Category Archives: Homeschool Law
If you live in a state where standardized testing is optional you may have asked yourself whether to test or not to test your children. I live in Ohio, we have two options for assessment each year we can give our children a standardized test, or opt for a teacher evaluated portfolio review. I have done both, and we honestly prefer testing. I know some cringe at that word, and that’s fine, but if you are on the fence here are some things to consider when wondering if you should test or not.
Your Child: Some kids are great testers, some stress out over the idea of taking a test. Some children have no problems with tests; they consider them fun, or a challenge. Some children are laid back, and don’t mind either way. When deciding whether you should test, your children consider your child.
Your Schedule: If you test, how many children will you be testing? Do you have the time to take a week and focus on testing your children? Do you have a new baby or a demanding toddler? Are your children independent and can they manage testing on their own? Consider your schedule before you decide to test.
Are You Okay With the Results?: Overall homeschooled children do outstanding on standardized testing. However, are you okay if they don’t? We have tested numerous times, and overall my children do great. However, one year one of my children scored a lot lower than I thought she would in one subject. I was crushed. I blamed myself, and we revaluated our whole curriculum in that subject. The next time we tested, she still scored low in that area. I had to realize that out of the nine areas she tested in it was okay that she scored lower in one. She is allowed to struggle with something. Make sure you are okay with the results no matter which way they go.
If you are still on the fence about testing let me give you some pros and cons I have found from standardized testing. The biggest pro in my opinion is validation. I like knowing my children test well, and when someone questions me about homeschooling, I can say, “Well, they score very well on their tests each year, so I am pretty sure they are ok”. Now, I know how they are doing without a test, but some people really consider a standardized test the gold standard of academic assessment, so for me the validation is nice. I also like knowing how they are doing overall, and testing is a lot easier than keeping a portfolio all year. I also like that they will be used to tests before they take the ACT, or another college entrance exam.
There are two big cons in my opinion on testing. One is the price, and the other is time. We order our tests through family learning organization and considering I have multiple children to test, the price is a little high. I also don’t like taking a whole week just to stay home and test.
If you have been asking yourself whether you should test, just remember that testing is not for every family. Yes, there are pros, but there are also cons. Consider your schedule, your child and whether or not you are okay with the results. Whether or not you test, you will know how your child is learning, but for some testing is another good assessment option.
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.
The state of Georgia is one of the best states to home school your child. Georgia’s laws are friendly to home schoolers and allow you a lot of freedom in the education of your child and minimal oversight.
Why and How to Homeschool in Georgia
Let’s admit it. Public schools and large classrooms don’t work for everyone. Or maybe your local area doesn’t have a quality public school. Whatever the reason, you’re on this website because you know public schools aren’t the best options for your children.
The research on homeschooling is clear (I would suggest linking to my article on homeschool statistics), homeschooled students drastically outperform their public school peers according to peer reviewed studies. Top colleges like Stanford love homeschooled applicants, and encourage them to apply. It’s likely your child won’t receive enough personalized attention in a public school, and will be working at other children’s pace, not his own. But at home, you’ll be able to make sure your child is learning at a challenging yet fun pace. I highly suggest homeschooling if you want your child to excel and prosper.
Home school Laws in Georgia
The home school laws in Georgia only require you to follow a few basic requirements that are easy to comply with. You are supposed to send in a declaration of intent within 30 days of starting a home school program, or by September 1st after the first year. This declaration will just contain some basic information including the children’s age and names, the dates of the school year, as well as the home school address. You’re only allowed to educate your own children in a home school. Also you must hold a GED or high school diploma.
You must teach reading, language arts, mathematics and social science in your home school. Additionally the school year must be a minimum length of 180 days of 4.5 hours of teaching. Your child must also undergo standardized testing every 3 years and you must maintain those records. In Georgia you’re not required to submit attendance records. Overall, homeschooling in GA is simple and gives you a huge amount of freedom to teach your child as you wish.
You do need to keep in mind that Georgia educational department will not provide homeschooling materials or curriculum. You will have to therefore supply those on your own or through a home school program.
Home School Programs in GA
A great way to enhance your family’s home schooling experience is to meet other home schooling families. This is a great way to improve both you and your children’s social lives. Many local support groups often hold group field trips, barbeques, and parties. Additionally, other parents can help provide guidance and tips in regards to homeschooling and give you a supportive community. If you haven’t decided whether you want to home school your children yet, these groups can give you an insider’s view into the lives of homeschoolers.
Another excellent resource is your local library. Local libraries often hold events, read-a-thons, and other events that allow your children to both socialize and learn. Local libraries additionally are excellent resources for learning material, books, movies, and other materials. Not to mention that they make amazing places for research trips with your children. A local library is a homeschooling parent’s best friend.
Learning how to homeschool in Georgia is a worthy investment in your children’s futures. The laws regarding homeschooling in Georgia give you a great amount of freedom in educating your children. Homeschooling provides a superior alternative to public school that will propel your children past their public school peers. Additionally there are many local homeschool support groups so that you have support and help in homeschooling your children.
One of the first questions everyone has about home education involves the law. Every state has different regulations. Learning the basics and staying current with proposed legislation is advisable. The pioneers of home education literally risked the removal of their children to pursue home education. Despite the fact that home school statistics show great results for students, some countries still make it very difficult to pursue non-traditional education. Following is general information on the laws in your state. Obtaining copies of the regulations, joining a home school group and/or a legal advocacy organization such as Homeschool Legal Defense Fund or Homeschool Legal Advantage are personal decisions each family must make.
Georgia law requires compulsory attendance at school for children between six and sixteen. The education program is to cover (at least) the basics such as reading, language arts, math, social studies and science for 180 days per year. School days must extend for at least four and one-half hours.
A written notice of intent to home school is to be submitted by September 1st of each year (or within 30 days of beginning a home education program). The notice must include student names and ages, the school year dates and the location of the study program. Attendance records are to be kept and submitted each year to the GA Dept. of Education. Annual progress reports are to be written for each subject (for each child) and kept by the parent for three years.
Home schools include only children of the parent or guardian. Tutors may be employed to teach if they hold a GED or high school diploma. The same requirement (GED or high school diploma) is in place for teaching parents. School superintendents may request (but not require) evidence of compliance with regulations.
Nationally standardized tests are required every three years beginning at the completion of third grade. Tests are to be administered in accordance with those who have experience with norm referenced tests. Tests scores are to be kept by parents and not submitted to public school authorities.
That is a basic rundown of the current Georgia Home Education laws. Don’t be afraid of the requirements. They are simple relative to other states. It is quite easy to start homeschooling in Georgia!