Any homeschooling parent who resides in the state of Georgia will want to annually consult the homeschool requirements in Georgia and take note of any updates. This is also important for homeschooling families who move in and out of state during their children's education. Homeschooling requirements differ from state to state, and although Georgia's laws do not currently reflect the strictest standards in the United States, the stipulations in Georgia will differ greatly from those of a state such as California. Homeschooling laws are also subject to change over the years, so checking in with the Georgia Department of Education on an annual basis will prevent homeschooled students from running into any legal issues.
Homeschool Requirements in Georgia
The simplest way to keep up-to-date with the homeschool requirements in Georgia is to visit the Georgia Department of Education website where the standards are clearly laid out. For parents who are just beginning to consider homeschooling for their child, or have little general experience with homeschooling, such research is best done well in advance of the inception of a student's homeschooling.
The Georgia homeschooling laws are not currently severe. However, it is required that the supervising parent or guardian possess either a high school diploma or an equivalency such as the GED. In the event that the supervising parent does not meet these standards, a family must hire a tutor who does meet the criteria.
Also, it should be noted that the starting age for mandatory school attendance in the state of Georgia is six years. This will come as no surprise to most parents, and it remains fairly uniform throughout the United States. However, some parents are not aware that kindergarten is not generally an academic requirement. Though many children begin their schooling with kindergarten and often some sort of pre-school training, the majority of homeschooling parents will not need to file their child with the Department of Education until the child has reached the first grade level.
The Study Term
A major perk of homeschooling is that it can often provide a flexible schedule for both student and supervisor. Still, each state will have its own specified school year or study-day length. In Georgia, the current education laws stipulate that a school year must function over a period of 180 days and the average class day needs to be approximately 4.5 hours. These laws are alterable for students who have physical or learning handicaps.
Homeschooling is a wonderful privilege for parents who are concerned about the moral and academic training of their child. However, some families abuse this privilege which is why Georgia mandates that, starting at the end of the third-grade term, students must be subjected to national standardized tests that will assess the quality of their education. These tests must be taken every three years, though they can be taken annually. Standardized testing actually protects the rights of homeschoolers, as the majority of homeschooled children test well against the national average. One way to perpetuate the privilege of homeschooling is for parents to remain diligent regarding their child's testing whilst monitoring the quality of their students' education, ensuring that the homeschool curriculum used can compete with the state public school system.
Legal Protection for Homeschoolers
Though the homeschooling laws set up by the state of Georgia are not excessive or unreasonable, isolated cases of homeschooling families being abused by the educational system will often crop up. For this reason alone, it is recommended that all homeschooling parents register as members of the Home School Legal Defense Association.