HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOLERS IN GEORGIA
Info on getting credit for courses, driving, graduation, curriculum
Some people choose to homeschool for only part of the high school years, which means they need to be concerned about their children getting credit for work done at home. Here are the things you need to keep in mind in the process of making this decision. To make sure your student gets credit for work done at home:
a. Call the school district or the guidance counselor at the high school and ask what the school’s policy is for giving credit for work done at home – and get it in writing.
b. If the school says it will give credit for courses taken from an accredited correspondence school, find out if the correspondence school must be accredited by the same organization that accredits the public school (if so, find out what that organization is), AND find out how closely the courses the student takes from the correspondence school must mirror the courses offered at the high school (for instance, if he/she takes calculus and the public school does not offer calculus in the 11th grade, they may not extend credit).
c. If the school says your student can take semester or final exams in subjects to earn credit, find out how they’ll go about administering them and if they will allow you to use the books he/she was using in school. Passing an exam based on a particular book would be hard if that book was not used.
d. Repeat advice: Get everything in writing.
e. None of this advice applies if you intend to homeschool for the remainder of high school. If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry about getting credit from the public school system – you operate more as a private school. You decide when your student has fulfilled your requirements for graduation and is prepared to move on in life. The law does require that you teach math, science, social studies, language arts and reading (which is incorporated into other subjects at the high school level), but you may choose how to go about each of those subjects, keeping in mind your student’s goals in life (college, work, etc.). Your are, of course, not limited to these subjects. For more information about graduation and college, check www.homeschoolstarter.com.
f. Some high school options you may want to look into if you plan to homeschool the rest of high school: joint enrollment at local colleges (this is sometimes, but not always, a problem in Georgia; more info here), early college entry (talk to admissions officers at colleges – each college will have different policies about this), college students as tutors (also, ask around among the people you know if you need a tutor; quite often a student only needs help over a hump, not a whole year’s worth of tutoring, and someone you know may be able to help). For some people, studying for the GED is also a good option.
g. If you plan to homeschool throughout high school, you may want to concentrate especially on the skills you think are most important to your student’s success and minor on things not as important or not as interesting to him/her. Employers routinely complain about these things: lack of good oral and written communications skills, lack of work ethic, lack of basic math skills, poor reading skills. Prepare your child for life, not school tests.
Georgia Department of Education Comments on transferring credits from home study options to public schools in the state:
NOTE: THIS DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE NEED TO TALK TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND GET THEIR POLICY IN WRITING
HOMESCHOOLING AND DRIVING
Sometimes parents will stop reporting as homeschoolers when their children turn 16 (which is legal), but if a student wishes to get or maintain a driver’s license, you should continue to send in the declaration of intent and monthly attendance forms. If he/she needs to get a permit, the county dept. of ed office can give you a letter confirming that you’re registered as a homeschooler, which you should take to the dept. of transportation with you. Many homeschoolers and other parents delay getting a drivers’ license, too.
GRADUATION: There are many ways to graduate from homeschooling. If you use a correspondence or on-line school, they will probably provide a diploma, but you can still participate in or hold a graduation ceremony or celebration. You can issue a diploma through your homeschool (buy or design one). Some people choose the GED route, but we don’t recommend it. Check the graduation page at www.homeschoolstarter.com.
CURRICULUM: Contrary to information being provided to new homeschoolers by many counties, you are NOT required to use a correspondence school to homeschool your child, including your high school child. For information on how to find curriculum and materials for homeschooling, see our Resources Page.