Once you’ve made the momentous decision to homeschool, doubt can begin setting in immediately. You may wonder if you are biting off more than you can chew. One of the best ways to settle those jitters is to get a firm grip on exactly what is expected of you. Learning about the homeschooling requirements in Florida will help you not only make sure you are covering all your legal bases, but will also show you that the process of homeschooling is not nearly as complex as you might have imagined.
Once you know what’s expected of you in terms of how the state determines whether you are qualified to homeschool your child, whom you need to notify of your decision, what records you need to keep, and whether or not your state requires any formal assessments, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more relaxed about your new adventure. Read on to discover what you need to know about FL homeschool regulations.
- How to Legally Homeschool in Florida
- Your Notice of Intent
- Homeschool Record-Keeping in Florida
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Florida
Legal disclaimer: This page provides suggestions and information on how to meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Florida. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
How to Legally Homeschool in Florida
While it is legal to homeschool in all fifty states, each state has different levels of regulation. Some states require almost no accountability and others have quite a few hoops families must jump through to educate their child at home. Florida is usually considered a moderately regulated state. Time4Learning will provide a small summary of requirements to homeschool your child, but we highly recommend that families consult other sources such as A2Z’s Florida Homeschooling Laws page to get the full picture of how to stay in compliance.
Florida does not have very many requirements in terms of parent credentials for homeschooling. There is no minimum education level or criminal record bans. Florida also does not have vaccination requirements for homeschoolers or a list of required subjects that students must cover. They do, however, require a one-time notice of intent to homeschool, an up-to-date portfolio, and an annual assessment of student progress.
Most of the homeschooling laws in Florida have to do with submitting information to your school district’s superintendent. Many families decide to bypass these regulations by enrolling their child in a non-traditional private school, often called an umbrella school. Please view our Florida Umbrella School overview page for more information on this approach. The guidelines on the remainder of this page, however, are geared to families not using an umbrella school.
Your Notice of Intent
Usually, the first step to establishing a homeschool in the state of Florida is by filing a Notice of Intent with your public school system – specifically, with your county’s Superintendent of Schools. This can be done by way of a form or simply a letter announcing the names, addresses, and birth dates of any children you will be homeschooling. This notice of intent must be filed for any child six years of age or older within thirty days of establishing your homeschool. It’s a good idea to either hand-deliver your notice or to send it via certified mail so that you have proof of the timing of your filing. You may be wondering, “Can you start homeschooling in the middle of a semester?” The definitive answer is “yes,” as long as you follow the state homeschool guidelines and follow through with your notice of intent.
Homeschool Record-Keeping in Florida
Parents must maintain a homeschool portfolio for all students they are teaching at home. For Florida homeschoolers, this portfolio should include a log of educational activities the student participates in and samples of workbook pages, writings, quizzes, or other creative materials. The Time4Learning curriculum makes this process especially easy by providing printable versions of student progress and assessments. Although this portfolio must be kept for two years, there is no requirement that the portfolio be shared with the office of the county Superintendent of Schools unless specifically requested in writing.
However, parents must provide an annual educational evaluation of the student’s progress to the superintendent. This evaluation can include:
- a certified FL teacher’s review of the student’s portfolio
- a state-normed test administered by a certified FL teacher
- a state-normed test administered at an approved testing center
- a state-approved psychologist’s assessment
- another agreed-upon evaluation method between the parent and superintendent
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
For most families, the decision to homeschool is a year-to-year one. At some point, you may wish to terminate your homeschool and enroll your child back in the public (or private) school system. In Florida, this simply involves submitting a letter of termination to the school district superintendent. You may provide any records you wish to the school you are enrolling in, to help them better understand what level your child is working at, but ultimately it is the school principal who will determine what grade level to place your child into when he or she returns. It is also up to the individual schools to determine if your assessments and standardized tests are acceptable or if they will require your child to take additional placement testing upon registration.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Florida
Have other questions about homeschooling in Florida? You may find the following pages helpful.
- Homeschooling in Florida: An Overview
- Florida Homeschool Groups and Co-ops
- Florida Homeschool Associations
- Florida Homeschool Umbrella Schools
- Florida Homeschool Field Trips
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