The Dreaded Homeschool Audit Scenario

We’ve talked a lot about homeschool record keeping requirements. But, let’s consider the dreaded possiblity of a homeschool audit. When can the “state” look at your records and why?

Toy figurine posed in fright




There’s a fear-factor in homeschooling circles that your homeschool records can be audited. Like a random official who knows nothing about education or homeschooling will knock on your door and demand to see your homeschool records.

Homeschool Audit Scenario

Who is going to look at your records? Is it good enough for them? Concerns go like this:

  • “I have this fear someone is going to show up at my door unannounced and demand to see my record book.”
  • “I’m just concerned about the state/legal side of it!”
  • “My student has special needs and I am worried the school system could audit us.”

Just because an “official” says they are supposed to inspect your homeschool records, doesn’t mean they are actually correct. This is why I spend so much time and effort to explain the homeschool law and the various association policies. If you know your rights and responsibilities, then you know more than most of the officials.

We should not be surprised when officials are misinformed or confused by South Carolina’s homeschool law. It’s a little complicated with the three options. So, it’s especially important for us homeschoolers to know what’s required (and what’s not required).




If DSS Investigates

Let’s consider the scenario that DSS might show up at your door. First of all, it is more likely to happen to families with custody issues. Non-custodial parents (or the relatives of the non-custodial parent) tend to file complaints. DSS has to investigate every claim, but it’s not anything to fear.

It is highly unlikely that they will take your kids away because just because you’re homeschooling. They really just need to see that kids are doing well, that they are safe and cared for. Once they can see that, they go away.

You should be able to produce your proof of membership with your association to show that you are legally registered. The case worker should not be looking at your lesson plans or evaluating your curriculum. But, you can speak about how homeschooling works and what kinds of learning activities you’re working on.

You should contact your association director immediately after that visit to assist you with the investigation process. Your association director should be able to speak to the official and help explain the law and their association’s policies. If your association does not offer any assistance, then you can contact this blog.




Court Scenario

Let’s consider some scenarios that you might have to go to court. Even if you go to court, there’s no reason for the officials to be looking thru your lesson plans or evaluating your curriculum. You should format a report card or transcript that speaks to the child’s progress. We want to be cooperative, but we also want to be treated as any other professional educators.

Truancy court: If you’ve accumulated excessive absences in the public school system before registering in homeschool, it’s possible for the school to press forward on the claims.

Family court: If you’re involved in separation and divorce, it’s possible for home education to be part of the hearings. Especially if there’s a custody dispute and/or parental disagreement about education. That’ll be another post to go over this scenario and the complications involved.

Be sure to communicate with your association about your court proceedings. Associations will assist you with documents you need to verify your enrollment and most will offer additional assistance with report cards and transcripts. Many associations will encourage and advise you thru the process. If your association does not offer any assistance, then you can contact this blog.




If Enrolling in School

Now, let’s also consider the scenario if you’re enrolling back in public school. The administration should not be evaluating your curriculum or looking thru your lesson planner. You should not have to submit samples of the student’s work either. That is an overreach of the school’s authority.

Home educators should be treated as any other professional educator. There are no other schools (private or out-of-state) where the curriculum or teacher’s lesson planbook is evaluated by the transferring school. They format a report card or transcript and provide any test scores.  They might also prepare course descriptions and a syllabus for high school courses/credits.

You can provide similar documents from your homeschool. We can be cooperative and professional about getting our students placed in classes, without giving away our rights. Parents are the rightful authority over their child’s education.

Be sure to communicate with your association about transferring back to the public school. Associations can assist you with documents you need to verify your enrollment and most will offer additional assistance with report cards and transcripts. If your association does not offer any assistance, then you can contact this blog.




Who Can Audit Your Records?

So who can audit your homeschool records? It’s the accountability association. Find an association that you trust as your homeschool accountability.

Some association policies require you to submit certain parts of your records.  Some even have in-person inspections to see your records. It might be standard routine and practice established by the association.

Some associations have specific membership levels for additional record-keeping services, especially for high school transcript assistance. Some associations also have policies for accepting new members or reinstating previous members. For example, if you let your membership lapse, you might need to submit samples of your records to get back in good standing.

Others may include options for you to have back-ups for your records. They might have opportunities for you to get feedback and advice about your records. There might be voluntary procedures and services available.

If you find yourself in one of the above scenarios–the association can help verify your records and format official documents for you.

Remember the point of record-keeping is so you can see your child’s progress. It’s really important for your own reasons. Homeschooling magnifies your parenting woes and you worry if you’re doing enough.

So, the record-keeping requirements are for YOU to see your child’s progress. When you’re keeping good records for your own reasons, you don’t need to worry so much about the dreaded homeschool audit scenario.

Read more about the Show Me Response:
What do you do when an administrator or public official asks you to comply with a non-existent homeschool requirement? Know your rights--and try the SHOW ME response.
The A+ Homeschool Planner: Plan, Record, and Celebrate Each Child's ProgressThe A+ Homeschool Planner: Plan, Record, and Celebrate Each Child’s ProgressThe A+ Homeschool Planner: Plan, Record, and Celebrate Each Child's ProgressHomeschool Planner: For One StudentHomeschool Planner: For One StudentHomeschool Planner: For One StudentThe Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal: A 180-Day Record Book for Homeschoolers and Involved ParentsThe Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal: A 180-Day Record Book for Homeschoolers and Involved ParentsThe Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal: A 180-Day Record Book for Homeschoolers and Involved ParentsHomeschool Portfolio: Versatile Journal for Record Keeping and ReportingHomeschool Portfolio: Versatile Journal for Record Keeping and ReportingHomeschool Portfolio: Versatile Journal for Record Keeping and ReportingHome Sweet Classroom Record BookHome Sweet Classroom Record BookHome Sweet Classroom Record BookSchoolgirl Style Academic Teacher Planner - Undated Weekly/Monthly Plan Book, Hello Sunshine Lesson Planner and Organizer for Classroom or Homeschool (8.4Schoolgirl Style Academic Teacher Planner – Undated Weekly/Monthly Plan Book, Hello Sunshine Lesson Planner and Organizer for Classroom or Homeschool (8.4Schoolgirl Style Academic Teacher Planner - Undated Weekly/Monthly Plan Book, Hello Sunshine Lesson Planner and Organizer for Classroom or Homeschool (8.4Teacher Created Resources Home Sweet Classroom Lesson Planner (TCR8294)Teacher Created Resources Home Sweet Classroom Lesson Planner (TCR8294)Teacher Created Resources Home Sweet Classroom Lesson Planner (TCR8294)

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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