The State of North Carolina permits schooling outside both public and private schools for children whose parents/guardians prefer to administer their education. Under the auspices of the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education in Raleigh, home schooling requires, for children between ages 7 and 16, registration, participation in annual standardized achievement testing and maintenance of immunization records. The educational program must operate on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months a year by a person with a high school diploma or equivalency certificate; attendance records are required.
State statute defines a home school as "a non-public school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household." The law permits (no more than) two households to combine as one home school and allows the children from both households to be taught together by members of either household.
Growing consistently in popularity, home-school enrollment in Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover counties has soared in recent years. A family considering home instruction would begin by obtaining a Home School Information Packet from the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education, either by going to their website www.ncdnpe.org, or calling (919) 733-4276. Twenty-four-hour voice mail is available. Support for home-schooling families is offered by North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE), the state's primary advocacy group. NCHE is a private, non-profit group with a full-time staff in Raleigh and can be reached at (919) 790-1100. The web address is www.nche.com, where you'll also find links to support groups and other resources, including several local support groups in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.