Archive for June 6th, 2013

June 6, 2013

Events for Kids & News for Homeschoolers

{Winder, Georgia} {Athens, Georgia} {Georgia homeschooling law changes 2013}

Note: This column was published in the Barrow Journal on June 5, 2013.

Here are a few odds and ends for parents and homeschoolers as you begin your summer vacation:

Georgia House Bill 283 was amended so that homeschoolers no longer have to submit attendance forms to the Georgia Department of Education. Last year the bill was amended so that homeschoolers no longer needed to submit their forms to local school districts. Now we report directly to the Georgia Department of Education, and with this new change, all we are required to submit to the state is a Declaration of Intent to homeschool.

Recently I spoke with Patrick Blenke, Program Manager of Curriculum and Instruction, and he confirmed that this law will take effect July 1, 2013.  Any homeschooler whose school year ends after July 1st as stated on your Declaration of Intent does not need to submit attendance forms. He did make it clear that homeschoolers still need to track attendance and must have 180 days of instruction.

Home study programs must include instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science, but may include more. We are also required to administer a standardized test every three years starting in the third grade, and write an annual progress report, but these items don’t have to be submitted to the state either. If a child is homeschooled and then enrolled in a public school, these records may prove useful.

For the complete law on homeschooling go to the Georgia Department of Education’s website: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Pages/Home-Schools.aspx

  • Whether you homeschool or not, you may be interested in checking out the new Atlanta Homeschool magazine. It’s full of great travel information and activities to do with kids, and of course, it’s full of advice for homeschoolers as well!  You can subscribe to receive a print edition, or you can read it online for free: http://www.atlanta-homeschool.com

Here are a couple of items you can find on the web that you might enjoy too:

  • If you are a space buff, you probably already know about Commander Chris Hadfield, who wowed the world recently with his rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station (ISS). Commander Hadfield posted several educational videos and photographs during his recent five-month mission on the ISS. My six-year-old especially loved the video he did of wringing out a washcloth in zero gravity, and your children probably will too. You can see all of Commander Hadfield’s videos and photos on his Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield.
  • If your kid is a nature lover like mine, you’ll be interested to know that we are raising a second generation of butterflies (I wrote a column about our first generation a few weeks ago), and they are almost ready to turn into butterflies! You can see photos of the whole life cycle on my Facebook page, if you’re interested. It’s a public page, so you don’t have to join Facebook to see the photos: https://www.facebook.com/mamaofletters. Of course, I’ll write about our adventure with the butterflies when we’re finished.

Please add any other event information or online resources for kids in the comments section below.

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