Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started homeschooling in Florida?
You can easily register your child in a home education program. All you need to do is file a letter of intent with the school district office in the county you live in. A sample letter of intent can be found here. Upon mailing this letter your child is officially enrolled in a home education program. This letter is required for all children six years of age and older.
What experience am I required to have in order to teach my children?
You do not have to be a certified teacher to homeschool your children. You may not think you are "smart" enough to do this. Research shows that the success rate is no better amongst homeschoolers that are taught by a parent who is a certified teacher vs. a parent that has no advanced degree. There are so many resources available to aid the parent/teacher. You also get the wonderful experience of learning new and wonderful things right along with your children.
Where do I get curriculum?
As the parent/teacher, you get to determine what courses you want to teach your children, and what curriculum you want to use to accomplish this. There is so much out there and it can be overwhelming once you start exploring the options. There are many free resources available from the local library and online. Not all learning needs to be done through textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets. Carefully choose the curriculum/resources that fits best with your child's learning style and don't be afraid to change if something is not working.
Why should I join a support group?
A local support group is vital to the success of your home education program. It is an opportunity to meet and fellowship with other parents and an opportunity for your children to build friendships. Other parents provide a means of support, are great mentors, and are a great resource for questions about curriculum, course choices, and other issues. Parents Educating Children has been a means of support in the homeschooling community for more than 30 years. There are other groups in the county as well. Please take the time to visit and find the group that fits your needs.
What about socialization? Will my children be too sheltered?
There are so many positive socialization opportunities for homeschooled families. The parents are very involved in deciding the amount of time spent, who it is spent with, and in what activities. Children are involved in clubs such as 4H, American Girls, Boy Scouts, and church youth groups. There are field trip opportunities and education activities with other homeschool families. Some play sports at public and private schools or in recreational leagues. Families often discover they have become involved in too much in the quest for socialization and make the decision to exclude some activities from their schedule.
Will my child be able to get into college once he graduates from homeschooling?
Homeschooling continues to grow in popularity and the success stories multiply. This has resulted in colleges actively recruiting homeschool students. Admission officers understand that the typical homeschooled student is mature, has good study skills, and is very involved in organizations and community service projects. They consider homeschoolers to be an asset that will make a positive impact on their campus. A homeschooled student can prepare for college by taking solid preparatory courses and showing leadership skills. Good SAT/ACT scores help as well.
There are many success stories of homeschooled students being accepted at colleges and universities and offered good academic scholarships to attend.