How Do I Begin Homeschooling My Kid (in Georgia)?
Updated: Aug 20, 2022
Maybe you’re thinking about homeschooling or have already decided that homeschooling your children is right for you and your family. If so, you’re probably wondering what the process looks like for enrollment as well as the legal requirements. Here is a glimpse into the homeschooling enrollment process for those who live in the state of Georgia.
If you live in the state of Georgia and have a child between the ages of 6 and 16 years old, the law requires that they be enrolled in some type of school. Unlike other states that have umbrella schools or other similar options, Georgia is a bit more restrictive about its home-study programs.
Are you eligible for homeschooling your child in Georgia?
According to the state laws of Georgia regarding education, any parent or legal guardian that wishes to homeschool their child within the state must have a high school diploma or GED. If you do not meet this criterion, you may be allowed instead to use an in-home teacher (or "tutor") that meets these requirements. However, please be sure to contact the Georgia DOE or your county's superintendent regarding their policies on the matter.
Has your child already been enrolled in a public or private school?
If your child is already enrolled in public or private school in the state of Georgia, before homeschooling, you'll need to formally withdraw them with the appropriate paperwork. When withdrawing your child from the public school system, it's also advised that you obtain copies of their student record to have on hand. When mailing your withdrawal forms to their present school, it is strongly recommended that you send the paperwork via Certified Mail and require a signature confirming delivery. Be sure to keep copies of all documents, receipts, and additional related paperwork for your records.*
(*Important note: When it comes to homeschooling, make and keep copies of everything you file, submit, or otherwise need to have documented.)
What do I have to do when homeschooling my kid in Georgia?
Once you've formally withdrawn from your child's previous school (whether public or private), you should now file your Declaration of Intent regarding homeschooling. This should be done before September 1st or within 30 days of withdrawal, and this will need to be submitted annually to the Georgia DOE.
After your paperwork has been submitted, it will now be time for you to get started with choosing a curriculum, ensuring you meet any applicable state requirements, and familiarizing yourself with what you'll need to do regarding regular testing and assessments.
Choosing a Curriculum
The state of Georgia allows parents to choose their own curriculum when homeschooling, so this leaves parents with a lot of freedom to determine what exactly they want their child to learn and how they'd like their child to learn.
Georgia does, however, require that parents provide their children with a basic education of the five primary subjects of math, reading, social studies, English, and science. As long as those subjects are covered, you are free to adjust the curriculum as needed to best suit your child's learning style.
Meet Attendance and Subject Requirements
Your top priority for satisfying state requirements will be to not only ensure you are teaching the required subjects as mentioned above, but you will also need to meet the state's attendance requirements of no less than 180 days of education per school year and at least 4.5 hours of learning per day.
Annual Assessments and Testing
Homeschooling parents are also responsible for writing progress reports each year for each individual subject their child is currently learning, and these reports will need to be held onto for a minimum of three years.
When a student has passed the third grade, they will also be required to participate in national standardized testing every three years. Many of the statewide standardized tests are unavailable for homeschooled students, so it's best to check with your county school district regarding meeting these requirements in different parts of the state.
More information on homeschooling options and requirements:
The Georgia Department of Education's website includes an entire section on home schools and the legal aspects and requirements of homeschooling a child within the state.
The Georgia Home Education Association also offers a wide range of information on homeschooling basics, what to expect with different grade levels, and resources to help you connect with other homeschooling parents and groups within the state.
To submit a virtual copy of the Declaration of Intent Form to the Georgia DOE, this can be done here.
To connect with tutors for a variety of different subjects for your child, check out the GHEA's tutor database.
For more information on homeschooling in general, check out our Homeschooling page for more articles.