Parents from all over the country are considering homeschooling their children to provide them with an education that better fits their needs.
To start homeschooling in Florida, follow these steps:
- Research and familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Florida.
- Notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notice of intent.
- Keep records of your child’s homeschooling progress and provide them to the Florida Department of Education upon request.
- Provide instruction in specific subjects as required by Florida state law.
- Meet the attendance requirements as set by Florida state law.
- Register with a homeschooling organization or program if desired.
- Follow any additional regulations or laws set by your local school district or state.
- Start homeschooling and keep records of your child’s progress.
- Be aware that Florida requires annual standardized testing for homeschooled students.
Whether it is from believing the current educational system is flawed due to its lack of personalization or because religious beliefs don’t mesh with curriculums offered at public educational institutions, many families have decided to educate their children at home.
There’s no need to worry about obtaining a license; the curriculum is already available, and there’s plenty of information on getting started. Read more below to learn why Florida is a great place to begin homeschooling your family.
What Is Home Education & Why Should I Consider It An Option For My Child?
Home education is simply educating the students through whatever means necessary rather than sending them to a public school. Homeschooling includes teaching methods such as cooperative learning (wherein multiple students work together on projects), hands-on activities, visual aids, guided reading, group discussions, and much more.
Parents choose this option to control their child’s education while providing quality education. This can also help to keep costs down compared to traditional education.
Florida Laws On Public And Private Schooling
In addition to being able to teach any subject matter you wish, there are other benefits to homeschooling in Florida. Included in these benefits, you won’t need to pay high taxes since the government will only collect on a limited basis.
You can enjoy tax deductions for books, clothing, and supplies. There are opportunities to receive free services from the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, which provides early intervention programs for special needs.
Lastly, you’ll gain access to afterschool care centers where your children can play during breaks between lessons. These places offer supervised activity time for younger children and structured homework assistance for older ones.
Homeschool Programs Available In The State Of Florida
The first step in homeschooling is choosing a program that suits your instructional style. Below is a list of homeschool course options currently available in Florida. These courses were chosen based on popularity among homeschoolers within the last year.
Also, remember that new homeschooling opportunities often arise, so check back regularly for additional resources.
1. Classical Conversations – Founded in 1924, Classical Conversations focuses on developing academic skills using a systematic approach. Students study grammar, spelling, writing, vocabulary, history, literature, science, art, music, logic, and reasoning abilities.
2. Charlotte Mason Method – Developed by British educator Charlotte Mason, this classical Christian philosophy concentrates heavily on encouraging independence and self-discipline while instilling values for character development.
3. Discovery University – Offering online classes, including math, language arts, social studies, health, fitness, natural sciences, humanities, business, and psychology. Discovery University is explicitly designed for students seeking flexible scheduling, personalized attention, and convenience.
4. National Geographic Society Young Explorer Course – This course helps young explorers between 7 and 15 develop scientific literacy, explore careers related to geography, improve problem-solving skills, and learn leadership and communication skills. National Geographic Society also increases cultural awareness and teaches outdoor survival techniques.
5. Open Court Publishing Company – Based on the principles taught by author John Dewey, Open Court Publishing offers various homeschool products. Available items include textbooks, reference materials, correspondence courses, eBooks, audio CDs, DVDs, videos, manuals, and test preparation guides.
6. Waldorf Academy – Focusing on the holistic nature of human beings, Waldorf emphasizes creativity, physicality, interaction, imagination, respect, responsibility, curiosity, cooperation, exploration, and service.
Is A License Required To Be Homeschooled In Florida?
No. Although some states require licenses before beginning homeschooling duties, Florida does not. However, the state recommends that parents obtain training before doing so. Since most people interested in home education tend to have advanced degrees and years of experience working in fields outside of academia, the idea of needing to pass exams might seem ridiculous.
Fortunately, anyone can become certified without going through formal testing procedures. For certification, you must complete 16 hours of approved instruction or 1,000 minutes of classroom observation per calendar year.
Do You Need Permission From Your Local Board Of Ed Before Starting Homeschooling?
Yes. Even though Florida law allows homeschooling without approval from the board of education, it’s still recommended that parents seek permission from their local school boards anyway. After all, homeschooling laws vary significantly across different regions.
Therefore, even though you’re legally allowed to homeschool your children without getting official approval, it never hurts to ask for it first.
Can You Use Textbooks That Are Not Part Of Any Curriculum Package Or Program?
Yes. Like public schools, individuals wanting to homeschool must buy their textbooks. However, unlike public schools, books aren’t usually mandatory. Instead, homeschooled students typically acquire texts from used bookstores, libraries, used textbook dealers, or through online access.
Additionally, many homeschool instructors prefer to supplement text sources with supplemental readings and research material obtained elsewhere.
Are electronic media acceptable substitutes for traditional classroom learning?
Yes. Many homeschool teachers utilize computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, video cameras, and digital recorders to deliver lesson plans and assignments via the Internet. Others incorporate videoconferencing technology and satellite television broadcasts to share ideas and concepts among faraway locations.
Either way, it’s crucial to determine what works best for your situation before making final decisions.
Does My Family Need to Follow a Homeschool Uniform Requirement?
Nope. No one should ever think that homeschooled students must wear uniforms or anything else, in particular, to distinguish themselves from peers or other students. However, remember that sometimes parents will request that students show appropriate manners and dress nicely when visiting with adults.