What is Option 1?

I chose Option 1 for my homeschool accountability for several years. Let’s talk about what is Option 1. So we can clear up some of the confusion about it.
Let's take a minute to clear up some of the misunderstandings about what Option 1 *is*. And what it *isn't*.




In South Carolina, we have three homeschool accountability options. These are the codes of law that allow you to homeschool. Most of us choose an accountability association (either Option 2 or Option 3).

Since you probably don’t know anyone who is actually using Option 1, you’ll hear lots of rumors about it. So, let’s take a minute to clear up some of the misunderstandings about what Option 1 *is*. And what it *isn’t*.

What is Option 1?

Option 1 is accountability oversight for your homeschool. Homeschooling is a DIY education. Option 1 has very similar requirements that you would have under an association. Your daily homeschool life would function the same way under Option 1 or Option 2 or Option 3.

Homeschools operate under an exemption to compulsory attendance law: Title 59 Chapter 65. With Option 1, you/the parent are still responsible to DIY your child’s education. It’s an alternative to compulsory attendance at the local school where you are zoned.

Same requirements:

    • Parent must have GED/High school diploma minimum
    • Your course of study includes the 5 basic subjects: Reading/Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies
    • Record-keeping includes lesson plans/journal, portfolio, and semi-annual progress assessment
    • Complete 180 days attendance



Different requirements:

  • Students take the state mandated standardized test each year.
  • Submit your records for semi-annual review
  • An attendance day is defined as 4-hours

The wording in the code of law has these similarities and differences. Note that some associations set their policies to include annual testing and records reviews. Many homeschoolers want that as part of their accountability.

What Option 1 Isn’t

Rumor #1: “Virtual Charter Schools are Option 1” I have heard homeschoolers stating that the charter school online is Option 1.

It isn’t. Option 1 isn’t Charter School. Option 1 isn’t a virtual school online. Option 1 doesn’t have teachers who plan and implement your curriculum.

Why does this distinction matter? Because when you homeschool under Option 1, you are stepping outside of the public school system to DIY your child’s education. The virtual charter schools (K-12/Connections Academy/etc.) operate under an entirely different code of law: Title 59 Chapter 40. It’s still under the public school umbrella.

Charter schools (including the virtual online charter schools) are part of the public school system. Charter schools require specific seat time and attendance days. That’s compulsory attendance. You have to provide an excuse for absences. You have to keep up with assignment deadlines. The parent does not pick/choose the curriculum or the pace/schedule.

Charter online schools are a viable option for many people who need to get out of the brick and mortar school. But, it is school-at-home. This is not homeschooling. Read more about the virtual school programs in South Carolina here.

 Please don’t say that Option 1 is the Charter Schools. Please don’t call Charter Schools homeschool.




Rumor #2: “Option 1 requires you to use the school’s curriculum” I have heard homeschoolers say that school will issue your curriculum if you choose Option 1.

It doesn’t. Option 1 doesn’t issue curriculum. Option 1 doesn’t require you to use their curriculum either.

Why does this distinction matter? Because when you homeschool under Option 1, you are stepping outside of the public school system to DIY your child’s education. The school does not get funding for your student unless they are sitting in the classroom there. So, they don’t have to provide you any supplies. You are on your own to figure it out.

I wish they would let homeschoolers use their textbooks. Because, your kid has to take the state-mandated standardized test at the school. The application makes you sign a waiver that if the kid is deficient in any of the tested areas, then they don’t have to provide remedial services. Seems to me, they could at least let you see the books they use to prepare the students for the test.

There may be exceptions where an individual school official will provide textbooks. But, one family who recently registered with Option 1 listed their curriculum on their application. The school board evaluated the curriculum choice and determined that it was not sufficient in a couple of the state standards. The school could have provided additional resources and suggestions for them to cover the missing objectives for that grade level. That’s what their role of accountability should be. Instead they refused their application.

Option 1 doesn’t seem willing to understand the alternative path of home education. They hold homeschoolers accountable to follow the state standards. Even though the code of law doesn’t state that as part of the requirements. It’s all they understand.

Please don’t say that Option 1 requires you to use their curriculum.

Very few homeschoolers choose Option 1. But, let’s be clear about what Option 1 is. And what it isn’t.

Read more about K-12 program options:Let's help clarify the differences between the online public schools, private schools and homeschools. Most importantly, do you need to register with a homeschool association or not?

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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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