The decision to homeschool your child can come with a lot of doubt and insecurities. Can you handle the curriculum? Will your child miss out on formal education? Will they join high school or college after homeschooling? If you are having last-minute jitters, your best move is to learn everything there is to know about what is expected of you. This article will review homeschooling in Florida, including how the state determines qualification, recordkeeping requirements, assessments, and where you need to send your Florida homeschool letter of intent.
What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling refers to the practice of providing an education to a child from home rather than enrolling them in a private or public school. It is usually done by a parent, guardian, or authorized teacher – although this will depend on state laws. Generally, you may decide to homeschool your child because:
- You are displeased with the traditional education methods.
- You are dissatisfied with the schooling options in your school district.
- Of your philosophical beliefs or religious views.
Most states require that the person providing homeschooling have an educational degree or be a qualified teacher. Always consult with the department of education in your state before deciding to homeschool your children.
Florida Homeschool Letter of Intent (Word Template)
What Is a Florida Homeschool Letter of Intent?
A Florida homeschool letter of intent is an official notice used to inform the department of education that you plan to homeschool your child instead of sending them to a traditional school. It is usually prepared and sent by the parent or guardian of the child to be homeschooled. While you can prepare one from scratch, some states provide a standardized form for parents to fill.
Essential Elements of Letter (or Notice) of Intent to Homeschool
Sending a homeschool letter of intent is usually the first step to homeschooling a child legally (in most states). The document must contain the following details:
- A statement indicating your intention to homeschool your child
- The child’s full name and date of birth
- The homeschool address
- The grade the child would be joining if they were in school
- The school year
- The instructor’s name (parent/guardian/teacher)
- The instructor’s qualifications
- The subjects you plan to teach the student
- A simple breakdown of the curriculum activities, assessments, and timeline
- An authorizing signature from the parent, guardian, or teacher
Sample – Florida Homeschool Letter of Intent
August 1, 2031
Superintendent, School District: No. 49
100 First Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 29108
Re: Homeschooling Letter of Intent
Dear Mrs. Richards,
I am writing to inform the department that I intend to provide the following children with a homeschool education this coming school year instead of sending them to a traditional school:
Name: Athena Davis, Gender: F, DOB: September 6, 2020
Name: Rory Davis, Gender: M, DOB: 6, September 2020
Address: 340 Succor Road, Tallahassee, FL, 20010
I will be responsible for teaching the children and will cover Writing, Reading, Grammar, Maths, Science, History, Science, And Geography during the 180 days of instruction. I will also maintain a record of the children’s activities and assessments if the Florida Department of Education should request it.
Additionally, I have attached certifications to show that I am a fully trained educator, conversant with the middle school curriculum.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
How to Homeschool in Florida
Florida is generally very accommodating about homeschooling requirements. For instance, parents don’t need to have attained a minimum education level or be vaccinated. There are also no criminal record bans or a specified list of subjects that students must learn.
That said, the laws do require that instructors provide a progressive education in line with the state’s compulsory education requirements. This can be satisfied by:
- The parent hiring a tutor
- The student enrolling in a part-time school
- The parent or guardian teaching the child
- The student enrolling in correspondence courses
Florida Homeschool Record-Keeping
Homeschool instructors must log their educational activities, quizzes, tests, workbooks, and creative materials into a homeschool portfolio. This record must be maintained for two years, but the parent is under no obligation to present it to the superintendent unless they receive a written request.
Homeschool instructors must also provide students with annual evaluations to gauge their progress and submit these to the superintendent’s office. The evaluations can include:
- A state-approved psychologist assessment
- A state-normed test given at an approved testing center or by a certified teacher
- An evaluation method that the parent and superintendent find agreeable
Florida Homeschool Graduation Requirements
When you decide to homeschool your child, you may worry about whether they will graduate when they are supposed to and join high school or college. The good news is, they can because a homeschool diploma is legal and valid. You are also responsible for setting the graduation requirements for your child since you are the ‘school’ administrator.
With that said, it is important to note that most states – including Florida – set the minimum requirements that a student must meet to attend post-secondary institutions like vocational schools or colleges. It is your duty to learn about these requirements and plan your homeschool curriculum so your child can qualify to join these institutions.
Besides helping you determine the curriculum, reviewing state graduation guidelines will also help you plan the appropriate tests to give your child.
For most parents, homeschooling is a year-by-year decision. Should you decide to stop homeschooling your child and instead re-enroll them into the public or private school system, you will need to send the school district superintendent a letter of termination.
Upon receiving approval to re-enroll your child into a school, you may provide the principal with records of your child’s progress so they can understand their current level. You could also include the standardized assignments and tests your child has completed. Nonetheless, it is up to the school to determine whether your child should take a placement test and what grade they will join.
Every state has homeschooling laws that define what requirements parents and guardians must meet to give their children a proper and legal education. In Florida, the guidelines are not very strict, and parents don’t have to jump through too many hoops to homeschool their children. One of the first steps you have to go through is filing a Florida Homeschool Letter of Intent with the superintendent of your school district, and you can begin the curriculum.