Georgia Homeschool Laws & Obligations
Since my decision to home-school my boys, I have read and read research and laws and probably have done so to the extreme... or maybe not. We live on the state line of Georgia and Tennessee. So, I have friends that live in either state and home-school. This is the reason I want to know what my options are. Here are some of what I found and if you are a Georgia home-school mom and you have something to add or let me know about, please do! I'm trying to keep it simple here so, let me know if I have missed something important.
- Private Tutors - if you are the type of parent who doesn't want to teach and has money to spend, this may be an option for you. Basically, if you have a tutor for your child's education the only requirement is that they have a GED or High School diploma. You would also have to work with your tutor to help develop your own program and a shared philosophy.
- Private or Umbrella School - this sounds ideal because your paperwork is taken care of for you. Well, ideal if you don't like paperwork. You can generally find schools that agree with your educational and religious philosophies. The school provides you with the curriculum and you are your child's teacher. There is no need for your child to step foot in the school itself. In the end, your child will receive a "proper" diploma and the cost is minimum. Also check out the Georgia Accrediting Commission for more information about having your child be a "private-schooler" while actually being a Georgia home-schooler.
- Purely Home-Schooled - the title speaks for itself. You pick the curriculum, teach it, and administer the paperwork; you are 100% on your own with this one. You also you must adhere to the GA Home-schooling laws. What are the laws? Keep Reading...
- Qualifications - you must have a least a high school diploma or GED.
- Subjects - According to GA law you must teach the minimum of reading, language arts, math, social studies and science.
- Days of Instruction - 180 days for at least 4.5 hours unless they have a legitimate medical or physical reason not too.
- Jury Duty - You are exempt! If you are the primary teacher in your home-school, you can be excused from your duty if you can not find a suitable replacement.
- Public Schools - are to have nothing to do with your child. They are not responsible for providing materials or curriculum. Once your child is a home-schooler, they are your responsibility.
- Declaration of Intent - You must fill out a DOI. This is to inform the authorities before you take your child out of school. I have included the link above so that you can download the form. You only have to fill out your name, children/s name/s, address and date of school year.
- You need to submit your DOI. Contact your local school district suberintendent to find out if you can send them the form.
- The form must be sent within 30 days of starting the home-school program.
- Send it return-receipt requested
- Attendance - GA requires you send in a monthly attendance report on the first day of every month to your local superintendent. Please see "Days of Instruction" above. Here is the Attendance Form.
- Tests - Your child/ren will have to take a nationally standardized test after grades 3, 6, 9, and 12. The tests must be administered by a person trained in administering and interpreting tests. You do not have to submit the test results to the education authorities but you have to keep the records with you for 3 years even if they bombed it.
- Annual Progress Report - GA home-school law mandates that you must write an annual progress report of your child at the end of each year and for each subject. Be honest about your child's strengths and weaknesses. Reports should be kept for at least 3 years.
I have more to report on college, employment and driving but that's for another day.