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Homeschool became a legal schooling option in Florida in 1985. Prior to 1985, families in Florida were educating their children at home using a private school home-based program (i.e. an umbrella school). The state of Florida also recognizes a private tutor as a legal way to educate your child at home. These are the three current legal options for educating your child at home in Florida.
Age of Required Attendance
The state of Florida requires your child(ren) to attend school from the age of 6 to 16 years old. Legal schooling options include:
- public school
- parochial school
- private school
- private tutor
(See legal references 1 & 2)
NOTE: Educating your child at home can be done using a private tutor, a private school home-based program, or by homeschooling.
Notify The School District
NOTE: The law states that you have 30 days to file this Notice of Intent form from the time that you begin to homeschool but it recommends that you file it immediately so as to avoid any possible conflict or truancy charges.
This Notice of Intent is only filed one time, not every year that you homeschool. This Notice of Intent must be filed for any child you will be homeschooling who is 6 years old or older before February 1 (and only up to 16 years old). You can hand deliver your Notice of Intent, email it, or send it by certified mail.
Your Notice of Intent must include the following information:
- names and birth dates of all homeschooled children
- signature of parent
NOTE: If you choose to discontinue homeschooling after you have filed a Notice of Intent you must file a Notice of Termination form with the superintendent within 30 days of discontinuing.
NOTE: Most Florida county school districts have the three important homeschool forms (Notice of Intent, Notice of Termination and Evaluation Letter) available on their website for homeschooling families to use.
(See legal reference 3)
If You Need To Withdraw Your Child
If your child has already been attending a Florida public school then you will need to officially withdraw them before beginning to homeschool. To do this file a Notice of Intent form before withdrawing them. Also notify your child’s school that you have filed a Notice of Intent and that you will be withdrawing your child.
The Florida Homeschool Law does not require you to meet any specific qualifications in order to homeschool.
Hours Of Instruction
The Florida Homeschool Law does not require you to teach a specific amount of days/year or hours/day.
The Florida Homeschool Law does not require you to teach a specific list of educational subjects.
The Florida Homeschool Law requires you to keep and maintain a portfolio of records and materials for each child that you homeschool. Keep this portfolio for 2 years from the end of the school year it documents. The superintendent can ask to see your portfolio at any time and must give you 15 days advance notice in writing that they would like to review it. Neither you nor your child need to be present in order for this review to take place.
NOTE: The superintendent does not have the authority to grade or evaluate your portfolio or your child’s education. They can only verify that your portfolio exists and that you are complying with the law in keeping one.
This portfolio must contain the following:
- An active log of your child’s educational activities and reading materials
- Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by your child
(See legal reference 3)
The Florida Homeschool Law requires you to have your child(ren) evaluated annually. You have 5 options for meeting this evaluation requirement,
- An evaluation of your child and your child’s portfolio by a certified Florida teacher
- A national student achievement test administered by a certified teacher
- A state student assessment test administered by a certified teacher at a location approved by the school district
- An evaluation of your child by a psychologist or school psychologist
- Any other valid educational measurement tool that is approved by both the parent and the superintendent
NOTE: Parents choose how to evaluate each child as long as they use one of the 5 options above.
The results of this yearly evaluation must be documented and an evaluation letter must be sent to your county superintendent’s office. This evaluation letter is due on the anniversary of the day you filed your Notice of Intent.
NOTE: If the evaluation does not show that your child is making appropriate academic progress the superintendent will notify you in writing that you have 1 year to bring your child up to the academic level of their ability. If your child can not show appropriate educational progress at the end of the probationary year the superintendent can terminate your homeschool program.
(See legal reference 3)
Immunization Laws For Florida Homeschoolers
The state of Florida does not require parents to vaccinate their homeschooled children. The immunization law only applies to children who enroll in school.
(See legal reference 4)
Helpful Websites For Florida Homeschoolers
For local support and information visit these Florida homeschool websites:
- Age of Required Attendance: Florida Statute 1003.21 (2-b).
- Legal schooling options: Florida Statute 1003.01 (13).
- Home Education Program Requirements: Florida Statute 1002.41.
- Immunizations: Florida Statute 1003.22.
This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.