Homeschooling in the U.S. is regulated at the state level, therefore homeschooling laws can differ greatly from state to state. It is important for homeschoolers to know and understand the legal requirements for the state in which they will be homeschooling.
In Georgia, the homeschooling requirements fall under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690. Although we outline the main requirements of the Georgia Home Study Law on this page, GHEA encourages homeschooling parents or legal guardians to familiarize themselves with this law. To better serve you, we have provided Home School Legal Defense Association’s legal analysis of the Georgia law.
Georgia Homeschooling Requirements FAQ
Who may teach? Parents or legal guardians may teach their own children. Additionally, parents or guardians may employ a qualified (see question below) tutor to teach their children.
What are the qualifications to teach? Parents/ guardians or hired tutors must have at least a high school diploma or a general education development (GED) diploma in order to teach.
What to teach? Any home study program must include a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science. In other words, at a minimum, you must teach these core 5 subjects, but you are not limited to teaching only these 5 subjects.
How much time do I need to homeschool? For each school year (12 months), the home study program must include 180 school days. One school day is the equivalent of at least 4.5 hours (unless the child is physically unable to comply). Although attendance is no longer required to be reported, GHEA recommends you keep a record of your attendance in your personal school file.
How do I report to the state that we are homeschooling? The parent or legal guardian must file a Declaration of Intent with the Georgia Department of Education for each homeschool year. In other words, this is done yearly. For more details visit our Declaration of Intent page.
What is the compulsory attendance age for homeschooling? The compulsory age for school attendance in Georgia is between the child’s 6th and 16th birthdays. In other words, if your child will be 6* years old or older by Sept 1, you must report your child as homeschooling and they must stay in some form of legal education through the age of 16. It is important to note that even though the compulsory age of attendance is through age 16, a parent/guardian must continue to report their child as homeschooling to the DOE until s/he has completed his/her home study program. Failure to report a child as homeschooling beyond the age of 16 would constitute the student as a drop out, whether he/she completes the work beyond that age or not.
*There is an exception to the compulsory attendance age of 6 if a child has been enrolled in a public school for more than 20 days. In this case, the parent would need to report the child to the DOE as homeschooling. An example of this would be if a child was in a public school kindergarten for more than 20 days. Even though the child may be 5 years old or turned 6 after Sept 1, the parent is required to report them as homeschooling.
What testing is required? Homeschoolers are required to take a standardized test at least every 3 years. You do not need to report the results of this testing, but you do need to keep them in your personal school file. For more details visit our Standardized Testing page.
How do I show progress? Parents must write an Annual Progress Report (also called an Annual Summary) at the end of each school year. At a minimum, this should include the progress that your child made in the 5 core subjects mentioned above. You do not need to turn in Progress Reports, but you should keep them in your personal school file. For more details, visit our Annual Summary page.
What about school documents? Georgia law gives the parent/guardian the authority to execute any document required to show proof of enrollment in a home study program, to show proof of grades, and other required educational information. This would include documents such as high school transcripts and diplomas, as well as verification required for driver’s license and work permits.