How Do I Begin Homeschooling My Kid (in Florida)?
Updated: Aug 20, 2022
Maybe you're thinking about homeschooling or have already decided that homeschooling your children is right for you and your family. If so, you're probably wondering what the process looks like for enrollment as well as the legal requirements. Here is a glimpse into the homeschooling enrollment process for those who live in the state of Florida.
For any child between 6 and 16 years old in the state of Florida, state law requires that they be enrolled in an education program and meet the compulsory attendance requirements during each school year.
Has your child already been enrolled in a public or private school?
If your child has already been enrolled in a public or private school, the first thing you'll need to do is fill out and send a Notice of Intent to your county superintendent. You'll then also need to notify the school in which your child was already enrolled about the student's withdrawal, which can easily be done by just mailing, emailing, or bringing them the NOI form and some proof of contact with and approval from the county superintendent.
If you're unsure who to contact on the matter, here is a list of all of the counties in Florida and their associated contacts for everything you'll need to file.
Be sure to keep copies of all documents, correspondence, and additional related paperwork for your records.*
(*Important note: When it comes to homeschooling, make and keep copies of everything you file, submit, or otherwise need to have documented.)
Should you use an umbrella school?
When choosing to homeschool your child in Florida, you have a couple of options for how to proceed: either doing everything yourself (standard homeschooling) or homeschooling under an umbrella school.
Once you've withdrawn your child from school and have legally begun homeschooling them, you are pretty much left to your own devices regarding curriculum choice, maintaining proper documentation, and ensuring you meet all legal requirements.
It can be a bit overwhelming, but reaching out to other local homeschooling parents via social media, amongst friends, or through homeschooling events for parents can be a huge help when it comes to deciding how you want to go about educating your child and learning about all of the available materials and resources to do so.
However, above all else, the most important aspects of homeschooling your child yourself are ensuring that you meet the state's educational requirements (i.e., your child showing consistent progress each year), maintain excellent documentation of courses/materials/lessons/grades/etc., and meet all deadlines regarding testing. You will be legally required to maintain a portfolio of your child's work over the course of each school year (in whatever format works best for you) and have them evaluated for progress by a certified teacher each year, which can be done in person or even remotely.
Standardized testing is also an available option. Additionally, many co-ops also offer resources for getting your evaluations completed in a group setting with other homeschooled students, so be sure to check in with your local co-op for more information on that option.
Regardless, evaluations will need to be completed and reported to your county's superintendent each year.
Deciding to go with an umbrella school is a great option for parents who need a bit more support with homeschooling. There are a number of schools to choose from, but most all of these umbrella schools provide support via recommended curriculums, structure and organization in all aspects of homeschooling, and having numerous contacts for a variety of needs.
An umbrella school may simply be a private school that allows parents to homeschool remotely, or it can also be a church school like those commonly used by homeschooling parents in Alabama.
Many of these umbrella schools offer a variety of useful services, among these being:
Helping with transcripts
Various curriculum options
Aside from the two options discussed above, Florida parents may also choose to homeschool their child with the help of a private tutor, but this individual must be certified in the applicable subjects they will be teaching and meet the requirements laid out in the state's Statutes regarding education options.
Additionally, there is also the option of part-time enrollment, too.
More information on homeschooling and legal requirements:
The Florida Department of Education's website has quite a good bit of information regarding district requirements as well as some parent resources, such as FAQs and information on their Family Empowerment Scholarship.
CPALMS is the state's "official source for standards information and course descriptions," and provides plenty of invaluable information for Florida parents looking to educate their children at home while ensuring they meet all state education requirements.
Click here for the list of district contacts for submitting your Letter of Intent to begin homeschooling.
Click here for a copy of the state's Home Education Affidavit.
Click here for a copy of the state's Home Education Program Transfer Request form.
Click here for the list of statutory requirements regarding home education in Florida.
If you're still having questions and would like to contact the Florida DOE directly for further assistance, their state program specialists can be contacted via phone, fax, or email.
For more information on homeschooling, check out our Homeschooling page for more curriculum information, lesson plan organization, and more on what to expect.