Home Study Program: FAQ
Who can operate a home study program? Parents or guardians can operate a home study program.
Are there any qualifications required for the parent who teaches? Yes. A high school diploma or GED is needed.
Can the parents or guardians employ someone else to teach? Yes. A tutor must hold a high school diploma or a GED.
Do parents or tutors have to provide a copy of their qualifications to the DOE or superintendent? No.
What is the first step in establishing a home study program? Within 30 days after establishing a home study program, and by September 1 annually thereafter, the parent must file a Declaration of Intent with the Department of Education.
What must be included in the Declaration of Intent? Only your child’s name, age, address of the home study program, and the dates of the school year.
What if I am withdrawing my child from a public/private school? Contact the school. Notify them that you are placing your child in a home study program. Otherwise, after ten* days of unexplained absences, your child will be considered truant. Obtain and file the Declaration of Intent with the Department of Education. *GHEA references 10 days; DOE references 5 days.
Are there other forms that must be submitted to the Department of Education’s office? No. Monthly or annual attendance reports are no longer required under the new education law, HB 283, Section 23. (effective July1, 2013)
How do I obtain a learner’s permit or driver’s license from the DMV or obtain a work permit without the attendance form? The parent or guardian shall have the authority to execute any document required by law, rule, regulation or policy to evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student's full-time or part-time status, the student's grades, or any other required educational information.
Where do I get the Declaration of Intent and the Attendance form? The forms that are necessary for the parent to complete the reporting requirements of the law are to be provided by the DOE. These forms shall not be inconsistent with or exceed the requirements of Georgia’s Home Study Law.
Is a home study program required by law to be operated within specified hours? No. The law only requires the program to operate the equivalent of 180 days or at least 4.5 (four and one-half) hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.
If I am withdrawing my child from a public/private school, will the days that my child has already attended school count towards the 180 day requirement? Yes. See www.heir.org How to Legally Homeschool in GA, Getting Started
Does the law address curriculum requirements? Yes. The basic academic program shall provide instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
Is the school system required to furnish curriculums, books or testing services for our home study program? No.
- the superintendent or DOE ‘approve’ our curriculum? No. Monitor our child’s progress? No. Monitor our testing program or student assessment process? No. Monitor our records or instruction time? No.
What other requirements are mandated by the Georgia Home Study Law? Other Laws*?
Compulsory Attendance: Children ‘between their 6th and 16th birthdays’ must be enrolled and sent to a public, private, or home study program. Code Section 20-2-690.1
If a child is under 6 and has attended more than 20 days in a public school, then the child is subject to the compulsory attendance law. Code Section 20-2-150(C)
Standardized Testing: Children must take a national standardized test every three years beginning at the end of the third grade. Test scores must be retained for three years. Test scores are not required to be submitted to public school authorities. Code Section 20-2-690(c)(7)
Progress Reports: Parent must write an annual progress report in each required subject area for each student and must retain the report for three years. Code Section 20-2-690(c)(8) Progress reports are not required to be submitted to school authorities.
*Children Found Away From Home: Any peace officer may assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any child subject to compulsory school attendance who is found away from home and who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program without a valid written excuse from school officials or from the parent or guardian in charge of the home study program. 20-2-698
*Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states. The local superintendent and DOE is responsible for enforcing this law. Failure to comply with the Georgia Home Study Law or Compulsory Attendance is a misdemeanor. Original 6/2009; reviewed 7/2010, 6/2012; revised 6/2013 This is not legal advice. All information provided is from the DOE at www.doe.k12.ga.us, July 2004, June 2009, June 2012, June 2013; GHEA at www.ghea.org, HEIR at www.heir.org