How to Start Homeschooling in Tampa
When you begin the journey of homeschooling your child(ren) in the Tampa Bay area, you are definitely not going it alone. Thousands of families are successfully homeschooling in Hillsborough County. Because of this, there are many established resources available both locally and online that make the transition to home education convenient and manageable.
On this page, you will learn some of the key steps you need to take to get started, how to choose the best homeschool curriculum, and even places you can go to make the absolute most of the new freedom you have to customize your child’s learning. Let’s find out more about homeschooling in Tampa!
- How to Homeschool in Tampa
- Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Tampa
- Field Trips in Tampa and Beyond
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Florida
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
How to Homeschool in Tampa
Every state in the U.S. has its own laws pertaining to home education, so it is important to get to know Florida homeschool laws. To start homeschooling in Tampa, FL you will want to:
- File a notice of intent to homeschool with Hillsborough County.
- Once you’ve received notification that your child is registered as a homeschooler, you can officially withdraw them from their current school (if enrolled).
- Maintain a homeschool portfolio for all students you are teaching at home.
- Provide an annual educational evaluation of the student’s progress to the superintendent of education.
- Have fun learning together!
Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Tampa
As you take responsibility for your child’s education for the first time, naturally you will feel nervous about covering all the bases. The great news is that there are more curriculum resources for homeschoolers than ever before, which means you can truly customize your child/teen’s learning.
Before you even spend the first dime on educational materials, though, it’s important to really think about your overall homeschool goals. What are your top priorities for your homeschool? What are your child’s preferred learning styles? What homeschool style will best fit your family’s unique worldview and interests?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you choose the best homeschool curriculum for your specific needs. In Tampa, Time4Learning has become one of the most popular programs for homeschoolers because of its ease and flexibility. Families love that Time4Learning:
- Takes care of lesson plans, grading, and recordkeeping for your core subjects.
- Includes parent tools that make it easy to print out a student’s worksheets, compositions, and assessments as examples of progress made.
- Utilizes computer game-like lessons that make learning new concepts easier while also emphasizing problem solving skills, lateral thinking, and critical thinking skills.
- Puts you in complete control of your child’s learning by allowing you to use as much or as little of the material as you want.
- Makes the world your classroom with access to all our lessons 24/7 from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
- Offers Time4MathFacts for students in elementary school as an added bonus. The animated lessons improve math fact fluency that will prepare your students for the future.
- Has an affordable monthly payment plan that offers a 14-day money back guarantee.
Field Trips in Tampa and Beyond
Hillsborough County homeschoolers have a special “perk” built in: they live in an area with a never-ending supply of destinations that can enhance their learning experience! You won’t have to homeschool for long before discovering that learning happens everywhere. And when you can tie in subjects you are studying about with real-life experiences, you’ll be enhancing your homeschooler’s understanding of those subjects exponentially.
Here is just a sample list of homeschool field trips in Tampa that your children and teens will benefit from.
Florida Aquarium — Located in Downtown Tampa, this not-for-profit organization is a must if you are a homeschooler in Tampa. This 250,000 square foot facility is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals and many interactive stations for kids. Exhibits include the Wetlands Trail, Bays and Beaches, and the Coral Reef Gallery. The Florida Aquarium is ranked #5 in the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids by Parents Magazine. Be sure to inquire about their monthly homeschool science classes.
Lowry Park Zoo — This 63-acre zoo is home to a number of animals that make for great ideas for projects and reports like elephants, rhinoceroses, clouded leopards, a Florida panther, and Florida black bears. Exhibits include a free-flight aviary perfect for bird lovers, Wallaroo Station which is home to several species native to Australia, and a primate station for those who like to monkey around. The zoo offers Homeschool Days several times a year for kindergarten to 8th grade students.
Museum of Science and Industry — MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern U.S. with over 450 interactive, hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, a ropes course, and zip line. MOSI offers S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) powered programs for all ages from preschool to seniors, including dedicated programming for homeschoolers. An annual membership with MOSI also includes free or discounted admission to other science centers, museums and local attractions.
Lettuce Lake Conservation Park — If you want to head outside for some fresh air check out Lettuce Lake Park. Opened in 1982, this park allows you to experience various ecosystems by walking through a number of boardwalks. There is also an observation tower, nature trails, and an Audubon Resource Center. Canoe and kayak rentals provide up-close encounters with a variety of aquatic birds and wildlife.
Henry B. Plant Museum — Whether you are studying transportation, entrepreneurship, or Florida history, there is educational content aplenty at this unique museum. Originally built as the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1891, this building now gives visitors an inside look at the development of Tampa in the late 19th century. Young historians will learn about Plant’s system of railroads, the role of the hotel in the Spanish-American War, and much more.
Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center — The Tampa Electric company has provided the Tampa Bay area with electricity since 1899. Almost a century later, people began noticing that manatees were residing in the plant’s warm-water discharge canal whenever temperatures in the Tampa Bay area dipped below 68 degrees. Tampa Electric opened a federal and state sanctuary dedicated to the sea creatures that offers an observation area, nature trails, a butterfly garden, a stingray touch tank, and an environmental education building.
There’s so much more to discover and learn beyond Hillsborough County. Find more educational field trips in Florida here!