top of page

Homeschooling in Florida

There are two main options for registering as a homeschooler in Florida. Each has a different legal requirement and there are pros and cons to each one. Regardless of which option you select, if your student is currently enrolled in a public or private school, you will need to officially withdraw your student. Check with the school for their requirements to withdraw.

umbrella.jpg

Umbrella School Registration

This option is listed first because it is the historical option to homeschool in the state prior to the 1980's. Homeschooling under a private school was the only option prior to legislation that legalized homeschool as an option.

Register as a “private school” student with an “umbrella” school. These are schools that are classified as private schools with the Florida Department of Education AND cater to homeschool families. These schools have a four-digit school code from the Florida Department of Education. If you register with an umbrella school, get their school code and confirm their status with the Florida Department of Education first.  

You can confirm correct Florida Department of Education registration of any private school here Private School Directory (floridaschoolchoice.org)

  1. When registering with any private school, you must submit to the school a copy of your student's birth certificate, immunization record, and health examination form. There are state approved waivers for the immunization record (Religious Exemption Form-DH 681-MUST be obtained from your county’s health department, typed letters do not legally meet the waiver requirements) and health examination form (a typed letter for this does meet the legal waiver requirements). Click here for a sample letter for this waiver

  2. Follow any requirements of the umbrella school. Each school is different and offers different services and has different requirements. 

  3. When registering with an umbrella school, you do not submit a letter of intent to the county. 

You can find information about laws private schools have to follow here Detailed Requirements For Private Schools (fldoe.org) It is the responsibility of the private school you select to be in full compliance with state law requirements. 

Sunshine State Academy K-12 is one umbrella school option in the state. 

logo.png

County Registration

This option for homeschooling was not legal in Florida until the 1980's.

Register as a homeschooler with your county. This requires sending in a letter of intent to your county. 

“The notice must be in writing, signed by the parent, and include the full legal names, addresses, and birthdates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in the home education program. The notice must be filed in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program.”

*Many county school districts will have a form available and may even have a quick online form to fill out. You may use these if you like BUT are NOT required to do so. If their provided form asks for any information that is not listed as required by law (see above), please do not provide that information. Stick to what is legally required. You may also write your own letter and send it in.

Florida does NOT have any course or attendance requirements for those registered as a homeschooler with their county. Instead, your student must show progress from the beginning of the year until the end. You, as the homeschool parent/teacher, select what subjects, curriculum, etc. you do with your homeschooler. 

Maintain a portfolio of your students' work to show progress from the beginning of the year until the end. You, as the parent/teacher, will maintain any and all records you may need for your student (report cards, transcripts, etc).

You have a full year, 365 days, to do your homeschool. Your annual end of year evaluation will be due on your annual anniversary of submitting the letter of intent. Most families choose the teacher evaluation, even though there are other options for the end of year evaluation:

“The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the student’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability. The parent shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a copy of the evaluation annually with the district school superintendent’s office in the county in which the student resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist of one of the following: (1) A teacher selected by the parent shall evaluate the student’s educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. Such teacher shall hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level; (2) The student shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher; (3) The student shall take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district; (4) The student shall be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or (5) The student shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the district school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent.”

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A VERIFIED OR CERTIFIED EVALUATOR. ANY TEACHER HOLDING A VALID FLORIDA TEACHING CERTIFICATE CAN DO AN EVALUATION.

Continue homeschooling each year as you see fit. When your student is completely finished with homeschooling (must be at least age 16 years but may be extended particularly for students with unique abilities), complete your last annual evaluation and submit it to your county along with a letter of termination. You decide when your homeschooler is finished and you issue a diploma, if you like, to your student. The state does not issue an official high school diploma to those who were registered as a homeschooler with the county.

You can find the Florida statutes regarding homeschooling with the county here Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

You can find your county (or district) contacts here Home Education District Contacts (fldoe.org)

bottom of page