Every Journey Begins With The First Step

Welcome to Palmetto Independent Educators website! This resource is designed to support two fundamental principles - education should be both affordable and non-intrusive. The primary function of Palmetto Independent Educators (PIE) is to provide a legal means to home school your children at a minimal cost to you - the parent. Launched from these core values, the purpose of our website is two-fold. First most, this resource is here to help members of PIE to succeed in their homeschool journey. Secondly, and equally as important, our goal is to help families considering homeschooling to find the information they need to get started.

Third Option Accountability Service

Let's begin with accountability. PIE provides the security of a proper legal covering while giving parents the freedom to choose and implement an educational program that best fits their child's needs. Accountability requires the office of PIE to coordinate annually with members, as well as, each school district members reside in, and finally, South Carolina's State Department of Education. An overview of the third option laws is available in the following section.

PIE is a Third Option

About the Third Option

SC Code of Law, Section 59-65-47 is established for “Third Option” accountability associations, home schools, and their requirements.

Parents or guardians maintaining a valid membership with a “Third Option” accountability association, which has no fewer than fifty members, may teach their children from the home school setting. Continuing compliance with the academic standards and requirements of a “Third Option” accountability association exempts the home school from the requirements placed upon the “First Option” (provided in section 59-65-40), or the “Second Option” (provided in section 59-65-45).

Each year the State Department of Education shall review the association standards to ensure that requirements of the association, at a minimum, include the following:

Law A: A parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate; PIE requires one copy of the parent – teacher’s diploma or GED certificate to be kept on file in the office.

Law B: The instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days; PIE requires an attendance record for each student.

Law C: The curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and the parent/teacher shall maintain educational records. PIE understands that because each student has different needs and learning styles, the parent/teacher is the best person to determine in what manner to present the required subjects. Even though we do not review any specific lesson plans or diaries in order to check for compliance to the law, it is understood that it is the responsibility of each parent/teacher to cover all of the required subjects with each student.

Law D: Educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:

a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;

a portfolio of samples of the student's academic work; and

a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student's academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (c) above.

PIE suggests that a daily planner, diary or journal be kept on each child that includes a list or description of lessons/activities for each subject taught. A separate folder (portfolio) should be kept that includes a list or description of student’s best work in each subject throughout the year. Also this folder should contain any tests, quizzes, report papers or other documents that indicates a student’s mastery of the required material.

By January thirtieth of each year, all “Third Option” accountability associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through their association to the children's respective school districts.


PIE's Commitment

As a homeschooling parent or independent educator, when you create a plan for your child's education, it means that you're taking the lead in designing their learning journey. Your commitment to crafting a personalized educational approach aligns with our dedication as an association to assist and support your plan. We are here to provide resources, guidance, and any help you might need to ensure a successful and enriching homeschooling experience for your child. Your efforts in planning and teaching at home are valued, and we are ready to be your partner in this educational adventure.