How To Home School In NC

The simple answer is: Go to the DNPE link below and read the law. Sadly, the law is so ridiculously intermingled with things they would *like* you to do that it is almost impossible to separate the two.
Only do what you have to. By doing what you must to be legal and not doing more, you make the world a better place for those of us who do not want more laws governing how we choose to educate our children. If you voluntarily send in information that you are not required to send, the legislators can use it to say, “Look at all these people who send us this information. They obviously need our help in deciding what’s right for their children. Let’s make a law!”
No, thank you. I prefer to sit quietly in my own corner and be left alone. Let’s face it, home schooling can be hard work. Jumping through hoops only makes it more difficult…and less fun, which is one of the more appealing aspects of home schooling.
Following is a ‘copy and paste’ from the DNPE site:


Parents/guardians residing in North Carolina and desiring, in lieu of conventional school attendance, to home school their children who are at least age 7 but not yet age 16 must:

  • Send to the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) a Notice of Intent to Operate a School. The notice must include the name and address of the school along with the name of the school’s owner and chief administrator;
  • Hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Elect to operate under either Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of the North Carolina General Statutes as a religious or as a non-religious school;
  • Operate the school “on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year”;
  • Maintain at the school disease immunization and annual attendance records for each student;
  • Have a nationally standardized achievement test administered annually to each student. The test must involve the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Records of the test results must be retained at the school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested;
  • Notify DNPE when the school is no longer in operation.

End DNPE info.
Notice that you do not have to send your test results in. Your child does not have to achieve any particular result on the test. You do not have to immunize your child, just keep records as to whether or not they have immunizations. You do not have to test in science, history, art or anything other than the subject areas mentioned above. You send the DNPE ‘Notice’, you do not ask them for permission. You tell them whether you intend to be a religious school or not. You must have a high school diploma OR it’s equivalent–a GED.
It’s fairly clear cut and simple to do. The DNPE volunteers and staff are notoriously inept and often rude. Don’t let it bother you. They work for you not vice-versa. Sometimes I have had to read laws to people who are uninformed. If they still don’t understand, I move up the chain of command to someone who, finally, does understand the legalese and isn’t resistant to giving me my legal due.
Driver’s Ed is a problem I need to work out. Any tips? Anyone?
Feel free to email questions. I’ll try to help out.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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