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Homeschooling in Florida

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Here are a few articles about homeschooling in Florida.  For quick answers to some commonly asked questions see our FAQs.  You will find sample letters to submit to your district school superintendent's office in our Printables section, and you may also be interested in these significant Florida news feeds.

Legally Homeschooling in Florida

Student Enrollment in Home Education ProgramsA home education program (homeschooling) is the sequentially progressive instruction of a student by his or her parent that satisfies the attendance requirements defined in the Florida Statutes. Current law does not prescribe a curriculum or course of study for home education programs. The law creating Florida's home education program came into effect on June 17, 1985.  According to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), for the 2011-2012 school year, the total number of families enrolled in home education programs was 48,803, with a total of 72,408 students.  As you can see by the chart above,  the number of homeschooled students is growing every year.1  Keep in mind, these numbers do not include families with children registered in umbrella schools, since these students are not considered home educated by the FDOE.

To legally homeschool in Florida, parents must notify their district school of their intent establish and maintain a home education program. There are other ways parents can comply with Florida's compulsory attendance laws, such as enrolling their children in private/umbrella schools or correspondence schools or hiring private tutors, but these students are not considered home educated (even though they may be educated at home).  See Florida Home Education Options for more information.

Parents choosing to establish a home education program with their district school are responsible for deciding on their children's curriculum, keeping portfolios, and having their children evaluated annually by a certified teacher.  Evaluation results are sent to the district school and kept on file.  You can read the laws governing homeschooling in the Florida Statutes and at the Florida Department of Education.

1Florida. Florida Department of Education. Office of Independent Education &
Parental Choice. Home Education in Florida, Annual Report 2011-2012. June 2012. Web.

Florida Compulsory Attendance Requirements

The compulsory school attendance laws apply to all children between the ages of 6 and 16 years.  More specifically, Florida Statute 1003.21 states that  all children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.

Children who will have attained the age of 5 years on or before September 1 of the school year are eligible for admission to public kindergartens during that school year under rules adopted by the district school board.

A student who attains the age of 16 years during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the district school board.