Wondering what is required of you when homeschooling in Georgia? Look no further. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the info you’ll need to successfully follow Georgia Homeschool laws.
Georgia State Homeschooling Laws
The Georgia homeschool laws are found in the Georgia Code at O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690.
Within the Georgia homeschooling law, there are 6 main requirements.
1. Have Adequate Parent Education
Homeschooling parents or legal guardians may teach their own children as long as they hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Parents are also allowed to “employ a tutor” to teach their children.
2. Submit a Declaration of Intent (DOI)
Parents must fill out and send in a Declaration of Intent to Homeschool or DOI with the Georgia department of Education. This must be done annually by September 1 of each year or within 30 days of beginning to homeschool.
There is an online form for this that may be used or you may print and send one in as well. The form requires only very basic information. Links for both versions can be found on this page.
3. Teach Required Subjects
The state requires homeschool parents teach a “basic academic educational program” to students. Required subjects include the following 5 subjects:
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
Of course anything above and beyond these subjects is definitely fine!
Even though these subjects are must-haves, there are no curriculum requirements or recommendations made by the state. You can teach the general information however you please.
4. Record Attendance
Required attendance for homeschoolers in Georgia is a total of 180 days per 12 month year. This includes 4.5 hours of instruction each day.
All children between the ages of 6 and 16 must be reported as homeschooling to the State of Georgia. If a student is still completing high school after 16, they should still be reported as homeschooling until they graduate or they will be considered a drop-out.
These attendance records should be kept for your records but do not need to be turned in to the State of Georgia.
For more detailed information on tracking the days and hours in your homeschool, check out my post about homeschool attendance records. There are free printable worksheets!
5. Complete Standardized Testing
Occasional testing is required of homeschoolers in Georgia. The Department of Education says that every three years beginning at the end of third grade, students must complete an “appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm referenced tests.”
In other words, it has to be an actual standardized test, not just a list of skills checked off.
Here are some common tests used by homeschoolers in Georgia. This list is not exhaustive:
- California Achievement Test (CAT)
- Iowa Assessments and ITBS
- Stanford Tests
- Terra Nova
Though standardized tests are required to be taken every three years, results are not required to be submitted to any governmental authority. So, like attendance records, just keep the testing results for your own records.
Honestly, test results can often be really helpful to see what topics you may want to spend more time on in your homeschool!
6. Write an Annual Report
An annual report must be written for each subject and each student. This report must be kept for at least 3 years.
Once again, this doesn’t have to be seen by anyone but you, so this doesn’t have to be fancy! You could use this as a way to evaluate your year and plan for next year. Or it could be as simple as a typical report card.
It could look like this:
Social Studies A
*You can find more info on the laws for homeschooling in Georgia at the Georgia Department of Education website (GaDOE). More detailed explanations and help can also be found on the Georgia Home Education Association website (GHEA).
Plan Your Homeschool Year
Now that we’ve gotten through all the requirements, you may be feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by some of the things required of homeschoolers in Georgia.
- Tracking attendance
- Subject/curriculum planning
- Annual reports and evaluations
If any of the above things worry you, then head on over to my post about planning your homeschool year.
In that post, I’ve broken down the homeschool planning process into manageable steps. I have included a bunch of free printables for you to use as you work through it. Including:
- Evaluation/goal setting sheets
- Choosing subjects
- Planning curriculum
- Visualize your day and week
- Attendance planning and tracking
- Annual reports
Not only will these worksheets help you meet Georgia homeschooling laws, it will also help organize your homeschool year. If you complete the whole planning process in advance, your year will be an automated breeze!
Helpful Info for High Schoolers in Georgia
If you are homeschooling a high schooler in Georgia, there are a couple extra things to note.
Currently, the state of Georgia will pay for up to 30 credit hours of dual enrollment classes! This is a great way to not only complete high school classes, but also get a jump start on college. For more info, check out the GA Futures website.
Graduation requirements for homeschoolers are set by the homeschool parents. There are no further requirements listed for homeschoolers other than the laws we have already discussed above.
It is generally recommended that high schoolers complete classes based on what they plan to do after high school. Many colleges and programs will have specific requirements for acceptance.
Public school students in Georgia are required to complete a minimum of 23 credits to graduate high school. That’s basically 6 classes a year, so a homeschooler could easily meet or exceed this goal.
If your child is interested in qualifying for the Georgia Hope scholarship or Zell scholarship, there are further requirements to qualify. Find out more about that program on this GA Futures website.
Homeschooling in Georgia: Resources
There are quite a bit of great homeschool resources in Georgia. The homeschool community is very active.
One of the best ways I have found to connect with other homeschool families is through Facebook groups. Georgia has at least one large group for the whole state, called “Georgia Homeschool Network.”
There are also many other FB groups that are more local. A simple search in Facebook for “your county/city homeschool” or similar may bring up good options.
Southeast Homeschool Expo
Every year in Atlanta, there is a large homeschool convention. It is called the Southeast Homeschool Expo. There is a vendor hall where you can peruse curriculum, speak with group leaders, and find local resources. There is also an extensive list of workshops you can attend on various subjects related to homeschool and parenting. It is incredibly affordable and is worth attending.
There are also a lot of groups and activities for homeschoolers in Georgia. One way to find local options is to join Facebook groups or go to a convention, but there are also other public listings.
One great site for finding homeschool resources near you is to check out the listings on the GHEA website. The Georgia Home Education Association has collected lists for all types of resources. To find these, go to the GHEA site, then choose “connect with others.” This will bring up a menu of choices. You can search for:
- Support groups listings
- Programs and academies
- Specialty classes
- Extracurricular activities
Important websites for more information
For more info on laws for homeschooling in Georgia, check out the Georgia Department of Education website (GaDOE).
More detailed explanations and help can also be found on the Georgia Home Education Association website (GHEA).
There are a few requirements for homeschoolers in Georgia. Filing a Declaration of Intent, required attendance, subjects, testing, and keeping records. Ultimately these tasks aren’t too tough to stay on top of.
And remember you don’t have to actually show most of that to anyone else! Whether you’re new to Georgia, or just brushing up on the Georgia homeschooling laws, I hope you found this post helpful!
If you’re homeschooling in Georgia, please leave a comment below: what are your favorite resources that have helped you in your homeschooling? Favorite field trip locations? We want to hear them!
And if you’d love to have a printable resource to use to keep track of state homeschool requirements, key organizations, activities and field trip plans, and curriculum notes, grab a copy of my Curriculum & Activity Planner below (it’s free!):
Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.
About the Author
Jenn Dickerson is a homeschool mom of 3, a singer, and a planner. If she is not singing in the van on the way to homeschool co-op, you’ll find her checking off lists at home. She learned the art of list-making from her mom and now helps others plan their homeschools over at Homeschool-Planning.com.
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