In order to legally home school in Georgia, families must comply with the following requirements:
Parents must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. A GED is acceptable. Though a college associate or undergraduate degree is helpful, it is not required. A high school educated home school teacher will do just fine using current home school curricula available. Additional help is plentiful for advanced subjects if desired.
Parents must submit an annual Declaration of Intent to Utilize a Home Study Program by September 1 or within 30 days of establishing their home school. This can be done online at the Georgia Department of Education website.The Declaration of Intent must include all homeschooled childrens’ names, ages, address of home school and dates of school year. This declaration should continue to be submitted annually for each year that you sustain your home school. You will want to be sure to print a copy of your submitted form, as well, because this is the only legal form you have of proof of homeschooling in the state. It is the also the form you will use for obtaining drivers permits/licenses, work permits, and any other situations that require proof of homeschooling in Georgia.
In Georgia, as in most other states, the choice of curriculum is totally left up to parents as long as they provide a basic academic educational program of five subjects: math, science, English language arts, social studies and reading. If you are just starting out, talk with other home school parents, join a Home School Association, or there's always the internet to help you shop for a suitable curriculum for your child. Curriculum Fairs are available throughout the year to allow you to shop and compare various programs. You may want to stay with one program for continuity or shop around and mix and match to gleam the best several different vendors.
Your home school must be no less than 180 days per year of at least 4.5 hours a day (unless child is physically unable to comply with this requirement). Some homeschoolers have chosen to go to a quarter or semester system. You may structure your school year as you please as long as there's a total of 180 days each school year.
Your child must participate in standardized testing every three years after completing third grade. The test scores do not have to be submitted to the state, but you must keep them in your records.
It is the responsibility of the parent or instructor to write annual progress assessment reports for each subject for each student and keep these reports for at least three years.
If your child is currently enrolled in a public school in Georgia, it’s a good idea to formally withdraw him/her following the submission of your declaration of intent to avoid any truancy complications that could arise.
Home School Requirements In Georgia
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Home School Record-Keeping in Georgia
The declaration of intent is the only form that you are legally required to submit to the state, but that does not mean that it is the only item you should track in your homeschooling. The wise and diligent home school parent will create and keep a portfolio for each child. Most curriculum providers and Home School Associations will provide all the help you need to accomplish this task. Future transitions in educational status such as moving back to school after homeschooling, applying for college, or enlisting in the military will all go more smoothly if you have kept comprehensive records of your home school activities.
Some of the things you may want to keep in a home school portfolio include: