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About HOPE Homeschoolers

Q:

HOPE is a support group. What types of support are available?

A:

HOPE is a community of families that both give and receive support for the homeschooling journey.  This exchange of practical support happens at the Moms’ Night Out events, Future HOPE meetings, on the playground during Park Days, at field trips, over the phone, and by other communications within the group.  We serve one another during times of triumph and struggle and endeavor to minister in any way God prompts us to do so.

Q:

What are the benefits of membership?

A:

The primary benefit of HOPE membership is community.  We are a community of Christian homeschoolers who meet to encourage, support, and love each other, not only in homeschooling, but in living the lives Christ has called us to live.

Membership with HOPE brings many benefits for both your student and yourself/your family! Your student will have the chance to meet peers and make lifelong friends, attend really great field trips, get plugged into serving our community, and have a wide variety of activities to participate in, depending on their age, such as Park Days, yearbook, Celebrate & Graduate!, and more!

For us, the parents and teachers of our children, we need encouragement. We need to know that we are not alone! We need to know that we can ask questions and find answers. We need friends along the way, and HOPE offers all of those things and more! Not only will you have the chance to enjoy a myriad of activities that are beneficial for your homeschooling journey, you will also be refreshed and encouraged as you make new friends that are walking this same road with you!

Our group is a fun way to meet like-minded parents in this homeschool journey. Through our meetings and the forum we can ask questions and share information but, most importantly, be the community that supports one another in every aspect of life.

Q:

What is the criteria to join HOPE? Who can join?

A:

In order to join HOPE, you must agree with our Statement of Faith AND be currently homeschooling a child in your home or interested in pursuing homeschooling.

Q:

Does HOPE endorse any one particular denominational view?

A:

No.  HOPE is open to Christian homeschoolers of any denomination who agree with our Statement of Faith.

Homeschooling in Florida

Q:

How do I legally homeschool in Florida?

A:

Details can be found on the Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA) website or on the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website.

Click here for a sample Letter of Intent to establish a homeschool in Florida.  This information will need to be filed with your county school board's home education department.  In Polk County, e-mails may be submitted to home.education@polk-fl.net.  Written correspondence may be sent to PO Box 391, Bartow, FL, 33831.

Click here for a sample Evaluation Letter to be submitted upon completion of an annual evaluation.

Click here for a sample Termination Letter if no you longer intend to homeschool.

 

 

Q:

What am I required to teach according to Florida State law?

A:

"There are no requirements beyond a successful annual evaluation or standardized test for home educated students in any grade.  Florida Statutes do not list specific graduation requirements for home schooled students, but it might be wise to follow a path that will enable you to achieve your post-high school goals.  Bear in mind that requirements for Bright Futures scholarship awards and for admission to Florida universities parallel graduation requirements for Florida public school students in these areas, so it is best to meet or even exceed these goals.  Graduation credit requirements for Florida Public High School students may be found at fldoe.org.  You may want to use these as a guideline to fashion your high school curriculum, but you have the freedom to create a high school transcript that reflects the strengths and individuality of your home educated student."

This information was sourced from HSLDA's website.  Much of the information on HSLDA's website requires membership to view.

http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/florida.pdf

Q:

What is FPEA?

A:

The Florida Parent-Educators Association exists solely to serve homeschooling families in Florida. It executes that mission through support for the legal right to homeschool, local school board education and interaction, support group networking, a state convention, local conferences and events, informative communications, and individual encouragement, all in accordance with Judeo-Christian principles.

https://fpea.com/about-fpea

 

HOPE on the web

Q:

Does HOPE have a Facebook page?

A:

HOPE Homeschoolers has a Facebook page which is for Moms' Night Out date announcements, general encouragement, and reminders only. The page is not designed for member discussion. This Facebook page primarily helps point newcomers to our HOPE website.

All member discussion and questions can be posted on the Forum section of our HOPE website.

Q:

What is the Forum for?

A:

HOPE families can keep in touch using the Forum. This is a great method to send out reminders, share a prayer need, and post about coming events. FForum threads are divided into categories. Families can select how they want to be notified via e-mail with a lot of detail, daily digests, or weekly notifications.

The Forum is a great way to share information whether it’s for asking questions, getting field trip information, or sharing events.

Activities and Opportunities

Q:

What sport activities are HOPE members participating in?

A:

Swimming Lessons - Florida Southern College offers a homeschool and/or preschool session beginning around Memorial Day which lasts for 2-3 weeks.

Soccer - Bible Presbyterian Church, 5635 N. Daughtery Rd., Lakeland, 33809, 858-6272, offers competitive soccer for ages 4-18 beginning in September and running every Friday for about 8 weeks.  There is no charge for this league, but donations are graciously accepted! The church family generously offers a light supper after the games for participating families and good fellowship is enjoyed by all! Please visit www.flbpc.org/soccer to register your child.  Teams fill up quickly, so don't delay!

Church leagues - Younger Hope members (grades K-6) have many sports opportunities in Church leagues, often called "Upward Sports" http://www.upward.org/or "Allstars Sports." These leagues usually last 6-8 weeks and cost around $75, although some are free.  Highland Park Church of the Nazarene also offers many sports for students.

High School - HOPE members can try out for any public school team they are zoned for. Interested students should contact the school and fill out the necessary paperwork. Also, the student may try out for any private school team. The exception to this is any homeschooler who is under an UMBRELLA SCHOOL. Being under an umbrella school is like being a part of a private school. Therefore, an umbrella school student may NOT play sports at any public or private school.

Several HOPE students play soccer and/or football at Geneva Classical Academy.  HOPE students have also participated in athletics at Victory Christian Academy, Sonrise Christian School, and at their local public schools.

Homeschool P.E. - Lastly, there is a weekly opportunity for physical activity and sports at Lake Parker P.E. This is a co-op which meets Tuesdays from 9-10:30 during the school year.  Parents volunteer coaching and assisting with classes K-12.  Students play specific sports as well as participate in the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. Cost varies but is minimal, around $5 per student per year, with a family max of $25 or less. Visit the Facebook page for details.

Q:

How can I get plugged into this group?

A:

You can get plugged into HOPE simply by showing up!

  • Attend events, activities, Park Days, and field trips.
  • Participate on the HOPE Forum.
  • Volunteer for our events.  Getting plugged in can come from offering to help out and serve in some small way when possible, perhaps reaching out to other families.  Serving is the best way to make friends!
  • If you are new and intimidated to come alone, reach out to another HOPE member and find out if they are attending.
  • At some Moms' Night Out events, we split up into small groups and have more intimate discussions, so this gives us all the opportunity to give advice/prayer/support and friendship to one another in a way that isn't too scary!  :-)
  • We have events for just the moms and some for the whole family!  Check out our online calendar and come to the Moms’ Night Out to find out more specific details.

We all look forward to seeing new faces!  Come check out some of our events.  You'll love to see what the Good Lord is doing among us!  HOPE families are very friendly and welcoming, but all homeschool families are also busy. Please take the time to reach out, old members to new, and new members to old.  We all need each other.  Being plugged in and connected to each other is what this group is all about. 

Field Trips

Q:

Who can go on HOPE field trips? 

A:

All registered members of HOPE and their families are welcome to attend HOPE field trips. Some field trips are age-specific, and those guidelines should be respected.

Other

Q:

How can I give my time and help out with HOPE Homeschoolers?

A:

Contact a member of the Board and communicate your interest to serve as well as provide guidance with your giftedness so that we help get you connected with the area of HOPE that best utilizes your God-given talents.

Also, you can email info@hopelakeland.com with this same information, and your inquiry will be forwarded to the HOPE board member that can best assist you in serving.

 

Q:

What should my day to day routine look like?

A:

Every homeschool looks different and no two are exactly alike.  Family size, composition, employment schedules and demands, health issues, economic situations, learning styles, personalities, preferred methodology of teaching, denominational preferences, and choice of curriculum make each homeschool just like snowflakes: no two are identical. It is the parents' job and privilege to prayerfully ask God to lead their homeschool.

Q:

Where do I find information regarding homeschooling through high school?

A:

Information regarding homeschooling through high school is available from our Secondary Coordinator, Lisa Hazelton.  She will lead Connect Groups at several Moms' Nights Out throughout the year to cover common concerns including but not limited to dual enrollment, college prep, transcripts, diplomas, Bright Futures, etc.  While she may not know answers to all of the questions you may have regarding homeschooling through high school, she is happy to help point you in the right direction and to encourage you during this exciting time.

HSLDA and FPEA also provide great resources for homeschooling through high school for their members.

Q:

What can I expect at a Moms' Night Out?

A:

The Moms’ Night Out events are when our community comes together to meet new friends and to share information, ideas, encouragement, and support and to buy and sell curriculum.  Information regarding field trips and community events is shared. Some months we have a topic of discussion; topics vary from parenting, schooling, marriage, etc. We also like to do table talks where we can discuss different questions pertaining to the topic presented. And, of course, there is always food that is shared!

Q:

How often do you meet?

A:

Each month, HOPE families join together for the fellowship so vital to our homeschooling journey. Here are some of our regularly scheduled activities:

  • Moms’ Night Out – the second Tuesday of each month (August – May)
  • Park Days – weekly (September – May)
  • Field Trips – as planned by our members
  • Future HOPE – Monthly meetings for students in grades 6-8 and 9-12
  • Celebrate & Graduate! – our year-end graduation/awards celebration