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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.

Florida Homeschool Evaluations

As Florida homeschooling parents, you are required to provide for an annual evaluation documenting your child's demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability.  This means that an evaluation will be due one year (and every year thereafter) from the date you established your home education program (i.e., filed your Notice of Intent with your district school superintendent).  You can choose to have the annual educational evaluation performed in any one of the following ways:

  1. A teacher of your choice can evaluate your child’s educational progress upon review of your portfolio and discussion with your child.  The teacher must hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level;
  2. Your child can take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
  3. Your child can take a state student assessment test, such as The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), used by the district school and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the district school.
  4. Your child can be evaluated by a psychologist (an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8)); or
  5. Your child can be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by you and your district school superintendent .

After the evaluation, you must file a copy of the results with your district school superintendent’s office.  The district school superintendent will review and must accept the results of the evaluation. If your child does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the district school superintendent will notify you, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved. You will then have 1 year from the date of receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction. At the end of the 1-year probationary period, your child will need to be reevaluated.  Continuation in a home education program will be contingent upon your child demonstrating educational progress commensurate with her or his ability at the end of the probationary period.  For more detailed information read Florida Statute 1002.41.

Portfolio Requirements for Florida Homeschoolers

Florida homeschooling parents are required per Statute 1002.41 to maintain a portfolio of records and materials used by their children.  This may be done in any manner parents choose, but must consist of the following:

  1. A log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used; and
  2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.

This is all that the law requires. We recommend parents keep...

  • a calendar of events (logging field trips and educational activities),
  • a course of study (noting any textbooks and workbooks used),
  • a book log (listing any books your child has read), and
  • samples of your child's best work (including photos of any projects).

Many homeschoolers keep their child's work in a 3-ring binder, but how you keep your child's portfolio and what you include is entirely your own decision. Just make sure everything is organized in chronological order.  If you choose to have your child evaluated by a certified teacher (instead of having your child take a standardized test), you will want your evaluator to be able to easily see the progress your child has made. For tips on documenting extracurricular activities during high school, see Documenting High School Extracurricular Activities.

Parents are required to preserve the portfolio for 2 years and must make it available for inspection by the district school superintendent (or agent) upon 15 days’ written notice. However, inspection is not required, and should you be asked to make your portfolio available for inspection, it is only to confirm that  you are complying with Florida statutes, not to evaluate its contents or your child.  To read about different record keeping methods see Record Keeping for Homeschoolers.

We recommend you keep a portfolio throughout your child's high school years. Many colleges and universities require applicants who completed a home school program or graduated from a non-accredited high school to submit homeschool portfolios and/or transcripts to be considered for admission.

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