Homeschooling in Florida
Wednesday, 13 January 2021

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I am a Florida girl. I have lived in the Sunshine State since I was two years old. I love our sunny weather, our beautiful beaches, theme parks, and how simple it is to homeschool in Florida.

 

I started my homeschool journey 15 years ago. At first, I was a little nervous about homeschooling. I soon discovered that Florida is a great state to homeschool in because of the many resources and support available to homeschool families.









 

In Florida, there are three options under which you can legally homeschool: homeschooling under the homeschool statute, homeschooling under a private school "umbrella" program, or homeschooling with a private tutor. Let's take a closer look at each of the options.  

 

Homeschooling Under the Homeschool Statute: 

 

First, you must file a notice of intent with the county superintendent within 30 days of beginning your homeschool program. You do not need to file this every year. This notice must include your student's name, birth dates, and address. Upon receiving the notice of intent, the superintendent will accept the notice and register your home education program. This date will become your homeschool anniversary date by which your annual evaluation will need to be submitted.

 

Secondly, you will need to maintain a portfolio. A portfolio is a log of educational activities, samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, and creative materials used by your student. You must keep this portfolio for two years after it is completed.  

Next, you will need to submit an annual educational evaluation of your student by your homeschool anniversary date.

 

The home-education law provides five evaluation options:

 

 

The last step is the notice of termination. When your student completes their homeschool program, you should submit a notice of termination to the county within 30 days of completion.

 

Homeschooling Under a Private School "Umbrella" Program:

 

The second option to homeschool in Florida is homeschooling under a private school or an umbrella program. You can enroll your child in a private school or "umbrella" or "cover" school that will oversee your homeschool program. The Florida Department of Education has a directory of private schools that meet the state requirements.  Florida Private School Directory

 

Homeschooling with a Private Tutor:

 

The last option to homeschool in Florida is homeschooling with a private tutor. The state allows you, the parent, to select a private tutor to teach your child. Your child's instructor must follow these requirements: 

 

Resources:

 

Some resources on homeschooling in the state of Florida that I found helpful were: 

FPEA: The purpose of The Florida Parent-Educators Association is to serve homeschooling families in Florida. Their mission is to defend the right to homeschool, host a state convention and homeschool graduation ceremony, and provide information and encouragement to homeschool families. To find your Florida County, go here: FPEA County Districts. You can find lots of helpful information about your local school district, homeschooling groups, and co-ops. 

 

HSLDA: Homeschool Legal Defense was founded in 1983. They provide legal support, homeschooling consultation, and resources for homeschool families. For more resources on homeschooling in the state of Florida, check out HSLDA Getting Started.

Florida Department of Education Home Education Dept: FLDOE 

In 1985, laws protecting Home Education in Florida were passed. These laws gave parents the freedom to determine their child's educational path and allows students to learn at their own pace. Home education students in Florida are eligible to participate in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. According to the FLDOE, there are more than 84,000 students in approximately 58,000 families registered in Home Education Programs throughout Florida. 

Home Education Foundation: HEF is an organization established in 1991 to support and lobby for homeschool families in Florida. Their mission is to protect existing homeschool rights and future legislation. 

I am thankful for all of these organizations that support homeschool families in the state of Florida. 

 

Field Trips in Florida









          

Homeschooling in the Sunshine state is lots of fun too! The beautiful weather allows us to enjoy many outdoor activities year-round. 

Florida offers many educational field trip opportunities that you can take advantage of, including beautiful beaches, national parks, museums, and theme parks. Here is a list of educational and fun fieldtrips divided by Florida's regions. To help you get started and search by counties, check out the Florida Homeschool Fieldtrip Directory

Fieldtrips in Florida’s Panhandle:

Fieldtrips in North Florida:

explore the nation's oldest city.   Drink from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and step inside the walls of Castillo de San Marco and hear cannons fly and attend live reenactments. 









     Fieldtrips in Central Florida:

Fieldtrips in South Florida:

Fieldtrips in the Florida Keys:







Homeschooling in Florida these past 15 years has been such an exciting journey for our family. We have enjoyed the freedom of choosing our curriculum. BJU Press Homeschool curriculum gave us the tools that we needed to homeschool successfully. We have been part of our local homeschool groups, which provided my children with numerous activities and field trips with their peers.

 

My kids have also excelled in music, art, and sports programs within our community. There are so many wonderful opportunities available to homeschool families in the Sunshine State, which gave our children a rich and well-rounded education. We are so thankful for our journey of homeschooling in Florida. We hope you come to love yours too!



Meet the Author


Jessie Johns - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Jessie-Johns