SAFE Member Policy
Every homeschooling family that desires to educate their children at home must abide by the laws of the state where they live.

Review the homeschooling law for South Carolina

SAFE in HERALD5 is a third option association. The following are the requirements to join SAFE in HERALD5:

  1. Maintain a current membership with Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
  2. Be an active member of HERALD5 Support Group.
  3. Have a high school diploma or GED.
  4. Have an instructional year of at least 180 days.
  5. Plan a curriculum including, but not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies; and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature.
  6. Maintain educational records including:
    • plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent/teacher engage.
    • A portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work.
    • Semester progress reports including attendance records and grades/evaluations for each of the subject areas outlined in Point 5 above.
  7. Maintain active membership with SAFE in H5 by:
    • Completing enrollment requirements by 9/1 of the current year(See below)
    • Submitting the 90 and 180-day cards by assigned deadlines.
  8. Renew HSLDA membership before expiration of current membership and submit a copy of the new HSLDA card within 10 days of the previous card’s expiration date.
  9. Submit all requested forms/paperwork required by SAFE within 10 days of notification.
  10. Make records available upon request.


These requirements are in place to ensure that SAFE maintains a reputation for responsible and God-honoring homeschooling. All accountability associations are required yearly by the South Carolina Department of Education to numerically verify their families that are homeschooling. SAFE instituted the 90/180-cards to verify a family’s compliance. Full text of the South Carolina statutes governing homeschooling in the state is available on our SC Law page.


Application Process
SAFE requires that each family submit their completed application no later than September 1 of the current year. Any application received after September 1 will incur a $10 late fee.


The 90-day card will be due February 15, if this card is not received by February 15th, your membership will be subject to cancellation. The 180-day, end of the year, the card will be due no later than July 15. If this card is not emailed or postmarked by July 15th, your membership will be subject to cancellation.


When applying to SAFE, the following must be included: SAFE cover letter, membership application, a copy of HSLDA card, course of study for each student, and a check for applicable fees. These must be signed and dated where noted on each form.


SAFE requires each family to be members of Homeschool Legal Defense Association. This membership can be obtained at The application fee will be $100.00 rather than $120.00 if you give them the SAFE Group Number #299586. Please do not share this number with anyone else as it only applies to members of SAFE. If you are a returning SAFE member or already have an HSLDA membership, but need to renew your card throughout the year, you may also use the SAFE Group Number to do so. It is your responsibility to renew this card and send SAFE a copy.


HERALD5 Support Group Status
Membership in SAFE is contingent upon maintaining an active HERALD5 membership. HERALD5 is a homeschool support group that serves families in Lexington and Richland school district 5. Active membership requirements are outlined on your HERALD 5 application. Membership in SAFE will be denied those who do not meet those requirements.


Under SC law, children who are 5 years of age by September 1st must attend kindergarten unless a waiver is signed. A waiver must be signed at the school district or through an association. A waiver letter may be obtained through SAFE once a family joins.


Middle School (7th & 8th Grade)
It is not unheard of for students in 7th and 8th grade to earn high school credit. However, please be aware of what your student is capable of doing and only assign high school work if they are truly able to function at a high school level. If they are not capable of doing high school work this soon, consider waiting until 9th grade to begin this phase. If you choose to claim high school credit in 7th /8th grade you must use high school course material. High School credit will be given based on the course title, description and curriculum used. Only core courses and foreign language will be considered for high school credit prior to 9th grade. High school fees will be assessed if you are issuing high school credit prior to 9th grade.


High School (9th – 12th Grade)
While there is a list of course credits included in the material below, please understand that these are South Carolina’s requirements for graduation from public and private schools. Homeschool families are only required to follow the homeschool law. Many homeschool families simply use the SC requirements for high school graduation as a guideline of what courses to have their students complete. This list of requirements is especially helpful to those who are interested in attending a four-year university because they are similar to the entrance requirements for many colleges. There are, however, some differences between colleges.


Please contact the institution where your student is interested in attending to see what their entrance requirements are for students and tailor your high school course of study to those requirements. However, please be reminded that we are not accredited schools; therefore, we are not subject to this list of requirements in order to be compliant with the law or to graduate from high school. The law states that homeschoolers must teach science, mathematics, social studies and English (composition and literature) every year beginning in 7 th grade. A student who has plans to attend Midlands Tech, follow the apprenticeship route in acquiring a trade or head in some other direction may have a transcript that looks different from the course requirements listed below. Provided you are compliant with the law (teaching the courses necessary by law), we do not desire to tell you how to complete your child’s education. Each family has the freedom and flexibility to educate their children in a way that provides the best learning environment for that student as well as an individualized course of study based on the abilities and interests for each student.


South Carolina Public School Requirements for High School Credits

  • 4 English
  • 4 Math
  • 3 Science
  • 1 US History
  • 1 Other Social Studies
  • ½ Government
  • ½ Economics
  • 1 Physical Education
  • 1 Computer Science
  • 1 Fine Arts
  • 1 Foreign Language or Occupational Specialty
  • 6 Electives


High School Worksheets
Worksheets will be due by June 1 st each year for the school year just completed. NO PARENT-GENERATED TRANSCRIPTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. The worksheets are available on the Herald 5 website and will also be available at the spring meeting.


They are to be mailed to SAFE, PO Box 1743, Irmo, SC 29063 or emailed to Beth Ann Bailey at


Worksheets are fairly self-explanatory. Please note that we will calculate GPAs. Please simply include your student’s numerical grade. This is not the GPA, but simply the number grade that was received once grades were averaged (i.e. 76, 88,92, etc.).


Honors Credit
There seems to be a lot of confusion about honors credit in high school. With so many different homeschool philosophies and different ways of doing things, we tend to be unsure of who is right and what we should do.


First of all, let’s start by reviewing what honors is NOT. “Honors” is not:

  1.  Just using a particular curriculum (i.e. A Beka for math or Apologia for science).
  2. Taking a course before most students take it or earlier than you remember taking it yourself in high school (i.e. taking Algebra in 7th or 8th grade).
  3. Simply doing 100% of the textbook.
  4. Completing a 3 or 4-semester course in less time than what is recommended (ie. Saxon Advanced Math or Chalkdust Precalculus in one year versus the 3 or 4 semesters the books recommends.)


Honors Credit Requirements
To receive Honors credit in SAFE, these guidelines must be followed:

  1. Honors credit must show additional work completed by the student in the content area for which honors credit is desired. This should include additional reading, writing and/or oral presentation. A course should show 3-4 additional projects per 1 Carnegie Unit and 1-2 additional projects per ½ Carnegie Unit.
  2. Honors credit may only be obtained in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and English. For classes such as foreign languages and other special subject courses, honors credit may be obtained for 3 rd and 4 th level courses only and if the additional requirements are met.
  3. The material used for honors in one subject may not be used in another subject or class for honors or regular class work.
  4. Parent-teachers will be required to complete a worksheet/form that explains extra work done for honors credit. Book titles and authors along with page numbers will be required for additional reading assignments.


Advanced Placement
AP credit may only be obtained from a College Board Certified course in addition to successful performance on the AP exam. To receive AP credit a letter of certification from the College Board must be on file with SAFE as well as copies of test scores from the AP exam. Dual Enrollment


Courses taken at the college-level while in one’s junior or senior year of high school may receive high school credit as well as college credit. One three-hour college credit equals one Carnegie Unit towards high school graduation. Only courses listed on the Commission on Higher Education’s List of Universally Transferable courses may be used for AP weighting in the GPA. Note: Math 100, 101 and 102 are not among the courses on this list.


List of Universally Transferable Courses in SC


Should your student choose to take something that is not on this list, we will gladly include it on their high school transcript for high school credit; however, please note that it will not carry the weight of an AP course in their GPA. It will be
weighted as a College Prep course.


Many of the colleges give a simple letter grade (i.e., A, B C) on grades sent from the college at the completion of the course. We will assign the lowest numerical grade on the student’s transcript for a specific letter grade. For example: Susie receives a “B” in Spanish at Midlands Tech. She will be assigned an 86 on her transcript and the appropriate AP GPA. Exceptions would include a letter from a professor stating a specific numerical grade.


CLEP courses would be treated the same as dual enrollment courses. They will carry all the same requirements and benefits as long as the student passes the CLEP exam. A copy of the student’s test scores will be requested to be kept on file
with SAFE.


Class Ranking Policy: Class rank is a mathematical summary of a student’s academic record compared to those of other students in the class. It is a factor sometimes used for awarding scholarships, granting college admissions and evaluating an individual student’s achievements.


As an approved home school program (as defined in statute 59-65-47), SAFE provides an official class rank for its members. Class rank is used by SAFE to rank high school students based on Grade Point Average (GPA).


Palmetto Fellows: To qualify for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, a student must be enrolled as a senior and have taken the SAT or ACT by spring of the junior year or fall of the senior year to apply for early award.


Eligible students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have at least a 1200 on the SAT (or 27 ACT score)
  2. Cumulative 3.5 GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale at end of the junior year
  3. Rank in the top 6% at end of the sophomore or junior year, or if fewer than twenty students are in the class, the top two students (students ranked as number one and two) shall be considered for Palmetto Fellows Scholarship application, as long as all other eligibility criteria is met.


If a student is not in the top two, but they have a 4.0 UG Scale GPA and a 1400 SAT / 32 ACT score then they can qualify for the Palmetto Fellows without regard to class rank.


Application for the Palmetto Fellows must be made through the association. Class ranking will need to go on the transcript for the Palmetto Fellow Scholarship. Please have a copy of your SAT scores sent to the Commission on Higher Education, code SAT 4313; ACT 6326.


On behalf of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship applicant, SAFE submits a rank report on the association’s letterhead that includes the class rank and GPA based on the current South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy for all homeschool students in the class. GPA is based on the current South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy, reported with at least three decimal places, and is not rounded up. The current South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy can be found here.


Life Scholarship: A student must have a GPA of least 3.0 on the Uniform Grading scale, 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT. Colleges award this scholarship based on the content of the student’s transcript. There is not an application process.


Hope and Other Scholarships: There are other scholarships available through State funded programs. You can find out about them on the Commission on Higher Education website.


Transcripts: Maintaining your student’s transcript and class rank is included in your high school fee. Additional transcripts will be provided each high school family for an additional fee should your student require official transcripts to be submitted for school sports participation or with college application(s).


Additional High School Services
SAFE will provide each high school family a DMV letter for your student to obtain
his driver’s license permit. Some colleges require a Letter of Good Standing for your student to take dual
enrollment. This letter will be provided upon request.


HSLDA has a wealth of information for homeschooling through high school here.


As HSLDA members, you have full access to the information on this great website. There is great information for homeschooling in high school, with special needs children, curriculum choices, etc.


Small Groups is another great resource. Attending your small group’s moms’ meetings will introduce you to other moms’ that have experience and wisdom to share with you.


Please know that SAFE is here to offer you help, guidance, and accountability in your homeschool journey so please let us know if you have any questions along the way.


PO Box 1743
Irmo, SC 29063


Amanda Maybach (Administrator) –
April Goidosik (Treasurer) –
Beth Ann Bailey (High school Coordinator) –