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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.

High School Transcripts for Florida Homeschoolers

Is your child planning to continue his or her education after high school? In most cases, your high school student will need a homeschool transcript.  Many colleges and universities require applicants who complete a home school program (or graduate from a non-accredited high school) to submit homeschool transcripts and/or portfolios to be considered for admission. (Even if your children aren't planning to continue their education at this time, it's a good idea to document their high school coursework in case they later change their minds.)

Preparing a high school transcript can be time consuming, so keeping good records from the start is a must. Begin preparing your child's transcript in his or her Freshman year. To get an idea of what a transcript looks like, take a look at our Homeschool High School Transcript template. While transcript formats and layouts differ, there is certain information that should be included, such as the student's identity, courses taken, grades and credits earned, and achievement test results.

What to Include

School Information (If Any)

Include the name, address, and phone number of your child's home school (if it has one). In a separate section on your child's transcript, include the names and addresses of any other schools your child attended during high school. (Note: Colleges will want to see their transcripts, too.)

Student Information

Include your child's full name, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, and gender. (Some parents choose to leave the Social Security Number off of their child's transcript, but it's required by most post-secondary institutions.)

Course Names, Numbers, and Descriptions

A good place to find course names, numbers, and descriptions (as well as what courses are required for a standard high school diploma) is on the Florida Department of Education's course list. You can also find them on Florida Virtual School's course catalog. If your child is taking dual enrollment courses, you can also get this information from college course catalogs. (Keep copies of the Table of Contents and/or state correlations found in your child's textbooks in your child's portfolio.) For help on documenting extra-curricular activities, please see Documenting High School Extracurricular Activities.

Grades

When determining your child's grade, consider your child's attendance, knowledge, participation, practice, performance, and any other aspect of your child's learning experience in addition to completed assignments and assessments (if any). Your grade scale can be anything you like, but it will probably look something like one of these:

  • 90–100=A
  • 80–89=B
  • 70–79=C
  • 60–69=D
  • Below 60=F
  • 92–100=A
  • 83–91=B
  • 74–82=C
  • 65–73=D
  • Below 65=F
  • 94–100=A
  • 86–93=B
  • 77–85=C
  • 70–76=D
  • Below 70=F

Be sure to include your grade scale on your child's transcript.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Using your grade scale (see above), calculate your child's GPA. Award 4 points for A's, 3 points for B's, 2 point's for C's, 1 point for D's, and zero points for F's. Yearly GPAs are calculated by adding the points earned for the school year and then dividing the sum by the total number of credits attempted (see below) for the school year. The cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing all the points earned during high school by the total number of all credits attempted during high school. You should include both yearly and cumulative GPAs on your child's transcript.

Credits

Typically, a one credit course requires one school year to complete, and a one-half credit course requires one-half of a school year to complete. A high school credit, as defined in Florida Statute 1003.436, is a minimum of 135 hours of instruction, and the hourly requirements for one-half credit is a minimum of 67.5 hours of instruction. The Bright Futures Scholarship Program Comprehensive Course Table is a great place to find out the maximum credits typically awarded for a particular course, (Be sure to select the correct graduation year.)

Achievement Test Results

Include SAT, ACT, CLEP, and other achievement test scores. Include only your child's best scores for any tests taken more than once.

Achievements, Awards, Extracurricular Activities

List any personal or academic achievements, awards earned, or significant extracurricular activities. Also include volunteer hours/community service.

Class Attendance

Some homeschool transcripts also include a section documenting class attendance.

Sign and Date

Remember to sign and date your child's transcript.

Helpful Links

We think you might also find these articles written about homeschool transcripts helpful and informative:

Resources—How To's, Templates, Software

Don't want to do it alone? Want to learn more? Here are a few resources and books we have found that you may find helpful:

Ad Total Transcript Solution: Create professional homeschool high school transcripts and college transcripts using The HomeScholar's homeschool transcript template and tools.

Free Homeschool Transcript Template: Use this * free homeschool transcript template to easily create your own professional transcripts for your high school students.  This template is an editable Excel spreadsheet.

Transcript Creator: A * free, online tool you can use to create a simple high school transcript. It will even compute your GPA's for you!

My Homeschool Transcripts: This online application gives you the ability to customize the transcript-creating process to your homeschool’s requirements, print your transcripts on demand, and more. There is a limited free version and licensed version available.

TranscriptPro: Software designed to make transcript production and presentation easy for busy home-educating parents. TranscriptPro offers more than a mere template to fill in. As you complete each data entry field, you will be prompted to provide all of the information that education professionals require for up to 8 children. Available in digital and CD formats.

Books We Recommend

The links below will take you to Amazon where you can where you can learn more about the author and read customer reviews.

Setting the Records Straight

Ad Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships by Lee Binz provides you with the tools and information you need to create homeschool records to perfectly document your amazing homeschool education in a way that will demand attention.

The Homeschooler's Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts

Ad The Homeschooler's Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts by Loretta Heuer provides advice, examples, and resources for designing powerful and persuasive admissions presentations. This guide cuts through the veil of mystery that surrounds the admissions evaluation process to provide frank, practical, advice on such topics as when and how to start building a record, choosing the best medium to convey high school achievements, and what records and documents must be included or are better left out.

Transcripts Made Easy

Ad Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork: Offers easy-to-follow instructions and free e-mail support so that you will have more time to spend enjoying life and building relationships with your family as you home school high school. You'll learn all you need to know about home school transcripts, high school diplomas, and simple record-keeping.

Homeschooling High School

Ad Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowen Dennis is your comprehensive resource for the crucial high school years. Find answers to your questions about grading scales, diplomas, prerequisites, entrance exams, financial aid and scholarship eligibility, application procedures...all while reaching your family's ideal balance between autonomy and accountability in your home high school.

Documenting High School Extracurricular Activities

We all know that including extracurricular activities in our children's education is important. They help our children develop physically and socially, build self-confidence and self-esteem, help teach the values of self-discipline and time management, and open doors to new interests. Plus, colleges consider extracurricular activities when making admissions decisions, especially activities that promote leadership. 

So, what qualifies as an extracurricular activity? Well, according to Florida Statute 1003.01, any school-authorized or education-related activity occurring during or outside the regular instructional school day. Extracurricular activities include music and dance, indoor and outdoor sports, hobbies, art classes, photography, public speaking, academic clubs, and more.

Documenting Portfolios

Since many colleges and universities require homeschool applicants to submit portfolios to be considered for admission, you should keep an organized portfolio documenting your child's extracurricular activities. To document time spent on an extracurricular activity, you should include a detailed log of dates, times, and activities. Include things such as lessons, outings, recitals, performances, volunteer hours, practices, field trips, classes attended, assignments and assessments, and any other related activities. Portfolios should also be documented with programs, brochures, photos, samples of work, awards, achievements, a record of resources and curricula used, and any other supporting materials.

Documenting Transcripts

When you include extracurricular activities on your child's high school transcript, you will need to include the number of credits earned and a final grade. When doing so, keep in mind the following:

  • A high school credit, as defined in Florida Statute 1003.436, is a minimum of 135 hours of bona fide instruction. (One-half credit is a minimum of 67.5 hours of instruction.)
  • Extracurricular activities can fall under the categories of physical education, the arts, or count as electives. To find out what the Florida Department of Education requires for an activity to qualify as a specific course, see the Florida Department of Education's course descriptions for Senior High and Adult Grades 9 to 12, 30, 31.
  • When determining your child's final grade, consider your child's attendance, knowledge, participation, practice, performance, and any other aspect of your child's learning experience. 

A Final Word

As stated above, extracurricular activities can be beneficial academically, but don't feel that your child needs to choose activities based solely on how they will look on a transcript. If your child is still in process of deciding on extracurricular activities, consider your child's interests and future goals and encourage him or her to choose activities he or she is truly interested in pursuing.

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