Empowering Education at Home: Georgia Makes it Easy

By Becky Samford, Publisher Duluth, Norcross, Suwanee, Johns Creek & Peachtree Corners Macaroni Kid July 7, 2024

My son struggled in kindergarten and first grade. He just couldn't sit still or pay attention for the long hours his school required. I decided that he might be more successful in a smaller school, but I could not find one that perfectly met his needs. So, I reluctantly decided to try homeschooling him. That turned out to be the best decision I ever made!  Not only did he thrive with the one-on-one lessons, it was easier than I thought it would be and we were both much less stressed by setting our own daily schedule with plenty of breaks. Plus, an added bonus was because we spent so much time together, my son and I have always been very close, even through those difficult tween and teen years!

Not only did he graduate from high school, but also had no problem entering college and graduating with a double major in physics and geology. He is a grown, married man now with a very successful career at a national environmental testing laboratory here in Georgia. He worked hard for that success, but I believe much of it was based on his homeschool foundation.  

With so many controversial subjects being taught in our public schools today, many parents are choosing to homeschool their children.  If you are considering homeschooling, you are not alone! Each year, for many reasons, more and more parents make this same decision. There are multiple homeschool associations and support groups in Georgia that can provide tons of resources and advice. They can also provide information about getting involved with sports, enrichment, and social events to keep your child active and engaged with his or her peers. A great place to get started is by visiting the Georgia Home Education Association website. 

Although much is left to the parents discretion, Homeschooling in Georgia (GA) does have a few specific guidelines and requirements. Here are some key points to know about homeschooling in Georgia:

1. Legal Requirements: In Georgia, parents or guardians who choose to homeschool their children must submit a "Declaration of Intent" to the local superintendent of their school district each year. This form must be submitted by September 1st or within 30 days of starting homeschooling.

2. Teacher: Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program provided they possess at least a high school diploma or GED. Parents or guardians may also employ a tutor who holds at least a high school diploma or a GED to teach such children.

3. Curriculum: Georgia does not mandate a specific curriculum for homeschooling. Parents have the flexibility to choose their own curriculum, resources, and teaching methods according to their child's needs and learning style.

4. Record Keeping: Homeschooling families in Georgia are not required to submit attendance records to the Georgia Department of Education. However, they should keep a portfolio of their child's work, and document progress. The portfolio should include samples of the child's work in subjects such as math, language arts, science, and social studies.

4. Standardized Testing: Beginning at the end of the third grade, students in home study programs must take an appropriate nationally standardized test administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm referenced tests. The student must be evaluated at least every three years. Records of such tests shall be retained.

5. High School Diplomas: Homeschooled students who meet specific requirements, such as completing a certain number of credits and passing a nationally recognized standardized test, can obtain a Georgia High School Diploma.

6. Extracurricular Activities: Homeschooled students in Georgia are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs, at their local public school. However, specific eligibility criteria may vary between school districts.

Remember to check the official Georgia Department of Education website or consult with local homeschooling support groups to ensure you are up to date with any evolving regulations or additional resources that may be available for homeschooling families in Georgia. 

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