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Florida is one of the easiest states to homeschool in the entire country. Not as easy as Arizona but still pretty darn easy. Let’s start with the basics of homeschooling in Florida so you can feel confident and equipped if you are just beginning your journey.
Homeschooling in Florida
You need to do four things in order to homeschool successfully in Florida. Several of them only have to been done once while others have to done yearly in order to stay in compliance.
- Letter of Intent (turn in once)
- Maintain a portfolio (every year) and preserve them for two years
- Submit an annual evaluation per student, per year, done by a certified teacher
- Letter of Termination (within 30 days of homeschool completion including graduation)
Letter of Intent
Let’s start with the letter of intent. You can type your own with your child/children’s name and birthdays along with a declaration of your intent to homeschool. You can also download a template like this one.
What to remember is that you don’t have to give them any more than name and birthdates. You don’t have to show what curriculum you’re using or if you are qualified. If they ask for more, gently but firmly tell them you have complied with the Florida standards.
Mail this letter via certified mail or take it to your county superintendent’s office. Now you’re officially homeschooling. Celebrate with ice cream.
Maintain A Portfolio
Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Seriously, this is easy to overthink and save everything. That’s not necessary especially if you have multiple children. Here’s what a good portfolio should have:
- List of books read
- List of movies watched
- List of games played
- List of field trips taken
- A few writing samples
- Pics of science experiments or a few samples of work done
- A couple of math tests ( I usually give the last one or a screenshot of Teaching Textbooks grade)
That’s it. That is more than enough for the evaluator to see that your child did the work.
Your child DOES NOT have to advance a grade level for the evaluation. They just need to have made progress.
You do not have to show the curriculum, say what it is, or even what grade level your child is working at anywhere on the form.
Submit An Annual Evaluation By A Certified Teacher
Your local homeschool group probably has certified teachers in it that do these evaluations. You give them the portfolio mentioned above and they sign off on it. Some give you the paper to mail to the county homeschool office while some mail it for you.
Let me speak from a special needs standpoint for a second. You can bypass this requirement by sending in therapy reports from your providers. This also counts as making progress because we all know therapy goals represent hard work. No need to pay for the same thing twice.
If you still hold a valid teaching license, you can sign off on your own child’s evaluation.
In lieu of a portfolio evaluation, you can have your child tested using a CAT test or something similar.
Once you send it in, you’re good for another year.
FYI: your annual evaluation is due on the anniversary date of when you sent in your intent to homeschool.
Letter of Termination
You only need to send this in for one of these reasons:
- Moving out of state
- Putting your child in public school
Send a letter to the county homeschool office with the child’s name and DOB along with the reason for termination. That’s all that is needed.
You make your child’s graduation requirements. There are no hard and fast rules for that so when your child is ready, graduate them. Easy peasy.
And I would love to hear from you: are you homeschooling in Florida? What are some of your favorite groups, field trip spots, or tips? Drop a comment below!
And if you’d love to have a printable resource to use to keep track of state homeschool requirements, key organizations, activities and field trip plans, and curriculum notes, grab a copy of my Curriculum & Activity Planner below (it’s free!):
Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.
About the Author
- An Easy Homeschool Chore Chart System That Actually Works
- Effortlessly Create and Organize a Homeschool Portfolio
- Why Homeschool Hall is the Last Homeschooling Tracker You’ll Need
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