Georgia Homeschool Laws
Aside from “Can I really do this?” the most common question new homeschooling families ask is “What are the requirements for homeschooling in Georgia?” The aim of this page is to clear up what’s expected of homeschoolers in the Peach State as well as information on switching from public school to homeschool and how to enroll a homeschooled child in public school if homeschooling will be a short-term venture for your family.
On this page, you’ll find important information on:
- Georgia Homeschool Requirements
- Your Declaration of Intent
- Homeschool Record-Keeping in Georgia
- Georgia Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources for Homeschooling in Georgia
*This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Georgia Homeschool Requirements
In order to legally homeschool in Georgia, families must comply with the following requirements for homeschooling:
- Parents must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Parents must submit an annual Declaration of Intent to Utilize a Home Study Program by September 1 or within 30 days of establishing their homeschool.
- The Declaration of Intent must include all homeschooled childrens’ names, ages, address of homeschool and dates of school year.
- Parents must provide a basic academic educational program of five subjects (math, science, English language arts, social studies and reading)
- Parents must teach 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).
- Parents must have their child participate in standardized testing every three years after completing third grade.
- Parent or instructor must write annual progress assessment reports for each subject for each student and keep these reports for at least three years.
More information relating to the home education rules for Georgia can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Your Declaration of Intent
Once you’ve decided to officially begin the process of homeschooling your child in Georgia, the first thing you’ll want to do is to file your declaration of intent with the Georgia Department of Education. The DOE recommends submitting your homeschool declaration of intent electronically, but it can also be submitted by fax, mail, or email. The declaration should include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located, and the dates of the school year.
This declaration should continue to be submitted annually for each year that you sustain your homeschool. 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.
NOTE: 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.
Homeschool 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 — far from it! You will discover that any 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 homeschool activities.
Some of the things you may want to keep in a homeschool portfolio include:
- The results of any standardized tests your homeschooler takes while homeschooling
- An overview of the curriculum you’ve used as well as samples of assignments completed by your student, quizzes or tests, and written work, something Time4Learning makes very easy
- A general progress report for each homeschooler for the current homeschool year
For high school homeschoolers, a detailed transcript
Georgia Homeschool Graduation Requirements
As your homeschooler progresses, high school graduation will eventually be on your radar. You likely have many questions about how this works for home education. The simple answer is that homeschool law gives parents the authority to decide their own requirements for graduation, and even administer their own homeschool diploma.
While this may feel overwhelming, the key is to simply focus on your student’s future goals (college? military? workforce?) and plan your student’s coursework with those in mind. The chart below is a good starting point. It lets you compare the Georgia public school graduation protocols with those of a homeschooler. This will highlight the parallels and contrasts between the two approaches.
|Georgia diploma requirements||Students must have a minimum of 23 completed credits to graduate in Georgia and receive a diploma.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.|
|Georgia high school testing requirements||There are no graduation testing requirements for the state of Georgia.||Homeschool students are also not subject to testing requirements for graduation.|
|Georgia high school transcripts||GA public school transcripts include identifying information, standardized test scores, attendance information, credit totals and a complete credit history by course including course titles, grades received each semester, and cumulative grade average for each.||Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.|
|Georgia high school course credits||In order to graduate, GA high schoolers must have 4 English credits, 4 mathematics credits (which must include Algebra), 3 science credits, 4social studies credits, 1 health/personal fitness credit, 3 credits in CTAE and/or Modern Language/Latin and/or Fine Arts, and 4 elective credits.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.|
|GED eligibility||Students who are at least 16 years old and have not earned a high school diploma from an accredited high school and are not currently enrolled in a public high school are eligible to apply to take the General Education Diploma test.||The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.|
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
Although homeschooling is a wonderful option for families, there are many reasons why students may need to return to school at some point after a period of homeschooling. Sometimes, a change in family situation or finances disrupts your home education plans. Other times, parents or students simply discover that homeschooling isn’t a good fit for them. Occasionally, families make the decision to return to school for a specific purpose such as participating in high school team sports or because a specific college they want to attend requires an accredited diploma.
If you are wondering how to enroll a homeschooled child in public school, Georgia has no specific legal requirements about it. Each school district, however, will have different ways of assessing your child for grade and subject placement. You will want to touch base with your local school district to find out how they validate the instruction you’ve completed while homeschooling. This local district validation will also include how they handle the transferring of any high school credits completed while homeschooling.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Georgia
Have other questions about homeschooling in Georgia? You may find the following pages helpful.