad’s main daily lessons to impart.  How is up to you, but consistency is the key.  If you fall short or falter it will teach just the opposite of what you had hoped.  Know this is a continual struggle for most homeschoolers of all ages and levels.
  • Faithful Scholars offers you encouragement and education in the forms of workshops, retreats, a page designated only to High School issues and needs, yearly transcripts, DMV permission letter, secondary school recommendation letter, student i.d.s,  forms, and more.
  • There are so many outside help-sources to utilize such as tutors, small classes, co-ops, etc.
  • High school juniors and seniors are welcome to take classes at technical colleges and two-year colleges, local or on line, for dual credit.
  • Teaching high school is more daunting than teaching elementary or middle school ages but the premise is the same- what one man can learn, do and teach, you can learn, do, and teach! And, if it is an area that you feel absolutely overwhelmed by there are classes, private instructors, co-ops and more of which to enroll your student.  Homeschoolers are now so wonderfully linked through internet, Faithful Scholar’s email digests, support groups, etc that finding other participants is not as difficult as it once was.  If you can’t find what you want it is highly likely in creating it you will find participants to fill your group.

WHAT DOES FAITHFUL SCHOLARS OFFER FOR MY HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE BOUND STUDENT?

  • Free workshop geared specifically toward high school issues given by our high school specialist who has over 25+ years of teaching experience.
  • Private consultation sessions ($50/hour).
  • Free on-line (email) assistance if requests are able to be answered in a timely fashion.
  • Testing links.
  • Annually updated transcripts with a formal, college accepted 4 year transcript upon graduation. *Grades must be submitted each year no later than June 10th of using our Faithful Scholars transcript form.  *
  • High School Diplomas watermarked and sealed.  *
  • Automatic DMV waiver for each member-student turning 15 – 17.  *
  • Student ID for those ages 15+.  *
  • Automatic Secondary Permission slip (Ex. York Tech) for each student turning 16-19 with application.  *
  • * Starred items are automatically included with membership fees.

DO YOU PROVIDE OFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS?

  • Yes. Our transcripts are similar to those used by public and private schools and meet all college requirements. Faithful Scholars can be found on the SC Board of Ed college approved list of South Carolina schools.
  • We automatically create & maintain annual transcripts for our high school members.
  • Numerical grades must be submitted on our electronic transcript records form in order for Faithful Scholars to store/create/maintain your transcripts.  **more and important information can be found on our high school page.

DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF AN ACCOUNTABILITY ASSOCIATION IN ORDER FOR MY TEENAGER TO RECEIVE HIS DRIVERS LICENSE?

  • Yes, your Faithful Scholars Membership Letter is validation that he/she is enrolled in a SC school.
  • Technically that is all that is legally required. However, the various levels of training seem to vary greatly from DMV to DMV and even from employee to employee, so we  automatically include a DMV waiver for all student’s turning 15 through 17 of the academic year. Save this sheet (in your Records Notebook) for when you go to the DMV. It helps avoid delays and return trips should the person you are working with not be familiar with SC homeschool law.
  • If you are met with an uninformed teller patience, kindness, and respect is the only way to proceed.
  • South Carolina is a wonderful state in which to home school, but we must respect the legal leeway given us in order to maintain our freedoms and to continue breaking through the barriers of pre- or mal-formed opinion.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO JOIN FAITHFUL SCHOLARS?

  • Kindergartener only membership $25/year
  • Single-student family membership $35/year
  • Multi-student family membership $60/year
  • High school students add an additional $75/student *
  • * high school package includes:  annual transcript, formal college accepted transcript upon graduation, diploma, DMV permission letter, secondary school recommendation, workshop, & email support
  • Personal consultation are available at $50/hour, but first see if we can answer your questions via email at no charge

DO YOU OFFER ANY DISCOUNTED MEMBERSHIPS?

HOW LONG WILL MY APPLICATION PROCESS BE?

  • Need your application expedited? We can process within 24 hours if selected on your application ($20).
  • Normally it takes up to 30 days to process applications. If there is a problem you will hear from us within one week.

HOW DO I CONTACT FAITHFUL SCHOLARS?

  • please let us know if you find errors or out of date material on our website using our contact form. Thank you in advance!
  • E-mail is the most efficient method. katie@faithfulscholars.com
  • 1761 Ballard Lane
  • Fort Mill, S.C. 29715
  • (803) 548-4428