Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Georgia...the state

When I was a young teenager (or perhaps not even quite a teenager) my friend's older brother got married and I remember that at their wedding reception (an affair that's quite long and personalized compared to what I've seen in the United States, usually with a program honouring the couple, with speeches and musical numbers and so forth (granted, I've really only been to LDS weddings/receptions, which tend to be rather the states...but in Canada everyone did a big thing with a formal program)) that Georgia was telling their love story and she said that when they met (at a church dance) she said, "I'm Georgia," because that was her name. And then she explained her name because that's something she often found herself doing, "Like Georgia the state, or Georgia the country," she said. And he said, "I'm Malan, like 'mail in a letter,'" without missing a beat and she thought that was hilarious. Granted, he probably had a lot of practice explaining his name since his is, arguably, more unique than hers.

When we announced we were moving to Georgia a lot of people asked us whether we were moving to Georgia the state or Georgia the country—and with good reason, I suppose, even though we've been back in the United States for nearly a decade now. I'm not really sure how things happened that way because I certainly never intended them to be that way. But, here we are. In Georgia. The state.

Today a question came up on a Facebook group I'm part of, called "Georgia Homeschoolers" or something like that. I'm mostly a lurker on these groups. I don't know what I'd ask in the first place and, in the second place, I'm not sure I'm ready to take advice from a network of unvetted individuals. I mean, I don't know these people! I don't know their credentials! I don't know their values!

So, I glean tidbits here and there that I research on my own (in a more credible way than homeschool moms offering their anecdotes...which is fine—I have anecdotes, too—but not very credible), but mostly I just lurk.

Today I made my first comment because—you guys!—this lady posted a question asking (in somewhat broken English) where we (homeschoolers) pick up workbooks in English, just as supplementary curriculum, not as a main curriculum. Moms started hopping on left and right telling her to check out the dollar store or just the grocery store.

"They don't have workbooks in my grocery store," she said. "And I went to the dollar store but I can't find them there. They're not by the stationary or over by the books. Please help! I don't know where to look!"

So more moms started hopping on.

"Have you tried Dollar Tree?" one asked.

"I don't know where Dollar Tree is in Tbilisi," this poor woman admitted. "I only know of one dollar store and couldn't find anything there!"

"Huh. I've never heard of Tbilisi. Are you north or south of Atlanta?" one woman asked.

"Check out Ollie's if there's one near you!" another woman offered.

And, guys, when I saw all this chatter I just couldn't remain a lurker. I had to say something.

So I asked, "Are you from Georgia...the country?"

"Yes," she said. "I'm in the Republic of Georgia."

"Okay," I said. "Well, this is a group for homeschooling families in Georgia...the the United States of America. I'm afraid we've been feeding you bad information for quite some time now! I'm so sorry, but best of luck figuring things out in Georgia. It looks like a beautiful country!"

And, you guys. I have been giggling about this to myself all day long.

Her first post in the group (back in November) was one saying, "I'm moving to Georgia soon. How do I begin homeschooling there? Do I just keep going as I am? Are there any forms to fill?"

And people simply welcomed her to Georgia and directed her to the Georgia State Declaration of Intent to Homeschool and—guys!—I'm afraid she filled one out?! And who knows what she has to do to formally homeschool in Georgia-the-Country? Certainly not any of us anecdote-wielding homeschool moms from Georgia-the-State!

I do hope she's able to figure things out, the poor thing, but this is a good example of why I don't feel comfortable going to this group of strangers on the internet for advice.


  1. I am glad you jumped in. I wonder if some of the other moms might have been nonplussed by your comment--there is a country named Georgia? (Every time I use the word "nonplussed" I think of Bridget!)

  2. I wonder if homeschooling is even legal in Georgia the country - yikes! I'm glad you jumped in to help her. :)

    1. And it's so tricky to find out the answer to that! I've looked but everything that turns up is Georgia (the state). I can find information about Russia (legal). I can find information about Turkey (illegal). But finding information on Georgia (the country) is extremely difficult due to Google thinking I must want answers about Georgia (the state).

      So, what I did was go to HSLDA, which was one of the first hits for homeschool legality status in Turkey and I changed the URL, replacing Georgia for Turkey. It seems education there is require but up to parental discretion and there are exams all students must pass, so it seems to be legal there as far as I can tell with my quick scan of this post.