By TMoM Team Member Sandy Harper

River Run

This directory is sponsored by River Run International Film Festival. RiverRun International Film Festival is a non-profit cultural organization whose mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the many people, cultures, and perspectives of our world through regular interaction with great films and filmmakers. Films With Class is RiverRun’s education program that works to enhance school curriculum by presenting free screenings of documentaries in classrooms and at the festival each spring. 

Homeschooling is a growing school option in the Triad. There are many established groups and resources that help new and veteran homeschool families. Additionally, there are new ones popping up all the time. If you know of a group or resource you think we should feature in this blog, please email us and we will add it. We hope you find this blog a helpful and supportive resource in your homeschool journey.

Craft a Vision of Your Homeschooling Situation

Start by taking the time to analyze why your family decided to homeschool in the first place. Those reasons are probably fresh in your mind, so go ahead and write them down. Rank them in order of importance if you want. You are creating a vision – a focus – that will guide you through the decisions that follow.

For example, if you’ve decided to homeschool because the actual physical school situation doesn’t work for your children, but you still want them to be learning the same things as their peers at the same time, your vision might lead you to virtual schools where content is delivered online, and a licensed teacher handles the teaching and grading. Some popular options in North Carolina include North Carolina Virtual Academy, North Carolina Connections Academy, North Carolina Virtual Public School, and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Online.

Also, private schools are increasingly offering hybrid options where students spend a day or two in the classroom and complete the rest of the work with their parents. Locally, Cathedral Oaks in Clemmons and The Covenant School in Greensboro offer a classical, University-Model hybrid, and Liberty University Online offers a virtual hybrid.

However, if you have strong feelings about what is taught and when, and if you want your child to have a very different school experience, you’ll need to choose a basic curriculum that reflects your goals. The tips below will help you with deciding on your homeschool style and curriculum choices.

Ask Tons of Questions

Your next step, if possible, should be talking to actual people who homeschool. So, your husband’s third-cousin’s sister-in-law happens to be your Facebook friend and seems to enjoy homeschooling? Send her a private message. That family at church? Ask if you can chat sometime. The next door neighbors? Knock on their door.

There are many ways to homeschool and curriculums to choose However, don’t start with something that doesn’t sound interesting to you. Think about your goals and values. Take into consideration how your child learns best. Most of all, know that if you start a curriculum and you hate it from the start, you do not have to continue with it! That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can try different and new things until you find what fits your family and child the best.

Attend a Homeschooling Conference

You should also consider attending a homeschooling conference. There are several in North Carolina and surrounding states throughout the school year, and they feature speakers as well as a wide variety of vendors. This is a great chance to see curriculum in person, instead of researching online. Of course, a conference can easily become overwhelming because, like mentioned above, there are so many choices. If you’ve done your research with homeschooling families beforehand, you can focus on the curriculum you already think you want to use, instead of trying to look at everything. The greatest thing about a homeschool conference is the feeling of community! You realize how large the homeschool community is, and you are not alone in this journey!

If you’re looking for a conference, here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • The Thrive! Conference is always held at the end of May in Winston-Salem. It’s a fantastic resource for families all over the state and features both religious and secular options.
  • Teach Them Diligently conferences move around. The next conference will take place May 2-4, 2024 in Pigeon Forge.
  • Great Homeschool conferences are very popular. The closest location is Greenville, SC on March 14 – 16, 2024.
  • If you love the idea of a homeschool conference from the comfort of your couch, then a virtual conference is for you. For The Love of Homeschool has a wonderful virtual conference that has 35 sessions on a variety of homeschool topics.

Shadow Homeschooling Families

If you don’t know what you are looking for in a homeschool, or even if you are looking for inspiration, shadowing a homeschool family can be a great way to begin crafting your own vision. Yes, this pretty much involves inviting yourself over to their house. Disregard social norms and do it anyway.

Every family does things differently: some are very, very structured to the point of imitating traditional school, and others have a schedule that ebbs and flows by the day. Some families get up to an alarm and start work by 7; others let their kids sleep as long as they wish, take some time to play, and then buckle down to work. Your homeschool may need to work between naptimes or your work schedule. Flexibility is your friend with homeschooling, embrace it.

The more families you can shadow, the more realistic you’ll be when you make your own plans. Honestly, your initial expectations for homeschooling are probably not very realistic. If the family you’re shadowing is using curriculum that interests you, take this opportunity to try it out with your own kid. Find a printer with a photocopy function; it will be your best friend. IYou can save yourself a fortune by copying a few pages of someone else’s book and letting your kids try them.

Consider a Co-Op

Homeschooling is very popular in North Carolina, which means there are plenty of co-op options available. You do not have to join a co-op; in fact, our state is relatively lenient in that there’s not a whole lot that you have to do. However, you may find a co-op is a great source of support and encouragement. Homeschooling is best done in community; however, that looks like for you.

Co-ops are like curriculum: you’ll find wide variety in terms of purpose and price. Some co-ops – like Classical Conversations and Charlotte Mason – are aligned to a specific curriculum, meaning strict standards apply to instructor training, scheduling, and general operation. There’s less risk in choosing a co-op like this, but often the price-point is higher. The other option is an independent co-op, formed by like-minded parents who want to leverage the collective strengths of the moms within the co-op. These co-ops tend to be much more affordable, but they require you to put more trust in the parents running them. When you talk to other homeschooling families, ask them about their co-op, if they have one. If possible, arrange to visit. Homeschooling Facebook pages can be a great way to find smaller, lesser-known co-ops. Here are some local homeschooling pages and co-ops:

Don’t Overdo It

The more research you do, the more amazing opportunities you’ll find. If you aren’t careful, you’ll wind up with three extra-curricular activities per kid, per day…and no actual time to teach! Especially if your kids are little, give yourself a few months to see how much spare time you have – and how much you are willing to give up – before you register for anything. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s good for your family. Choose carefully.

Consider Joining a Home Educators Organization

These organizations support homeschool families with information, activities, sports programs, and other resources typically provided by local school districts.

North Carolinians for Home Education advocates for homeschooling families at the state level. They’re also a wealth of information. Need to know how to build a transcript for your high schooler? They’ve got a template. Need info on registering your homeschool? They’ve got that, too. Pretty much everything you need to know is on their website, and you support that mission when you join.

Depending on your location, you might also want to join Forsyth Home Educators, Greensboro Home Educators, and High Point Home Educators. These organizations host sports teams, high school proms, field trips, and activities for kids of all ages.

Piedmont Forest School offers a homeschool group in Winston-Salem. Details HERE. Nature Explorers is a club-like nature-immersive adventure and creative play program which can incorporate nature tutoring if needed. Forest Kindergarten is a play-based and child-lead nature immersive program embedding integrated and applied STEAM experiences and utilizing place-based learning.

Give Yourself Freedom to Change Your Mind

When you begin to make final decisions, remember that you aren’t marrying the choices you make. If you aren’t happy with your co-op after a year, you can always try a new one. The same goes for curriculum choices. In fact, you might find that what works for one of your children doesn’t work at all for another. One of the tremendous benefits of homeschooling is that you can constantly make adjustments based on your child’s needs. Take a breath and make the best decision you can with the knowledge that you can always change your mind.

Additional Resources on Homeschooling

National membership:

Homeschool Legal Defense

Curriculum stores:

Guillion’s Christian and Homeschool Supply in King and Statesville

The Homeschool Room in Matthews and Huntersville

The Gathering Place in Raleigh

Homeschool Planner

McKay’s – Great place to find used books – locations in Winston-Salem & Greensboro

Websites available for resources:

TMoM’s Arts & Enrichment Programs Directory (membership for AZA and ASTC museums nationwide)

Visual Arts Classes

Discounts available for home school instructors:

OfficeMax/Office Depot/Staples

Barnes & Noble stores


Greensboro Science Center (ID)

Carson Dellosa Publishing Warehouse Sale

Scholastic Sale

Kaplan Early Learning Sale

NC Zoo


Field Trip groups:

Triad Homeschool Activity Group

NC Adventurous Home Educators

Piedmont Triad Nature Nuts Homeschool Group

Homeschool Days:

Sea Life Concord



Carolina Raptor Center

NC Transportation Museum

Carolina Classic Fair

NC State Fair

Morehead Planetarium

Old Salem

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Discovery Place

Biltmore House

Fort Dobbs

NC Zoo

NC Aquariums

Greensboro Science Center

Rescue Ranch

Chimney Rock

NC Museum of Natural Science

Marbles Museum

National Building Museum

Korner’s Folly

Level Up, LLC– posts times/dates for their monthly homeschool events on their Facebook page.

Rockin’ Jump Winston-Salem

Rockin’ Jump Greensboro

Bethabara Park: Check their Facebook page; they offer homeschool days at least twice per year.

Pilot Mountain State Park

Reynolda House

Level Up – Thomasville

Tinderbox Fitness (PE Classes)

Kimel’s Homeschool PE Classes

Yearly Testing Services:


Bowman Academic

Maria Elliott

Piedmont Ed Services

KipmanPsychometry Services

Click HERE to go directly to TMoM’s Homeschool category that features articles from local moms and professionals!

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